Albany, NY (August 12, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced the opening of the North Shore Trail at Niagara Falls State Park after a $1.03 million renovation. Funded by Governor Cuomo’s NY Works Program and the New York Power Authority’s State Parks Greenway Fund, this popular trail will now connect Goat Island with Luna Island via a shaded, scenic route, as well as provide access to Luna Island for people with disabilities that had previously not been available. In addition to that work, new site furnishings, pavement, lighting and landscaping have been added, as well as a number of overlooks where patrons can view the Niagara River rapids before it plunges over the American Falls.
Pictures from the North Shore Trail can be viewed here.
“These improvements will provide all visitors access to the stunning views along the North Shore Trail and natural beauty of Niagara Falls State Park,” Governor Cuomo said. “Western New York is on the move and this project is one more reason to visit and see what this region has to offer."
Niagara Falls State Park is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places and attracts more than 8 million visitors every year. The North Shore Trail project was designed by the LA Group of Saratoga Springs and TY LIN of Buffalo, and work was performed by Scott Lawn Yard of Sanborn. The restoration of the North Shore Trail continues the $40 million investment being made at Niagara Falls State Park. Previously completed projects include Luna Island, Three Sisters Islands and Prospect Point.
Rose Harvey, Commissioner of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said, “This trail is perhaps the most scenic of all the trails in Niagara Falls State Park. It thrills me to know that our patrons with disabilities can now enjoy it and that it is a safe and beautiful connection to Luna Island.”
Gil C. Quiniones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, said, “The re-opening of North Shore Trails at Niagara Falls State Park, will allow millions of tourists to enjoy the full grandeur of some of this region’s many natural treasures. The funding for this project, resulting from the relicensing the Niagara Power Project, is another example of the Power Authority’s deep commitment to the communities surrounding all of our facilities.”
Assemblyman John Ceretto said, "Reconstruction of the North Shore Trail at the Niagara Falls State Park provides improved access to one of New York's greatest natural resources. Investment in recreational infrastructure projects allows Western New York families and visitors to enjoy a better outdoor experience. These needed upgrades will help thousands visitors, including those with disabilities, enjoy a great visit to the Falls."
Mayor Paul Dyster said, “The Niagara Falls State Park is our area's greatest asset, which is why I support the NY Works program. This important plan has funded park improvements among other projects to benefit residents and visitors. This region is a natural playground for boaters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts and our continued commitment to promoting and improving the area is important for the economy and bolstering our growing tourism industry.”
The new facilities underscore Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improving State Parks and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The Governor included a third round of $90 million in New York Works funding for improvements to State Parks and historic sites in the 2014-15 State Budget. Launched by the Governor in 2012, New York Works is advancing repair and improvement projects at 109 State Parks and historic sites across the State.
The State Park’s Greenway Fund was established by NYPA as part of the agreement for relicensing of its Niagara Power Project in 2007. The original settlement provided for $3 million in funding to the State Parks Greenway Fund each year, for the 50-year term of the new license. In 2012, NYPA accelerated contributions to the Fund to make $25 million immediately available to support State Parks’ comprehensive plan to renovate the park.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 State Parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.