Happy 2016 -- Here's an update on the Saranac River Trail for the new year
At the moment, the Trail has a primary segment from behind Plattsburgh High School at George Angell Drive, across the campus, up the hill to Steltzer Road, and then along Pine Street to the Max Moore Memorial Treehouse and the old Saranac Street Bridge. If you haven’t explored that section, take a walk or bike ride along the approxiimately 1 mile of this segment. You can make the roundtrip within an hour, and there are benches along the way to stop and rest, read, listen to the river, and keep an eye out for Champy, the Lake Champlain Monster who may be spending the winter in the river.
At the other end of the Trail, Peace Point Park and the new City Marina provide beautiful views and new benches to view the lake. From that end of the Trail, you an easily walk into downtown to shop, eat, or explore the new attractions and businesses downtown.
Thanks to a lot of work by the City Engineering Department and with the assistance of grants from the New York State Department of Transportation in 2013 and the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) in 2015, the next two years will see these two Trail segments linked.
Once you walk into downtown from Peace Point Park on Lake Champlain, you can explore the City. There will be new signage to identify the Trail’s route through the City. The Trail will lead you to Durkee Street and down to the Saranac River. What is now the dead end of Durkee Street, will no longer be a dead end. Engineering work is nearly complete on a new pedestrian-only bridge across the Saranac River. The City owns the riverfront on the south side of the river in that section, and you’ll be able to walk (or bike) across the new bridge and follow the Trail along the riverfront to the Saranac Street Bridge that leads to Pine Street.
As you may know, the Saranac Street Bridge needs to be replaced. We had hoped that it could be repaired, but it appears that its condition is beyond repair. Thanks to REDC & OPRHP, the City has recently received a grant to replace that bridge. The replacement will be a pedestrian/bike bridge with stations for kids (and others!) to study the river. As far as the Trail is concerned, this means that you’ll be able to bike, walk, or run from Peace Point Park on Lake Champlain all the way into downtown, across the bridges, along Pine Street, and across the campus.
The funding is in place, and we’re hoping that construction will begin fall 2016 with completion by 2017.
If you’re traveling to downtown to enjoy the expanded Trail, remember that free parking is available at the lakefront parking lot (Peace Point Parking) and the Durkee Street parking lot.
And, as part of this project, at the Caroline Street cul-de-sac where the Durkee Street bridge and new Saranac Street bridge will meet, there will be half a dozen charging stations for electric cars. Drive up, plug in, and explore Plattsburgh's Downtown and Museum Campus as well as the Trail -- they're all within walking distance.
We’ll keep you posted as schedules are set. We’re also working on a new season of Talks, Treks & Tasks for Friends of Saranac River Trail.
If you haven’t signed up for our mailing list at saranacrivertrail.org, do so now so we can keep you posted. And invite your friends to sign up so we can keep them in the loop.
Sneak previews: Our second Waste Water Treatment Plant tour is scheduled for Saturday April 9, 2016 from 1-2:30. Space is limited, and kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. There is walking involved (and some stairs). And remember National Trails Day on Saturday June 4, 2016. We’ll have a special event this year.
Find out more about Saranac River Trail and the Saranac River Trail Greenway Expansion on Mountain Lake Journal at 8 PM on Friday, January 8, 2016.