Archive for the ‘Parks & Trails NY’ Category

To fully enjoy the sights and smells that autumn in New York has to offer, try walking or biking along a multi-use trail. Take your time as you stroll or pedal your way through a canopy of bright fall foliage, breathing in the fresh air, and drawing in the scenery around you.

Multi-use trails such as rail and canal trails, greenways and bikeways are family friendly places to walk, run, or bike. Many are along historic railways or canal corridors and are mostly flat. Many of the trails are also located near scenic rivers and streams. One thing they have in common, however, is that they all offer a view of the beautiful foliage during the fall months.

Parks & Trails New York has put together a list of Ten Terrific Trails we recommend for fall.

To find a trail near you, use TrailFinder, Parks & Trails New York’s online guide to multi-use trails across New York State at www.ptny.org/trailfinder. TrailFinder can be used to search for trails in several ways—by trail name, by trail attributes such as length, surface, allowable uses, distance from a particular location, or by browsing the interactive map.

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. Find out more about Parks & Trails New York by visiting www.ptny.org and our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Take Your Bike - Rochester available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Rochester available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Erie Canalway Trail – Between Albany and Buffalo more than 270 miles of Erie Canalway Trail provide the opportunity to experience quaint towns and a bounty of fall color along the state’s historic New York State Canal System.  The longest continuous stretch of trail begins in Lockport, about 10 miles east of Buffalo, and continues 100 miles to Lyons along the Erie Canal in western New York.  Other long stretches can be found in the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park between Dewitt and Rome in central New York and the more than 40 miles of trail between Little Falls and Amsterdam in eastern New York. When completed, the Erie Canalway Trail will provide 365 miles of multi-use trails along the canal, making it the longest intra-state trail in the country.

Genesee Valley Greenway
– In western New York, the Genesee Valley Greenway’s well-known “tunnel of green” turns to red and yellow as more than 60 miles of trail follows the Genesee River and the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal through woodlands, farmlands, and historic villages from Rochester to near the Pennsylvania border.  Within Letchworth State Park, the Genesee Valley Greenway affords sweeping views of the famous gorge and waterfalls of the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Catharine Valley Trail – The hillsides resplendent with autumn color above Seneca Lake are a perfect backdrop to begin a visit to the Catharine Valley Trail in Watkins Glen.   The 10-mile trail follows abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors through the 900-acre Queen Catharine Marsh, historic villages, and a heavily wooded, glacially carved valley Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Pat McGee Trail – In the western Southern Tier, the relatively rural 12-mile Pat McGee Trail offers the opportunity to experience the colors of fall while passing through woods, wetlands, and open fields filled with rich a variety of plants, trees, and wildlife.

Cato-Fairhaven Trail – Ponds, wetlands, and old farm buildings add to the rural and agricultural charm of the 14-mile Cato-Fairhaven Trail.  Dense stands of sumac, beech, maple, and aspen trees provide plenty of fall color along this corridor near the shores of Lake Ontario in Central New York.

– What better place to experience autumn color than in the Adirondacks.  There are plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by the best of fall foliage from this 12-mile trail that connects the five mountain communities that give the trail its name – Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, and Eagle Bay.

Catskill Scenic Trail
– The Catskill Scenic Trail follows the route of the former Ulster and Delaware railroad. Young and old will find this an easy and enjoyable route through the foothills of the Catskills.  The trail parallels the West Branch of the Delaware River for the entire route and offers many delightful fishing spots.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park:  Drink in breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley fully decked out in autumn color from more than 200 feet above the middle of the river on the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  The Walkway is the center piece of a 3.6-mile loop that links riverside parks, cultural attractions and historic points of interest on both the Poughkeepsie and Highland waterfronts.

North County Trailway  Following the bed of the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad, this paved trail winds more than 22 miles through the woodlands, parks, and suburbs of Westchester County.  Historic rail stations and a beautiful bridge across the New Croton Reservoir add to the appeal of the route.

Bethpage Bikeway – The 6.5–mile Bethpage Bikeway links Long Island’s Bethpage State Park with the South Shore at Massapequa.  From the Park, the trail passes through a mature forest cover along the Bethpage State Parkway before entering the mixed evergreens and deciduous forests of the Massapequa County Park and Preserve.  The park’s ponds, wetlands, and Massapequa Lake and Creek can all be experienced from the trail.

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Parks & Trails New York’s interactive map of the Erie Canalway Trail— a cross-state route between Buffalo and Albany along the legendary Erie Canal—has been updated and optimized for mobile devices. The map can be found on the Parks & Trails New York website: www.ptny.org/bikecanal/map.

