UNCLE SAM BIKEWAY:
TROY, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 1, 2011
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.
To start from the Waterford Harbor Visitor Center; Take I-787 north to Route 787 north to Route 32 (Saratoga Ave) across the Mohawk River into downtown Waterford. Turn right down 2nd St which will bring you to the parking lot on your right just before the bridge.
To start from the Northern end of the trail; From the junction of Routes 4 & 32 in downtown Waterford head east on Route 4 and cross over the Hudson River. Bear right on Route 4 (2nd Ave) at the light. At your next light turn left up Route 142 (125th St). At the five-way intersection, cross over to Northern Drive and follow it up a small hill. The bike trail starts across from Old Mill Hill Rd on the right. A gravel road on the right leads up to a small grass parking area.
The Uncle Sam Bikeway
runs along the
former rail bed of the Troy & Boston Railroad which was constructed
in 1850-52. This in turn became the Fitchburg Railroad in 1887 and then
the Maine Railroad in 1900. The tracks were dismantled in 1972. Samuel
Wilson was the Troy
meatpacker and Massachusetts
native who many believe was the inspiration for the Uncle Sam figure.
Supporters of the Wilson
story say he became associated with Uncle Sam when he stamped the initials
"US" on barrels of meat he supplied to American forces in the war of 1812.
Seeing the initials, soldiers began referring to Wilson
as Uncle Sam. Samuel Wilson died in 1854 and is buried in Troy
Cemetery, which is located on the hillside above the trail. You can also
access two other trails from the Waterford
Center; See; Old
Champlain Canal Trail; Waterford-Halfmoon and Black
Bridge Trail . For more information visit; UNCLE
SAM BIKEWAY , NY TRAILS
Starting from the Waterford Harbor Visitor Center; Follow a brick path from the parking lot past the Visitor Center and down to the Canal Walkway. Head left (east) along the Walkway which travels alongside the Mohawk River, underneath an old RR Bridge and out to the Point known as the Battery. After checking out where the Mohawk River and Erie Canal flows into the Hudson River, head left through the Boat Launch parking lot to 1st Street. Follow 1st Street until you reach Broad St (Route 4).
Note; You can take a quick detour to check out the old Waterford Train Station. Just cross over Broad St and continue up 1st St. Take a left on Division St and then a right on 2nd St. This will bring you to Columbia St after 0.3 miles. The old combination Waterford Station and D & H Freight Office now houses the Waterford Public Library. This station, built in 1896, was part of the 1835 Rensselaer-Saratoga Railroad Line, later a branch of the D & H Railroad.
Turn right along Broad St and cross over the Hudson River. Turn right along 2nd Ave (Route 4) at the light. At your next light cross over Route 4 to Route 142 (125th St) and up a small hill. No sidewalk here. At the five-way intersection, cross over to Northern Drive (Route 142) and follow it up a small hill to the start of the Uncle Sam Bikeway on your right after 1.2 miles.
The Uncle Sam Bikeway starts on your right across from Old Mill Hill Rd. The paved trail heads into the woods along a ridge cut into the hill with the houses of Lansingburgh below to your right. Cross Cemetery Rd and then Gurley Road parking lot where the trail opens up for a bit. After heading back into the woods you'll come to Knickerbacker Park along the right side of the trail. A large pink obelisk monument is here with fields below. After passing through a corrugated tunnel, you enter a residential area. The trail ends at Middlebourgh St after 3 miles.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT