Healthy Trails, Healthy People


In 2004, Parks & Trails New York launched its Healthy Trails, Healthy People (HTHP) program to more effectively promote the health and quality of life benefits of trails and better address the growing need for trail development assistance from communities throughout the state. Because of its efforts, PTNY is recognized as the "go-to" organization for trails in New York State, which has enabled it to secure additional public and private funding for other trail-related initiatives and to support its HTHP program efforts.

Funded in part by grants from the Healthy Heart Program and the Disability and Health Program at the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH), the HTHP program has helped 38 different communities in 34 counties since 2004 with their trail development efforts.

We are not accepting applications at this time.

The HTHP Program is responsible for helping build more than 260 miles of new trail.


Healthy Trails, Healthy People Projects 2010-2015

Capital Region

Hudson Valley

D&H Rail Trail, Village and Town of Granville, Washington County
Parks & Trails New York is working with the Town and Village of Granville as they develop a multi-use trail on a state-owned former rail corridor along the border with Vermont. On National Trails Day 2010, the Village of Granville cut the ribbon on a new trail bridge across the Mettawee River. With the bridge in place, residents now can directly access 5 miles of trail in the village and town that link to 11 additional miles of trail within Vermont. Future trail development, including closing a 4.5 map mile trail gap north of the Village of Granville, would provide Washington County residents and visitors with access to an additional 11 miles of existing trail in Vermont, and a direct link to the communities of Poultney and Castleton.

Kingston Rail Trail Connections, Ulster County
Parks & Trails New York is working with the Kingston Land Trust and their Rail Trail Committee to engage the community in realizing the Kingston Greenline vision. When complete, the Greenline will provide bike and pedestrian accessibility through a network of multi-use trails, bike lanes, and sidewalks. This network will be centered in the City of Kingston, but it will also serving as a central connection point to several other rail trails in Ulster County.

The Rail Trail Committee and City have successfully raised significant funding for the Greenline project. Moreover, a busy schedule of trail walks, cleanup days, tabling, and other events have created positive buzz within the community. In October 2014, PTNY was on hand to celebrate the beginning of work on the Kingston Point Rail Trail, one of the Greenline's component trails.

North Country

Village of Copenhagen Trail, Lewis County
Parks & Trails New York assisted the Village of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen Community Day Committee with plans for a 1.5-mile walking trail that traverses the village and links the school grounds and a park along the Deer River.

Upper Hudson Rail Trail, Tahawus, Essex County to North Creek, Warren County
Parks & Trails New York is working with the Friends of the Upper Hudson Rail Trail, Inc. as they explore opportunities for creation of a 29-mile multi-use trail within the Adirondack Park.

Black Creek Walk, Village of Mexico, Oswego County
Parks & Trails New York is helping the Village of Mexico and local citizens initiate a community trail system by developing a 1.25-mile trail along the banks of Black Creek that links the village Main Street to school facilities. The school has already helped with the construction of some trail segments. Additional segments are awaiting the completion of a school renovation project.

Central New York

Village of Cayuga Recreation Trail, Cayuga County
Parks & Trails New York is advising the Village of Cayuga Recreation Trail Committee on their efforts to create a 2.5-mile walking trail connecting two parks, an elementary school, and the Cayuga Lake waterfront.

Genesee Valley Greenway, Village of Cuba, Allegany County
Parks & Trails New York is working with the Cuba Friends of Architecture to increase usage and volunteer support for a 1.75-mile section of Genesee Valley Greenway in the Village of Cuba.

Montezuma Heritage Park Erie Canal Towpath Trail, Town of Montezuma, Cayuga County
Parks & Trails New York is assisting the Town of Montezuma with the creation and promotion of a network of trails linking the hamlet of Montezuma with the Seneca River and multiple historic Erie Canal sites within the 160-acre Montezuma Heritage Park.


O&W Rail Trail, Town of Fallsburg, Sullivan County
Parks & Trails New York is helping the Town of Fallsburg increase usage of eight miles of existing, but presently underutilized, multi-use trail, as well as assisting the small Catskill community in planning and visioning for another 2 miles of currently undeveloped trail corridor.

