Expanding the Saranac River Trail Greenway to Facilitate Resident Physical Activity
Building Healthy Communities
June 19, 2017
The County Health Rankings place Clinton County in the bottom quarter of counties in New York State on the measure of access to physical activity.
One-quarter of residents report being physically inactive, which contributes to the high rates of obesity among children and adults in the county. Recent population-based health improvement initiatives have focused on increasing residents’ physical activity levels. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded The Foundation of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) a grant to develop a portion of the Saranac River trail, the Lapierre Lane Riverway, to increase physical activity and outdoor recreation opportunities for community members.
Under this grant, CVPH partnered with the Town of Plattsburg and other local businesses to extend the Saranac River Trail Greenway and develop the Lapierre Lane Riverway. Situated along the shores of the Saranac River, the Riverway offered access to water for kayaking; a deck for fishing; a healing garden; a nature-inspired playground; physical activity stations for senior citizens; and a loop trail for walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, jogging, and biking. It also included markers for historical facts and local flora, fauna, and fish species along the waterway, as well as environmental programming for local schools. By providing year-round, low-cost opportunities for physical activity, the Lapierre Lane Riverway also ensures that low-income residents have access to these resources. The Riverway is accessible by public transportation and within walking distance to a low-income senior housing development. Following the development of the Riverway, CVPH published a “How To” document to guide other rural New York communities in creating public spaces that encourage residents to be physically active.