BALLSTON VETERANS BIKEWAY:
BALLSTON LAKE, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 01, 2023
Length: Route 146A parking lot to Outlet Road; 3.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.
Starting from the Route 146A parking lot [Southern End]; Take exit 9 off of I-87 to Route 146 west. After a couple of miles, you'll take a right onto Route 146A north. Keep on this road until you cross over some railroad tracks. The parking lot will be just ahead on your right in front of a utility substation. The trail begins here next to a signboard.
The Ballston Veterans Bikeway follows the rail bed of the former electric trolley line of the Schenectady Railroad Company. This trolley ran from Schenectady to Ballston Lake after 1902. There were several stops along the line including Ballston Spa, White's Beach and the popular Forest Park which opened at the South end of Ballston Lake in 1904. The park was popular with tourists because of the dance pavilion, merry-go-round and other activities there. The park closed in about 1930. This trail follows the trolley line north from Forest Park. There are informative signboards located along the trail.
From the Route 146A parking lot [Southern End]; The Ballston Veterans Bikeway heads North, following the active rail line to your right. While biking, several trains passed by including an Amtrak train and a long, lumbering freight train. The paved trail starts out narrow, but quickly widens. The rail line is separated from the trail by a dirt berm with a power line running along it. There are Mileage Markers located every 0.25 miles, although a few are missing. You'll come to your first informative signboard at 0.3 miles. Soon the paved trail runs next to a shale rock cut on your left. You'll get some information concerning Ballston Lake at 1.5 miles, although you can't actually see the lake from this trail. I encountered a lot of rabbits along the way. You cross a road at 2.1 miles and soon after a small bridge. You reach Outlet Road at about 3.2 miles. The trail continues north as a dirt trail.
Plans to extend the trail north are under study in 2021.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT