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37. Schenectady County Line to the Mohawk River
Features: Mostly road walking; Plotterkill Falls in the Plotter Kill Preserve.
Distance: 14.40 miles
USGS Map Quads: Rotterdam Junction, Pattersonville
Trail Conference Maps: none
This section is mostly road walking through scenic farm country. In the beginning there are several vistas of the Rotterdam Hills and the Helderbergs. During the first half of this route there are great views to the south and east of the Catskills, Berkshires, and confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson River valleys. The only off-road section the trail passes through is in the Plotter Kill Nature Preserve in the Town of Rotterdam, where a short side trip will lead to some pretty falls. At the end the trail follows the Mohawk-Hudson bike path along the old Erie Canal for a while. This section ends in Canal Park at Lock #9 (currently closed), immediately after crossing the Mohawk River. The blazing on this section is sporadic.
0.00 Old State Road at the county line. There is room to park alongside the road under the power lines. (42.750164°, -74.014799°)
15.00 Lock #9 Canal Park. (42.879616°, -74.041023°)
0.00 At the Albany-Schenectady County line, proceed west on Parkers Corners Road. (Old State Road becomes Parkers Corners Road at the county line.)
0.40 Parkers Corners Road merges with NY Route 406, also known as Giffords Church Road. Continue west, passing several farms
0.70 Intersect Pangburn Road (Schenectady County Route 103), and turn right.
2.80 Pass through open farmlands with vistas of the Rotterdam Hills to the west, and the Helderbergs to the south. Cross NY Route 7 (Duanesburg Road), and continue on Pangburn Road.
3.00 Pass under US Interstate 88. Wind uphill through scenic farmlands with vistas south and east of the Catskills, the Berkshires in Massachusetts, the Green Mountains in Vermont, and the confluence of the Mohawk River Valley with the Hudson River Valley.
4.10 Intersect Scotch Ridge Road (County Route 70). Turn right.
4.20 Intersection with Currybush Road (County Route 52). Turn left.
6.40 Reach the Currybush Road Extension (County Route 95), and turn right. Pass through open farmlands with broad vistas of the Greater Capital District and surrounding highlands to the southeast.
7.10 Intersect Putnam Road (County Route 54). Turn left.
7.80 Cross NY Route 159 (Mariaville Road) at Rynex Corners; continue across Route 159 on Rynex Corners Road (County Route 97). Pass through open farmlands along Rynex Corners Road to Upper Gregg Road.
8.40 Turn right onto Upper Gregg Road. There are beautiful vistas of the Mohawk River Valley from the top of the Rotterdam Hills, overlooking the City of Schenectady. Proceed on Upper Gregg Road to Lower Gregg Road, down steep hill parallel to the Plotterkill Creek and the Nature Preserve. Note that it was nearby (between Gregg Road and Crawford Road) at Moccasin Falls where Vincent J. Schaefer formed the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club in 1929 and shortly thereafter (1931) conceived of the Long Path of New York.
(Work is in progress to route a section of the trail through the Plotterkill Preserve.)
11.30 Intersect Crawford Road near underpass of US Interstate 90 (New York State Thruway), and cross railroad tracks.
11.60 Intersect NY Route 5S (be careful, Route 5S is a narrow and dangerous highway). Turn left and follow Route 5S to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Path.
11.80 Turn left onto the path, which runs just south of the Mohawk River, along sections of the old Erie Canal.
12.25 Turn right onto Mabie Lane. (The bike path straight ahead reaches an active railroad in about one mile. A few years ago the state had funds set aside for a tunnel under the railroad track but nothing happened and now it seems the money has disappeared - Febr. 2012.)
12.45 Turn left onto Route 5S.
12.90 Pass the Mabee Farm Historical Site. The Mabee House is the oldest still standing house in the Mohawk Valley.
13.80 Turn right onto Spruce Street.
13.95 Turn left on Riverside Drive.
14.05 Turn right onto Bridge Street (NY Route 103) and cross the Barge Canal Lock #9 Bridge over the Mohawk River.
14.40 Turn right into the parking lot and picnic area of Canal Park at Lock #9. This is the end of this section, and the starting point for the description of the Long Path in northern Schenectady County. It is also one of Vincent Schaefer’s original Long Path landmarks. (The park is currently closed because of construction. Instead proceed to the junction of routes 3 and 5. On the other side of the junction is a Stewart's and the section currently ends there.)