Grant will fund Vischer Ferry gateway

Clifton Park’s $5k award part of Greater Towpath Connector Project

— The money will fund design work for a restoration of the Ferry Drive stone bridge abutment to create a scenic overlook of the Mohawk River across into Niskayuna. The project will also reconnect the two segments of the Erie Canal towpath trail into a continuous linear greenway and make other enhancements.

An improved gateway design also would provide for kayak and canoe access, and a clear area for vehicle and bicycle parking would be incorporated. The Town of Clifton Park will work with the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Commission, Inc. and the New York State Canal Corporation to enhance the gateway.

Castiglione said that grants given out by Greenway need to confirm with one of five Greenway criteria: natural and cultural resource protection; heritage and environmental education; public access; regional planning; or economic development.

“This project advances multiple criteria. By enhancing that access to regional trail network, by providing better access and making a better draw for tourists, which makes it better for economy,” said Castiglione.

In a statement, Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett also praised the project.

“The Clifton Park Town Board is proud to partner with organizations like the Hudson River Valley Greenway for projects that improve public access and trail connections to our town’s historical landmarks. We are grateful for the Hudson River Valley Greenway’s support to enhance our Mohawk River scenic overlook at Ferry Drive and revitalize the site’s existing Erie Canal Towpath connection,” he said.

The town has previously received grant money from a federally funded Transportation Enhancement Program. The $1.8 million Greater Towpath Connector Project is a joint project between Clifton Park and Halfmoon and will eventually reconnect Clifton Park to Halfmoon.

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