SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. >> State officials Tuesday announced $12 million in new funding to complete three sections of the 62-mile Champlain Canalway Trail from Waterford to Whitehall.
The projects, when finished in three years, will double the number off-road stretches on the route from 11 to 22 miles.
Sections targeted for work are fairly short distances in Waterford-Halfmoon and Schuylerville, and 12 miles from Fort Edward to Fort Ann.
“This doesn’t finish it, but it’s an important step forward,” said Andy Beers, Empire State Trail director. “It’s a lot of money. There’s a lot of work to do.”
Beers announced the funding during a luncheon attended by nearly 50 local officials on the Dix Bridge, part of Hudson Crossing Park, which connects Saratoga and Washington counties just north of Schuylerville.
Work on the Champlain Canalway Trail has been ongoing for several years as a way to promote economic development through recreational tourism. However, the effort has moved slowly at times for lack of funding, and difficulty obtaining rights-of-way from private property owners in some places.
“This is a banner day for the Champlain Canalway Trail,” spokesman David Perkins said.
In January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans for a 750-mile Empire State Trail from New York City to Canada and Albany to Buffalo, costing $200 million, which the Legislature approved in the latest state budget.
“It’s a brand-new capital appropriation,” Beers said. “It’s not coming out of other pots of money.”
If completed, as…
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