Proposed Hiking Trail Brings Together Manhattan, Buffalo, Canada
Governor Cuomo's proposed plan will connect existing trails in New York such as the Erie Canalway, which joins Buffalo to Albany, and the Hudson River Valley Greenway, which links Battery Park to Lake George. Photo Courtesy of Parks and Trails New York.
For New Yorkers who love the outdoors, your next hiking trip could take you all the way to Canada.
Governor Cuomo proposed the creation of a trail that stretches 750 miles across New York and ends at each of the state's three corners. It would look like a sideways "T." And if completed, the Empire State Trail would be the largest multi-use trail in the country.
Cuomo reserved $200 million for the project in his recent budget proposal.
Advocates of the project said this will bring increased tourism to upstate New York. Greg Francese of the advocacy group Parks and Trails New York said the new trail will allow outdoorsy New Yorkers--and those not so much--to enjoy all of New York State.
"[It's] definitely something for all New Yorkers and visitors. It will really raise the profile of our state as a place for outdoor recreation," Francese said.
The Erie Canalway Trail, the portion which spans from Buffalo to Albany, generates approximately $253 million in economic impact and supports 3,400 jobs in upstate New York, according to state officials. Francese said tourists will not only help the economy by exploring the trail, but also get to see much more of New York than just the five boroughs.
"Most people, it's their first time really experiencing upstate New York," Francese said. "And experiencing it from the trail is something that gives them a unique perspective."
Running approximately 360 miles, the Erie Canalway is nearly 80 percent complete. The Mayor's pledge would join the missing parts of the trail. Photo Courtesy of Parks and Trails New York.