That 750-Mile Hiking Trail Connecting Manhattan to Canada Is Now Open

The Pacific Crest Trail, but make it East Coast

Empire State Trail on the Buffalo Waterfront
Empire State Trail on the Buffalo Waterfront
Empire State Trail

After nearly four years of conceptualizing and construction, the nation’s longest multi-use state trail is open to the pubic, reaching from the southern most tip of Manhattan right up to the Canadian border.

The Empire State Trail spans 750 miles in total and is comprised predominantly of off-road trails geared towards hikers, bikers and runners. So, yes — if the last few weeks have left you feeling like you could benefit from a walk to Canada, you can now do that.

“There’s no trail like it in the nation – 750 miles of multi-use trail literally from Manhattan to the Canadian Border, from Buffalo to Albany,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement on his website announcing the trail’s completion. “Not only does it provide an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and history of New York, but it also gives New Yorkers from every corner of the state a safe outlet for recreation as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

And in an attempt to further help with the grappling of the pandemic, state officials have partnered with roughly 200 craft breweries within a 10-mile proximity of the trail to create the Empire State Trail Brewery Passport — meaning not only can you walk to Canada, but you can also expect sufficient access to beer along the way as well (you can check out all the other amenities here).

“During this unprecedented year, the Empire State Trail has been a lifeline for many, as local residents explored recreational opportunities in their backyards while remaining safe during a global health pandemic,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said.

The trail will be open year round and between residents and tourists is expected to draw crowds of almost nine million annually, which makes it sound like the kind of thing you’d generally try to avoid during a pandemic, though it is entirely outdoors (obviously) and 750 miles leaves plenty of room for social distancing.

It doesn’t appear that anyone has tried to hike the entire trail Cheryl Strayed-style as of yet, but the year is young. We believe in you.


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