The Collar City Ramble is an all-access urban trail linking neighborhoods and schools with historic, architectural, natural, and recreational sites in the city of Troy. The Collar City Ramble and the Pre(R)amble are projects of Transport Troy, a Citizen’s Working Group appointed by Mayor Lou Rosamilia to study alternative transportation issues in Troy. “We are creating a linear park, sites strung like jewels on a necklace through the city, connecting to paths of neighboring communities,” said Jim Lewis, who serves as co-chair of Collar City Ramble and is the owner of Springwood Studios.
The word “ramble” is often described as “walking for pleasure, typically without a definite route especially in the country side” or to “explore idly.”
“The Pre(R)amble was a fun opportunity to build excitement about the Collar City Ramble, a series of routes and paths to be mapped throughout Troy for urban hiking and recreation,” said Barbara Nelson ’80, manager of campus planning and facilities design, who dusted off her bike to participate in the Sept. 28 event. “The Collar City Ramble will be another way to explore Troy’s beautiful views, historic sites, and cultural venues. Dozens of RPI alums, faculty, and staff are involved in this grassroots effort to promote alternative transportation systems in Troy.”
The proposed project will serve as a trail that goes through various points within the city of Troy, including the Hudson River, parks, the Farmer’s Market, nature preserves, and neighboring bike paths, among others. According to the group organizers, “it’s an alternate transportation route, so no motors, but walking, cycling, rollerblades, handstands, hopping, skipping, and jumping are all great.”
The inaugural 10-mile-long event featured a tour and parade from the Farmer’s Market in downtown Troy to the Albany Bike Path connection. The route was also modified for individuals interested in doing parts of it on foot, using skates, or a wheelchair. Participants also had the opportunity to explore the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway site, and then headed north along the river and through the city to the Story Harvest Festival, held at Freedom Square, to enjoy prizes, food, and live music. The Community Gardens’ Veggie Mobile was also present at the festival to offer nutrition and gardening tips.
Troy is known as the Collar City due to its history in shirt, collar, and other textile production. At one point, Troy was also the second largest producer of iron in the country, surpassed only by the city of Pittsburgh, Pa.