Monday, August 6, 2012

Biking - Champlain Canal, Glens Falls Feeder Canal, and Warren County Bikeway

Today was going to be the day I did a big ride, something like 50 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing.  When I woke up this morning, that really didn't have any appeal at all.  So, to avoid complete lethargy, I settled on a more pleasing alternative - the trails listed above in the subject, which would take me from Fort Edward to Lake George.  I do this trip about once a year just for a change of pace, and today I seemed to need a change of pace.

I started out along the old Champlain Canal in Fort Edward.  I'd biked part of this before, to get access to the Feeder Canal.  But today I explored a mile-long section I'd never biked before, and it was really nice.  It brought back memories of biking the C&O Canal towpath in Maryland and Virginia.

The old Champlain Canal and towpath
This section led to a dead end, so I returned the way I'd come and headed toward the Feeder Canal.  Along the way, I came to The Combine, a group of 5 locks that now have continuously running waterfalls within them.  There was a short uphill here to climb to the level of the upstream section of the canal.

The Combine
Once on the towpath, the scenery could only be called "bucolic".  This was really pleasant riding, and just the change of pace I needed.

Along the Feeder Canal
But alas, the Feeder Canal Trail came to an end, and dumped me off on city streets before picking up the Warren County Bikeway.  This mostly off-road paved path crosses many streets before finally beginning its descent into Lake George.  The amazing thing is that the drivers here almost ALWAYS stop and allow bikers to cross at these intersections.  I've never seen this kind of courtesy anywhere before, at least not to this level.

Arriving in Lake George near the so-called "Million-dollar Beach", I headed into town to try to find some lunch, with limited cash on hand.  I managed 2 slices of pizza and a bottle of lemonade for about $10.00, obviously paying summer prices.  I sat by the lake for a while enjoying the scenery, and the lake that defines summer around here.

Parasailing and water skiing on Lake George
The climb back out of Lake George seemed like nothing and was over in a flash, and the whole ride back seemed shorter, as is often the case.  All told, I'd done about 37 miles on the first nice (comfortable, non-muggy) day we've had in what seems like weeks.

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