This asphalt trail is the legacy of an inter-urban trolley system operated by Schenectady Railway Company (SRC) in the early 1900s. To attract visitors on weekends, SRC built an amusement park at Ballston Lake with a beachfront, some baseball fields and oval tracks for bike races and footraces. Passengers paid 25 cents to ride the wooden trolley car from Schenectady to Ballston Lake and beyond, even to Saratoga Springs. The trolley ceased operation in 1940, and the amusement park is just a memory now. There's good bass fishing at the fishing pier on Ballston Lake, not far from the Outlet Road trailhead.
The Ballston Veterans Bike Path has a lot to offer. Informative signs fill you in on the trail corridor's history. Every quarter mile, mileage markers help you track your progress. The trail is conveniently reached from New York 146A, a main route into town. The bike path will someday link up with an emerging network of multi-use trails in Saratoga County.
At the trailhead on Main Street watch for a monument dedicated to veterans from the town. Trees border much of the trail on one side, giving way for a time to scrub growth that allows a pleasing view of pastures and woods beyond. On the other side, a berm with sumac, holly and other shrubs separates the path from an active rail line. The Canadian Pacific tracks parallel the trail for most of its length. The path is open overhead so don't forget sunscreen.
Parking at Outlet Road is limited. Across the road, the trolley corridorovergrownappears to continue. For now, however, you'll need to retrace your route back to the start. If you brought your fishing rod and license, turn on Outlet Road and look for the sign for the fishing pier.
Parking and Trail Access
For the Route 146A trailhead, take Exit 9 off I-87 and head west on State Route 146. Take Route 146A north for about 6.5 miles to the Village of Ballston Lake. Shortly after crossing the railroad tracks, you'll spot the parking area for the bike path on your right.
Ballston Bicycle Path
This is a wonderful trail. It is very well maintained and it is in very good condition. The markers to measure your distance are definitely an asset. Also they have signs along the way to tell you what was there. My husband has a problem with his vision ...