… for an attractive and continuous Champlain Canalway Trail route from Waterford to Whitehall, that utilizes historic towpaths,
Champlain Canal shoreline, existing local and regional trails, on-street bicycle routes and links to regional and community
Parts of this vision have been developed through state and local plans and projects over several years. Some communities already have trail sections completed or underway, or are cultivating local attractions. Nearly 200 local residents came together in a series of public workshops from 2008 to 2010 to help refine the vision for the Champlain Canalway Trail. People talked, viewed pictures, slideshows, maps and flipcharts, listened to programs about bicycle and heritage tourism, and explored alternatives from a variety of viewpoints. A few clear goals emerged:
- Establish trails, linear parks, bike routes and water trails that connect along the Champlain Canal corridor. These build upon historic towpaths, trails, portions of the present-day canal, abandoned railroad corridors and low-traffic roads.
- Link key historic and cultural sites and features along the way.
- Provide downtown and neighborhood trail connections in historic river and canal communities. Bring trail benefits to places where people live and businesses operate.
- Establish links with a regional network of trails. These include the Crescent Trail (Mohawk River), Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail, Warren County Bikeway, the Zim Smith Trail, Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail, Erie Canalway Trail, regional snowmobile trails, on-road bicycle touring routes, and water trails.
- Communicate and strengthen a corridor-wide identity linking historic, recreational and economic resources, and help local communities to capture their benefits.
- Coordinate local action. Encourage and support local projects by sharing the resources and technical assistance needed to get the job done.