Dutchess Rail Trail to Extend 750 Miles?
A new plan hopes to extend the Dutchess Rail Trail to 750 miles.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed completing the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails by 2020 to create the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation.
To accomplish this, the state will have to develop 350 miles of new trail in three phases to create a 750-mile pathway for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through charming, historic communities, officials say.
The Empire State Trail will span almost all of the state, from the New York Harbor through the Hudson Valley, up through the Adirondack Mountains to the Canadian border, and from the shores of Lake Erie along the Erie Canal to the heart of the Capital Region.
“The scenic natural beauty that spans every corner of this state is key to our prosperity, vital to our future and part of who we are as New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Empire State Trail, once completed, will be the nation’s largest state multi-use trail network, providing residents and visitors alike unprecedented access to New York’s outdoor treasures, driving tourism and economic activity to communities across the state and helping to protect our environmental resources for generations to come.”
The existing Hudson River Valley Greenway and the Erie Canalway are two of the most well-known multi-use trailways in the country, but both remain unfinished with a number of gaps across the state.
Currently, the Hudson River Valley Greenway is nearly 50 percent complete and crosses the Appalachian Trail, spanning over 260 miles between the Manhattan Battery and Lake George.
The Erie Canalway is nearly 80 percent complete and runs approximately 360 miles along the Erie Canal, connecting Buffalo to Albany.
It’s believed once the Empire State Trail is complete, the trail will attract more hikers, bikers, and cross country skiers than ever before. It will provide access to destinations, heritage areas, and historic sites and districts including:
Hudson River Valley Greenway
· Battery Park, NYC
· Walkway Over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
· Olana State Historic Site, Hudson
· Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Kinderhook
· Schodack Island State Park, Schodack Landing
· Saratoga National Battlefield, Stillwater
· Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga
Erie Canalway Trail
· Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historic Site, Buffalo
· Buffalo State Park, Buffalo
· The Salt Museum on Onondaga Lake, Liverpool
· The Montezuma National Wild Refuge, Seneca Falls
· The Great New York State Fair, Syracuse
· Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site, Oriskany
· Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome