If you’ve ever dreamed of biking all the way from the Canadian border to New York City, the ultimate fantasy is about to come true. New York State is now working on a 1200-kilometer bike trail that will link New York City to Canada by the year 2020. Here’s what you need to know about this amazing new multi-use trail network.
1) The Empire State Trail will connect 560 kilometers of multi-use paths
The big picture here is that the Empire State Trail will not be a completely new project. Rather, the Empire State Trail will connect 560 kilometers of multi-use paths already within the state via the Hudson River Valley Greenway, the Eerie Canalway trails and New York State Bike Route 9.
2) The Empire State Trail is part of a larger tourism initiative
So why is New York putting the time and money into creating this massive bike trail network? The short answer is: tourism. Making it possible to bike all the way from New York to Canada will encourage people to explore all of New York State’s outdoor treasures. And, if people stop along the way and buy things or decide to stop somewhere overnight, that’s also good for economic activity in local communities. As a result, the New York Governor’s office released a statement specifically linking tourism and economic activity to this new trail.
3) The Empire State Trail will be mostly off-road and multi-use
The exciting part about this new trail is that it will be mostly off-road. In other words, you won’t be riding your bike on a crowded highway for much of the way between New York and Canada. You’ll really be able to appreciate the natural scenery around you. The bike trail is also envisioned as being multi-use, so you’ll probably encounter families with kids as well as professional bike enthusiasts training for long runs. According to the New York Governor’s office, fully 70 percent of the Empire State Trail will be off-road.
4) The Empire State Trail could turn New York into a bike-touring hub
It’s hard to talk about this project without noting just how massive it is going to be. It will easily be the largest multi-use trail network within the United States. As a result, it’s easy to see how it could become an infrastructure showcase project for other states that share a border with Canada. The goal, quite simply, is to turn New York into a bike-touring hub. You can almost imagine large groups of Canadians lined up at the border, just waiting to bike across.
5) The entire 1200-kilometer trail will be ready by 2020
What’s particularly noteworthy is that this project, while ambitious in scale and scope, does not come with long timelines and massive construction budgets. Most of the trails already exist – all that’s needed is to connect them all into one giant network. If all goes according to plan, the Empire State Trail will be ready to go by the year 2020.
So, if you’re in the middle of planning your next epic bike tour, stop everything and check out what New York State is doing. They are building exactly the type of bike trail experience that people once could only dream about.