zim smith trail
A backbone of the county trail system, this 9-mile multi-use trail connects Ballston Spa to Coon’s Crossing in Halfmoon through the towns of Ballston, Malta and Clifton Park and the village of Round Lake.
It is the only trail in New York State to be designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of Interior and National Park Service. National recreation trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation.
Most of the trail is asphalt with some hard packed dirt sections south of the Village of Round Lake. The trail is well maintained and is excellent for strollers, wheelchairs, and bicycles.
One place to start to explore this trail is at Malta’s Shenantaha Creek Park, about 2.75 miles south of the current northern terminus. The park contains picnic tables, playground equipment, and tennis courts as well as public restrooms and a drinking fountain. As you enter the trail, head south towards the village of Round Lake.
The trail is wooded with a few and rolls gently downhill, with views into a ravine to your left. There is also a spur trail which roughly follows the old Malta Trolley line, once owned by Saratoga PLAN, and now a connection to the Global Foundries campus and recreational trails in Luther Forest. This section of the trail is an excellent spot for bird watching.
The main trail intersects numerous roads along the way – some have parking areas. There is also a playground and parking access at Simpson Avenue in the Village of Round Lake. From Round Lake Village the trail crosses over Route 9 and through a portion of the town of Clifton Park.
The Countywide Trails Committee, convened by Saratoga PLAN, is working on completing the last stretch from Coon’s Crossing into Mechanicville, which will eventually connect Zim Smith to the Champlain Canalway Trail. Plans are also underway to connect Zim Smith to Saratoga Springs through Saratoga Spa State Park.