The Mohawk Towpath Byway is rich in recreational assets. When asked about the Byway I use my elevator speech, “The Byway is a driving route between Waterford and Cohoes and Schenectady that follows the historic waterway west, the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River.” My passion is to have visitors park their cars and discover our recreational assets.
Perhaps the most heavily used recreational resources include the Mohawk Hudson Bikeway between Colonie and Niskayuna and the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve just across the Mohawk River between Crescent and the Vischer Ferry Dam. Peebles Island State Park in Waterford is the best kept secret in the Capital district. Located within the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers it offers a maize of foot and mountain bike trails that overlook water including white water and quiet wetland refuges visible from water level and high cliffs. Recent trail improvements have extended the recreational possibilities south along the Hudson into Green Island and west into the City of Cohoes.
On the western end of the Byway the City of Schenectady has improved the connections to the Mohawk Hudson Bikeway within the city. CCPHP has partnered with a bike rental company so a visitor or resident can rent a bike in Riverside Park (and several other sites in the city) to connect with Vale Park using lower trafficked, residential streets. Work is underway to connect further with Central Park not to distant from the Town of Niskayuna.
Each of our municipalities has local parks many of which are strung together on these recreational and commuter trails. Each of these parks is unique in that they have different topography and geology, diverse natural communities, various recreational amenities, and different historical significance.
Dunsbach Ferry Site is the eastern terminus of the Towpath Community Connecting Trail that proceeds west over 7 miles through the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve to the Lock 7 Dam overlook. During the early spring and warm late fall days this makes a great car top boat launch. It’s also right across the road from the newly opened Clam’r Pub.
Mohawk Landing is a six acre Town of Clifton Preserve on Riverview Road just west of Brian Drive. It features access to the river over a boardwalk that traverses unique perched wetland habitat. It is also the site where vacationers could rent cabins on the river in the early to mid twentieth century. This is a good place to observe native Columbine beautiful and protected wildflower in mid May.
These are only a few of the recreational assets offered along the Mohawk Towpath Byway. As I write this I remember a wonderful blog post by Ed Brown where he described his favorite Golf venues. There is also an interactive map of all the public fishing asses spots within the Byway corridor. These also double as excellent car top boat launch sites. Come and discover your favorite recreation and favorite venues. For those familiar with other recreational possibilities in the corridor and ones I may have overlooked please ad a comment.