In celebration of National Trails Day, a new “Trip Planning” feature is now available on empiretrail.ny.gov, the official website for the Empire State Trail. The site provides information about trail routes, parking, nearby attractions, and a variety of overnight accommodations available along or near the Empire State Trail route, including hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, resorts and campgrounds. National Trails Day, the first Saturday of each June, celebrates America’s trail systems and their supporters and volunteers.
“The Empire State Trail is a wonderful pathway through our state’s scenic beauty and extraordinary history. Whether you want to plan a day-trip or an epic long-distance adventure, there are a wealth of places to see and enjoy along the way,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “The updated website is a great tool for visitors to plan the ideal trip, and will help bolster New York’s regional tourism strategies.”
In addition to providing a wide range of lodging options within five miles of the trail, the new trip planning features include downloadable GPS routes and other resources such as access to maps and guidebooks.
The Empire State Trail is the longest statewide multi-use trail in the country spanning 750 miles from Buffalo to Albany, and from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada. Officially opened in December 2020, the Empire State Trail welcomes bicyclists and walkers of all ages and abilities to experience the Empire State’s urban centers, village main streets, rural communities, diverse history, and remarkable natural resources. The Empire State Trail runs through more than two dozen counties and hundreds of New York communities. The Empire State Trail is traveled by more than 8 million users each year.
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “Following much of the original Erie and Champlain Canal’s towpaths, the Empire State Trail is a tremendous recreational asset that offers New Yorkers and visitors alike the ability to experience the very best our state has to offer – charming communities and bucolic landscapes that are packed with endless opportunities for adventure. I applaud Governor Hochul for enhancing the Empire State Trail website with features that highlight local amenities and tools that allow users to plan ahead while they prepare to explore on and off the trail.”
Hudson River Valley Greenway Executive Director Scott Keller said, “Overnight visitors contribute significantly more to the local economy than day visitors. Having specific overnight accommodation information available directly on the Empire State Trail website will encourage more overnight visitation.”
Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York continues to develop new ways to engage travelers and support the state’s tourism economy. The Empire State Trail offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to hike and bike across New York State, while exploring the state’s diverse and unique communities. The Trail website’s new trip planning feature makes it easier to turn a day trip into a getaway, allowing travelers to come be a part of all the wonder of an I LOVE NY vacation.”
Robert Provost, President & CEO of the NYS Tourism Industry Association, said “The Empire State Trail has the potential to transform New York State into America’s #1 destination for bikers, hikers, pedalers and paddlers. It offers more quality of life, economic development and marketing possibilities to more communities than any other single tourism asset in New York State. Creating itineraries and assisting residents and visitors in navigating the Empire State Trail will help us begin to realize those potentials and possibilities. Thank you, Governor Hochul, Commissioner Kulleseid and the entire team at the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation!”
In addition, State Parks announced several projects to rehabilitate key trail segments in the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region will be complete later in June.
- A $710,000 rehabilitation of a 3-mile trail section from Alexander Street in the City of Cohoes, running northwest to Route 9 in the Town of Colonie. State Parks installed a new asphalt surface on the 20-year-old trail, and upgraded safety fencing, signage, and road crossings. This segment is part of the Erie Canalway Trail, and is also designated the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.
- A $1.2 million project to rehabilitate a 2.5-mile section of the trail from Flint Avenue in the City of Little Falls east to Herkimer Home State Historic Site, in Herkimer County. The project removed the trail’s 20-year-old asphalt and stone-dust surface, widened the original 5-foot-wide trail to a more standard 10-foot width, installed new fully accessible connections, installed drainage improvements to prevent erosion, and made safety improvements – including new fencing and signage. The trail segment is also part of the Erie Canalway Trail.
- A $275,000 project to resurface a 5-mile section of the Erie Canalway Trail, from Herkimer Home State Historic Site east to the Montgomery County line at Mindenville. The project replaced the trail’s loose gravel surface with a stone dust surface suitable for bicycling.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by more than 78 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.