Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 11, 2018

Angela P. Berti

State Parks Announce Construction to Begin on the West River Trail

Parkway Converted to Multi-Use Trail Along Niagara River Connecting Buffalo to Niagara Falls

View the Transformation here

The Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) announced today that work to convert the West River Parkway into an 8-mile multi-use trail will begin on April 16. The $2.5 million NY Parks 2020 project will transform two lanes of highway into a vehicle-free multi-use trail that runs along the Niagara River from Beaver Island State Park to Buckhorn State Park ultimately connecting the City of Buffalo to Niagara Falls.

"Connecting our communities to our waterfronts enhances tourism opportunities and energizes economic development," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "This transformation along the West Niagara River, one of the more beautiful places in New York, will become a popular destination for bikers, walkers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds."

State Parks is using a $1.6 million federal transportation grant and $900,000 from the New York Power Authority and the Niagara River Greenway and expects the trail to be completed this fall. Currently, the West River Parkway is a seasonal, two-lane, 55-mile-per-hour state highway that runs along the Niagara River which is home to migrating birds and other wildlife as well as beautiful sunsets. The new multi-use trail will include furnishings and interpretive signage, landscaping and year-round access to the water.

"With this work, supported by federal and state funding, we invest in Grand Island and provide residents with new opportunities to explore the water's edge, connect to a network of waterfront trails to the north and south, and experience the great Niagara River vistas in a new and exciting way," said Congressman Brian Higgins.

Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray said "Grand Island is a unique and beautiful place. 80 percent of North America's freshwater—and 20 percent of the world's freshwater—flows around it. Once the West River Parkway Multi-Use Path is in place, that riverfront will be opened for everyone to enjoy. Having that space available for safe and accessible recreation will be a gift for Grand Island and for all of Western New York."

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 71 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs and over $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.