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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on a new section of the Erie Canalway Trail between Ilion and Mohawk in Herkimer County. The new 1.9-mile trail will help to close a nearly 20-mile gap in the Mohawk Valley section of the Empire State Trail. The project was approved at the New York Power Authority and the New York State Canal Corporation board meeting this week.

 “During one of the most challenging times in our state’s history, it’s important for New Yorkers to get outside, have fun and even get some exercise by taking advantage of our scenic trailways and world-class parks,” Governor Cuomo said. “This latest expansion of the Erie Canalway Trail will provide New Yorkers with more opportunity to walk, bike and run alongside some of our most unique natural resources while getting a firsthand look at the state’s historic infrastructure and heritage.”

NYPA and the Canal Corporation have selected Carver Construction of Altamont to build the new trail that will connect the Village of Ilion to the Village of Mohawk. Pre-construction activities on the project have already begun and the new trail is expected to be substantially completed by December 2020.

As part of the Empire State Trail System, the Erie Canalway Trail is an outdoor tourism and recreation destination that connects communities, drives tourism, and boosts local economies along New York’s iconic Erie Canal. This project includes a 10-foot wide, 1.9-mile long asphalt path and a 130-foot long pedestrian bridge over Fulmer Creek. Once complete, it will connect the Frankfort to Ilion trail segment to the existing Mohawk trail. 

 The Ilion to Mohawk trail is one of four projects in the Mohawk Valley that are part of an initiative to close a nearly 20-mile gap in the Erie Canalway Trail. The other three— Lock E-18 to Route 167 (2.2 miles), Frankfort to Ilion (2.4 miles) and Utica to Dyke Road (3.5 miles) — are currently under construction and will also be completed by the end of 2020. 

 Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “Expanding the Erie Canalway Trail in the Mohawk Valley region is essential for New Yorkers as we continue to navigate this novel pandemic. New Yorkers need safe and social-distance friendly locations for recreation and fitness and the Erie Canalway Trail provides an alternative to the gym and can be a great outdoor adventure for the family.”

In January 2017, Governor Cuomo announced the Empire State Trail, a new initiative placing New York State at the forefront of national efforts to enhance outdoor recreation, community vitality, and tourism development. Once completed, the Empire State Trail will be a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation. A map of the trail can be found here.


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