Since the original site launched in 2008, the award-winning Cycling the Erie Canalway Trail interactive map has helped thousands of visitors plan their journeys along the iconic Erie Canal. As more and more visitors are using web-enabled devices, PTNY created an optimized version of its popular map that functions on both desktop PCs as well as smartphones and tablet devices. The revised map features improved search functions, a new distance measuring tool, and GPS—all with a clean, modern look and feel.

With GPS-enabled capability, users can find exactly where they are relative to the Trail and easily locate nearby attractions and services, including museums, historic sites, parks, lodging, bike shops, restaurants, convenience stores, ATMs, pharmacies, and hardware stores. Parking areas and handicapped accessible trailheads are also included.

Users can view the entire Erie Canalway Trail, from Buffalo to Albany, or zoom in for more detail. They can pan or scroll through the entire route, choose a specific region to explore, or find the location of a particular attraction, lodging establishment or bike. Many of the points of interest feature a web-link for more information.

“We’re excited to be able to provide this updated map for Erie Canalway Trail visitors,” said Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin. “The Erie Canalway Trail is an economic engine for upstate New York, and we are confident that the new interactive site will encourage additional visitors to come and see the beauty and experience the heritage of the Erie Canal.”

“Thanks to the new and improved interactive map now available on the Parks & Trails New York website it is now easier than ever for people to plan their visits to the Erie Canalway Trail,”  said Canal Corporation director, Brian U. Stratton.  “We are delighted to be able to direct visitors to this new planning resource.”

“What a great tool for helping people enjoy the Canalway Corridor,” said Beth Sciumeca, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway  National Heritage Corridor.  “Whether you want to spend just a few hours or cycle the entire Erie Canalway Trail, this is the go-to map for planning a trip.”

More Erie Canalway Trail resources: guidebook and supported bike tour

Parks & Trails New York also offers a companion guidebook to the Erie Canalway Trail, Cycling the Erie Canal, with 42 color maps and interpretive information, as well as tips on cycling, travel and trip preparation—all in a handy 5” by 9” spiral-bound package that can easily be tucked into a saddle bag, backpack, or car glove compartment.  The organization also organizes a supported bike tour along the Erie Canalway Trail every July that attracts more than 500 cyclists.  More information on the guidebook and bike tour, plus other Erie Canalway Trail resources, can be found at www.ptny.org.

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 through the use and enjoyment of green space. Parks & Trails New York has worked with more than 275 community organizations and municipalities to develop and maintain a network of parks and trails throughout New York State.  The organization’s “Close the Gaps” campaign is dedicated to completing the last 75 miles of the Erie Canalway Trail to achieve a 365-mile continuous, off-road trail between Buffalo and Albany.

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by Max Cea, Nyak News & Notes, link to original post

Area outdoor enthusiasts will soon be able to boldly jog, walk and cycle into the woods on a paved path where no man has gone before, following the path of a train that once did. The Joseph B. Clarke Rail Trail, which runs from Oak Tree Road in Tappan to Orangeburg, will be extended 1.6 miles from Lowes on Route 303 to Blauvelt. “With funding from NYS Department of Transportation, we’ll break ground in August of 2014 and finish the project within a year,” said Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart.  “Right now we are focused on the design of the street crossings and connections at the beginning and end of this section of the trail.”

Although New York State will fund construction of the trail, Orangetown’s Highway and Parks and Recreation Departments will be in charge of the trail’s maintenance. The new segment of the trail will conform in appearance to most of the existing trail.  The trail will be ten feet wide, mostly level, and paved with gravel and macadam pavement.

As the region recovers from recession, the extended rail trail — along with a new “Shared Use Path” on the north span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge — will bring thousands of new visitors on foot and two wheels to Orangetown, Piermont, Nyack and Tarrytown. According to Parks and Trails New York (PTNY), bicycle tourism is a low-impact way to give local economies a much needed shot in the arm. “Bicycle Tourists… are well-educated older adults from upper-income households that typically travel in groups of friends or family members. They spend money and are interested in learning about your community. [This group] provides an incentive for preserving a community’s unique character, historic heritage and natural features.” In other words, the cyclists we will soon see will be very different from the uber-riders with whom Rockland residents have become familiar. They are likely to take shorter rides than the serious road warriors who ride up 9W from NYC. They will have their cars and their wallets with them when they ride about a dozen miles across the new bridge and through the adjacent downtowns. Additionally, PTNY says they are likely to be shoppers, spenders and site-seers.

The business community in the river villages is eager to greet these new customers. “Nyack already knows what a boon for business having hundreds of bicycle riders from the larger metropolitan area can be,” says Nyack Chamber of Commerce President Scott Baird. “Every Saturday and Sunday- local coffee shops, breakfast restaurants, see a great influx of business as bicyclists from all over come to enjoy Nyack’s unique shops, eateries, and natural beauty.”

