Halfmoon opens first leg of canal path

In honor of National Trails Day, Saturday, June 7, the Town of Halfmoon opened a 2.8-mile stretch of the Champlain Canal Trail.

It's a dream come true, said chairwoman of the Trails Advisory Committee Henrietta O' Grady.

More than 20 Halfmoon residents and town officials gathered at the start of the trial, where it intersects Brookwood Road, adjacent to the Water Treatment Plant, to commemorate the opening of the trail with a ribbon cutting.

"It's all about you. It's all about the future of your community," said Carmella Mantello, director of the New York State Canal Corp., who participated in the ceremony.

During the event, several speakers including Town Board members and the Canal Corporation director emphasized the work of former Town Board member James Bold.

Bold, an avid walker, who attended the event, said he travels throughout the country and often stops at trails to hike with his wife and is excited to use a trail in this own town.

"It is just so exciting to see this," he said.

He said he expects that once complete, the trail will attract some to the area, but for now, he is simply thrilled to see the first segment complete.

The town plans to extend the trail North to Route 146 near the City of Mechanicville and South to Waterford, where it will connect to trails in the town according to O'Grady.

The paved trail is ideal for both biking and walking, O'Grady said.

"We believe it will be a great resource for the future," Mantello said of the trail. She said a project of this magnitude could not be done without the town's involvement.

"None of this could happen without local volunteers working from the bottom up," she said.

Halfmoon received $112,000 in grant funding for the construction of the trail from the Canal Corporation, which awarded more than $10 million in grants to 54 municipalities and organizations along the 524-mile canal way.

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