Project details for New York’s 750-mile multi-use trail come to light in draft plan

Back in January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a 750-mile multi-use trail that would span from Buffalo down to the southern tip of Manhattan and also all the way up to the northern tip of Lake Champlain.

Dubbed the Empire State Trail, it is aiming to be the nation’s longest multi-use trail. It’s been a bit since we’ve had an update on project details, but last month a plan draft was published and last week Albany newspaper The Daily Gazette picked up on the draft and provided some details.

The $200 million plan looks to utilize existing trails, like the Erie Canalway Trail and others, that already encompass nearly 400 miles of trail. The plan looks to connect these trails while also needing to build new ones, like in the Hudson Valley area where “only about 50-percent of the complete trail route exists today.”

The initial route plan for the Empire State Trail. Image: Courtesy of New York Empire State Trail

The Empire State Trail will also aim to be off-road wherever possible, offering up possibilities of biking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and even snowmobiling in some areas. “For the 550 miles from Manhattan to Buffalo, 85-percent of the Empire State Trail will be offroad,” the draft plan states.

Turning these smaller existing trails and new ones into one continuous trail will encompass 40 construction projects. The hope is that the plan is finalized this fall and construction can begin in 2018, with the Empire State Trail set to open in 2020.

It is still in the early stages, but the Empire State Trail could be the next great trail built in America.

One section of the nearly 400 miles of trails that already exist. Photo: Courtesy of New York Empire State Trail

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