Four years ago, in his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the challenge to complete the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails by 2020 to create the 750-mile Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. “The scenic natural beauty that spans every corner of this state is key to our prosperity, vital to our future and part of who we are as New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said at that time.
He could not have anticipated that four years later, outdoor recreational opportunities would have also become a key to enjoying life safely!
On December 30, 2020, Gov. Cuomo announced the construction of 350 miles of new trail creating the Empire State Trail, a multi-use, multi-season pathway for hiking and biking across New York State. “Not only does it provide an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and history of New York, but it also gives New Yorkers from every corner of the state a safe outlet for recreation as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The recently completed segments of the Erie Canalway Trail include four Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Gateways in western New York (Buffalo Harbor State Park, Tonawanda, Lockport and Genesee Valley Park in Rochester), Macedon Bridge over the Erie Canal, three miles of trail on the Erie Boulevard median from East Syracuse to Dewitt, Loop the Lake Trail around Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, a new 3.5 mile trail east of Utica and new trails totaling 5.5 miles in Herkimer County.
The Champlain Canalway boasts a new 12-mile segment from Fort Edward to Fort Ann, and a new 3/4-mile off-road trail joins a newly dedicated 7-mile route on local roads from Fort Ann to Comstock.
The attractive and easy-to-use Empire State Trail website https://empiretrail.ny.gov offers maps and cued navigation instructions, nearby attractions, photo galleries, current weather conditions and much more!