The New York State Department of State today announced the completion of the Pathfinder Towpath Trail in the City of Fulton as part of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). The $1.1 million, multi-phased project was funded in part with $811,500 in Environmental Protection Fund LWRP grants that helped fund the trail’s design and construction to increase recreational opportunities, support tourism and spur economic growth for the region.
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Great things happen when communities re-connect with their waterfront. The completion of the Pathfinder Towpath Trail is a monumental step in Fulton’s efforts to maximize its rich canal-based heritage to support tourism, economic growth and downtown revitalization. The Department of State is proud to work alongside Fulton to help bring its vision for a thriving downtown to life through the many programs we administer such as the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.”
The new 2.5 mile trail segment includes a newly paved surface, kiosks, lighting, site furnishings, grading and planting and interpretive panels. The new trail segment advances the goals in the city's draft LWRP by capitalizing on Fulton's canal location to attract visitors and offer more recreational opportunities along the waterfront. The project also received $150,000 from the New York State Canal Corporation.
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “As we celebrate the completion of the Pathfinder Towpath Trail, we also celebrate Fulton’s success in revitalizing their community to bolster tourism and spur economic growth along the Oswego Canal. With each new trail, we are connecting generations of New Yorkers with a common thread and developing new experiences to be shared with family, friends, and community members – all while making substantial investments to improve local infrastructure.”
Senator Patty Ritchie said, “This trail is the perfect example of what can be accomplished when state and local governments, along with passionate community members, work together toward a common goal. With the completion of the City of Fulton’s Pathfinder Towpath Trail, residents and visitors will be given new opportunities to get outside, get active and of course, enjoy the beauty of the Oswego River. I am excited to see how this trail enhances quality of life in the community and how it helps attract more people to the area to experience all Fulton has to offer."
Assembly Member William Barclay said, “The newly completed Pathfinder Towpath Trail in the City of Fulton will provide convenient access to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Upstate New York. There, residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy almost three miles of outdoor amenities that will allow people greater access to the region’s natural beauty. This project is a win for outdoor-lovers, the local economy and anyone traveling to our wonderful community.”
City of Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels said, “This is an exciting time for Fulton. This new trail is the perfect compliment to our “Fulton Forward” mindset. It allows our residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful waterways while exploring new parts of the community. This project would not have been possible without the support of our friends at the Department of State. They believed in our vision and as a result we are here today to celebrate what is just the start of our revitalization.”
The City recently hosted a ribbon cutting event for the Pathfinder Towpath Trail, bringing together community leaders and residents.
Fulton was also named a Round 4 winner of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in August 2019. Fulton's award will leverage the city's historic downtown waterfront and the economic drivers found in the city’s health, service, and manufacturing industries, as its innovative entrepreneurs strive to enhance Fulton's natural and cultural attractions. These investments made through the DRI will showcase amenities along the waterfront, support small businesses, reactivate commercial and industrial properties, and augment public trails and healthcare offerings. Several DRI projects will further build upon and enhance connections to the trail.
The Department of State’s LWRP, funded under Title 11 of the EPF, 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 underused waterfront assets in ways that ensure successful and sustainable revitalization. To learn more about the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, visit here.