Saratoga County

Ballston Lake fishing pier, walkway to remain closed through summer

The Ballston Lake fishing access site is closed off Outlet Road on Tuesday.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Ballston Lake fishing access site is closed off Outlet Road on Tuesday.

Fisherpeople, kayakers, and other water-goers can expect to have a hard time getting onto Ballston Lake this summer as the lake’s fishing pier and walkway remains closed for the season.

After sustaining significant ice damage during the winter that has caused the walkway to fall, town officials made the decision in February to board off the access point, located at the north end of the lake. 

“The walkway at the very end to where you go onto the fishing pier is dangerous and has structural issues, so we closed it,” said Joseph Whalen, the deputy town supervisor of Ballston. “It’s unfortunate that it can’t be used.” 

Now the town of Ballston is tasked with repairing the structure, a process that will cost approximately $250,000, according to a statement on the website. The timeline of the project is expected to stretch through the summer, as there are multiple phases that need to take place in order to begin construction, including design, bid submissions and demolition — all of which must follow requirements set forth under New York state law. 

“The Town Board is doing everything in their power to move as quick(ly) as we possibly can to replace the old, pressure-treated fishing pier, which is completely damaged and unsafe,” said Eric Connolly, the town supervisor for Ballston.

The town hopes for a full replacement with an improved kayak and canoe launch. In order to prevent ice damage in the future, the structure would be built entirely of aluminum and composite materials and will float. 

“The new one will be much more durable and will last longer,” said Whalen. 

But for now, these plans are unofficial, as town officials are only in the beginning stages of the project.

“It should be a real nice thing for our town residents, but it’s going to take time — it’s a whole process that has to happen that we have to follow as a municipality,” said Connolly.

The fishing pier marks the only free and public access point to Ballston Lake for kayaks, canoes and boats. Finnigan’s On The Lake, a restaurant on the perimeter of the lake, provides boat access to the water but the launch is on private property and requires a fee in order to be used. According to Connolly, the town owns no lake frontage other than the closed-off structure. 

“There are no other options that would allow for access and parking,” Connolly said in an email.

If the repair process moves steadily, Ballston hopes to have the new structure up and ready by the fall or, at the latest, next spring.

Categories: News, Saratoga County

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