The Riverwalk Sensory Trail at Hudson Crossing Park is a 1540' stone dust path along
the shore of the Hudson River. It connects to the new Alfred Z. Solomon Kayak Launch
located just below the Lock 5 Canal Office.
This unique trail, along a picturesque portion of the Hudson River near the confluence of
the Battenkill River, is one of the longest sensory trails of its kind. It is designed to
provide a riverside outdoor experience for individuals who are mobility or visually
impaired. The nearest similar trail is over 100 miles away in the Mohonk Preserve west of
New Paltz, New York.
Sixteen scripts were written for the Tour-Mate Eco Boxes. Hudson
Crossing Park held a contest to discover "the voices" for the recordings.
In additon to local media we employed "Voices for All" to help send our
message across the nation. As a result we had 28 entrants from 14
Voices of the Park: Coralie Davis, Tej Singh, Sam Aldrich, Anthony
Cardenas, and Thomas Robinson
A place to sit for a while
Outdoor Classroom Space
Deck in the Shade
Trail to the River Kayak Launch
Click the Tour-Mate Eco Box # 1 to select a story to read or hear
Click the Tour-Mate Eco Box # 2 to select a story to read or hear
Click the Tour-Mate Eco Box # 3 to select a story to read or hear
Click the Tour-Mate Eco Box # 4 to select a story to read or hear
Landscape Architect Bill Sprengnether conferred with the National Park
Service Office of Accessibility, Saratoga Bridges, and others, to insure that
appropriate standards were incorporated into the plans for the trail.
Grant awards totaling $297,037 were received from the Department of State
through the Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization
Program (LWRP) for the design and construction of the Sensory Trail and
the Alfred Z. Solomon Kayak Launch. The construction of these projects
were identified as priority projects in the Old Saratoga on the Hudson
Waterfront Revitalization Plan, which was previously funded through a
$35,000 EPF LWRP award from the Department of State.
In addition to LWRP awards to the Town of Northumberland,
Hudson Crossing Park was awarded $20,000 from the Alfred Z.
Solomon Charitable Trust, $5,000 from the Hudson River Valley
Greenway, and $5,000 from the Hudson River Improvement Fund of
the Hudson River Foundation. The Schuylerville Lions Club
contributed an additional $1,000 for touchable bird sculptures that
will soon be placed at Sensory Exhibit Stations.
Stationed along the Trail are four Tour-Mate ECO-BOX audio
interpretive units. Here, visitors may listen to short stories relevant to
the surrounding area.
The ECO-BOX may be "people-powered" or accessed via a smart
device using quick response (QR) codes. Turning a hand-crank and
selecting one of four buttons will allow visitors to hear stories relating
to the "Four Lives" of the Lakes to Locks Passage. Saratoga National
Historical Park Ranger Joe Craig scripted the stories.
To find volunteer narrators, Hudson Crossing Park held a national
competition. Thirty-eight entrants from fourteen states competed to
become "The Voices of Hudson Crossing Park". Five winning
contestants recorded a select set of scripts and the audio files were
processed and loaded into ECO-BOX units by Park volunteers.
Saratoga National Historical Park
New York State Dept. of State
New York State Canal Corporation
Town of Northumberland
Town of Saratoga
Hudson River Valley Greenway
Hudson River Foundation
Solomon Charitable Trust
Lakes to Locks Passage
Schuylerville Lions Club
Broestler Brush Cutting
Dick Dretch (NPS)
Joe Craig (NPS)
Donald Cook Studios
Hudson Crossing Park Volunteers:
George Hodgson and many more!
Thank you to the many people and organizations whose generous
contributions have made these projects possible:
On June 15, 2013, the Riverwalk Sensory
Trail and the Alfred Z. Solomon Kayak
Launch were officially opened.
It was a beautiful and inspiring day.
John Robinson, the founder of Our Ability, an online resource for
people with disabilities, was born a congenital amputee. His bicycle
was specially adapted with guards made by Hanger Prosthetics of
Albany to accommodate the shorter length of his arms.
(FRANCINE GRINNELL photo)