Clifton Park Town Board hears riverfront plan

Clifton Park's open space coordinator presented draft plans for public access to 6 acres of town-owned land during a town board meeting Monday, March 10.

It's going to take us a long way moving forward, said Jennifer Viggiani, of the plot of land purchased in 2006.

She said the subcommittee recommends passive use of the park.

The town purchased the land, bordering the Mohawk River, through two grants totaling $280,000, in the hopes of creating a public access point to the river.

The Riverfront Subcommittee has been looking at the land, and developed draft plans based on a November meeting with town residents about the future of the land, which was a part of Riverview Orchards and runs along what used to be the historic Erie Canal.

The Riverfront Subcommittee is a part of the Town of Clifton Park Open Space, Trails and Riverfront Committee.

Plans for the land include a 600-foot gravel nature trail leading to the riverfront with a couple of footbridges to provide crossing of wetlands.

"I think that will be the 'Wow' moment," said Viggiani, of the point where the trail will open up into the riverfront.

The subcommittee also plans to make a small clearing to park six to eight cars near the entrance to the trail, where a trail map, welcome sign, and a rental toilet will be used on a trial basis, according to the subcommittee's plans.

The plans also include a rock-cut ramp leading to the river's edge and natural beach, which would provide access to the river for hand launching of kayaks and canoes. The ramp would also allow people to walk the shore of the river.

Viggiani said the town originally looked at putting a series of docks in the water for boat launching but decided against it following a public meeting in November, where boating enthusiasts said they would prefer a ramp over the docks.

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