Rail trail enthusiasts learn paved portion will open in the spring

Photo from the FORT Friends of the Rail Trail Facebook page

Rail trail enthusiasm: A crowd of an estimated 130 to 200 interested rail trail users met at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Voorheesville Tuesday, where they learned that the paved portion from Delmar to Albany will open this spring.

NEW SCOTLAND — Community members crammed into the Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Voorheesville on Tuesday to hear from Albany County that the paved portion of the rail trail between Albany and Delmar will open this spring.

“The whole meeting was an information session,” Mark King, of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, told The Enterprise. “They covered a lot of ground.”

The rail trail is owned by Albany County and is slated to be a shared-use path for non-motorized traffic, including bicycles and pedestrians, to be completed in three phases. The conservancy manages open portions of the trail, and Friends of the Rail Trail volunteers guide visitors, patrol, and keep the trail clean.

In addition to the ribbon cutting for the paved section between South Pearl Street, in Albany, and Veterans Park, in Delmar, King said, the county announced at the meeting that the entire rail trail would be paved and open in 2017.

“There are always a few folks who prefer unpaved trails,” he said. “The county’s intention is to pave the whole thing.”

Local residents who attended were eager to hear news about the potential placement of the historic Hilton LeVie barn near the rail trail outside Voorheesville; Albany County Legislator L. Michael Mackey answered questions, King said, about progress on the New Scotland barn’s purchase and relocation on a parcel adjacent to the trail.

“The barn was a major issue,” New Scotland Councilman Adam Greenberg told The Enterprise. “Nobody spoke against it. No one spoke against anything. People were curious about when a phase would be completed.”

“I think it’s very positive,” King said. “There was no one there who spoke out against the trail. People really see the opportunity this presents for connecting communities…to connect amenities in Bethlehem...it’s very livable. This has real potential to improve the quality of life in this area, and beyond.”

King said that the trail, beginning in Voorheesville, could eventually connect with Albany’s Corning Preserve, where a connection to the Mohawk Hudson Bikeway, which stretches to Schenectady, already exists. 

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