Village of Brockport selected for Empire State Trail Town program

Fri, March 18, 2022 10:40 a.m.

As the “City of the Empire State Trail,” Brockport will leverage Erie Canalway Trail tours to support and advance economic development

Parks & Trails New York also announces the release of “Bicyclists Bring Business: A Handbook for Attracting Bicyclists to New York’s Canal Communities” to help Brockport and other communities market and benefit bicyclists.

Parks & Trails New York, the New York State Canal Corp. and the Village of Brockport announced that Brockport has been selected as a pilot community for the new Empire State Trail Town program. They said it would help Brockport benefit from its location along the Erie Canalway/Empire State Trail.

A press release said: “As part of the program, PTNY staff will provide technical assistance and resources to help the community attract and take advantage of the growing bicycle tourism market, improve the trail and infrastructure for those who walk and cycle in the village, and establish a strong community identity linked to the trail. By promoting and supporting Brockport as a destination of choice for cyclists, the program seeks to create long-term economic, health and quality of life benefits for the entire community and surrounding region.

PTNY will work with the village to establish a diverse Trail Town Steering Committee comprised of representatives from local businesses, organizations, institutions and community groups. The steering committee will assist PTNY staff in their data collection and research efforts to document existing conditions in the village, and use those findings to create a detailed action plan that includes short- and long-term goals and recommendations. long term. The action plan will help guide planning efforts and foster collaboration between village stakeholders and the general public in event planning, advocacy, stewardship and marketing.

With the completion of the Empire State Trail in 2020, the Erie Canalway Trail – the east-west stretch of the statewide system – is growing in popularity. A 2014 economic impact study by PTNY showed that ECT attracts nearly 1.6 million annual visits and generates over $250 million in annual economic impact. 2021 trail usage figures estimated that the Erie Canalway Trail attracted more than 3.1 million annual visits, including more than 58,000 visits to the trail in Brockport.

PTNY said, “As the popularity of the Erie Canalway Trail is growing, so is, presumably, its economic impact. Communities along the Canalway Trail system, such as Brockport, are in an ideal position to take advantage of the national publicity of the Empire State Trail.

The Empire State Trail Town program will be modeled after the Great Allegheny Passage Trail Town program created by the Progress Fund in 2007. A recent study estimated that tourism along the 150-mile-long Great Allegheny Passage generated more than $121 million of economic impact in 2019. , including estimated tax revenue of $19 million.

PTNY Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, “We are thrilled to be working with the Village of Brockport as the first Empire State Trail Town. Brockport already has a great reputation and plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts. We look forward to helping the Village build strong partnerships, create safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians, and improve connections between the Erie Canalway trail and Main Street businesses.

New York State Canal Corp. Director Brian U. Stratton said, “Over the past two years, the Empire State Trail has brought cyclists, hikers, walkers and more just a stone’s throw away. stone of the best recreational opportunities New York has to offer. This new pilot initiative will usher in a new chapter for the trail and make the village of Brockport a destination of choice for cyclists and tourists while strengthening the local economy and the quality of life of the community. By continually reinventing the experiences and partnerships along the Canal Corridor, we are providing New Yorkers with new opportunities to discover every corner of the Empire State.

Mayor of the Village of Brockport, Margaret Blackman, said, Brockport is proud to have been chosen as the pilot town for the new Empire State Trail Towns program. We look forward to discovering new ways to connect our downtown businesses to Empire State trail users and seeing our already strong connection to the Erie Canal benefit from this collaborative project.

‘Cyclists bring a business manual’

To help communities along the corridor benefit from their proximity to the Canalway Trail and realize the economic benefits of bicycle tourism, Parks & Trails New York has also released an updated version of “Bicyclists Bring Business: A Handbook for Attracting Bicyclists to New York Canal Communities New guide provides basic data on the economic benefits of bicycle tourism and guides communities through strategies that community leaders and business owners can use to attract bicycle tourists and exploit the cycle tourism market.

The guide outlines essential steps for how Canalway Trail communities can benefit trail users, including strategies to attract cycle tourists and provide them with a positive experience. The 40-page guide presents data from background research on cycle tourism and provides many examples of successful strategies employed across the country.

PTNY is the leading advocate for parks and trails in the state. Since 1995, he has worked in partnership with Canal Corp. to create a network of trails that is an asset to canal-side communities and a destination for cyclists around the world. PTNY hosts “Cycle the Erie Canal,” an eight-day bike ride along the historic Erie Canal that draws more than 650 participants each year. Learn more at

The New York State Canal Corp. manages the New York State Canal System, which includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Stretching 524 miles, the waterway connects the Hudson River to the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. In 2017, the Canal Corporation celebrated the 200th anniversary of the inauguration of the Erie Canal, which took place in the city of Rome on July 4, 1817. The canal system includes the Canalway Trail, a network of approximately 300 miles of multi-use trails. across upstate New York. The Canalway Trail follows the towpaths of active and historic sections of the New York State Canal System, as well as adjacent abandoned railroad corridors. Together, the canals and the trail create a world-class recreational pathway that is a vibrant, scenic and unique resource in New York City. To learn more about the New York State Canal and Canalway Trail System, or to get a free map, call 1-800-4CANAL4 or visit the Canal Corp website. at