Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biking - Fort Edward to Lake George

Today was a Taconic Hiking Club bike ride along the original Champlain Canal, the Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail, and the Warren County Bikeway, a total of 32 miles R/T from Fort Edward to Lake George. A map of the entire route is available here. Most of the route is on off-street bike paths, and it makes a pleasant day's outing.

As we left the old Champlain Canal heading up to the Feeder Canal, we came upon the remains of the Five Combines, a series of 5 locks on the old canal that lifted/lowered boats a total of 55 feet.

Continuing on to the Feeder Canal, we entered a park-like setting that also included views into private backyards and passage through several industrial areas.

Between the Feeder Canal Trail and the Warren County Bikeway, the route briefly winds through city streets, mostly residential and quiet, before picking up the paved bike trail again. There are numerous street crossings in this initial section of the Bikeway, but we were all amazed at the courtesy of drivers of all sorts of vehicles. When we stopped at OUR stop sign, drivers inevitably stopped and let us cross the street, which we acknowledged with waves and thanks. Having experienced less courtesy in other similar situations, this was most refreshing.

After one short on-road section, we began the long gradual descent to Lake George. We found some sunny benches adjacent to the "Million-Dollar Beach", so named because you couldn't pay me enough to come anywhere near this tourist mecca in the summer. It was a clear sunny day, the waterfront was quiet, and the views of the lake were, as usual, spectacular.

After lunch by the lake came the long gradual climb back out of Lake George, but it wasn't difficult. Back in Glens Falls, we stopped at Coopers Cave for ice cream. This place is very convenient, being directly alongside the trail, and it gets a lot of business from trail users.

From there we wound our way back to the Feeder Canal and back to the cars after a very pleasant ride.

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