Considered "the backbone" of an emerging network of trails in Saratoga County, the Zim Smith Trail, sometimes called the Zim Smith Mid-County Trail, connects the towns of Halfmoon, Round Lake Village, Clifton Park, Malta and Ballston Spa.
The best place to start is at Malta's Shenantaha Creek Park, about 2.75 miles south of the northern terminus. The park offers convenient access to the rail-trail and is an appealing destination in its own right. The park's picnic tables, playground equipment, tennis courts and volleyball net could turn an exercise session into a full afternoon's outing. here are also public toilets and a drinking fountain.
As you enter the trail from the parking lot, turn left to head toward the village of Round Lake and Halfmoon. The rail-trail is, for the most part, wooded with a few homes visible beyond the trees as you leave the park. The trail rolls gently downhill, with pretty views into a ravine to your left, and a slope rising to your right.
About 1 mile south of the park, the trail passes under Interstate 87, the Adirondack Northway. Nearing Round Lake, the trail is more settled, and you can see backyards and horse pastures through the trees.
A handsome white frame church, other period buildings and a welcome sign signal your arrival in Round Lake Village. Treat yourself to a spin around the quiet streets of this Victorian hamlet and its ornate gingerbread cottages. The village was a Methodist camp meeting site that swelled with thousands of visitors each summer. The 1885 Round Lake Auditorium, at 7th and Wesley streets, is home to a 34-foot-tall, historically significant pipe organ. The auditorium is still in usenot for delivering sermons but with a lively performing arts program.
From Round Lake Village the trail crosses over Route 9 and through a portion of the town of Clifton Park. The trail turns east upon leaving the park. A pond on the south side of the trail signals the end of the developed trail at Coons Crossing Road.
Parking and Trail Access
For the Shenentaha Creek Park trailhead in Malta: from I-87 take Exit 12; go around the circle and west on Route 67. Continue on 67 until it intersects East Line Road at a traffic light. Turn left on East Line and go about 0.5 mile, watching for the park entrance on your left. Follow the entrance road to the parking lot and trail.