National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

The Zim Smith Trail located in Saratoga County is named after the late trail advocate Zimri Smith of Saratoga Springs. The Zim Smith Trail crosses 4 towns (Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Ballston and Malta) and 2 villages (Ballston Spa and Round Lake) for approximately 8.5 miles and serves as the backbone for the Saratoga County Trail network. The Zim Smith Mid-County Trail provides Saratoga County with an alternative transportation link from north to south and is a significant public benefit to the 200,000 plus residents of Saratoga County.

The Zim Smith Trail is a paved asphalt surface from Oak Street in the Village of Ballston Spa to approximately 1 miles South of the Village of Round Lake. From 1 mile South of the Village of Round Lake to Coons Crossing the trail is constructed with compacted stone dust. The trail was constructed as 10 foot wide the entire length.

The Zim Smith Trail services one of the fastest-growing areas of New York State and provides a nearby off-road travel route towards Ballston Spa and Saratoga springs for the extensive residential areas west of Northway Exit 11 linking to such areas as County Knolls, Northway 11 Apartments, Burton Meadows, Heartwood Estate, Luther Forest, Knolls 11 as well as houses along neighboring roads. The trail also services the Village of Round Lake, a village on the National Historic Register, and would help alleviate traffic congestion during annual festivals which draw up to 45,000 visitors each year as well as link to the Lake itself which is a popular fishing and water recreation area.

The Zim Smith Trail is open to all user types including walkers, bikers, hikers, rollerbladers, and equestrian in the summer months and permits for skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and other activities during the winter seasons. The trail corridor provides unique advantages which are of critical importance to the development of a County and Region wide system of multi-use trail facilities. The existing Zim Smith Trail corridor, contains the only passages across Route 67, Interstate 87, and the Round Lake Bypass which are protected from motor vehicle traffic. This corridor provides for a safe and exclusive east-west connection between the existing and proposed trails on both sides of the Northway and also to the development of the Luther Forest Technology Park. A trail connection is currently being constructed that will connect the several miles of trails within the Luther Forest Technology campus to the Zim Smith Trail. The use of the entire trail corridor and any proposed trail extensions in the future will remain free to the public.

The Zim Smith Trail serves as a linkage to other bikeways and trailways both within and beyond Saratoga County. Currently, plans are underway for the southern terminus of the trail to be extended to the City of Mechanicville and Saratoga County has plans in the future to expand the trail north to Saratoga Spa State Park and eventually to the Railroad Run trail in the City of Saratoga Springs.

The Zim Smith Trail is outlined in the Green Infrastructure Plan for Saratoga County which was adopted by resolution 237-06 on November 21, 2006. In this document, the Zim Smith Trail is defined as a Greenway, Trail corridor, and spine of the future trail system extending the length of the County. The Saratoga County Green Infrastructure Plan defines the Zim Smith Trail as the backbone of the County trail network and a trail that all others will eventually tie into the proposed or existing 300 miles of identified trail network. The Zim Smith Trail is also in concurrence with the Saratoga P.L.A.N. vision of the Zim Smith Trail as the ‘backbone' of the Saratoga County Trail System.

The complete trail provides for a non-polluting transportation alternative, increase in tourism to the area, and provides for safe recreational ways for children and families between places where Saratoga County residents live, work, shop and play. It also has and will continue to foster long-term tourism benefits by linking the county's remarkable attractions with a system of trail and bikeway routes, linking National, State and local parks and historic sites, natural areas and cultural events throughout the county. The Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) has also indicated that the creation of the Saratoga County Trails system with its anchor trail, Zim Smith, will increasing serve in the likelihood of drivers shifting to cycling, walking, or both, particularly as growing congestion in the region results in lower average speeds for short trips.


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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at [email protected])

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: