Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 03, 2018

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

State Parks Announces Opening of New Section of the Empire State Trail

New 5-mile trail will help "Close the Gap" between Amsterdam and Pattersonville

The New York State Office of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) today announced a new 5-mile section of the Erie Canalway recreational trail between South Amsterdam and Pattersonville is now open to pedestrians and cyclists. The $1.75 million project is part of Governor Cuomo's Empire State Trail initiative to create a 750-mile bicycling and pedestrian trail spanning New York State, from Buffalo to Albany and New York City to Canada.

"I welcome New Yorkers and visitors to the newest section of the Empire State Trail which showcases the beauty of New York's Mohawk Valley," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "The new trail section creates a wonderfully scenic and safe pathway for people to explore. The trail is sure to be busy with New Yorkers enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle, and we look forward to opening many more miles of trail as we make progress on Governor Cuomo's goal to build the largest state multi-use trail network in the nation."

The Empire State Trail initiative will improve and expand the existing Erie Canalway, Hudson River Valley Greenway, and Champlain Valley trails to connect 750 miles of recreational trail across New York State. The newly opened Mohawk Valley section extended the Erie Canalway Trail five miles from South Amsterdam east to Pattersonville, following the path of a former railroad line. The project helps close a gap in the Erie Canalway Trail that had required trail users to travel on the shoulder of State Route 5S, a busy high-speed roadway. The project included building a 10-foot-wide trail, rehabilitating two railroad bridges and creating a new parking lot in Pattersonville.

"The Erie Canalway trail provides outstanding recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, and we are fortunate to have this asset in our communities," Senator George Amedore said. "With the completion of this project, we are ensuring a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone who uses this portion of the trail to walk, run or bike."

"With the Mohawk Valley section of the Erie Canalway Trail complete local families and visitors can safely enjoy some of the amazing views unique to our area of upstate New York," Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said. "Whether it's walking, riding a bike or simply exploring the beauty of our region, today's exciting trail opening connects our communities and brings more opportunities to enjoy all we have to offer."

"The Erie Canalway Trail provides recreational opportunities for Montgomery County residents and attracts visitors from neighboring counties and beyond," Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort said. "I'm grateful to have a partnership with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and excited to see many people taking advantage of this beautiful outdoor recreational opportunity in their backyard."

"This project will help close an important gap in the Erie Canalway Trail, helping to cement New York's status as a premier recreation and tourism destination," Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York, said. "We look forward to the completion of the Empire State Trail as an unparalleled statewide asset that further showcases New York's scenic beauty and incredible history."

The Erie Canalway Trail is a part of the state 750-mile Empire State Trail. Last year, Governor Andrew M. Governor Cuomo launched creation of the Empire State Trail, a new initiative to put New York State at the forefront of efforts nationally to enhance outdoor recreation, community vitality, and tourism development. When completed by the end of 2020, the Trail will be a continuous 750-mile route which will span the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation. A recent study projected that visitation for the entire 750-mile EST will be approximately 8.6 million trail users annually.

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. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.