Thursday, December 12, 2019

Glens Falls Area Bicycle Tourism Report Issued

Glens Falls Photo Courtesy City of Glens FallsParks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the New York State Canal Corporation has announced the release of the 2019 “Bicyclists Bring Business Workshop Report.”

This report provides recommendations as to how Glens Falls and the surrounding area can use the upcoming completion of the Empire State Trail in 2020 to capitalize on the growing bicycle tourism market.

The workshop report summarizes the annual 2019 Bicyclists Bring Business roundtable, which was hosted by the Queensbury Hotel on September 10th, and the community bike-a-round, held on the streets and trails of Glens Falls the following morning.

The report provides five major recommendations, each with a set of underlying strategies:

Glens Falls Bike Routes1. Identify opportunities to attract cyclists and enhance the Glens Falls area’s reputation as a cycling destination.
2. Collect local data to demonstrate need, evaluate economic impact, and showcase user experience.
3. Improve existing bicycle facilities to ensure that cyclists can easily access businesses and attractions from the Feeder Canal and the Warren County Bike Trail.
4. Improve youth bicycle and pedestrian safety education.
5. Secure funding to complete recommendations.

The full report can be accessed on the PTNY website.

The 2019 Bicyclists Bring Business event was presented by Parks & Trails New York and the New York State Canal Corporation and sponsored by the Warren County Safe & Quality Bicycling Organization, Warren County Tourism, City of Glens Falls, Town of Queensbury, Feeder Canal Alliance, The Queensbury Hotel, Dunham’s Bay Resort, Grey Ghost Bicycles, The Hub, Mahoney Alarms, Rick’s Bike Shop, Reliable Racing, and West Mountain Bike Park.

Trail visits and cycling tourism received a significant boost in 2017 with the announcement of $200 million in funding to complete the Erie Canalway Trail, and to connect it to New York City and the Canadian border through construction of the Empire State Trail.

The new trail system will be the nation’s longest. The Empire State Trail will stretch 750 miles, running from the tip of Manhattan to the Canadian Border. The Trail will run along the historic Canalway Trail System from Lake Champlain to the Hudson River in Albany and from Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo.

The trails system is expected to link parks, historic sites, and communities.


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4 Responses

  1. Christine says:

    That trail will never be complete in 2020. Drawing a line on a map and making a note, “This section on road.” does not constitute a completed trail. I would love to be proven wrong, but I say it will never go through Syracuse off road.

    • Joe Hansen says:

      I agree with you Christine but improvements through Syracuse or any city or town to bike access and safety would certainly help. I rode the Erie from Buffalo to Albany this year. I am comfortable riding in traffic but most people are not and for good reason. Protected bike lanes along highways would be great not just for tourism but to improve quality of life for locals as well.

  2. Steve B. says:

    I suspect the idea that the “trail is complete in 2020” is just political BS.

    The initial route may have been determined and is likely 50% on road. Maybe someday they’ll get it up to 70-80% bike path, but the bulk of the route thru the ADK’s will likely never be anything but on road, unless they steal the rail line along Lake Champlain. Likewise, Albany to Kingston will be a designated on road section, unless they intend to lay out many millions and build a bike path.

    OTOH, the state and Duchess County are planning to extend the rail trail south of Hopewell Junction to Brewster. That’ll mean you can ride a bike on a paved and gravel trail from NYC to Kingston.

  3. Curt Austin says:

    I believe trail planners are drawn to trail networks, as if they were planning an interstate highway system. I like the idea within and around a populated area, such as the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail network, or within Glens Falls/Queensbury. Long distance networks like the Empire State Trail, however, don’t serve many people *as a network* – only a small number of people use it to get from, say, Rochester to Rome. By use, they mostly serve the communities they run through, for local transportation and recreation. They serve as a vehicle for providing grants. If popular – which means they must be true trails, not merely lines on a planner’s map following highways – they are serious tourist draws.

    I don’t want to complain – all trails are wonderful. But will potential trails that do not connect to a larger network be funded? That’s my concern. Those who know me know I’m thinking about the potential trail on the Saratoga-Tahawus rail corridor. A superwonderful trail, but not “connected”.

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