"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Warren County Bikeway (Glens Falls to Lake George)

Glens Falls to Lake George on the Warren County Bikeway 

Our Ride
My son Greg recently moved to Glens Falls. For this ride, Greg agreed to join me but needed to be back to work at 12 noon so we rode in the morning, starting from his apartment.

We headed over to Dix Street and got on the rail trail right at the Cooper's Cave Ale Company []. The first mile or two was through the city and we had to cross quite a few streets.

Once out of the city, it was nicely wooded and Greg rode as much as he could with no hands on the handlebars as it was flat and easy riding.

We had to ride on a couple of slightly hilly country roads but the trail picked up again near Glen Lake. The bomb down the hill into the Glen Lake outlet was fun and captured on a one-handed video (see below). Next was a long slightly ascending section and then we entered a deeper wooded section that paralleled a meandering brook. It was quite beautiful.

From the Historical Railroad Maps I had researched, I knew that much of this section was parallel tracks of both the Delaware & Hudson Railroad and the Hudson Valley Trolley System (Interurban). I stopped to photograph a sign that detailed the Hudson Valley Trolley history and could see remnants of a parallel ROW on the side.

As you pass the Magic Forest statue (StreetView >) you ride a wide shoulder of Rt 9 that is safely guard-railed and then you veer off on a long downhill bomb into the Village of Lake George. It was a blast and surprisingly an easy climb on the return.

I had to snap a photo of the old Spanish-Styled RR depot (now a shop) but we didn’t linger in the Village and headed right back.

Short Video Summary

The weather was sunny and pleasant — not too hot and all in all it was a pleasant morning ride.

I stopped back at the Cooper's Cave Ale Company for lunch where I met up with a BHBL high school acquaintance. BTW - their Stout was fantastic!!!

After lunch, I headed over to ride the Feeder Canal Trail >

Trail Info

Warren County Bikeway

Railroad/Trolley History Info

Did you know that Lake George was first named Caldwell? ...

...and the Railroad ended in a loop in the Village?

At Glen Lake, the Trolley and the Railroad had separate right of ways (ROWs)

Even after both were abandoned, you can still discern the ROW on this Topo Map .
Historical Map Sources:

Did you know there were speakeasies on Glen Lake during Prohibition?

Be sure to visit Gino’s excellent website on the Caldwell Branch 
of the  Glens Falls Railroad. There are some amazing historical photographs

1 comment:

  1. "...and the Railroad ended in a loop in the Village?" Yes it did. It was called "The Balloon Track" . It was used to turn the train around so it could be backed into the station, and in earlier times, to back passenger trains out onto the steamboat piers without the heavy engines being out there. The balloon track also put the train in the right direction to head south. The lay of the land hardly has any beneficial room for what was a very busy railroad. Trains often had to double-head, sometimes triple-head, just to get passengers up the immediate grade out of there. Wasn't any room to get a run for it. Passenger service ended in 1956. In 1957 the branch was scrapped from Lake George down to Rt254 in Queensbury. Post-1990, freight trains no longer used the section between Rt254 down to Roger's Street in Glens Falls and it too was scrapped. In the 1980's I was on freights all the way up to Rt254. I have a Super-8 movie taken from the cab circa 1987 which includes a kid racing the train on a bike path worn into the dirt alongside the rails between Dix Ave and Ridge St