ZIM SMITH TRAIL:
BALLSTON SPA-MECHANICVILLE, NEW YORK
MALTA TROLLEY LINE TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: July 10, 2021
Length: Zim Smith Trail; 11.6 miles
Malta Trolley Line Trail; 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Zim Smith Trail; Easy. Flat, paved rail trail. Eastern End; Moderate. Paved trail with hills.
Malta Trolley Line Trail; Moderate. Paved trail with two steep hills on both ends.
To start from Oak Street in Ballston Spa [North Section]; From I-87 take exit 12 to Route 67 west to Ballston Spa. Turn right on E High St where Route 67 turns left. Cross the RR tracks and turn right on Oak St. Follow to trailhead. Parking is located along Oak St.
To start from Shenantaha Creek Park [North Central Section]; From I-87 take exit 12 to Route 67 west. Travel 1.5 miles to East Line Rd and turn left. The park entrance is 0.5 miles along East Line Rd on your left.
To start from Coons Crossing Road parking lot in Mechanicville [South Central Section]; From I-87 take exit 10 to Ushers Rd east. Cross Route 9 and at the fork continue left on Ushers Rd. After crossing over the RR tracks take your next left on Coons Crossing Rd. A parking lot is located on your right. If you cross over the RR tracks again another parking lot will be on your left. Note; Coons Crossing Rd continues out to Route 67.
To start from Elizabeth Street Ext parking lot in Mechanicville [Eastern End]; From the junction of Routes 4 & 67 in Mechanicville travel south on Route 4. Cross a river and take your 3rd right on Park Plaza. Continue straight on Railroad St, then left across the RR tracks. Continue straight along Elizabeth St, which becomes Elizabeth St Ext. Trailhead and parking lot at end of road.
The Zim Smith Trail runs along the former rail bed of the D & H North South Railroad corridor. The trail was named after Zim Smith who dedicated himself to the development of outdoor recreation in Saratoga County. The trail runs from Ballston Spa to Mechanicville, where it will connect into the CHAMPLAIN CANALWAY TRAIL . Future plans call foe extending the trail another 5 miles north to Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs. See; Saratoga Greenbelt Trail . The Malta Trolley Line Trail is a spur off the trail just north of Round Lake that takes you out to Route 9. For more information visit; SARATOGA PLAN .
Starting from Elizabeth Street Ext. parking lot in Mechanicville; A narrow paved trail leads to the start of the wide paved Zim Smith Trail. This open trail follows the power line corridor. Come alongside a Rail Yard for the Pan AM Southern at 0.3 miles. The trail then travels through the Fairways of Halfmoon golf course (metal cage protects you from wayward golf balls). This section has some slight hill climbs as it travels above the RR tracks and not along a rail bed. Stop and watch as a large machine picks up rail cars and moves them around. Cross a bridge over a stream at 1.8 miles as you travel along open woods. Come to Floyd Memorial parking lot at 2.5 miles. Restrooms. Turn right on Coons Crossing Rd, cross the RR tracks and come to the Coons Crossing Road parking lot at 2.6 miles. This section of the trail follows an old rail bed, so it's fairly flat. Wooden Mile Markers located every 0.5 miles. The trail starts out in the open as you travel past a marsh and pond. After 3.6 miles the trail becomes more wooded and shaded and takes you over Dwass Kill. Cross English Rd at 4.3 miles and travel over Route 9 via an old RR bridge at 5.3 miles. You'll enter the Village of Round Lake and come to a sign board at 6 miles. Cross Curry Ave and a parking lot followed by a playground, picnic area and Porto-Potty. The last Mile Marker along the trail is here (3.5 miles). Cross Goldfoot Rd followed by Morris Rd at 6.5 miles and look right for an old RR Mile Marker. It appears to have read RP 165? At 7 miles you head up and over the Round Lake By-pass via an iron arched bridge. Just before traveling underneath I-87 at 7.1 miles you pass by a paved trail on your right.
Note; This is the Malta Trolley Line Trail that brings you to Maltaville. SEE BELOW.
After traveling underneath I-87 you'll enter a shallow dirt cut at 7.6 miles. Continuing along the trail you come to Ruhle Road at 8 miles. Next the trail travels along a ridge with steep drops along your right. You'll pass by the first of two benches behind which streams run down the hill and under the trail. Both are very scenic. At 8.8 miles you'll come to a sign board and parking lot at Shenantaha Creek Park .
Note; Restrooms, a pavilion and picnic tables are located in the Park.
The trail opens up and you'll come to a cross-walk over East Line Dr at 9.3 miles in East Line. A gas station is located here if you need to grab a dink or snack. The trail comes alongside Route 67, travels through some fields, passes through a tunnel under Route 67 and crosses Underpass Rd after 10.1 miles. Cross a bridge over a creek and travel a more isolated section through open woods and marsh. Come alongside an active RR separated by an iron fence before coming to Oak St in Ballston Spa after 11.6 miles and the current end of the trail.
Malta Trolley Line Trail
From the intersection with the Zim Smith Trail; The paved trail travels down a slight hill just below I-87 before sharply turning right into the woods. You cross a small stream and travel along a ridge above a marsh & stream along your right. Travel underneath the Round Lake Bypass at 0.6 miles. You then begin a long assent, crossing a boardwalk and passing by a bench where you can catch your breath. You top out at Route 9 where the trail ends after 1.2 miles in Maltaville.
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