October 23, 2018
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (Parks) announced today that work to convert the former West River Parkway into a multi- use recreational trail that connects the City of Buffalo to the City of Niagara Falls has been completed.
The $2.5 million Parks 2020 project transformed two lanes of highway into a vehicle free multi-use, multi-season trail that runs along eight miles of the Niagara River from Beaver Island State Park to Buckhorn State Park. It includes refurbished overlooks, landscaping and year-round access to the water while closing a significant gap in the Niagara River Greenway Shoreline Trail. Funding for the project was provided by a $1.6 million federal grant as well as $900,000 from the New York Power Authority though the Niagara River Greenway Commission.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "The West River Shoreline Trail is certain to become one of the best places to recreate in all of Western New York. Connecting communities and creating more places to enjoy is vital to the work we do at Parks and this project does all of that and more. We look forward to seeing families from all over New York State and beyond enjoying this newest recreational asset."
New York State Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said "The Power Authority is proud to support the great work by State Parks on many recent recreational improvements at Western New York parks and other public areas. To support State Parks' efforts to fast track its restoration initiatives, including the major upgrades at Niagara Falls State Park and the West River Shoreline Trail, NYPA provided a lump-sum, advance payment of $25 million from funding set aside for Greenway improvements. Not only are these improvements an investment in future tourism, they enhance the local quality-of-life and provide more access to the waterfront for community enjoyment."
Congressman Brian Higgins said "With the opening of the West River Shoreline Trail we leave behind Robert Moses-inspired, car-centric, underused infrastructure and replace it with a smarter, greener alternative that continues the great progress we've made opening up access to Western New York's waterfront. This is a great recreational feature that adds to the quality of life for residents living in the Town of Grand Island and beyond."
Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said "With the completion of the project, we add another asset to the other eco-tourism industry not only here in Western New York but in New York State. I appreciate State Parks taking on this project as well as their commitment to keeping this trail free of commercial development."
Grand Island Supervisor Nathan McMurray said "Having eight miles of beautiful shoreline to dedicated to safe pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be a huge benefit for Grand Island and for all of Western New York. The Trail will connect the 1,300+ acres of green space in Beaver Island and Buckhorn State Parks, and provide a unique recreation opportunity for residents and visitors alike."
Completion of this project comes just months after Governor Cuomo introduced cashless tolling to Grand Island and opened the newest I Love NY Welcome Center, just a mile from the trail.
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 parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.