WALKING THE FEEDER CANAL TRAIL
The Glens Falls Feeder Canal Towpath is a nine mile trail suitable for walking, running or biking from the Feeder Dam in Queensbury to Mullen Park in Fort Edward. The Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation Council has an excellent map and the Feeder Canal Alliance has it’s own Walking Map & Trail Guide as well.
Here are directions for starting at Hudson River Overlook Park at the Feeder Dam in Queensbury: From I-87, take exit 18 and go east on Broad Street to Richardson Street (the first light). Go south 0.5 miles on Richardson Street from traffic light at Richardson and Broad Streets.
Reminder: Remain on the towpath for your own safety and in respect for the private property along the canal. Also, be on alert for traffic at the street intersections.
Feeder Dam (Parking available) – Parking for a few cars is available near the gates on Richardson Street. Cross the footbridge to the towpath, making sure to look at the Feeder Dam and the remains of Lock 14, the only Feeder Canal lock in Warren County. Heading east, the towpath includes views of the Hudson River and woodlands.
Haviland Cove and Pruyn’s Island (Parking available) – The first bridge crossing the canal is at Bush Street, which brings the visitors to Haviland’s Cove Park, where restrooms are available in the summer season. The canal and its towpath form the north boundary for Pruyn’s Island. The berm bank (the side of the canal opposite the towpath) used to be stacked with drying lumber from the sawmills, awaiting transportation on the canal. The island was very much involved in canal life during the 19th century, and many workers lived here.
Murray Street – Just a couple of blocks before you reach the Murray Street bridge, you will see a shallow basin across the canal to your left. This was once the Morgan Dry Dock where canal boats were repaired. The next section of the towpath hugs the river and approaches Glen Street (Route 9). The Glens Falls commercial boat basin was just east of the red brick building on the left.
Glen Street – Notice at the bottom of the falls in the Hudson river the rock formation known as Cooper’s Cave, a site made famous in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel The Last of the Mohicans. At the Finch Paper parking lot, please follow signs which direct trail users to an one mile detour on city streets. Take a left onto Glen Street and then take a right into the Civic Center parking lot and head east through the short parking lot until you take a left onto Church Street. This will lead you to Warren Street, which you take a right onto and follow past the Hyde Collection to Shermantown Road.
Shermantown Road – Take a right on Shermantown Road to return to the Feeder Canal towpath. After crossing the bridge, turn left, and continue east along the towpath. To your right you will see the stone work and ruins of a series of lime kilns. At one time there was more than 83 lime kilns along the Feeder Canal. Jointa Lime, now behind you, dates back almost to the beginning of the canal. After a pleasant walk around “the big bend” , you are approaching Glens Falls Portland Cement which straddles the canal. The loading dock is still intact under you. As you look down, you see remains of a huge scale imbedded in the towpath there.
River Street – When the towpath reaches River Street, it is important that you cross this busy intersection with the light. Back on the towpath you pass the Ciba-Geigy treatment plant, heading for the county line. The bridge coming up has many names; Quarry Crossing, County Line Bridge, and Warren Street Bridge.
As you enter Washington County, the canal crosses Cold Spring Brook via a small stone aqueduct only visible from the north side. The wooded banks and vines trailing over the walls are reminiscent of rivers and trails in the Adirondacks. As you approach the Whitehall Bridge (Route 4) you might decide to stop for an ice cream or a cold drink at Jack and Jill’s Ice Cream stand in Murray Park, Hudson Falls. At Route 4, you should use caution when crossing the road. Go to your left and cross at the traffic light. You will notice that the towpath is now on the north side of the canal.
Martindale Avenue and the Martindale Boat Basin (Parking available) – You will now come up on the Martindale Bridge and you will see the Martindale Boat Basin on your right. Stop and enjoy the wonderful park where there are picnic tables and park benches for you to enjoy. Continue on the towpath, you will cross Maple Street and Pearl Street. Just before the Pearl Street Bridge, you will see Lock #13.
Burgoyne Avenue – As you make your way towards Burgoyne Avenue, you will pass Lock #12 and Lock # 11 (located right before the Burgoyne Avenue Bridge). The next series of locks (#10-#6), also known as the Five Combines, can be seen shortly after crossing over Burgoyne Avenue, where picnic tables are also available for your enjoyment. As the towpath continues east toward the T-Bridge, you will pass by the last five locks of the Feeder Canal. The towpath continues until the T-Bridge, where the Feeder Canal flows into the Old Champlain Canal.
Mullen Park (Parking available) –Take a right and follow the trail south. About one mile down the trail there will be three bollards in the road. Pass through these and continue down the trail past a farm. Eventually, you will pass Energy Park on your left. The trail continues a little further until it ends at Mullen Park in Fort Edward.