Trail Description: Located at the junction between the Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain, Whitehall is considered the birthplace of the American Navy. Whitehall was founded by British Army Captain Philip Skene in 1759 and was originally known as Skenesboro which became the first settlement on Lake Champlain and the center of maritime trade. In 1980, the Town was designated an Urban Cultural Park Canal Harbor, a state-designated area that has special significance in history. In recognition of this significance, the state has made significant investment into the development of the Whitehall waterfront. Connecting the Canalway Trail to Whitehall to create a byway from Waterford to Canada was a primary recommendation in the Village’s 2001 Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and several regional plans. The vision was to extend the CCT north to the South Bay State Boat Launch. At the southern end, the CCT from Fort Ann to the Village represents one of the most challenging segments. Although the Champlain Canal is exceptionally beautiful and the resources on the waterfront are abundant, the railroad tracks, wetlands and stream crossings will make the CCT expensive to construct. Construction of the trail along the remnants of the Old Champlain Canal is preferable since other trail route alternatives have significant cost, noise, safety and permitting issues.
Empire State Trail: The EST will exist entirely on Route 22 as an on-road shoulder route throughout the town and village. NYSDOT will be responsible for roadside signage, striping and wayfinding enhancements. The EST may shift its route to the off-road route of the CCT once the design and engineering phase is completed. Route 22 will continue to serve as State Bike Route 9, an on-road bicycle route. EST plans to locate a trailhead and associated parking in Skenesborough Park.
Lake Champlain/Champlain Canal Access Points: Lock C12; South Bay State Boat Launch; South Bay Fishing Pier; Whitehall Harbor Boat Ramp; The Saddles State Park; and Dolph Pond State Forest.
Public Facilities:Whitehall Amtrak Station; Skene Manor; Skenesborough Museum and Heritage Visitor Center; and Whitehall Terminal Wall; Boat Tours; and Whitehall Cliffs Natural Area (future canoe to clifftop trail).
Public Events: Sasquatch Calling Festival; Summer Festival; Music in the Park; Friday Night Fish Fry; and Sasquatch Half Marathon.
The Saddles Tract: Trail leading to North Saddle, Devils Den and South Bay.
Lake George Wild Forest: Trail system in the Shelving Rock Area, Gull Bay Preserve and the Last Great Shoreline.
Lake Champlain Bikeways: A series of on-road bike routes with a connecting point to Chimney Point at Crown Point.
Lake Champlain Birding Trail: Highway-based trail route that connects 88 bird sites along the Lake Champlain shoreline.
Snowmobile Trails: Snowmobile routes range east into the Town of Hampton, west into the Lake George area, and south from Fort Ann on the Champlain Canal.
Local Planning Support:
- Village of Whitehall Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (2001)
- Washington County Tourism Study (2017)
- Fort Ann to Whitehall Trail Feasibility Study (2018)
Implementation Strategy: Design and engineering is funded for the entire route from the north end of Old Route 4 in Fort Ann north into the Village of Whitehall. Construction funds may be available through EST or other funding programs.