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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hudson Crossing Park(Schuylerville)

Visited beautiful Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville this afternoon on yet another cloudy, gloomy May day. The park is located along the shores of the Hudson River and Champlain Canal Lock 5.  Access is off of Route 4 just north of the village of Schuylerville, by turning onto County Route 42(or simply follow the signs for Canal Lock 5).  There is parking available at the lock or by continuing for another 1/4 mile to the park's formal entrance.
Immediately across the road from the parking area is a picnic pavilion and play garden, which make an interesting way to start.
 The entrance to the play garden.
 A small playground and slide are also found around this area.  I  can attest that the slide was tempting, but I did not use it.
 Stone steps.
 Once atop the steps you can turn left or right.  I chose to go left first and soon arrived at the floating dock on the Champlain Canal, where the calm water made for a nice spot to reflect.
 Champlain Canal Lock 5.  This lock was built between 1908 and 1911 and replaced the original canal, which had been built all the way back in 1822.
 Looking across the quiet Canal waters towards the floating dock.
Champlain Canal.
After visiting Lock 5 and the Canal, I crossed the road and followed signs for the Kayak Launch on the Hudson River.  What I found was a magical little spot on the Hudson's shores.
 Looking back upstream from the kayak launch.
 After leaving the kayak launch, I followed the River Walk Sensory Trail along the west shore of the Hudson.  There are several quiet viewing points on the river along the way, including the famous Dix Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that connects Saratoga and Washington Counties.
 Looking back across the bridge from the Washington County side. The original bridge was completed back in 1895 as a "free" bridge for locals to cross the river and avoid paying tolls.
The view north from the Dix Bridge.
 The mighty Hudson looking a bit tranquil, from this east view towards Greenwich.
 A small island splits the river just north of the Dix Bridge and a foot path leads down to the rushing waters of this part of the Hudson River.  This peaceful area is known as the Riverbank Birding Overlook.  Old bridge remains can be easily spotted amidst the flowing waters.
 The meandering Eagle Point Trail.
Old stone piers, the remains of a trolley bridge that served Greenwich and Schuylerville.
 A better look at the old trolley pier remains.
 Continuing north, where the trail opens up to a large open area known as Eagle Point.  To your left(west) is a great view of the Champlain Canal and houses along Route 4 on the opposite shore.
 Following the trail all the way to its northern end will you bring you to the impressive Hudson River Spillway.
 Mist filled air from the powerful falls.
 After exploring the point for a few minutes and even being lucky enough to have the place to myself, I finally turned back.  Retraced my steps back off the point and met the park loop that brought me back to my car.
Even under completely overcast conditions, I arrived back at the car feeling great.  Walked a bit over 2 miles total RT.

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