New Trail Network to Showcase Troy’s Natural Heritage

December 18, 2017

The Record – 

The Rensselaer Land Trust, the city of Troy and Post Contemporary are launching a collaborative effort to connect and showcase the natural beauty of the Collar City through an original trail network that will connect residents and visitors to secluded streams, valleys, waterfalls and other hidden gems.

Called the Narrows for the narrow waterfall ravines and canyons, the five-mile scenic trail network is separated into two phases and will ultimately stretch through South Troy, the East Side and the Hill. The Narrows is spearheaded by John Johanson, a Troy-based designer and project manager.

“When people think of Troy, the images that might come to mind are of Victorian architecture, historic streetscapes and the Hudson River,” Johanson said in a news release announcing the project, “but Troy is also replete with places of natural beauty, many of which are largely unknown or forgotten. The Narrows is all about reconnecting to those places and enabling people to see Troy in a new light.”

Phase one will extend from the foot of the Burden Pond Preserve up to the Staalesen property and showcase waterfalls, cliffs, forests and historic ruins. The second phase will complete the trail system by extending south to the Hudson Mohawk Bike-Hike Trail and Albany via the Troy-Menands Bridge and north to downtown Troy by way of Prospect Park.

“An important part of the Land Trust’s mission is to connect people with nature,” said Kristina Younger, president of the land trust. “Using our Staalesen property as the upstream entrance and participating in this project is what the Rensselaer Land Trust is all about.”

The Narrows has been years in the making, with a $48,480 state grant awarded in 2015 to produce construction drawings for a large portion of the trail. The project is supported by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Capital Roots, the Troy Architectural Program, Transport Troy, Riverspark, The Chazen Companies, The Foundry, Gramercy Communications and the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway.