Latest 10-Mile Stretch Will Bring Governor’s Empire State Trail Initiative Closer to Completion 

For Immediate Release: 06/20/19

FORT ANN—The New York State Canal Corporation today broke ground on an expansion of the Champlain Canalway Trail, which will become part of a hiking and bicycling trail network that will span the length of New York.

The 10-mile segment will link the terminus of the Glens Falls Feeder Connector Trail in Fort Edward with Champlain Canal Lock C-9 in Fort Ann and an already-existing stretch of trail north of Baldwin Corners Road in Fort Ann.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in September 2020. The trail will become part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Empire State Trail, which at 750 miles will be the nation's largest state network of multi-use trails. It will run from New York City to the Canadian border, and from Albany to Buffalo via the Erie Canalway Trail, when it is completed by the end of next year.

"With this project, we are giving the Champlain Canalway Trail its proper due," said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. "This is a special part of New York, filled with serenity and beauty. Soon, more people will be able to find out what makes it a great place to hike, bike or just go for a walk."

Most of the trail will run along the Champlain Canal, which will extend 77 miles from Waterford to Whitehall. It will also include a spur along the Glens Falls Feeder Canal—which supplies water from the Hudson River to the summit of the Champlain Canal--from Queensbury to Fort Edward.

"The Champlain Canalway Trail is a gem that is waiting to be discovered by more people," said Andy Beers, Empire State Trail director. "Besides the ample scenery, it also offers opportunities to learn about the canal's heritage and how it helped transform this part of the state."

When it is finished, the Champlain trail will connect in Whitehall, the northern terminus of the Champlain Canal, with a 110-mile on-road portion of the Empire State Trail that goes to the Canadian border.

"We're excited about the work being done to complete the Champlain Canalway Trail," said Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails NY executive director. "This culmination of decades of work by committed local advocates will connect some of the most breathtaking parts of the state to the Empire State Trail and New York's unparalleled statewide trail network."

A report for the state by Alta Planning + Design projects 8.6 million annual visitors on the Empire State Trail when it is completed, with 70,000 hikers and bicyclists on the Champlain Canalway Trail section from Fort Edward to Fort Ann.

"Getting outdoors for a walk, jog or bike ride is wonderful and has many health benefits," said Senator Betty Little. "And, being able to do so on a trail that is safe and readily accessible provides the peace of mind many people desire, especially families. I am so pleased to see progress on the Empire State Trail and look forward to the creation of this important link."

About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York's canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. In 2019, New York will mark the 200th anniversary of the first trip taken on the Erie Canal, from Rome to Utica.

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Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192