A Walk to Remember

If you haven’t invested in decent walking shoes, make it a priority before the end of the year.

Why? 2020 marks the completion of the Empire State Trail, linking the Hudson River Valley Greenway with the Champlain and Erie Canalway Trails. That means 750 miles of multi-use trails, the longest trail network in the nation. If that’s not a walk to remember, then I don’t know what is.

Much progress has been made along the Erie Canalway Trail, especially in the Mohawk Valley, with critical gaps getting closed each day.

A new section recently opened is in Herkimer County, from Fort Herkimer Church at German Flatts Town Park on Route 55 to Erie Canal Lock E-18. This new section is beautiful as well as practical. Newly planted trees and shrubs add to the trail’s scenery, and picnic tables, grills and bicycle racks make for a great place to take a break. A 10-foot wide asphalt path provides cyclists and walkers with a solid foundation that’s easy on our tires and our shoes.

The ribbon cutting for the German Flatts section was also a groundbreaking for the next section to the East. Another 2.2 miles of the Canalway Trail from Lock E-18 to state Route 167 in Little Falls will be completed in September 2020— part of a new 20-mile stretch of trail in the Mohawk Valley.

Preliminary construction has already started on two more projects in Utica and Frankfort that were recently approved. The sections will be complete by the Empire State Trail’s opening in 2020.

A 2.2 mile section of trail in Western New York between Amherst and Lockport has been completed. From Tonawanda Creek Road in Pendleton, just over the Amherst border, to Fisk-Feigle Road in Pendleton. This this new section connects with a 5-mile stretch completed in 2017. This new section creates a continuous 135-mile route from Lyons in the Finger Lakes all the way to Buffalo. Estimated to be the most heavily trafficked part of the Erie Canalway, this trip accounts for nearly 350,000 annual trips.

By 2020, we can expect a unified 750-mile multi-use recreational trail spanning from the Battery in NYC to the Hudson Highlands and up through the Adirondacks. For right now, we can enjoy seeing all the parts come together.