Sarasota Springs, New York offers beautiful natural spaces for hiking, biking and other recreational activities. Here are some of the best nature trails in the area for you and your family to enjoy.
Ballston Veterans Bike Path
This walking trail, which is flat, straight and paved with asphalt, is perfect for hikes, skating and bike riding. This trail was created back during the early 1900’s when the Schenectady Railway Company ran a trolley line off to the west of Ballston Lake.
The trail stretches three and a half miles between Outlet Road and 146A. At the head of the trail on Main Street there’s a monument dedicated to the veterans of the town. Trees border most of the path on one side and a high bank on the opposite side make a good barrier for the railroad tracks.
Signs are posted with information that reminds you of the settlers from the 1700’s. Markers are placed along the trail every quarter mile to allow you to measure the distance you’ve walked.
Bog Meadow Nature Trail
This two mile trail offers a diverse habitat with forested wetlands, wet meadows and open marshes. The trail includes a boardwalk system which can be accessed on foot. Interpretive signs have been installed along the trail that highlight the historical and as well as wildlife information about the area.
The accessible location makes it a great alternative for day’s visit. Accessing the trail from the Meadow brook Road entrance gives visitors only a short distance to walk to the seating area which overlooks the pond. Three distinct wetland communities live in this area and you’re likely to see a variety of wildlife throughout the year.
Sarasota Spa State Park
This wonderful park has a variety of options for family relaxation, entertainment as well as cultural amenities. Sarasota State Park with its distinguished classical architecture is a great destination to spend the day.
For hiking there are several stream side trails available as well as certified running tracks also used by local high school and college athletes. The Ferndell and Wetland trails are perfect for the casual as well as more experienced hiker.
In addition the park offers two beautiful golf courses, the Sarasota Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Automobile Museum, National Museum of Dance as well as the Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths and Spa. The Peerless Pool Complex is another one of the park’s areas designed for fun and recreation. It consists of a main pool, a separate slide pool as well as a children’s wading pool. Also the Geyser picnic area now has expanded play areas for children.
Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve
This preserve is located on the southern part of Clifton Park along the Mohawk River. It offers over 450 acres for hiking, biking and nature walks as well as fishing and birding. The trails are well maintained and they integrate sections of the Old Erie Canal and Towpath.
As you walk along the Mowhawk River you’ll see historical markers that provide information that date as far back as the 1900’s. This unique area is also the only spot in New York State where you can see all three iterations of the Erie Canal within a short walking distance. The wetland provides a great habitat for many bird and plant species, and Great Blue Herons can be spotted in the area.
Zim Smith Trail
This trail is a great destination for hiking and biking as well as jogging or walking your dog. It goes from the town of Malta on through to the City of Mechanicville.
One of the best paces to start on this trail is Shenantaha Creek Park. This park is beautiful and offers many amenities including a playground area, picnic table, restroom facilities and tennis court.
You can enter the trail from the parking lot and continue on toward the villages of Round Lake and Halfmoon. This area is more wooded and the trail gently slopes downhill to offer a pleasing view of a ravine. Going past horse pastures and yards you’ll then start seeing the ornate gingerbread style homes that make up Round Lake Village. The trail then ends near a pond over by Coons Crossing Road.