Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

November 09, 2021

Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
(518) 486-1868 |

New York State Parks and the Hudson River Valley Greenway Announce Empire State Trail Improvements in Waterford and Cohoes

State-County Partnership Improves 1.2-mile Champlain Canalway Trail Section
in Waterford, Saratoga County

New York State Parks Starts Rehabilitation of 3-mile Erie Canalway Trail Section in Cohoes and Colonie, Albany County 

Before and After Photos of the Champlain Canalway Trail Project Available Here


The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Hudson River Valley Greenway today announced two projects to improve a total of 4.2 miles of the Empire State Trail in the Capital District, to assure the trails remain accessible to bicyclists, walkers, and runners of all ages and abilities.

In Waterford, the New York State Hudson River Valley Greenway partnered with Saratoga County to rehabilitate a 1.2-mile section of the Empire State Trail. The project, which is part of the Champlain Canalway Trail, improved a 20-year-old trail section that runs north from Main Street (Route 32) in the Village and Town of Waterford. Saratoga County constructed the improvements. A new stonedust surface, safety fencing, and improved trail entrances were installed to facilitate public use. The Hudson River Valley Greenway provided a $275,000 grant to Saratoga County to fund the project, which began in September. The Waterford trail is built on the towpath of the original Champlain Canal, which operated from 1823 to 1918, until the modern canal was relocated to the Hudson River. 

In Albany County, New York State Parks is repaving a 3-mile trail section from Alexander Street in the City of Cohoes, running northwest to Route 9 in the Town of Colonie. State Parks will install a new asphalt surface on the 20-year-old trail, and will update safety fencing, signage, and road crossings. This segment is part of the Erie Canalway Trail, and is also designated the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Construction of the $710,000 project began this month, and will be fully completed in spring 2022.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Improvements to these historic trail corridors provide a great new place for cycling, running, walking and cross-country skiing in Albany and Saratoga Counties. New York State continues to lead the way in enhancing our parks and trails and connecting more people to outdoor recreation."

Hudson River Valley Greenway Executive Director Scott Keller said, "These trail projects provide enhanced outdoor recreation opportunities, support regional tourism strategies, and provide Capital District residents and visitors a new way to explore the historic Champlain and Erie Canal corridors."

Town of Moreau Supervisor and Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. said, "Saratoga County takes great pride in its vast trail system and many recreational opportunities from Waterford north along the Hudson River and all points in between. These improvements to the trail along the historic Hudson River will be enjoyed by our residents and visitors alike for years to come. I am extremely proud of the Saratoga County design and construction team for their work on this project and thank Hudson River Valley Greenway and State officials for their investment in our great county."

Town of Waterford Supervisor John Lawler said, "Here in Waterford, we proudly welcome visitors from around the world who travel through the waterways of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and the Erie and Champlain Canals. These improvements to the Empire State Trail along the Champlain Canal corridor will attract visitors and residents alike who will enjoy a scenic trip through historic Waterford. I thank the State of New York and County of Saratoga for their work in refurbishing this trail."

Cohoes Mayor William Keeler said, "The Mohawk-Hudson Bike path is a vital recreation and transportation artery through the heart of historic Cohoes, and links us to other communities in the region and across the state. The trail is enjoyed in all four seasons by residents and visitors who are biking, birding, hiking, walking, running, and more.  We are grateful to Governor Hochul and New York State Parks for their commitment to preserving this treasured trail.  These improvements will further our ‘Cleaner Greener Cohoes' initiatives to enhance our thoroughfares with a sustainability focus on enabling alternative modes of transportation."

The Waterford and Cohoes paths are part of the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile bicycling, walking, and hiking route that runs from Buffalo to Albany along the Erie Canalway Trail, and from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada. Detailed information including trail segment descriptions and an on-line map depicting the trail route, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions is available on the project website here.  Additionally, interested trail users can order a free large format, printed Empire State Trail map by submitting an email with name and mailing address on the website's Contact Us page.