Completing the Empire State Trail


In January 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a historic commitment to complete and connect the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile trail that connect New York City with the Canadian Border via the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Champlain Canalway Trail and Albany with Buffalo via the Erie Canalway Trail. The initiative will not only create the nation's longest multi-use trail, but it will also bring substantial health, economic, and environmental benefits to the millions of New Yorkers who live along the trail.

Governor Cuomo's announcement comes after more than a decade of advocacy led by Parks & Trails New York to close the gaps in the Erie Canalway Trail. Currently, more than 80% of the trail is complete, with the trail's completion date set for the end of 2020.

2018 Advocacy Priorities: Statewide Trail Network

Continue to develop the state's trail network by completing the Empire State Trail, creating a statewide trails plan, and securing additional funding for other multi-use trails

  • Create a coordinated, statewide trails plan that identifies priority projects in each region.
  • Support funding in the EPF or other sources for developing and enhancing multi-use trails that connect to the Empire State Trail or are in areas not served by the existing system.
  • Contribute to development of the state trail network by educating legislators about the positive impacts of trails, participating in local and regional planning efforts, and encouraging local Complete Streets policies and planning.

Closing the Gaps in the Erie Canalway Trail


The Erie Canal and the villages along it are being rediscovered for their scenic beauty and rich role in the history of Colonial America, the American Revolution, commerce, and women's rights.


Parks & Trails New York, in partnership with the NYS Canal Corporation, and the Canalway Trails Association New York, is working to complete and promote what will ultimately be a 524-mile continuous trail along New York's historic Erie, Oswego, Cayuga-Seneca, and Champlain canals.

Today, the Erie Canalway Trail is more than three-fourths complete, and well on its way to becoming the longest trail of its kind in the country. This multi-use recreational trail complements several state, federal and local efforts to reinvigorate the historic canal corridor. We have been working in conjunction with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and local communities to call attention to closing the remaining gaps in the Canalway Trail. We look forward to working with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature to ensure that the trail is completed by 2020 as part of the larger effort to construct and connect the 750-mile Empire State Trail.