The New York State Department of State on Tuesday announced the completion of a new 1.3 mile section of the Empire State Trail in Ulster County that travels through the City of Kingston and the Town of Ulster.
This new section, called the Hudson River Brickyard Trail, stretches from Hutton Brickyards on North Street through Scenic Hudson’s Quarry Waters Parks to John Street in the Town of Ulster. The trail continues across the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge and then heads north.
“The City of Kingston is filled with a variety of community amenities, such as parks, historic resources, and art venues and this trail adds great outdoors benefits to all residents,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the construction of this segment of Empire State Trail will add more safe, recreational opportunities for families and visitors to the Hudson Valley region.”
As part of the Empire State Trail system, the Hudson River Brickyard Trail will link Kingston with communities across New York.
Scenic Hudson collaborated with City of Kingston staff to identify a new trail alignment, obtain local planning approvals and advance the project into construction.
The trail’s route was chosen to minimize impacts to natural resources, maximize views of the Hudson River and access future recreational amenities.
With close proximity to the Hudson River and the Hutton Brickyards, the trail will be an important piece of the region's expanding trail network, attracting and connecting new visitors to the city's shops, restaurants and cultural treasures.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The Brickyard Trail, a crucial link in the statewide Empire State Trail, provides much-needed space in Kingston for cyclists, runners, walkers and to get out and safely explore the outdoors – and enhances public access to the Hudson River. I am grateful to all of the partners in this effort for making this tremendous new recreational resource a reality.”
Executive Director for the Hudson River Valley Greenway Scott Keller said, “This new section of trail will be an important addition to the Empire State Trail, as well as the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail. The Hudson River Valley Greenway is pleased to be part of implementing this vision throughout the Hudson Valley, and welcomes the opportunity to link existing Greenway Trail with this new section, creating even greater benefit to local residents and visitors alike.”
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “Outdoor recreation is an important part of our upstate culture, tied as closely to the health of our communities as it is to the health of our economy. The Hudson River Brickyard Trail expansion is the kind of smart investment we need, and will provide healthy outdoor recreation opportunities for all to enjoy while connecting trail users directly to our city’s dining, small shops, and other establishments. I am thrilled that this project has been completed and that it will bring trail access to new communities in our underserved, urban areas.”
Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill said, “The completion of the Kingston and Ulster segments of the Empire State Trail will allow all to enjoy the beautiful Hudson River shoreline. This portion of the path will also introduce a new generation of residents and visitors to an important part of our local heritage.”
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said, “The completion of the Empire State Trail will allow residents and visitors to enjoy Ulster County’s world-class trails and breathtaking natural resources. This expanded trail route will accelerate economic growth and increase accessibility to the beauty of the Hudson River by providing more recreational activities. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, the New York State Department of State, and our non-profit partnerships for their commitment to protecting our natural resources and opening this trail for the public to enjoy.”
City of Kingston Mayor Steven T. Noble said, “Having the Empire State Trail through the City of Kingston will have enormous benefits for our community, and this section will be especially dynamic.
"The Hudson River Brickyard Trail showcases our city’s former industrial life, yet introduces the visitor to beautiful vistas and unique geology of the area. I want to thank all of our partners who helped this long sought-after project come to fruition.
"The difficulty of this year has shown us exactly how important parks and trails are for our health and wellbeing.”
Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “Bicycling or walking along this section of the Empire State Trail will directly connect you with the Hudson River, majestic views of nearby cliffs, and the joy of watching a soaring bald eagle, waterfowl, kayakers and sailboarders.
"The trail will link to local destinations, including restaurants and the Hudson River Maritime Museum in the Rondout, Kingston Point Beach and the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge to the north.
"This will no doubt be one of the most memorable stretches of Governor Cuomo’s great vision of a trail spanning from Manhattan’s Battery to Albany, Buffalo and Canada.
"Thanks to Mayor Steve Noble, the City of Kingston and its partners for implementing this magnificent journey along the riverfront.”
Scenic Hudson Land Trust Executive Director Steve Rosenberg said, “Opening this magnificent segment of the Empire State Trail marks the first step in Scenic Hudson’s collaborative effort to create public access to the magnificent Quarry Waters property, following 200 years of industrial use.
"The trail will be an exciting feature in this future park for local residents and visitors. As an organization whose mission is to connect people to the Hudson River, we couldn't be more thrilled that it provides a rare opportunity for users to walk, run and bike right alongside the river's shore.”
The $1.5 million project, which officially opened to the public on December 31, was funded by the Department of State, Hudson River Valley Greenway, Scenic Hudson, the City of Kingston and the Town of Ulster.
This new segment of the Empire State Trail passes through 520 acres of formerly industrial land, now known as Quarry Waters, that Scenic Hudson protected last year and is collaborating with New York State and regional and local partners to turn into a magnificent new park.
The remainder of the property, currently is closed to the public while Scenic Hudson continues to evaluate its natural and industrial features with a team of consultants led by the landscape architecture firm OLIN. In early 2021, the organization plans to host opportunities for community residents and stakeholders to help shape a vision for the future park.
The Department of State's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP), funded under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund, provides matching grants on a competitive basis to eligible villages, towns, cities, and counties located along New York’s coasts or designated inland waterways for planning, design, and construction projects to revitalize communities and waterfronts.
This program helps communities breathe new life into their waterfront and underused assets in ways that ensure successful and sustainable revitalization.
Governor Cuomo announced the Empire State Trail in January 2017.
Recently completed in December 2020, the Empire State Trail is the longest multi-use state trail in the nation.
The Empire State Trail provides a safe place for outdoor recreation while supporting tourism and community revitalization across the state. Information about the trail, including an interactive map detailing the route, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions is available on the project website.