Andes Rail Trail, Town of Andes, Delaware County
Parks & Trails New York helped Andes Works! with the creation of the Andes Rail Trail, a five-mile trail linking the hamlet of Andes to the Pepacton Reservoir.

Western New York

Erie-Cattaraugus Rail Trail, Town of Orchard Park, Erie County to Town of Ashford, Cattaraugus County
Parks & Trails New York is assisting the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, Inc. (ECRT) in their efforts to generate public support for the preservation and conversion of an inactive section of the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railway to a 27-mile multi-use trail connecting the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park to the Cattaraugus County town of Ashford. ECRT doesn't yet have a trail they can use, but while they are working on an agreement with the railroad, they have undertaken many efforts to address landowner and elected official concerns and encourage area residents to experience what rail trails are like.

Healthy Trails, Healthy People Projects Undertaken 2004-2010

Capital Region

Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail – 9-mile rail trail in Albany County
The Friends of The Rail Trail, a committee of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, partnered with Albany County and the Town of Bethlehem to develop a maintenance and stewardship program for the trail. In June 2011, a ribbon cutting took place for the first two-miles of natural surface trail, between Veteran’s Park in Bethlehem and Firefighter’s park in New Scotland. A 2.4 mile section between Upper Font Grove Road in Slingerlands to the Village of Voorheesville was formally opened on December 7, 2013.

When completed, the rail trail will convert a 9-mile stretch of the old D&H Railroad to a public recreational and commuter trail for pedestrian, bicycle and other non-motorized vehicle use. Albany County began construction on additional trail miles, including the important connection to the Port of Albany at Route 32, in 2015, with that segment of trail scheduled to open by Fall 2015.

Hoosic River Greenway - 2.5-mile rail along the Hoosic River in Rensselaer County
PTNY assisted the Village of Hoosick Falls and the Hoosic River Watershed Association with development of the 2.5-mile Hoosic River Greenway that extends along the Hoosic River within the Village.

Hudson Valley / Catskills

Quassaick Creek Trail – 3-mile trail in Orange County
PTNY worked with the City of Newburgh and Orange County Planning Department to explore the possibilities for development of a three-mile multi-use trail on the north bank of Quassaick Creek in the City of Newburgh and Town of New Windsor.

Delaware and Hudson Canal Trail - 2-mile historic canal towpath trail in Sullivan County
PTNY assisted the Town of Mamakating with efforts to further develop, enhance, and interpret the towpath trail along the historic D&H Canal south of Main Street in the Village of Wurtsboro.

New York Metropolitan Area

Rockaway Beach Branch Greenway – 3.5-mile urban trail in Queens
PTNY assisted the Rockaway Beach Branch Greenway Committee with initial efforts to develop a 3.5-mile urban trail on a former Long Island Railroad corridor now owned by New York City. This project is still in the design and planning stages, but is now known as the QueensWay.

Enchanted Forest Pathway Trail – Riverside Park in West Harlem, New York City
PTNY staff worked with the West Harlem Arts Fund to engage neighborhood school groups in assisting with site and access improvements to the existing but underutilized Enchanted Forest Path and other areas in the northernmost portion of Riverside Park.

Ramapo River Greenway Trail – 2-mile rail trail in Rockland County that links to New Jersey
PTNY worked with the Town of Ramapo as they sought to use federal funds to develop a rail trail extending from the New Jersey border through Sloatsburg to the Village of Hillburn. The trail was not constructed because of cost increases.

Long Island

Greenleaf Trail15-20 mile trail in Suffolk County
The Tuthills Creek Alliance sought PTNY's assistance to help them establish a 15-20-mile multi-use trail that would use existing and proposed trails in the towns of Islip and Brookhaven to connect Bayport, Blue Point, Patchogue, Sayville and Holbrook in Suffolk County. Landowner opposition has prevented the group from making the progress they had hoped.

