FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 26, 2019
Contact: Morgan McClary 518-853-4304
Newly Re-paved Erie Canalway Trail Now Open for Recreation Length of Montgomery County
(AMSTERDAM, NY) — Already known for its wide variety of recreation opportunities for residents and visitors alike, Montgomery County is now heralding the completion of more than 40 miles of newly-refurbished bike and pedestrian trailway in time for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort was joined by State Senator George Amedore, local outdoor enthusiasts and state officials to cut the ribbon on the now completed historic Erie Canalway Trail.
The County Executive, Senator and other participants cut the ribbon to mark Montgomery becoming the first county along the historic trail to restore this unique public resource from border to border.
"The Erie Canalway Trail is a fantastic resource for our community," said Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort. "Improved recreation opportunities for residents mean a better quality of life. Visitors using trails like this one also contribute significantly to our local economy. People want and deserve to have easy access to enjoy our natural resources and this trail is one of the best resources around. I am so proud to see it completed."
"Our sincere thanks must go to our partners in state government, especially Senator Amedore, who have helped make this fully-paved trail a reality," Ossenfort said.
Funding for the project was provided through grants from Senator Amedore ($225,000), the State Canal Corporation ($100,000) and the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation ($200,000). Montgomery County also provided funding for the project.
"The Erie Canalway Trail is a tremendous natural resource that provides valuable recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to Montgomery County," said Senator George Amedore. "I was happy to support this project to help make trail upkeep easier and ensure a more enjoyable experience for the bikers, walkers, and runners who are making use of the trail."
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "Montgomery County has a rich canal heritage that the completion of this section of the Erie Canalway Trail will enable more people to experience and appreciate more fully. From our newly christened tug Port Jackson, to Riverlink Park to Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, this is a testament to how the Erie Canal remains an essential part of the Mohawk Valley nearly 200 years after it opened."
"Today, places where people want to go in their free time are quickly becoming places employers want to be, not vice versa. Research is showing that a new generation of workers, especially Millennials, are increasingly seeking out convenient access to green spaces for hiking, biking, kayaking and exercising as part of their home and employment search. Montgomery County offer recreation resources like this one and so many others without the high costs of other areas. This newly-refurbished Trailway and these other natural resources also send a message to businesses that Montgomery County cares about workforce recruitment, development and retention," said Montgomery County Business Development Center CEO Ken Rose.
Running 360 miles through 14 counties between Albany and Buffalo, the Erie Canalway Trail crisscrosses the state offering outdoor enthusiasts, bicyclists and others year-round opportunity to enjoy the former canal. The Trail is estimated to receive 1.6 million annual visits.