Tag Archives: New York State tourism

New York State Path Through History Weekends Feature Special Events Statewide

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter, where you can see all 3 versions of the Eric Canal, has special activities planned during the Path Through History weekend, June 17-18 © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York State is hosting two Path Through History Weekends during 2017: the first coincides with Father’s Day, June 17-18, and the other with Columbus Day, October 7-9. Each weekend will feature hundreds of exciting events at historic venues across the state that promote New York’s rich culture and heritage. Interactive science museums, living history museums and former battlefields are among the cultural and historic sites planning reenactments, activities and tours throughout the weekends. In addition, many historic districts and parks will offer festivals with live music, crafts, and local foods.

Introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2012, the Path Through History initiative uses 13 themes to organize more than 700 heritage sites across the state. The Path Through History website includes maps, a user-friendly list of historical sites organized theme and region, and an itinerary builder to help plan your trip, as well as road signs on highways that direct visitors to historic destinations.

Some highlights of the June 17-18 Father’s Day Path Through History Weekend from New York’s eleven vacation regions include:

The Adirondacks
During Father’s Day at the Fort, families can step back to the year 1757 and the days of the French and Indian War at Fort William Henry in Lake George. There are daily cannon and musket firings and soldiers engaging visitors. Children can drill with the King’s Army and receive a certificate and coin for signing up. Admission for fathers is FREE during Father’s Day Weekend, June 17 – 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Capital Region-Saratoga
The Stockade Scavenger Hunt in Schenectady, beginning at 10 a.m. on June 17, invites participants to learn fun facts about the city’s more than 300 years of history as they follow clues that lead around the Stockade Historic District. Clues are all-new so last year’s attendees are encouraged to return. The event is FREE and registration is encouraged.

The Catskills
Learn about the rich, famous and forgotten resort of Highmount before Belleayre and other ski resorts helped make the area a winter sports destination. Before Belleayre: An Illustrated History of Highmount will take place June 17 at 7 p.m. at HSM Hall, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville.

Central New York
On June 17, participants will be asked to separate fiction from fact at History & Hearsay: Bits of History & Mystery Along the Trails of Schoharie Crossing, a guided tour of the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter. The FREE 90 minute walking tour starts at 3 p.m. and covers about a mile of the canal trail.

Chautauqua-Allegheny
It’s Family Day at the Cattaraugus County Historical Museum in Machias on June 17, with a full slate of entertainment and activities. At noon, The Fiddle Kids of Western New York will perform, followed by a concert by the Bent Brass Band at 2:00. There will be a blacksmith demonstration and the grand opening of a new exhibit: “The Greatest Event of the Year; An Exhibit of the Cattaraugus County Fair.” The event is FREE and open to the public.

Finger Lakes
The Celts played a major role in shaping the history of this region and the Genesee Country Village & Museum will host a Celtic Faire to celebrate the culture, history and traditions of its Scottish and Irish settlers with performances by regional pipe bands, Irish dancers and authentic food and drinks. The faire takes place on June 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Greater Niagara
The 269-acre Forest Lawn Cemetery is one of Buffalo’s most fascinating attractions and the final resting place of many well-known personages and Civil War soldiers. On June 18, Forest Lawn’s Civil War Trolley Tours (at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.) will help visitors learn about these historic and heroic figures. A few might even “pop up” to tell their stories in person, and exhibits will display Civil War memorabilia and highlight the region’s involvement in World War I.

Hudson Valley: A petting zoo and the chance to participate in 18th century games are among the added attractions on Children’s Day, at the New Windsor Cantonment on June 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. This state historic site in New Windsor offers a glimpse into the daily lives of soldiers and the women and children “camp followers” during the final encampment of the Continental Army during the American Revolution with demonstrations on blacksmithing, camp life, and military drills by costumed interpreters.

Long Island
Shiploads of pirates will be descending upon the 14-acre Long Island Maritime Museum in Sayville for its annual Pirate Festival, June 17-18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Historic reenactments by pirates, live music, storytelling, inspired crafts and great grub make it fun for all.

New York City
On Father’s Day, visitors can get a rare view of how Hessian soldiers lived during the Revolutionary War in a Hessian Hut that is rarely open to visitors. The Hessian Hut sits on the grounds of the 18th century Dyckman Farmhouse Museum at Broadway and 204th Street. FREE tours of the Hessian Hut begin at noon on June 17.

Thousand Islands-Seaway
Discover the connection between historic Sackets Harbor’s military story and today’s Fort Drum, home of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site. Learn how the US Army set up their Madison Barracks quarters in Sackets Harbor just after the War of 1812 in 1816, but eventually out grew the post making it necessary to relocate to land that became Pine Camp, Camp Drum, and today Fort Drum.