Long Island Motor Parkway Trail – 15-mile cross county trail in Nassau County
For years, Motor Parkway historians and other Long Island environmental groups and interested citizens have been advocating for a cross-county trail following the route of the historic Long Island Motor parkway that would link residential neighborhoods, parks, commercial areas, and schools as well as create a place where thousands of persons, irrespective of age, income, or fitness levels, could engage in healthy physical activities such as walking, biking, and jogging.

In 2005, the project was awarded Nassau County Environmental Bond Act funds to develop a plan for the trail and undertake construction of a small segment as a demonstration project. The plan was completed in 2011. Parks & Trails New York was one of several groups that nominated the Long Island Motor Parkway Trail to receive this funding and PTNY staff served on the citizens committee that provided advice on development of the plan.

As part of the funding from the Bond Act, Nassau County paved a one-mile, 10-foot-wide trail on the east side of Eisenhower Park, at a cost of approximately $700,000. In 2014, the trail received $1.8 million in Transportation Alternatives funding to construct a 1.4-mile paved trail extension in East Meadow, potentially looping around the north end of the Eisenhower Park golf courses.

Central New York

Chittenango Creek Walk and Neighborhood Trail - a village trail system in Madison County
PTNY assisted the Creek Walk and Neighborhood Trail Committee and the Village of Chittenango with plans to develop 3.3 miles of trails linking village neighborhoods, the village commercial area, the Erie Canalway Trail, and a Village and Town park. An important aspect of the project is the construction of an accessible, 1.09- mile multi-use trail along the banks of Chittenango Creek linking the Erie Canalway Trail and the popular Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum with the business district. The first .4-mile section of the creekside trail and a trailhead park at the southern end of Main Street are open. The Committee is using grant funds to extend the trail to the south and create a nature park. Future phases will link the creekside trail to the Chittenango Landing Boat Museum. The trail committee has been very successful in securing private and government funding for the project.

Chenango Canal Heritage Trail –20-mile trail in Oneida and Madison Counties
PTNY helped the Chenango Canal Association not only to extend its own, five-mile Chenango Canal Towpath Trail three miles south to the Village of Hamilton, but also in spearheading a multi-county effort to create the 20-mile Chenango Canal Heritage Trail that will link various trails along the canal and O&W rail corridors from Utica to Binghamton, NY.

Oneonta-Susquehanna Greenway10-mile multi-use trail in Otsego County
PTNY assisted the Otsego County Conservation Association with efforts to develop a 10-mile multi-use trail along the Susquehanna River that will connect two local parks to Riddell State Park as well as link the City of Oneonta to the river. The two-mile Susquehanna River Park Trail, located in the City of Oneonta, is the first section of the Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway to be completed..

Chenango River Walk Trail – Shared use path along the banks of the Chenango River in Chenango County
PYNY helped Norwich residents with development of he Chenango River Walk Trail, a path along the Chenango River linking community activity areas and the downtown. The trail has been developed by the Chenango Greenway Conservancy.

Delhi River Walk – Village trail along the Delaware River in Delaware County
The Delhi River Walk will be located along the banks of the West Branch of the Delaware River and link existing and planned community resources including a new community swimming pool, canoe launch sites, a handicapped accessible fishing platform, River Walk Park, a community picnic pavilion, Clark Park basketball court, Bridgeside Park, Smith Pond Park, and O’Connor Hospital. The Village received transportation enhancements program funding to construct trail from Bridge Street to the Legion fields. However, a need for additional funds for the sidewalk component of the project resulted in the trail construction being eliminated.

In 2014, the Village of Delhi, received funding from the Delaware Watershed Stream Management Grant Program for the development of a master plan for Hoyt Park and a Riverwalk. PTNY assisted with this effort.

Southern Tier

Chemung Valley Riverside Trail, Chemung and Steuben Counties
PTNY worked with the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed, Inc. in their efforts to develop a 16-mile multi-use trail linking the City of Corning with the City of Elmira along the banks of the Chemung River.

North Country

St. Lawrence River Greenway Trails – 5-mile trail in St. Lawrence County
The Village of Waddington refurbished an existing paved trail and is still in talks with the New York Power Authority regarding an extension of that trail along the St. Lawrence River to connect the Town and Village with Coles Creek State Park.

