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New York Trail Completed

Old 01-01-21, 09:14 PM
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New York Trail Completed

Who has ridden parts of this trail?


https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/...N_0zjfHxQLd0qc
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Old 01-02-21, 06:11 AM
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Very nice. I hope it's not all paved.
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Old 01-02-21, 10:32 AM
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Neat. Looked up the official site https://empiretrail.ny.gov/

Little confusing they say "off road" and "on road". At least to me, But apparently off road means no motor vehicles. But they give pretty good info on the individual segments for something as big as this is.
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Old 01-02-21, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Neat. Looked up the official site https://empiretrail.ny.gov/

Little confusing they say "off road" and "on road". At least to me, But apparently off road means no motor vehicles. But they give pretty good info on the individual segments for something as big as this is.
Just looking at the map it appears to me that some of the route uses highways. I assumed “off road” means it’s either a bike trail or path and not a road used for vehicles.
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Old 01-02-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Who has ridden parts of this trail?


https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/...N_0zjfHxQLd0qc
I'm pretty sure you have! Didn't you do the FANY ride a year or so ago, from Plattsburgh to Poughkeepsie? I believe the finish into Poughkeepsie was on part of this trail system, including the Walkway over the Hudson.

On another question that came up: yes, off road, means a trail with no cars (it might be paved or gravel). On road, means you're sharing the road with cars (presumably you get a shoulder)!

Changing the subject (but still on the Empire State Trail): in 2000, I rode from Buffalo to Albany on the Erie Canal Ride. This route of this ride is now one of the pieces (more or less) of the Empire State Trail. Of course, when the canal was built (opened in 1825), there was a tow path all along the canal. That's what has become the trail. But as the canal was modernized and the need for mules to pull the canal boats went away, the tow path was abandoned. In some places it was destroyed (paved over, built over, etc.) but in other places it survived. For most of the route, the trail was restored or resurrected, but there are places where this was not feasible, and this is why there are on road segments. In any case, it's a fairly flat ride (I recall some of the on road segments had small hills).

2000 was the 175th anniversary of the canal. This was a big deal. Mayors came out to celebrate with the riders, and in fact there was one mayor (Utica if I remember correctly) who was a cyclist himself and joined the ride for a small portion. There was also a ribbon cutting ceremony for a newly restored piece of the trail (near Canajoharie I think). I believe the Erie Canal Ride goes every year (well, not this year) and in 2025, it will be the 200th anniversary of the canal. That will undoubtably be a big deal and a good time to do the ride again!

- Ed
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Old 01-02-21, 03:31 PM
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I believe the trail is mostly roads and the trail is simply signage and some markings to alert motorists that bikes may be on the road. JPPE, you rode some of the northern section on the FANY ride . I live along the trail and while there is a lot of off road riding around, its not on the trail, at least the northern part. Can't really speak to the other sections.
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Old 01-02-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Just looking at the map it appears to me that some of the route uses highways. I assumed “off road” means it’s either a bike trail or path and not a road used for vehicles.
This is correct. NY State has not actually added any new off-road paths to this cross state trail. It's using existing. Erie Canal trail from Buffalo to Albany as example as well as the North and South County trails in Westchester, plus the Wallkill Valley trail near Kingston. They have maps indicating a proposed route along the Hudson in Westchester and into NYC but no funding committed.

As well, I'm not seeing any planning for any new off-road paths north of Albany, excepting the existing trail segment that goes from Glens Falls to Lake George.

So a lot of on-road and I assume signage to indicate. Signs are cheap, asphalt is not.
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Old 01-02-21, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Very nice. I hope it's not all paved.
The Erie Canal portion is mostly not.
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Old 01-02-21, 08:12 PM
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The Poughkeepsie to New Paltz section includes the Walkway Over the Hudson (you can ride), which is an old railroad bridge across the Hudson that was once set on fire by vandals in the 70s. I’ve crossed it twice during tours from New England home to Philly.
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Old 01-03-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Just looking at the map it appears to me that some of the route uses highways. I assumed “off road” means it’s either a bike trail or path and not a road used for vehicles.
Yes that is what I imagined their intent was, but road to me has always been anything that is more than a path only wide enough for one. But I guess most in the world associate "road" with motor vehicles, even though motor vehicles were never a requirement in the definition of road.
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Old 01-03-21, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by groth View Post
I'm pretty sure you have! Didn't you do the FANY ride a year or so ago, from Plattsburgh to Poughkeepsie? I believe the finish into Poughkeepsie was on part of this trail system, including the Walkway over the Hudson.
- Ed
Correct! You have a good memory! That was a very nice section to ride and finish on. The bridge across the Hudson was awesome.

So it sounds like most of the connections to make the whole route was simply connecting existing infrastructure using signage. Got it.

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Old 01-03-21, 05:55 PM
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Old 01-05-21, 08:10 PM
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This is definitely a possibility for me in 2021, as I'll need to replace one of my annual Long Island-Connecticut rides with something new and different. I have ridden pretty much all the trails from Manhattan to Baldwin Place, so I would probably want to head further north for a starting point. The pieces of the Empire Trail I saw last summer around New Paltz and Kingston looked pretty cool, but the Wallkill portion was in shambles when I rode it.

