ZIM SMITH TRAIL LETTERBOX:
BALLSTON SPA-MECHANICVILLE, NEW YORK
MALTA TROLLEY LINE TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Letterbox Planted: August 3, 2009
Last Updated: July 18, 2015
Length: Zim Smith Trail; 9 miles
Malta Trolley Line Trail; 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Zim Smith Trail; Easy. Flat, paved and stone-dust rail trail. Paved; 5.3 miles northern section. Stone-dust; 2.8 miles southern section.
Malta Trolley Line Trail; Moderate. Paved trail with two steep hills on both ends.
To start from Shenantaha Creek Park; 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 a 1/2 mile along East Line Rd on your left.
To start from Coons Crossing Road parking lot; 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. Cross over the RR tracks again and the parking lot will be on your left. Note; Coons Crossing Rd continues out to Route 67.
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. Future plans could include expanding the trail another 3.5 miles east to downtown Mechanicville where it will connect into the CHAMPLAIN CANALWAY TRAIL and another 5 miles north to the Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs. See; Railroad Run & Saratoga Spa SP Trails . 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 Coons Crossing Road parking lot in Mechanicville;
Note; Hopefully in 2018 construction will begin to extend the trail east 3 miles to Mechanicville, where it will eventually connect to a future section of the CHAMPLAIN CANALWAY TRAIL .
This section of the trail travels along a wide stone-dust surface. Wooden mile marker posts are located every 0.5 miles. The trail starts out in the open as you travel past a marsh and pond. After a mile the trail becomes more wooded and shaded and takes you over Dwass Kill. Cross English Rd after 1 3/4 miles and travel over Route 9 via an old RR bridge at 2.7 miles. The trail become paved after 2.8 miles. You'll enter the Village of Round Lake and come to a sign board at 3.4 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 3.9 miles and look right for an old RR Mile Marker. It appears to have read RP 165? At 4.4 miles you head up and over the Round Lake By-pass via an iron arched bridge. Just before traveling underneath I-87 at 4.5 miles you pass by the entrance for the Malta Trolley Line Trail on your right. SEE BELOW. After traveling underneath I-87 you'll pass by an antenna tower followed by a gravel trail on your left before entering a shallow dirt cut at 5 miles. Just before you exit the cut look to your left for a pile of rocks along the top of the cut. This will be just before a "25 MPH" sign located on the right side of the trail. Take 9 paces (2 steps = 1 pace) back from the "25 MPH" sign. Just in front of these three rocks will be a medium sized tree shaped like a V, behind which is a large tree. Go to the backside of the rocks and remove a single middle stone to reveal the Zim Smith Trail Letterbox. Continuing along the trail you come to Ruhle Road at 5.4 miles. Appears to be some parking available along the road. 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 6.2 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 6.7 miles. 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 7.5 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 9 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.
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LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON
AUGUST 22, 2018
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