In 2017, the New York State Legislature spent $200 million to create the Empire State Trail – a 750-mile multi-use trail across the state, making it the largest multi-use trail in the country. The trail consists of off-road trails, which include rail trails and canalway trails, and on-road bicycle routes.
The scale and cost were remarkable and sought to truly highlight the exceptional landscapes, vistas, waterways, and trails that New York State has to offer. It stretches from Buffalo to Albany and from the New York-Canada border to New York City. The one glaring area the trail does not cover, however, is Long Island.
Whether it was cost, logistics, or a glaring oversight, the fact remains: no true Empire State Trail can exist without including the 118 miles from New York City to Montauk Point. I am fully committed to seeing that the state provide the funding and the logistics to complete the Empire State Trail across Long Island. I have recently met with Rich Remmer, a member of the Long Island State Parks Commission, and Carter Strickland, the New York State director for the Trust for Public Land, who, along with their groups, have already mapped out an exceptional path the Long Island portion of the trail could stretch.
Long Island is home to some of the most beautiful state parks, trails, and outdoor activities, both on land and on the water. For outdoor enthusiasts, a Long Island Empire State Trail would increase tourism and provide a pathway for residents and visitors to experience each of these unique landmarks. In addition, it can offer individuals new ways to get to work without driving, by running, walking, or taking their bikes along a safe trail, rather than along a busy roadway.
Every region of the state should be represented in the Empire State Trail and we must include Long Island. To find out more about the Empire State Trail please visit the State Parks website or to show your support, please visit my website www.weik.nysenate.gov.