MOREAU, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The town of Moreau is looking to cut a long path. At one end is Nolan Road, near Route 9 and South Glens Falls Central School District. At the other is Moreau Lake State Park, and past that, the town of Corinth.
The latest round of funding from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council includes $9.7 million for Saratoga and Washington counties, split up between county buildings and projects and local revitalization plans. A $250,000 slice of that pie is going to the town of Moreau, so they can finally break ground on a project that’s been eyed for years: Big Boom Trail.
“It’s fantastic news,” said Moreau Town Supervisor Todd Kusnierz, Jr., on Tuesday. “This dovetails nicely into our townwide trail system that we’ve conceptualized, and now will become reality.”
The plan is broken up into phases, as laid out in a 2015 initial study from the University at Albany. The state funds will equip Moreau to set up a trailhead at the end of Nolan Road, which stops alongside the south bank of the Hudson River. From there, a natural trail just over a mile long will run west along the riverside, eventually passing under the Route 87 Northway bridge as the highway runs north toward Glens Falls.
The goal is to create more than just a walking path. The planned trail will include a boat launch and fishing area along the river, and will connect with existing trails and wilderness like Moreau Lake State Park and Palmerton Range Trail; the kinds of wilderness that Moreau is shaped by. Nearby, Harry J. Betar Park is a hotspot for world-class girls’ softball tournaments.
“One of the things that draws people to the town of Moreau is our recreational offerings,” Kusnierz said. “So what this does is it allows us to expand our recreational offerings to other groups of individuals that may not necessarily want to be involved with sports, but can enjoy the scenic vistas, the walking along the river; It’s very peaceful down there.”
The plan is to break ground next spring. The $250K in grant funding is matched by $30,000 from the Saratoga County trails program, which Kusnierz gathered in order to qualify the town for the funds. The town supervisor is ready to get crews out and working as soon as the last frost thaws in 2022.
Even with the funds just freshly secured, some work has already been done. WSWHE BOCES has been using the proposed path as an ideal location to train forestry and environmental conservation students, who spent some time in 2021 clearing some of the trail and getting materials in place for the work to come.
“We’re just thrilled they have such an interest in working with us, where we mutually benefit,” Kusnierz said.
WSWHE BOCES frequently engages students in work that benefits the communities where their students come from. In 2021, students have put in work cultivating land for Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, and cleaning up the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.
Big Boom Trail isn’t the only large-scale project years in the making in the town of Moreau. In 2018, voters approved a project adding a sewer line along the town’s stretch of Route 9, creating vast amounts of new potential for future developments. In Kusnierz’s mind – and words – there’s no denying the connection between that project and the coming trail.
“There’s no question that more people will be relocating to our town as our commercial corridor grows,” he said. “The town of Moreau has great schools, low taxes and these great recreational opportunities. This is just another selling point for individuals interested in relocating to our town.”
The full Big Boom Trail plan can be seen online. As for the rest of the $9.7M coming to the region, other beneficiaries in Saratoga County include $2.75M to Saratoga County’s water treatment plant, and $800K for expansions to BOCES’ Occupational Health and Safety Service program. See the full list for more.