The road to BALLSTON and the SPOUTING SPRINGS has been recently improved, and is a popular resort.
[Illustration: CONGRESS PARK.]
[Illustration: DRAWING ROOM GRAND UNION.]
The entire length of BROADWAY is a magnificent drive and affords an interesting and picturesque ride of some five minutes. About a mile north of Congress Hall the half-mile track and handsome grounds of Glen Mitchel are located. The Saratoga County Agricultural Society have their buildings here. The track is open to all who wish, both pedestrians and carriages. At the base of a steep bluff, shaded with numerous trees, and directly facing the race-track, is the Glen Mitchel hotel. The grounds are maintained at great expense by the proprietors of the hotel, and when this and the short season of patronage is regarded, the prices for ordinary refreshments will not be considered as extraordinary as they might otherwise seem. The drive may be extended by turning to the east and driving round a small lake—Excelsior—and past the water-works, returning by Spring Avenue.
THE WALK THROUGH THE WOODS TO EXCELSIOR SPRING is by far the most beautiful in Saratoga. To reach the grove, pedestrians and carriages will pass along Lake Avenue a little past Circular street, when a small sign will be found pointing the way to the “Walk to Excelsior Spring.” No tourist should fail to visit this place. A pleasant hour may be spent in the woods, after a stroll through which, the delicious water of the Excelsior will be refreshing indeed.
Is the gem of Saratoga. It consists of a small hill in the shape of a horseshoe, covered with handsome trees, and laid out in smooth walks encircling the low ground which surrounds the spring. The park is the property of the Congress and Empire Spring Co., who generously keep it in perfect repair, and open to the public.
[Illustration: UNION HOTEL AND GROUNDS.]
Gridley’s Trout Ponds.
Those who are fond of “speckled beauties,” and would like to obtain a fine mess without encountering the swarms of mosquitoes, gnats and sand flies that usually infest the region where the trout may be taken, should visit Gridley’s. “Old Gridley,” as he is familiarly called, formerly kept the Pavilion, near the depot. Some three or four years since he conceived the idea of starting a fish propagating establishment. His place is located in a beautiful little ravine, about one mile and a half from Congress Spring and just beyond the race-course. There may be seen myriads of speckled trout in a succession of small ponds situated along down the ravine, one below the other, supplied with water of the brilliancy of a crystal, gushing from the banks. It is a well known fact that the chief reason for this species of fish being so scarce, is because of their devouring each other, or, in other words, “big fish eating up little fish.” Hence, Mr. Gridley, as well as other propagators, is obliged to separate them as to age and size—one-year olds in one pond, two-year olds in another, and so on down.