“The Corning Museum of Glass is the epitome of cultural heritage in Upstate New York. Corning has a long glassmaking history, steeped in 150 years of tradition,” Beth Duane, Chief Communicators Officer said. “We share our story and the entire 35-century history of glass each year with more than 460,000 visitors, and the Path Through History weekends help us reach new visitors interested in heritage tourism.”

In addition to the Path Through History Weekends happenings, there are special events scheduled throughout the year to commemorate important New York State anniversaries. These include the bicentennial of Erie Canal, the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York State, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the 200th anniversary of the Lake George Steamboat, among others.

For more exciting and educational things to do on this year’s Father’s Day and Columbus Day weekends, visit Path Through History Weekends for a full list of events, searchable by location and special interests.

I LOVE NEW YORK’s social media platforms will be highlighting Path Through History Weekends events with photos, videos, event itineraries, \. Follow I LOVE NEW YORK on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, or use #PTHWeekend to the journey down New York State’s Path Through History.

Path Through History highlights historically and culturally significant sites and events throughout New York State. The program, introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, builds on New York’s already robust heritage tourism attractions. The initiative is currently focused on 13 themes including: Arts & Culture, Natural History, U.S. Presidents, Women’s Rights, Canals & Transportation, Civil Rights, Colonial History, Immigration, Innovation & Commerce, The Revolutionary War, Native American Heritage, Sports History and the War of 1812. Important heritage sites and events across the state were selected with input from leading historians. For more information, visit paththroughhistory.iloveny.com.

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NYS Proposes Completing 750-Mile Long Empire State Trail by 2020; Erie Canal Designated National Landmark

Biking the Erie Canal trail, Medina, NY. Governor Cuomo is proposing to fill the gaps in the 400-mile canalway and other greenways to create a 750-mile long network, which would be the largest state multi-use trail network in the nation © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, in his 2017 State of the State policy pronouncements, has proposed completing the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails by 2020 to create the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. To achieve this, the state will develop 350 miles of new trail in three phases to create a 750-mile pathway for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through charming, historic communities. The Empire State Trail will span much of the state, from the New York Harbor up through the Adirondack Mountains to the Canadian border – and from the shores of Lake Erie along the historic Erie Canal to the heart of the Capital Region.

“The scenic ‎natural beauty that spans every corner of this state is key to our prosperity, vital to our future and part of who we are as New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Empire State Trail, once completed, will be the nation’s largest state multi-use trail network, providing residents and visitors alike unprecedented access to New York’s outdoor treasures, driving tourism and economic activity to communities across the state and helping to protect our environmental resources for generations to come.”

New York’s existing Hudson River Valley Greenway and the Erie Canalway are two of the most renowned multi-use trailways in the United States, but both trails remain unfinished with a number of gaps across the state. Currently, the Hudson River Valley Greenway is nearly 50 percent complete and crosses the Appalachian Trail, spanning over 260 miles between the Manhattan Battery and Lake George. The trail closely, and in many places parallels State Bike Route 9, which extends the Greenway an additional 130 miles along Lake Champlain to the Canadian border. The Hudson River Valley Greenway generates more than $21 million in economic impact annually from visitors stopping in communities along the trails.

The Erie Canalway is nearly 80 percent complete and runs approximately 360 miles along the storied Erie Canal, connecting Buffalo to Albany. The Governor’s commitment to complete this trail coincides with the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, as construction of the engineering marvel begin in 1817. Each year, approximately 1.5 million people use the Erie Canalway Trail along the historic Erie Canal, resulting in an estimated $253 million in economic activity from visitor spending. The Buffalo-Pendleton segment is the most heavily used part of the Canalway Trail with approximately 350,000 annual users. With this proposal, remaining gaps will be completed, connecting the two trails to establish the New York’s Empire State Trail.

Once the Empire State Trail is complete, the trails will attract more hikers, bikers, and cross country skiers than ever before and provide access to destinations, heritage areas, and historic sites and districts including:

Hudson River Valley Greenway

  • Battery Park, NYC
    · Walkway Over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
    · Olana State Historic Site, Hudson
    · Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Kinderhook
    · Schodack Island State Park, Schodack Landing
    · Saratoga National Battlefield, Stillwater
    · Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga

Olana, artist Frederick Edwin’s Church’s fabulous mansion, is part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and the Hudson River School Art Trail © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Erie Canalway Trail

  • Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historic Site, Buffalo
    · Buffalo State Park, Buffalo
    · The Salt Museum on Onondaga Lake, Liverpool
    · The Montezuma National Wild Refuge, Seneca Falls
    · The Great New York State Fair, Syracuse
    · Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site, Oriskany
    · Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome

This extensive trail network will enhance community connectivity and support healthy lifestyles by providing both urban and rural communities access to endless outdoor recreational opportunities. These long distance destination trails are economic drivers that can generate $1.5 – 5 million in annual economic impact for surrounding communities. Additionally, this trail network is expected to support an estimated 9.6 jobs for every $1 million invested, and every dollar will yield $3 in direct medical benefits for surrounding communities. The trails will also draw tourists from around the world to explore New York’s striking landscapes and rich history, while enjoying local bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants, wineries, breweries, farmsteads, and cultural attractions along the way.

