The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail as a National Water Trail.
The Greenway announced the new honor on Friday (Sept. 7) at a news conference in Kingston. Created to provide access to the river at least every 10 miles on both shores and overnight accommoidation sites every 15 miles (or less), the Greenway Trail stretches from the Adirondack Mountains to Manhattan.
A New York state-sponsored program established in 1991, the Greenway program now includes 271 of the 324 eligible municipalities within the Greenway area. Communities join voluntarily. The Greenway encourages them to develop initiatives related to natural and cultural resource protection; regional and local planning; economic development; public access to the Hudson River, as well as to other regional and local resources, and heritage and environmental education. It provides technical assistance and small grants for planning, trails, and similar projects.
So far, more than 800 miles of trail have become part of the Hudson River Greenway Trail System, including 96 sites on the water trail. The Town of Philipstown became a Greenway member in 2002.
According to the Interior Department, the federal government established the National Water Trails system to protect and restore the nation’s rivers, shorelines, and waterways, and to conserve natural areas along waterways and increase access to outdoor recreation on shorelines and waterways.