Salmon River Greenway Trail – 3-mile multi-use trail along the banks of the Salmon River in Oswego County
Preservation and Revitalization of Pulaski (PROP), the Town of Richland, and the Village of Pulaski plan to develop a 3-mile multi-use trail along the banks of the Salmon River. Eventually this trail will connect to 12 additional miles of trail to be built along the river linking the towns of Redfield, Orwell, and Altmar to Richland and Pulaski. The Village of Pulaski and the Town of Richland received a $25,000 grant from the Department of State's Division of Coastal Water Resources for planning and visioning of Pulaski's Salmon River Trail.

Little Ausable River Trail – 3.5-mile trail in Clinton County
The Town of Peru and Friends of the Little Ausable River Trail are developing a 3.5-mile multi-use trail using a former rail bed and the scenic banks of the Ausable River. The trail will link Peru’s three existing parks, the village center, the central school, and an historic mill site. Through the efforts of the Friends and the Town, the Town was awarded $524,745 from the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) for trail construction.

Salisbury-Dolgeville Greenway – 2.8-mile rail trail in Herkimer County
The Salisbury-Dolgeville Greenway would connect the Village of Dolgeville and hamlet of Salisbury Center using the former New York Central Railroad corridor, much of which is now owned by the Town of Salisbury and Village of Dolgeville. For years there was little progress on this project as the community could not decide what uses to allow for the corridor. Recently, Dolgeville received funding from the NYSDOH Creating Healthy Places Program and has begun to undertake some trail construction work.

Finger Lakes

Lakeville-Livonia Trail – 6-mile rail trail in Livingston County
The Town and Village of Livonia considered development of a 6.4-mile mile rail trail that would link the Village with the hamlet of South Lima and the Conesus Lake community of Lakeville in the western Finger Lakes. A feasibility study has been completed with funding from the local Metropolitan Planning Organization but landowner concerns and lack of funding have slowed progress.

Robert E. Moody Trail – 1.1-mile rail trail in Ontario County
The Robert Moody Trail is a 1.1-mile rail trail open to the public in the rural Finger Lakes town of Gorham. Entry points are in the Village of Rushville (population 500) and Blodgett Road, a rural road in the town. This historic and scenic trail follows the West River and is named in honor of Robert E. Moody, the man who donated the corridor to the town.

Dryden-Freeville Trail – 2.8-mile rail trail in Tompkins County
The Town of Dryden intended to develop a trail on a 2.8-mile section of former rail bed that links the Tompkins County villages of Freeville and Dryden. Because of multiple issues, including landowner concerns, only a very small section of this corridor has been opened. This open section connects to the existing 3.5-mile Jim Schug Trail that runs between the Village of Dryden and a town park on Dryden Lake.

Western New York

The Pendleton Rail Trail – a 6-mile rail trail in Niagara County
The Town of Pendleton plans on continuing to establish additional sections of a 6-mile trail linking the community to the Erie Canalway Trail using a former Lehigh Valley Railroad bed. Three miles of trail are open and three additional miles are planned.

North Buffalo-Tonawanda Rail Trail – 6-mile rail trail in Erie County
In 2001, the City of Buffalo and Erie County received federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funding to construct a nine-mile greenway on a former Lehigh Valley rail line connecting North Buffalo, the City and Town of Tonawanda, and the Erie Canalway Trail. If developed as a trail, the corridor would intersect nine Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) bus routes and a light rail metro station as well as provide safe access to multiple city, county and town parks, the Amherst bicycle path, Erie Canalway Trail, and Buffalo’s Riverwalk.

Unfortunately, NFTA sold sections of the corridor before trail could be developed. Despite efforts by PTNY and many interested citizens and elected officials, the City has not moved forward with any trail development work.

Tonawanda Rails to Trails Project – 3-mile rail trail in Erie County
The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo is urging local leaders to construct a six-mile rail-trail in the City and Town of Tonawanda that will extend from the North Buffalo Greenway in the south to the Erie Canalway Trail in the north. Funding was approved for the project years ago, but work has been stalled while elected officials decide whether the corridor should instead be used for a future light rail project.