Plattsburgh (NY) Bike Trails: The Air Force Base Two-mile Bicycle Loop

We are visiting friends in Plattsburgh and always attempt to get some wiggles out before gracing them with our presence. We have heard of a two-mile pedestrian path alongside the lakefront of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base (PAFB). We are familiar with the museums at the former Base so know right where to go to find the beginning of the path. We park the car in the lot overlooking Lake Champlain and ready ourselves for the two-mile trek. One child is on his two-wheeler and the other in the No Longer a Baby…Jogger while my husband and I rollerblade. We gingerly cross the bridge over the railroad tracks and head north. Be careful; this bridge is one lane. We find a few drivers surprised by and not watching for walking traffic. My son is developmentally in a black and white stage where events have to be someone’s fault. As in, it would be the driver’s fault if a car hit him. Yes, I agree, but it will still hurt. Logic does not always play a part.

Once we are on the trail it is smooth and easily accessible. We pass a few interpretive signs highlighting the Battle of Plattsburgh. My son no longer complains when I stop to read each one. Now he is able to read each one by himself. Thankfully summer vacation still presents opportunities to learn.

At the end of the path we decide to turn around rather than continue the loop to the street. From our view looking down upon Lake Champlain we watch sailboats approach the marina and cool off with the light lake breeze. We turn back to the car and motion for the commuter train to blow its horn. After returning to the parking area we walk down to the water and cool off our feet in the chilly Lake Champlain. My son skips stones and proclaims a new family record of three times.

For those unfamiliar to the area take Rt. 9 to the Old Base Oval in Plattsburgh NY.  Go around the roundabout passing the B-47 bomber guarding the entrance. Turn right onto the base and another right onto Museum Way. A few hundred yards past the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum turn right onto Ohio. Your next left is onto Marina St., a narrow one-lane bridge that will take you to the parking lot. Please sound your horn when you cross over the bridge. Picnic tables are available. The complete loop is two-miles.


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