Who can recommend a good, say, 50-mile portion with a good start point and a good end point to stay overnight?
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Old 01-05-21, 09:52 PM
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Due to living near Syracuse, in Rochester for 5 years and Albany for 9 and now here on the island I've ridden an fairly extensive amount of the trail. Just in the course of day rides or commuting I've done the Clyde to Rochester, went 50mi west of Rochester to perhaps spencerport but I could have that name wrong. I've done from Weedsport to Syracuse, Albany to Schenectady, the 30 mi north to the pedestrian bridge, 30 miles to Carmel and yesterday I rode out of the Bronx. Couple weeks ago I drove to Albany and got to see a number of miles of the trail that heads north into Albany though I didn't see how it connects into the city itself and that was really good looking.
The trail is all over the map on surface quality though a 700x35 or 38 would be more then sufficient to the task. The Clyde to Pittsford as of 4 years ago was mostly cinder and in really good shape with no intention of paving it, Pittsford to about 8 miles west of Rochester is paved and very nice, and I don't know if they paved after that point but it had been more pea gravel and still in decent shape.
I did weedsport to Syracuse in 2020 and it was best described as double track. 4 wheelers run about on the trail, it isn't often used except by the though riders and is for a good 20 miles just a double track of dirt strips in the grass. But then it is the heart of Cayuga county, when the owner of the shop in nearby Auburn passed with him went the only shop in the whole county. Wayne County which shares the western boarder with Cayuga also doesn't have a shop. So outside of walmart there isn't that big a bicycle scene, especially with small, rural populations that are the predominance of both counties. Don't break down in that area.
Syracuse has been doing some nice upgrading but they also have extensive cinder paving once you get more then a few miles outside the city and the suggested route through Syracuse is on crappy city streets and passes near places best only traversed only in the daylight.
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Old 01-07-21, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
This is definitely a possibility for me in 2021, as I'll need to replace one of my annual Long Island-Connecticut rides with something new and different. I have ridden pretty much all the trails from Manhattan to Baldwin Place, so I would probably want to head further north for a starting point. The pieces of the Empire Trail I saw last summer around New Paltz and Kingston looked pretty cool, but the Wallkill portion was in shambles when I rode it.

Who can recommend a good, say, 50-mile portion with a good start point and a good end point to stay overnight?
I rode the portion of the Walkill Trail south of New Paltz in 2018 because Adventure Cycling incorporated it into its Atlantic Coast Route. Unless some major improvements have been made, I could avoid it. The surface was not great in a lot of places. Also, it's boring and ends in the middle of nowhere. A few years previous I had ridden the roads in the west side of the river. They were fine and more scenic. And I didn't have to pass through Walkill itself to get where I was going. That town had mots of aggressive drivers. Trail mileage for the sake of trail mileage is not always a good thing.
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Old 01-07-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I rode the portion of the Walkill Trail south of New Paltz in 2018 because Adventure Cycling incorporated it into its Atlantic Coast Route. Unless some major improvements have been made, I could avoid it. The surface was not great in a lot of places. Also, it's boring and ends in the middle of nowhere. A few years previous I had ridden the roads in the west side of the river. They were fine and more scenic. And I didn't have to pass through Walkill itself to get where I was going. That town had mots of aggressive drivers. Trail mileage for the sake of trail mileage is not always a good thing.
This has always been an issue for me when trying to plan off-road rides in New York State. I don't generally do big mileage anymore, so my rides are more about destination. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, many of the bikeways and marked road routes in New York lead nowhere. To me, the Wallkill Trail, as beautiful as the scenery is at some points, is a huge bore. If the rest of the Empire State Trail up that way is more of the same, I guess I'll just be heading back to Connecticut again this summer.

Still, I am glad New York is thinking this way and building/linking bikeways. Hopefully, businesses and destinations will sprout around them someday, but not likely in my cycling lifetime..
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Old 01-07-21, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
This has always been an issue for me when trying to plan off-road rides in New York State. I don't generally do big mileage anymore, so my rides are more about destination. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, many of the bikeways and marked road routes in New York lead nowhere. To me, the Wallkill Trail, as beautiful as the scenery is at some points, is a huge bore. If the rest of the Empire State Trail up that way is more of the same, I guess I'll just be heading back to Connecticut again this summer.

Still, I am glad New York is thinking this way and building/linking bikeways. Hopefully, businesses and destinations will sprout around them someday, but not likely in my cycling lifetime..
That trail system includes the Erie Canal Path, which many people love. It also appears to have the most actual off-road mileage. Spent two days on it while crossing the country back in 1999. Got on at Lockport and got off a bit west of Rochester. Spent the night in Brockport. There is a SUNY campus there (we stayed in a dorm), so there’s stuff in town.
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Old 01-07-21, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
That trail system includes the Erie Canal Path, which many people love. It also appears to have the most actual off-road mileage. Spent two days on it while crossing the country back in 1999. Got on at Lockport and got off a bit west of Rochester. Spent the night in Brockport. There is a SUNY campus there (we stayed in a dorm), so there’s stuff in town.
With the Maybrook trail opening this year, that segment plus the Duchess Trail to New Paltz, plus Walkill Trail to Kingston is 60 miles. You can extend with the 40 miles of SCT./NCT for 100 total. That's amazing.
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Old 01-09-21, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Very nice. I hope it's not all paved.
Lets hope it is.
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