© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

750-mile Empire State Trail completed with ‘iconic’ bridge in Central NY

bridge_1.jpg
Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media
/
The Empire State Trail bridge along Onondaga Lake.

The Empire State Trail is now complete in New York state. It includes 750 miles of hiking and biking trails from New York City to Canada, and Albany to Buffalo. That includes linking one of the biggest gaps in the trail in central New York.

There was always a problem weaving the Empire Trail through Syraucuse; a 14-mile gap between Camillus and Dewitt. That gap, which runs through the city of Syracuse, baffled Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers.

“This was the most vexing challenge to create this continuous route,” Beers said.

Projects bringing the trail to the city from Camillus and Dewitt were completed late last year. But the biggest of them all, is the $11 million bridge over a span of CSX railroad tracks along the southern shore of Onondaga Lake. It’s now open, and offers a view of Onondaga Lake people haven’t seen for 100 years. Beers called it the capstone project of the trail through central New York.

"Once we’re back to tourism, when you’ve all had vaccinations, 2021-22, pe

bridge_2.jpg
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media
/
WRVO Public Media
A ribbon-cutting ceremony with Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon (center).

ople are going to come across the state, the country, the world, and Syracuse is going to be one of the must-see destinations for the Empire State Trail,” Beers said.

In the meantime, locals will be able to walk or bike the bridge by way of Syracuse’s creek walk, or the trail along the western shore of the lake. And at night, Onondaga County Transportation Commissioner Marty Voss said the view will be spectacular.

"These lights will all go on, they’re on sensors, and underneath, you don’t see them, but there are LED lights that run along the channels,” Voss said. “So when sensors go off at night, and LEDs go on, it’s beautiful. It’s like something out of a movie.”

This also helps the county work towards finishing its Loop the Lake trail. The next project on that front is construction of the trail on Murphy’s Island set to start in the spring.

tw_0.JPG
Credit Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon / Twitter
/
Twitter

Related Content