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The Empire State Trail is a grand concept of walking from the Battery in NYC to Canada. It's a sideways-T-shaped trail network -- a 750-mile ribbon unfurling over 130 municipalities in 27 different counties -- will be the longest multi-use recreational trail in the US. Keep that in your back pocket for the next time somebody comes at you with complaints about New York's estrangement from nature. The project is on track for a grand opening in 2020, but much of the work on the EST’s branch from Albany to Buffalo.

“These are mostly rail and tow trails,” says Andy Beers, executive director of the EST. “They’re mild-grade. Paved or stone dust. People of any ability will be able to use any section of the off-road trail. That includes people who use mobility devices. Everything is ADA compliant.”

By 2020, many entry points and trailheads to the EST will be clearly marked and outfitted with maps, information kiosks, picnic areas, bathrooms, and even fix-it stations for bike maintenance. And soon you’ll be able to see exactly which facilities are available right from your phone. “Our goal by next summer is to launch a sophisticated site,” Beers says. “You’ll be able to zoom into a specific trail segment and see what amenities are available close to the section of trail you’re using.”

Read the entire 10/8/18 article from The Thrillist here.

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Paul is Executive Director and Founder of FreeWalkers

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