Capital District Communities Encourage Access to Biking Trails, Paths & Routes
The popularity and appeal of biking in the Albany area continues to grow! As a result, there is huge potential for enhanced recreational, economic, and health benefits for local residents and their families, businesses and tourists.
Increased interest in the economics of cycling in the Capital Region centers on two major bike tours involving the city of Albany. Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour is in its ninth season, an eight-day, four-hundred mile trek that begins in Buffalo and ends here in Albany. The second major tour, the Great Hudson Valley Pedal, begins here and ends two hundred miles and six days later in city of New York.
The successes and challenges of participating in these major events have spurred an interest in growing and maintaining the area’s entire network of trails. Generating interest in biking for everyone promises to lead to more easily accessible trails that are more clearly marked and connect to nearby areas of interest. Through the increased use of signage and kiosks along the way that offer local information along with access to businesses and retailers along the way helps surrounding communities to connect with the riders, and vice versa.
Biking in Albany is a favorite pastime for beginning cyclists and families as well. The John Boyd Thatcher State Park offers a scenic trail system with all types of terrain just fifteen miles west of Albany. Its twelve-mile stretch rewards bikers with beautiful views of the Hudson and Mohawk Valley region, the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. The Grafton Lake State Park is another scenic location where twenty-five miles of multiple-use trails are available for walking and biking for families. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve offers twenty miles of marked, multi-use trails. Located between the cities of Albany and Schenectady, they offer a variety of gentle terrain from wide open sandy trails to narrow, grassy woodland trails. Loop rides possible. Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway is a 35-mile trail that runs between the cities of Rotterdam and Cohoes. Major sections of this paved bikeway follow the NYS Canal System, some of them the earlier original canals of the 1800’s.
Bike trails allow families and recreational bikers to get out along the local trails and see a part of the region that they don’t normally see. Encouraging increased access to shops, Albany restaurants, and other businesses along the way will benefit both residents and business owners alike.