But local residents have a mixed response to the serious cyclists who flock to Nyack from the five boroughs and North Jersey. Motorists don’t like it when bikers run stop signs — although only about three out of ten drivers come to a complete legal stop themselves. Cyclists are miffed when cars play chicken with bikers and violate New York State’s Safe Distance (“3 foot”) law when passing. Motorists regularly break the exceeding posted speed limits; cyclists break the law when riding two abreast in the river villages. Forget what they say about each other, what it really is about is speed: cars don’t like anything that interferes with their ability to go as fast as they want; cyclists don’t see why they need to slow down for stop signs if no one is in the intersection. Bottom line? It’s a mess and both the motorists and the motorless are to blame.

And it’s going to get a lot more crowded out there when the new Shared Use Path opens on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Today, as many as 5000 cyclists travel to Nyack on a busy summer weekend — that’s almost as many people as live in the village. The Walkway Over The Hudson — a tourist attraction between Ulster and Dutchess Counties, near Poughkeepsie — projects about 500,000 visitors each year. If the river villages got 1/10 of that traffic it would be overwhelming. But the likelihood is that the region would see at least as many as 500,000, given Rockland and Westchester’s vicinity to Bergen County and New York City.

Planners have floated the idea of getting the Tappan Zee Bridge project to pave the rest of the rail trail from Sparkill to Nyack, giving future tourists easy access to the business districts and available parking in Piermont, Nyack, Orangeburg and Blauvelt. If the state paved the remainder of the rail trail through these villages and addressed the security concerns of property owners, South Nyack, Grandview and Piermont could be relieved of the maintenance costs and liability they currently assume. In addition to it being good for local businesses, Baird says it would make things safer for cyclists and motorists. “Having a paved separate trail would improve the safety for drivers and bicyclists alike,” he says.

But local officials aren’t biting.  “What is there to gain?” says Larry Lynn, Mayor of Grandview.   “It’s not like we’re going to open up a Starbucks down there.  We have no commercial property.  Whereas Piermont and Nyack profit from the traffic and bicyclists who come up here, we don’t.  They just come buzzing through our village, yelling.  There’s no commercial value.  We don’t want tourism in Grandview because there’s no place for there to be tourism.  We have no water front park.  We have nothing to sell people.  We’re just a quiet residential village who wants to maintain its character.”

Grandview, which sits between South Nyack and Piermont, has a population of only 285 homes. About a dozen homes in Grandview are adjacent to the unimproved rail trail. In addition to addressing the current safety concerns and future parking issues, a paved rail trail of about a dozen miles from Nyack to Blauvelt would add a popular new public park for the 47,000 people who live in Orangetown.

Grandview’s opposition to paving the rail trail isn’t new, according to David Schloss, a biking enthusiast and co-owner of Gypsy Donut in Nyack. “From what I’ve heard the only village that opposes it is Grandview, and that hell would have to freeze over before they take steps to increase the use of the trail.”  When asked if Grandview would consider supporting the project if the state paid to pave it and assumed maintenance and liability, Lynn left open the possibility of working with the state. “I’d want to see that it’s safe and I’d want to see that someone else is incurring the costs,” he said. “We’re open to any discussions that are to be had, but the issue hasn’t been raised in years.”

The Orangeburg part of the rail trail is named after Joseph B. Clarke, Orangetown’s Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, from 1969 to 1996, who championed the idea of re-purposing the abandoned Erie train line as a rail trail.  In South Nyack the trail is called the Raymond G. Esposito Memorial Trail in honor of the former mayor who promoted the trail’s expansion. Starting at the tennis courts on South Franklin in South Nyack, they trail passes four downtown shopping districts, three libraries, a college campus, several churches, three shopping centers, secluded woodlands and wildlife and plant sanctuaries, hamlet center parks and several streams, ponds and a reservoir. In Grandview, the rail trail is known as Hader Park.

There Was A Train To Nyack? (history)

The Erie Railroad route from Nyack to Jersey City became known as the Northern Branch. It extended through the towns of Nyack, Grandview, Piermont and Tappan, New York. In New Jersey, it went through the towns of Northvale, Norwood, Closter, Demarest, Creskill, Tenafly, Englewood and Ridgefield Park. In the late 1800s, this line carried over 60 trains a day! After the Erie-Lackawana merger, trains terminated in Hoboken.

Commuter service was discontinued in the 1960s. The tracks remained intact to Piermont until the Continental Can factory was closed. It was replaced by luxury condominiums with spectacular Hudson River views. In the 1980s, the tracks were removed from all portions of the Northern Branch in New York State. Local freight service is still run on the line as far north as Northvale on the NY/NJ border.
Source: PierceHaviland.com

This article is sponsored by the Piermont Bicycle Connection. In addition to their expertise in bike sales and service, they can help you become Masters of the eBay Universe turning your extra stuff into extra cash! Visit them online for details or call 845-365-0900 for more information.

