If you and your buddy find yourselves looking for exercise options in the Waterford, NY area, you’d have to be barking mad not to check out the Old Champlain Canalway Trail! Less well-known than the Erie Canal, the old Champlain Canal is still weighted with the industrial history of New York State. The route runs from Waterford northwards to the town of Halfmoon. You’ll find plenty of parking at the trailhead on Brockwood Road in Waterford and on Upper Newtown Rd at the Halfmoon end. The trail isn’t nearly as pawpular as it should be, so there’s a good chance that you and your doggo will be able to snatch some solitude if you take your walk during the week.
You and your pooch will be walking on the reclaimed towpath, passing historic locks and buildings along the way that should be of interest to hound-dog history buffs. Nature-loving pooches are also catered to -- the area around the canal teems with wildlife. Expect to spot waterfowl, frogs, and maybe even some turtles -- and keep a tight leash on your fur-ball if they have a tendency to tear after little critters! The route runs mostly through grassland and under trees, and in spring, the wildflowers along the way burst into a riot of color.
A trip on the Old Champlain Canalway Trail should suit laid-back lapdogs and four-pawed fitness freaks alike! The elevation changes are few and very gradual, though a certain level of fitness is required to walk the whole way out and back. The surface is mostly gravel, which may be a hindrance to wheelchairs or strollers. Though some of the trail runs through woodland, a lot of it isn’t shaded, so you might want to wear sunblock on a hot day. Remember to bring waste bags and water for your canine companion, and have a furrific walk!