The Village of Newark and the New York State Canal Corporation held a social distanced celebration on Thursday morning to offically reopen the Newark section of the Eric Canalway Trail.
The 1.6 miles stretch that traverses the western edge of the village has fallen into disrepair over the past few years, but thanks to a $150,000 grant and matching in-kind services from the Town and Village, the trail is now ready for the walkers, bikers and canal onlookers alike.
With COVID-19 reintroducing many Americans to the wonder of the great outdoors, local officials are hoping the new improvements allow even more residents and visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and destinations that surround the canal.
“The opening of the trail represents the next step in Newark’s strategy of embracing the canal,” Taylor said, adding “The Canal Corporation partnership will bear additional fruit in the years to come.”
The improvements were centered around addressing known drainage issues as well as making the trail itself more accessible.
“Engineered for safety and conservation and designed for beauty, our new trail will be a local treasure to be enjoyed by the community for years to come,” Taylor said.
The new section represents just a small sliver of the hundreds of miles NY state is currently working to rejuvenate and expand.
Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers says the state will spend over $200 million dollars to connect trails from Albany to Buffalo and New York City all the way up to Canada.
Also on hand were Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Arcadia Supervisor Chuck Verkey, State Assemblyman Brian Manktelow and State Senator Pam Helming.
Several area officials praised Newark for recent improvements, with Senator Helming stating “Newark just continues to become a more vibrant, and attractive destination.”
Lieutenant Governor Hochul echoing that sentiment, saying “I believe that Newark is poised for an amazing future.
In addition to the paving and infrastructure improvements to the trail, Taylor says additional benches will be added in the near future. There are also plans to eventually add lighting to the Canalway trail for additional safety.
To see video with highlights from the ribbon cutting and additional photos, visit our website at waynetimes.com.