The loop can start at numerous interesting sites: Peebles Island; Waterford Battery or along Delaware Avenue. On a summer week-end there is a fee for parking at Peebles Island State Park.
On the east side of Van Schaick Island and on Peebles Island there are walking paths. On the Waterford side there is a path along the Old Champlain Canal. However, to get from Waterford to Cohoes you have to cross the route 32 bridge with heavy traffic (there is a sidewalk). Once you are on the Cohoes side you are at an extremely busy intersection. There are traffic lights and crosswalks. To connect back to the paths on Van Schaick Island you have to walk on Ontario Street which is well traveled but it is lined with sidewalks.
At a minimum you will have to cross seven bridges. There are opportunties to cross more. The Hudson River divides into multiple channels. There are three crossings. You will also cross the Mohawk River twice, and the Erie and Champlain Canals.
On Van Schaick Island there is the historic Van Schaick House (~1735). Appointments are necessary to visit this site. On the Waterford Side there is the historic Hugh White House (1830). Visiting hours are limited, you should check the schedule.
There are quite a few variations and side trips. Some of the photos in the slideshow detail sites that are a short distance from the loop. The 2nd highest water fall in NY is in Cohoes, but you can't see it from this loop. To get an excellent view, you have to take a 2 mile extension to visit the Fall View Park. However, there are fine parking opportunities at the Falls View Park and it's an easy drive.
There is very little elevation change on the basic loop. If you take the extension to Falls View Park, there is approximately a 100 ft. gain in elevation. At the Falls View Park you have the opportunity to take stairs down to the river bank. This will add another 100 ft. climb.
- Wikipedia - Cohoes
- Wikipedia - Cohoes Falls
- Wikipedia - Town of Waterford
- Wikipedia - Village of Waterford
- Wikipedia - Van Schaick Island
- Friends of Cohoes Falls
- Van Schaick Mansion
- Waterford Historical Museum
- Peebles Island State Park
- Cohoes Development Plan (Why Cohoes)
- Waterford Local Waterfront Revitalization Program
- Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
- New York Canals - Waterford
- Champlain Canalway Trail Action Plan
- Waterford Harbor Farmers Market