The Town and Village of Fort Ann will develop a 755 foot stone dust trail segment of the Old Champlain Canal Trail that will connect the historic Champlain Canal section of Old Locks 16 and 17 to the existing Towpath trail. Trail users will be able to use this off-road trail instead of the current on-road trail connections. The existing trail is currently enjoyed by a variety of recreational users that include pedestrians, cyclists, snowmobilers, skiers, and snowshoers.
Hudson River Valley Greenway Acting Director Mark Castiglione said, "The Greenway was created in part to develop a system of trails on both sides of the Hudson River and we are proud to work with partners like the Town and Village of Fort Ann to fulfill that mission. We strive to work with willing partners to facilitate trail connections wherever possible to create a Greenway trail network extending from Manhattan to the Adirondack foothills. Fort Ann's Old Champlain Lock 17 trail will help to fill one more gap in this Greenway Trail System."
Town of Fort Ann supervisor Darlene Dumas said, "The Town of Fort Ann is pleased to have been selected for this generous grant from Hudson River Valley Greenway. We look forward to working with the Greenway in this important effort in order to enhance and expand the trail system of our community in ways that will benefit both visitors and residents in and around Fort Ann."
The Fort Ann trail project will be a collaborative venture relying on support from the Champlain Canalway Working Group, Lakes to Locks Passage, Historic Hudson-Hoosick Rivers Partnership, and the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program. Once complete, the Fort Ann trail will create recreational access to natural and commercial destinations like the shopping district of downtown Fort Ann. Furthermore, this development will continue an established tradition of partnership between the Town and Village of Fort Ann, which has recently produced a Joint Community Plan and a Streetscape and Waterfront Revitalization Plan.
The Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail System boasts nearly 500 miles of designated overland in a dozen counties.
The Hudson River Valley Greenway is a unique state-sponsored program established by the Greenway Act of 1991. More than eighty per cent of eligible municipalities within the Greenway area have joined the Greenway. The program is designed to encourage communities to develop projects and initiatives related to the criteria of natural and cultural resource protection, regional and local planning, economic development, public access to the Hudson River (as well as other regional and local resources), and heritage and environmental education. It provides technical assistance and small grants for planning, water trail and land-based trails and other projects that reinforce the Greenway Criteria. In keeping with the New York tradition of home rule, the Greenway program has no regulatory authority and participation by municipalities in Greenway programs and projects is entirely voluntary. The Greenway also manages the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
Applications for the next round of Greenway grants are due August 29th, 2014. For more information, visit the grants page on the Greenway website.
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