The longest single-state, multi-use trail in the nation is open every day—even through the winter months!
The Empire State Trail, which effectively links NYC to Canada (and Buffalo to Albany), was first announced by Governor Cuomo in 2017. The project originally proposed the construction of 350 new miles of trail to create the largest state multi-use trail network in the entire country!
Now totaling 750 miles, the Empire State Trail now runs from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada, and from Albany to Buffalo along the Erie Canal.
The entire project was expected to be completed by the end of 2020, and stayed right on track! The trail officially opened to the public on New Year’s Eve, according to the Governor’s office.
As we transition into the colder months, the trail will remain a wonderful destination for recreational opportunities. Providing a wide variety of winter outdoor trail activities, all walkers, cross-county skiers, and snowshoers are welcome to enjoy their journeys away from traffic.
Their website shares that following snow events, some urban and suburban trail sections will be plowed for walkers and cyclists, while more rural trails will remain unplowed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
75 percent of the trail is off-road, and it is expected to draw 8.6 million residents and tourists annually, who can admire all of New York’s diverse landscapes as it stretches so far across the state.
“Nearly four years ago, we announced plans to build the Empire State Trail and I am excited to announce it’s been completed on time,” Governor Cuomo said. He continued:
There’s no trail like it in the nation — 750 miles of multi-use trail literally from Manhattan to the Canadian Border, from Buffalo to Albany. Not only does it provide an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and history of New York, but it also gives New Yorkers from every corner of the state a safe outlet for recreation as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach the holiday weekend, there is no better time than now to put on your mask and experience it for yourself.
The Empire State Trail will be open all year round, including the cold winter months. Connecting 20 regional trails, it created one continuous statewide route with signage. This includes more than 180 miles of newly created off-road trail, and 400 miles of previously disconnected, off-road trails that have now been linked.
You can find out more on the website dedicated to the trail here, which includes user-friendly trail guides, trip planners, detailed directions, and info on nearby activities, campgrounds and more. Start making plans!