Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

February 25, 2013

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe

First Statewide Trail User Count Demonstrates Popularity of Greenway (Multi-use) Trails

Fourteen Trails Enjoy Upwards of 2.2 Million Users

Parks & Trails New York, the New York State Trails Council, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation are pleased to announce the results of the first New York State Trail User Count. The study focused on 14 of the state's greenway or multi-use trails where volunteers conducted user counts this past August. Based on the results of these counts it is estimated that over 2.2 million cyclists and pedestrians are using these trails each year.

The greatest estimate was over 650,000 annual users at the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Ulster County. Other popular trails include the Jones Beach Bikeway, the Bethpage Bikeway, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, and the Robert Moses Trail near Niagara Falls.The estimates were calculated using a protocol established by the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. The protocol has been employed previously by Parks & Trails New York for annual Canalway Trail user counts.

"Multi-use trails are key elements of community infrastructure, providing important alternative transportation, quality of life, and economic benefits. Plus, they are extremely popular, as demonstrated by the results of this first-ever statewide trail count," said Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin. "With over 125 multi-use trails statewide, the 2.2 million trail users tallied in the count are only the tip of the iceberg."

"This trail user count survey is an important step in documenting the significance of trails in our lives," said Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey.

"The State Trails Council was glad to support this count of types and numbers of users on trails across the state. This is useful data to share not only with elected officials but also with tax payers to show people use trails for low cost exercise as part of a healthy life style," said Jane Daniels Chair of the New York State Trails Council.

The complete report may be accessed on the publications page of  

Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving the health and quality of life of all New Yorkers by working with community organizations and municipalities to envision, create, promote, and protect a growing network of parks, greenways and trails throughout the state for all to use and enjoy. For more information about Parks & Trails New York visit, connect to them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connecting on Facebook, or following on Twitter.

The New York State Trails Council was established in October 1981 to ensure citizen participation in trail planning and management. The Council advocates trail interests to all levels of government and to the public; provides a reliable source of information on trail based recreation; coordinates efforts to develop, construct and maintain recreational trails; fosters trail user ethics; and provides a forum for mediating differences among trail-user groups. For more information, visit