Old Champlain Canal Towpath

  • Town of Waterford
  • Length: 3 miles
  • Scenery: Wetland, Woods
  • Terrain: Level trail

Trip Tip: Bike along history

Hidden under a thick canopy of vegetation lies the Old Champlain Canal. The old towpath along the canal has been restored as a multi-use recreational trail through the Town of Waterford. As you ride along the bike path you will see remains of the old canal and it’s locks. There are several informational signs along the towpath explaining past operations of the canal.

The Champlain Canal was originally built in 1832 and connected the Hudson River in Waterford to Lake Champlain in Whitehall. This area is now part of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

About one mile north from the trailhead is Lock 2 on the present day Erie Canal. This is the first of five locks in a series referred to as the Waterford Flight. Boats are lifted 169 feet from the Hudson River around the Cohoes Falls to the Mohawk River. The bike trail continues around the lock. Follow the signage to the next section that starts at Broad St, where the trail has been extended north for several miles. Views of Vermont with active railroad tracks in the foreground are off to the east. The west side of the canal has a steep grade which was utilized during the original construction. The trail fades away into a landfill to the north.

Directions: Fulton Avenue
From the north, take Exit 8a off of the Northway(I-87). Head east on Grooms Rd (Rte 91). Cross over Rte 9 and continue on Guideboard Rd (Rte. 94). This turns into Middletown Rd(Rte. 96) to the Town of Waterford. Make a right onto Saratoga Ave (Rte 32). Stay on Saratoga Ave until you see the McDonald’s on the right. Make a left onto Fulton Ave. Park in the park at the end of the road. The bike path starts on the north end of the park.