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About 8 miles of the planned 9-mile Albany County Rail Trail (also known as the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail) is now open. Pedestrians and bicyclists may use the trail and, in the winter months, the trail may be used by cross-country skiers as it is not plowed.
The rail-trail follows the path of the former Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Railroad, later the Canadian Pacific Railway, which stopped using the corridor in 2003. Along the way, trail goers can access Veterans Memorial Park in Delmar and Fireman's Park in Slingerlands. Much of the trail is quiet and wooded, and part of the trail offers views of an adjacent creek.
As of July 2016, more than half the trail (5 miles) is paved, from Slingerlands to the Port of Albany. Trail construction is anticipated to be completed by 2017.
As of January 2016, trailheads with parking, kiosks, and signage are being planned near Fireman's Park in Slingerlands and at Adams Street in Delmar.
In the meantime, street parking is available on Hudson Avenue in Delmar, on Bridge Street in Slingerlands, and on Grove Street in Voorheesville.
I love this trail and ride it 3 - 4 times a week. The western section from Slingerlands to Voorheesville is not yet paved, but is rideable with a fitness or mountain bike.
There is a parking lot on South Pearl street, the eastern end of the trail. There are bike tools and a pump located at this lot, as well as CDPHP rental bikes.
I and my dog usually turn left on the trail out of Delmar, towards the South Pearl trail head. Within a few minutes, you feel as if you are in the middle of the forest - it's peaceful, with lots of wildflowers and wildlife. I regularly see deer, turkeys, and once, a bald eagle.
I feel fortunate to live so close to this wonderful resource, and greatly appreciate the time and resources that went into creating it.
We started our ride at the South Pearl St. parking lot, which is a terminus of the trail. It is located right outside the "hood" in Albany. If you need water before your ride, there's a convenience store about a half mile north of the parking lot.
This is a nice ride, which skirts the river at first then passes through neighborhoods. There are only a few street crossings.
The trail is about half paved and half mixed surfaces. When the pavement ends, there's a short segment of large gravel rocks, which can be avoided by going on the adjacent road at the "No Thru Traffic" sign. It'd be wise to avoid this segment on a road bike. It then becomes a mixture of dirt and crushed gravel.
The scenery is nice and the leaves are now displaying their colors. It is a good connector between Albany and Voorheesville, where the trail ends at a large gazebo-like structure and wooden train to play on. This area appears to be in the process of completion.
what a great trail..... beautiful surface, great views, very well maintained, hazard areas are fenced off, many beautiful garden/park type entrances...what's not to like! AND at the half way mark you can get an ice cream at stewards in delmar...my kind of trail....
The trail is restored and paved from the Slingerlands parking lot to the Port of Albany (5 miles). It is a fabulous addition to the area.
The trail between Delmar and Albany has seen a lot of progress since the last poster. There are 2-3 sections that are now paved and most bridges have been renovated (the one over the normanskill is completed). I have hiked the length of the trail summer and winter and find it very nice for being so close to my home in Delmar.
It is not very used and the only issue yet to be resolved is the rt 85 bridge/barricade that is very complicated. I just walk down to rt 85 by the firehouse and then pick it up again on the other side. It's not that busy of a road except during rush hour, but I would not cross it on skis.
Although some of the trails seems to border on suburban back yards, a lot of it is rural and peaceful, especially from rt 85 to voorheesville and the section after Delmar, before the normanskill bridge.
Nice ski Trail abruptly ends in Slingerlands,A LOT of parked vehicles by fire station/ village deli (large moving truck crossed right in front of me and would not
yield as I walked with skis from what seems to be where
trail ends (Deli/barbershop) parking lot)other than that seems to cut through some desolate to peoples back yards really straight to Delmar,are snowmobiles allowed? saw tracks. got some nice winter shots can I post them here?
The Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail is entering a period of accelerating development.
On October 30, 2014, Albany County selected a low bidder for the construction work which will lead to a 10-foot paved path from South Pearl Street in Albany to a location west of Delaware Avenue in Delmar by Fall of 2015.
Development of the Trail from Delaware all the way to Voorheesville continues at a good pace.
In tandem with Trail work, planning and team-building is underway in the City of Albany on an exciting project. It will create the Albany South End Bike Way Link -- a connector between the Rail Trail and the newly expanding multi-use path in Albany's Corning Preserve ... and New York State's network of biking and walking paths.
Visit the Friends of the Rail Trail's Flickr site at: http://flickr.com/friendsoftherailtrail
Visit the Albany South End Bike Way Link's Flickr site at: http://flickr.com/albanybikewaylink
I walked the entire length from Port of Albany to Voorheesville in pieces in 2009, and rode from Voorheesville to the Normans Kill in October 2014.
It's a nice trail, some of it is quite suburban, some a little rural.
A lot of work has been done on the trail in recent years, but there's more to be done.
Even so, I'd recommend it.The surface is fairly smooth and very flat. Most of the rough patches of railroad ballast have been smoothed out and the brush cut way back. The bridge over the Normans Kill has no deck, which is why I walked it but did not ride it.
We have walked 3 different sections(Voorheesville, Slingerlands and Delmar) with our 2 year old twins, we found it enjoyable and easy for them to walk on their own or us to carry in backpacks. Hoping we can get to the other sections before the weather turns :)
The trail head is about 1/4 mile from my home and we have used it a lot.
I am thoroughly enjoying it. I do not find it noisy except when CSX train pulls through village (on nearby tracks) or as you approach the bridge over Route 155.
Besides walking and jogging,I have trail biked & cross country skied it to Slingerlands end.
Parking area is being prepared now at Voorheesville Ave.
So glad this is accessible to us and look forward to it's completion to Albany.
As it currently exists, this trail is pleasant but mediocre. Traffic is heard during most of it, with the exception of about 1/3 mile, which goes through some nice woods. The best part is the western half. None of the trail is paved, but traveling it is easy.
Currently, bikes are not permitted, though I have no idea why. Although inappropriate for a road bike, an ATB would have no problem here. A small section of it (the section through the woods) is on a filled embankment. with perhaps a 20-30 foot drop off to either side. But the RR bed at this point appears to be 12 - 15 feet wide, flat, with no obstructions, and with dense vegetation on either side of the trail at the edge of the drop offs. I'm sorry to say, but anyone on a bike who is dumb enough to fall off the trail and down the embankment is more to be pitied than censored. There is nothing else on the trail that could even remotely be considered a hazard.
Refreshments are available at either end. (On the western end, there is a deli located in the building that houses the barber shop. It's not obvious from the trail.)
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