The Empire State Trail, a 750-mile hiking and cycling path across New York, is complete, providing a new way for residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The trail runs in a sideways T-shape, from New York City to the Canadian border and from Lake Erie to the Capital District.

The project was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2017 and builds on two existing, but previously disconnected, trails with 350 miles of new pathway, connecting near Albany. A recent study predicted that nearly nine million residents and tourists will visit the trail annually, which is mainly made up of existing trails. The trail was officially opened on December 31, 2020.

Hikers on the Champlain Valley Trail
Hikers on Champlain Mountain with Frenchman Bay below. © National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy Stock Photo

"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,” Governor Cuomo said when the project was completed. 

The Hudson Valley Trail is one of three sections on the Empire State Trail
A cyclist rides along the Hudson Valley Rail Trail near Amenia, New York © DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

The Empire State Trail is a showcase of the state’s beautiful landscapes and historic sites, including Schodack Island State Park, Fort Ticonderoga, Buffalo Harbor State Park and the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, as well as wineries, breweries and other cultural attractions. The three sections of the trail are named the Hudson Valley Greenway, which starts in Battery Park in Manhattan; the Erie Canalway Trail, which runs between Buffalo and the Capital District around Albany; and the Champlain Valley Trail, between the Capital District and Canada. The trail is open to all ages and abilities, and it is ADA compliant.

This article was first published on November 3, 2020 and updated on January 19, 2021

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This article was first published Nov 3, 2020 and updated Jan 19, 2021.

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