NY Works Projects Provide Universal Access to Expand Recreational Opportunities and Boost Tourism
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that five new outdoor access projects are now complete and open to the public across New York State as part of a multi-faceted effort to expand recreational opportunities for sportsmen and sportswoman, and continue to boost tourism. The projects, announced in recognition of National Public Lands Day on September 27, total $317,000 of investments in the State’s outdoor adventures through the NY Works program.
“New York's parks and outdoor recreation areas are second to none, and these improvements will make some of this state's most beautiful and most breathtaking sites more accessible to visitors of all abilities,” Governor Cuomo said. “With these NY Works projects, we are showcasing New York's natural beauty, as well as making it easier for everyone to see for themselves."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Governor Cuomo has demonstrated a strong commitment to increasing access to the state’s great outdoors. Upgrades to boat launches, fishing access sites and trails will allow outdoor enthusiasts easier access to some amazing sites and activities.”
The projects support New York’s sporting industry, which generates $4.95 billion in economic activity and supports more than 56,000 jobs across the state.
Goodyear Lake Access Improvement project in Otsego County, $170,000:
Improvements to public access at Goodyear Lake in the town of Milford, Otsego County is now complete. The $170,000 in upgrades will improve fishing access and provide enhanced recreational opportunities for people with disabilities at the south end of Goodyear Lake.
The Department of Environmental Conservation expanded the current parking lot to accommodate an increased number of recreationists and improved water access for hand-launched boats, such as canoes, kayaks and rowboats. The improvements also include the following universally accessible features: a launch for canoes and kayaks, a half-mile trail, fishing platform, benches, picnic tables and fireplace.
The new scenic trail and other inviting elements will enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy this beautiful lake.
Six New Fishing Access Sites and Waterfowl Hunting Blind in Multiple Counties, $60,000:
Six new Department of Environmental Conservation fishing access projects and a new waterfowl hunting blind are now complete in Central New York. The fishing sites include:
- Owasco Lake Inlet in the town of Moravia, Cayuga County: A new fishing parking area for up to 10 vehicles off of Warner Road to provide access to the inlet.
- Fabius Brook in the town of Fabius, Onondaga County: A new fishing parking area off of Bardeen Road for up to six vehicles to provide access to the Brook.
- Grout Brook in the town of Scott, Cortland County: A new fishing parking area off of Glenn Haven Road for up to eight vehicles.
- East Branch of the Owego Creek in the town of Richford, Tioga County: A new fishing parking area for up to eight vehicles on NYS Route 38.
- Nanticoke Creek in the town of Maine, Broome County: A new fishing parking area for up to eight vehicles on Nanticoke Road, including a 700-foot trail to the creek.
- Oquaga Creek, Town of Sanford, Broome County: Constructed fishing parking area for up to three vehicles on North Sanford Road.
At Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area, the Department of Environmental Conservation has completed construction of a new waterfowl hunting blind in the town of Lysander. The blind can also be used as a wildlife observation area. It is located on the 100 Acre Marsh, also known as Green Pond on the Wildlife Management Area. The blind provides for universal access and includes a new parking area, trail and a ramp on one side of the blind. There is a second ramp to the observation platform, which is located on the east side of the marsh. The parking area there is being re-graveled to improve access. Three Rivers is heavily used by recreationalists including hunters, hikers and bird watchers.
Kings Park Unique Area in Suffolk County, $55,000:
The new Kings Park access point includes a universally accessible trail, wildlife viewing opportunities and a new parking lot. The 75-acre parcel is located south of Meadow Road in Kings Park, Town of Smithtown.
The new parking lot is off Meadow Road just west of Lawrence Road and has parking for nine vehicles, including one accessible parking space. The lot is connected to a new universally accessible trail that spans a third of a mile and an additional one-mile hiking trail. These new features will allow people of all abilities to enjoy the outdoors and participate in activities including hiking and wildlife viewing.
Over the next year, Department of Environmental Conservation will continue to improve the property by building educational kiosks and working with community groups to potentially add more hiking trails, mountain bike paths and other recreational opportunities.
Cayuta Lake Access Site in Schuyler County, $27,000:
Department of Environmental Conservation has completed the installation of an accessible dock at Cayuta Lake. Known as “Little Lake”, Cayuta Lake is a relatively shallow lake in Schuyler County that provides unique recreational opportunities for anglers, kayakers and canoeists. Completion of this new accessible dock creates additional opportunities for people of all abilities to enjoy those same activities.
Wegatchie Waterway Access Site in St. Lawrence County, $5,000:
The Wegatchie Waterway Access site is now open to the public, providing additional access to the Oswegatchie River and Yellow Lake State Forest. This new access site, located on Chisholm Road off County Route 12 (Oxbow – Gouveneur Road) near the hamlet of Wegatchie, Town of Rossie, features accessible parking and a trail to a car-top boat launch for canoes and kayaks, as well as trailhead access to Yellow Lake State Forest. Parking can accommodate five vehicles. While fishing has always been allowed on the property, no formal access site was ever constructed for access to the Oswegatchie River until now.
In 1963, the Department of Environmental Conservation purchased 751 acres of land for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation and watershed protection. Yellow Lake State Forest is sandwiched between both Yellow Lake and the Oswegatchie River. Due to steep and scenic cliffs, fishing and water access is not available on this southeast side of Yellow Lake. Yellow Lake can be accessed from a car-top boat launch on the north/northwest side of the lake located off of Hall Road. The Yellow Lake access is undeveloped and requires a carry and walk of approximately three-quarters of a mile to get to the lake itself.
St. Lawrence County is also slated to receive improved access to the waters and wetlands of the Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area in the towns of Macomb and Depeyster, as well a new car-top launch providing access to Pleasant Lake and Pleasant Lake Stream on the Grass River Conservation Easement in the towns of Clare and Colton.
These projects are being funded by Governor Cuomo’s NY Works program and are part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. In support of this initiative, this year’s budget included $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budgets includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.