Saratoga County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 219,607. The county seat is Ballston Spa. The name of Saratoga County was derived from the Native American word "sah-rah-ka", or "Sarach-togue", meaning "the hill beside the river", referring to the Hudson River bordering the county on its eastern flank.
Saratoga County, bisected by the six-lane Adirondack Northway, serves as an outdoor recreational haven and as the gateway to the Adirondack Mountains and State Park for the populations of the Albany and New York City metropolitan areas. The county is also home to the internationally renowned Saratoga Race Course, one of the oldest venues in horse racing.
Saratoga County lies at the heart of eastern New York State's Tech Valley, a growing center for nanotechnology, semiconductor manufacturing, and other high technology research and development, manufacturing, and venture capital investment. The "Fab 8" campus of GlobalFoundries, a company specializing in the semiconductor industry, is a multibillion US$ venture being developed in Saratoga County.
When counties were established in the Province of New York in 1683, the present Saratoga County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This large county was progressively reduced in size by the separation of several counties until 1791, when Saratoga County as well as Rensselaer County were split off from Albany County.
During the nineteenth century, Saratoga County was an important industrial center. Its location 30 miles north of Albany on the Delaware and Hudson Railway, as well as its proximity to water power from the Hudson River and Kayaderosseras Creek, led to rapid industrial development beginning in 1810. Some of the most important industries were paper mills, tanneries, foundries, and textile mills.