Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1.3 million in funding for 17 projects to improve and expand State Park hiking trails and outdoor recreational access projects across New York. The trails projects are part of the Governor’s historic commitment to improving parks and expanding access to outdoor recreation through the NY Parks 2020 Plan.
“These trails are pathways to the unparalleled natural beauty that exists in every corner of New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this funding, we will ensure they are remain well maintained and accessible for years to come and I encourage residents and visitors alike to take a trip and experience these natural treasures for themselves.”
“People need safe and enjoyable places to hike, jog, bike or horseback ride,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “State Park trails offer some of the best places to explore and discover New York’s great outdoors, and I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for improving and expanding the trail networks in our State Parks.”
The Governor's NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2016-17 State Budget allocates $90 million toward this initiative.
Trails projects moving forward in the following regions include:
Central New York
Fillmore Glen State Park – $30,000 to purchase materials for park work crews to repair historic stonework in the park’s gorge trails.
Saratoga-Capital Region State Parks – $30,000 to establish a regional trails crew to make improvements on natural surface trails at Thacher State Park, Grafton Lake State Park and the newly-added Lake Bonita area of Moreau Lake State Park.
Finger Lakes Region State Parks – $22,500 for materials for stone stair and step improvements at Robert Treman and Buttermilk Falls State Parks, with assistance from the Excelsior Conservation Corps; as well as funding to expand the region’s mobile phone tours, which provide information about the parks’ natural and historic features.
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park – $5,000 to replace degraded School Mountain Road bridges with structures suitable for equestrian use.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park – $5,000 to improve the parking lot #5 to the pool area trail and install a bridge over the Crom Pond inlet stream.
Goosepond Mountain State Park – $100,000 to improve the parking area and install directional signage in the undeveloped park.
Hudson Highlands State Park – $40,000 to restore a severely eroded section of the popular Washburn trail leading up to Bull Hill in the Preserve.
Rockland Lake State Park – $150,000 to replace a deteriorated 1,300-foot boardwalk trail at the Rockland Lake Nature Center.
Taconic and Palisades Region State Parks – $172,000 to continue the successful Backcounty Trails Program; a contract with the New York-New Jersey Trails Council to build new trails, and improve existing trails in State Parks in the region.
Hallock State Park – $50,000 to construct the approximately 1,200-foot-long West Trail, connecting the interior parking area in the newly developed park to the bluffs overlooking Long Island Sound.
Napeague State Park – $150,000 for improved hiking access and trails in the undeveloped 1,364-acre park between the Atlantic Ocean and Napeague Bay.
Robert V. Riddell State Park – $75,000 for park improvements in the 2,163-acre trail-based park on the Susquehanna River.
New York City
Clay Pit Ponds State Park – $40,000 for accessibility improvements on existing trails in the 265-acre nature preserve.
Point au Roche – $200,000 to repair damaged pavement and drainage system on the existing 1.5-mile bike path.
Chenango Valley State Park – $75,000 to resurface five miles of existing Lily Lake and Chenango Lake perimeter pedestrian trails as well as improve surfacing and drainage and update directional and interpretive signage on 13 miles of upland bicycle/pedestrian trails.
Western New York
Allegany State Park – $130,000 to improve hiking and backcountry trails in the 65,000-acre park.
Allegany State Park – $50,000 for horse trail improvements and a sustainable design initiative to improve the durability and safety of the trails; and improve the trail experience for equestrian groups.
In addition to NY Parks 2020, Governor Cuomo launched the Connect Kids to Parks program to enhance educational and recreational opportunities for schoolchildren and help promote parks and historic places in every corner of the state. As part of that effort, New York will partner with the National Park Service to extend free State Park day-use entry to all fourth-grade students and their families in 2016, as well as create a grant program to help transport schoolchildren to outdoor recreation and environmental education programs at state parks and historic sites across New York.