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Taking in views of New Platz, New York, from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
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    New York

This 1,200-kilometer trail promotes outdoor recreation and showcases the state’s scenery, history and special places.

Adventure your way across New York State on the scenic Empire State Trail. Running north to south from New York City to Lake Champlain and east to west from Albany to Buffalo, it’s the longest multi-use state trail in the USA. Walk or bike the extensive, accessible corridor and discover vibrant cities and breathtaking landscapes along the way. The trail is divided into three main sections, each comprised of numerous segments you can choose from. Whether you travel a short distance or complete the entire trail, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful sights. Here are some of the highlights and can’t-miss stops.

Hudson Valley Greenway Trail: Varied Views From New York City to Albany

Visitors to New York City can easily access the trailhead at the southern tip of Manhattan in The Battery. From there, the first section is the paved Manhattan Greenway Trail, which spans 20 kilometers along the west side of the city. Take in the impressive views of the skyline and the Hudson River as you head north to the endpoint at Dyckman Street, near The Met Cloisters museum.

Farther upstate, the 22-kilometer William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail begins in the hamlet of Hopewell Junction. Visit the interactive Hopewell Depot Museum for a look at the area’s railroad roots, then follow the paved trail through small parks, wooded areas and residential communities to Poughkeepsie. Here, you can marvel at the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, built above the Hudson River on a historic railroad bridge.

At the end of the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail is the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail section, which follows a former electric trolley rail corridor. Spanning nearly 60 kilometers, you’ll pass by picturesque farms, old depots and mills, lakes, streams and woodlands between eight towns and two cities.

Cycling past historic architecture in Albany

Cycling past historic architecture in Albany
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Champlain Valley Trail: Waterfront Activity from Albany to the Canada Border

From Albany, New York’s capital city and home of the can’t-miss Empire State Plaza, you can choose to go west or north. The northern route is the Champlain Valley Trail, which begins with the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail segment. Take in memorable scenes on the Hudson River as you travel north 18 kilometers to Peebles Island State Park.

Moving onward, traverse the sprawling Champlain Canalway Trail along the historic and working Champlain Canal, which was completed in 1823 for the use of commercial vessels. Outside of Schuylerville, the iconic Dix Bridge over the Hudson River is a must-see stop.

Strolling the Champlain Canalway Trail near Plattsburgh

Strolling the Champlain Canalway Trail near Plattsburgh
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Erie Canalway Trail: History and Scenery from Albany to Buffalo

Forming the east-west section of the Empire State Trail, the 579-kilometer Erie Canalway follows historic and active stretches of the Erie Canal through charming port towns. Head out of Albany toward Green Island to begin the Eastern Erie Route, a countryside segment featuring rolling hills and a well-groomed path.

The 26-kilometer stretch from Utica to Rome is a chance to soak up the charm of two cities on this upstate country route. In Utica, enjoy attractions like the Utica Zoo and Munson, a museum and fine arts center. Once you reach Rome, tour Fort Stanwix National Monument, which played a vital role in the American Revolutionary War.

Continue westward and make your way to Syracuse, where you can visit the Erie Canal Museum to learn about the waterway’s history and impact.

In the city of Buffalo, head for the shores of Lake Erie at Buffalo Harbor State Park, where a formal “gateway” signifies the end of the Empire State Trail. Plan to stay in the state’s second-largest city, where endless entertainment awaits.

A sunny stretch of the Empire State Trail near Syracuse

A sunny stretch of the Empire State Trail near Syracuse
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Getting There

Fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and arrange ground transportation to the southern tip of Manhattan, where the Empire State Trail begins.