The Empire State Trail

Empire State Trail map slide

An overview map shared by the Cuomo admin Tuesday.

One of the many proposals to floated during Andrew Cuomo's ongoing State of the State tour this week is a plan to build the Empire State Trail -- a 750-mile multi-use path that would stretch from NYC to the Adirondacks and from Albany to Buffalo.

The Cuomo admin says it'd be the longest state multi-use path in the country.

The trail wouldn't have to be built from scratch. Cuomo said it would build on the 40 existing segments of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway, and would require 350 miles of newly-built path. He said the state already owns most of the required land.

Thee cost would be $220 million in total, according to Cuomo, but the new segments would be be built in phases over three years. The first phase -- 72 miles of new trail -- would cost $53 million. The goal would be to complete all three phases by 2020.

Cuomo described the new trail system as a "legacy project that our children and our children's children will enjoy." And he predicted it "will change the economy through the Hudson Valley and the Erie Canal corridor" by generating new activity and tourism. The governor pointed to the success of the Walkway Over the Hudson as an example of how such a project can spur growth. That state would also roll out a mobile app with trail info and highlights of things to see and do along the path.

(Here's a link to Cuomo's comments about the trail during his speech at SUNY Purchase Tuesday.)

The project isn't a done deal. It has to get funding through the state budget process.


Great idea, the network is almost all there already. Add in the missing elements and it would be an incredible experience.

this would be awesome, i hope it happens

This is great! Biggest winner will likely be Syracuse - the canal trail goes right through the city there but is completely on-road currently IIRC. So they'll hopefully get some brand new intra-city transit infrastructure out of it.

I'm the communications director at the American Heart Association - we love this idea! What a great way for everyone to get a little physical activity and fight heart disease and stroke!

I live in the Hudson valley and I am very excited to bike this trail with my family. I believe it will invigorate the local economies and help promote a healthier way of living. 😀


I biked from Cohoes to Buffalo last summer. It was a great experience but really tough to navigate certain stretches- some areas are very rough and unfinished, there's a huge portion between Syracuse and Rochester where you're just biking through hilly Amish country and there's nowhere to get water and it got kinda hairy on a hot day, and don't even get me started on Utica and Rome and how few signs there are and how I almost got hit by like five vehicles in the span of an hour.

Gripes aside, it was so fun and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but it would be amazing to have some of the kinks worked out to make it a more biker/pedestrian friendly journey.

I'd also looooooove to see the Cohoes end of the bike path connected to the Watervliet end of the bike path somehow! Even just a protected bike lane connecting them would be great.

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