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Click here to watch the video: Reflections on Biking the Erie Canalway Trail

Click here o find out more about the Erie Canway Tour.

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optimizedNow, plan your trip by desktop or smartphone

Parks & Trails New York is pleased to introduce an optimized version of our interactive Erie Canalway Trail map, first developed in 2008, which is designed to function on both desktop PCs and smartphones.

The map has better search functions, added attractions and points of interest, a new measuring tool, GPS, and an easier- to-operate user interface. Visit the new and improved Canalway Trail map and start planning your adventure today!

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The second annual I Love My Park Day is almost here! This Saturday, nearly 80 New York State Parks and Historic Sites will participate in this statewide event promoting stewardship of our treasured state park lands.

You only have a few days left to register for this exciting event! Parks from Long Island to the Thousand Islands to Buffalo are participating. Thousands of volunteers have already signed up, and we’re on track to double last year’s numbers.  Find an I Love My Park Day event near you!

Don’t miss your chance to give back to the parks that you love.Visit the I Love My Park Day website to find an event near you and register today!

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source: WaynePost

The New York State Canal Corporation said the construction of a one-half mile segment of the Erie Canalway Trail between Abbey Park and Erie Canal Lock 27 in Lyons will resume this week. The trail will create a 120-mile trail route from Lyons to Buffalo by linking to a trail segment currently under construction in Arcadia.

Take Your Bike - Rochester

Take Your Bike – Rochester

Work to be performed includes the construction of a 10-foot wide asphalt trail and retaining wall, along with railing and sign placement.  The public is asked to refrain from using portions of the trail marked closed for construction.  The project is scheduled to be completed in June 2013.

The Lyons Erie Canalway Trail project is funded by the Canal Corporation. The new section of trail is being constructed in partnership with Wayne County and the Village of Lyons, and will help boost tourism and recreation along the canal corridor.

The Lyons Erie Canalway Trail segment is part of the statewide, multi-use, Erie Canalway Trail linking the Hudson River and Lake Erie. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany is now complete. For more information, please visit www.ptny.org/canalway.

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes

For more information about vacation opportunities and events along the New York State Canal System, please call 1-800-4CANAL4 or visit www.canals.ny.gov. For information about boating safety and marine recreation in New York State, visit www.nysparks.com  or call 518-474-0445.

Many sections of the Erie Canalway Trail (and other trails) are covered in the Take Your Bike guidebooks.

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Parks & Trails New York is a leader in efforts to improve the quality of life of all New Yorkers through the expansion, protection, and promotion of a network of parks, trails, and open spaces throughout New York State. For more information about our work visit www.ptny.org

Key Responsibilities
The Project Coordinator is an important member of our team and has the opportunity to work with communities across the state, manage a variety of projects and develop new program directions. Duties include:
help communities design and develop multi-use trails, engage in public outreach, foster trail-related tourism, and promote local trail use; in cooperation with the NYS Canal Corporation, assist communities with marketing to the cycling tourist and organize Canalway Trail projects and events; provide leadership for a statewide trails coalition and advocate for bicycle-pedestrian issues at all levels of government; develop and write print and electronic newsletters, reports, and other publications related to planning, organizing and outreach. Qualifications Minimum BS in planning, landscape architecture, natural resource management, public administration, recreation, or related field and preferably at least three years of related experience Ability to work with diverse stakeholders, build consensus, and inspire and motivate communities and constituents to action Excellent written and oral communication skills, including facilitating meetings and delivering public presentations A self-starter able to work with minimum supervision on multiple assignments and projects and thrive in a collaborative and fast-paced office environment Ability to undertake some in-state travel with overnight and evening commitments A passion for outdoor recreation and the environment Additional Skills/Experience Desired Familiarity with New York State trails and environmental and planning issues within the state Experience with state and local government Knowledge of GIS mapping and analytical tools Experience with software for electronic communications and website development

For more information, view the full employment listing by clicking here.

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Officials in Fulton County have given their approval to pursue the development of a five-mile gap in the Fulton Johnstown & Gloversville (FJ&G) Trail in the Town of Mayfield in the southern Adirondacks. Originally stalled by landowner opposition, this section of the 22-mile trail may now have the support needed for completion.  Read more about Fulton County’s efforts to complete the trail.

source: Parks & Trails New York enews

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Are you up to the challenge of working on a variety of fundraising initiatives?  Then you might be the perfect candidate for the Director of Development position at Parks & Trails New York.  Read the job description.

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