Saratoga County

Schenectady County to open new hiking trailsc

More than six miles of new public hiking trails will open on county forest land in Wilton and Nor


More than six miles of new public hiking trails will open on county forest land in Wilton and Northumberland in the spring.

And building them has cost the county almost nothing.

About 2.2 miles of trail built mostly by volunteers will be opening on a 250-acre parcel the county owns at Bullard Lane and Edie Road in Wilton.

Almost four more miles of trail located between Gailor Lane in Northumberland and Ruggles Road in Wilton is being built by BOCES forestry management students, at no cost to the county.

“We’ve got a lot of work all happening at the same time,” said county Trails Committee Chairman Matthew Veitch, R-Saratoga Springs. “We’ll do a ribbon-cutting probably in the spring.”

Veitch said the committee has only spent about $3,000 of its $15,000 budget, and that money went toward making aluminum trail-marker disks that will be installed in the spring.

The Trails Committee met Tuesday in Ballston Spa to discuss the progress on the county trails program, which was started last year.

Last summer, the county opened a short trail on county-owned land immediately north of the Wilton Mall — its first project to be completed.

“We’ve had a lot of use of that trail. It’s been pretty much a success,” Veitch Road.

The committee’s goal has been to develop usable walking trails on county-owned forest land, to meet a growing public demand for outdoor recreation opportunities.

The county owns about 3,000 acres it inherited under a Depression-area reforestation program — with much of that land in Wilton, Northumberland, and Moreau.

It has been open to the public, but until now there have been no official trails.

The new trail off Edie Road will border protected habitat of the endangered Karner blue butterfly, but not interfere with it. The trail will link another trail onto the Camp Saratoga property, now part of the Wilton Wildlife and Nature Preserve. The trail will have two trailheads on Edie Road, and one on Bullard Lane.

The other project is developing new trails or widening existing trails on a 106-acre property off Gailor Road that the Warren-Washington-Saratoga-Hamilton-Essex Counties’ BOCES owns. It links to an adjoining 130 acres owned by the county. Access will be from Gailor Lane, and from a development off Ruggles Road that borders the county land.

Some of that property is already used unofficially by mountain bikers, and illegally by local all-terrain vehicle riders.

Veitch said the county has no problems with allowing mountain bikers on its land, but hopes over time to discourage the ATVs.

“The more walkers you get in there, the less fun it is for them,” Veitch said.

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