Empire State Trail Website and Mobile App Launch

A new trail website and mobile app will launch to further connect New Yorkers and visitors to the state’s great outdoors. Both the website and app will feature a list of greenways, trails with hiking descriptions, and their level of difficulty. The app will allow users to find services and attractions nearby using location services with the option to share the user’s exact location with friends, or first responders, in the case of an emergency. Social sharing options will also be available, to share photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. A live tour map, walking and driving directions, are available as well as an elevation reader that lets users know when trails cross hills and mountains.

The trail system will provide travelers access to a number of signature attractions, all of which can be found on the website and mobile app, including Battery Park, Walkway Over the Hudson, Corning Preserve, Lake George, Schenectady Rivers Casino, the Erie Canal Museum, the Buffalo Naval Military Park, local breweries, and other lodging accommodations and family-friendly destinations found along the Empire State Trail.

“Parks, historic sites, and heritage areas are the very fabric of our local communities and the Empire State Trail will further connect these treasured resources with all New Yorkers, neighbors and friends,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “Governor Cuomo is rejuvenating the state park system and now with the creation of the Empire State Trail we are deepening the connection and sharing many of these wonderful treasures and all it takes is a bike ride or casual stroll.”

“New York’s natural resources are truly world class destinations and through Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the new Empire State Trail will establish important connections to offer residents and visitors even more opportunities to experience all the state has to offer,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “I look forward to working with our partners in State Parks, to expand and enhance marketing of all the outdoor adventures one can have throughout the state, and continuing to help communities across the state capitalize on the economic potential of outdoor recreation.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton said, “Tens of thousands of people already use the Canal trail year-round for hiking, biking, jogging and cross-country skiing. I’m beyond thrilled that Governor Cuomo has proposed completing the trail along the entire length of the Erie Canal. Now, more people will be able to enjoy all this iconic waterway has to offer as we celebrate the canal system’s bicentennial in 2017.”

Meanwhile, the US Department of Interior has just designated New York State Barge Canal as a national historic landmark. “This massive early-twentieth century enlargement of New York’s canal system was an embodiment of a Progressive Era emphasis on public works. The New York State Barge Canal was built explicitly to counter the growing monopoly of railroad corporations over the American economy. The spine of the canal is a direct descendant of the Erie Canal, which opened the interior of North America to settlement and commercial agriculture, transforming the Atlantic economy.”

19th Annual Cycle the Erie 400-Mile Ride Returns July 9-16

Each year, Parks & Trails New York, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating and raising funds for the maintenance of New York’s trails and greenways, organizes an eight-day, 400-mile trip from one end of the Erie Canal in Buffalo, to the end, in Albany. The 19th annual Cycle the Erie Canal , is scheduled July 9-16, 2017, just in time to celebrate the beginning of the bicentennial celebration of the Canal.

Cycle the Erie riders along the canalway outside of Fairport, NY © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Join more than 650 cyclists from across the country and the world cycling and visiting iconic port towns such as Lockport and Brockport, and places rich in history such as Seneca Falls and Rome, and visit charming small towns, museums, and historic sites which collectively tell the story of America. Marvel at the natural beauty of the rolling farmland of America’s original frontier and experience 19th century engineering innovation.

The trip is supported, which means your luggage and camping gear is transported from each campsite (typically schools and recreation centers) to the next, so all you have to do is cycle from one attraction to the next. A team of SAG vehicles provides peace of mind knowing that you’ll be taken care of if you need mechanical support.

There are some updates for 2017:

  • Return shuttle: for the third consecutive year, we’ll be offering riders from Buffalo and points west our shuttle from Albany back to Buffalo at the end of the ride.
  • Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and fundraise to help PTNY Close the Gaps in the Erie Canalway Trail. Registration is only $100 and includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal jersey, guidebook, and special recognition on the tour. Trailblazer registration also opens on January 3.
  • Cycle the Erie Canal Jersey: A must-have souvenir from the ride. Other merchandise options for this year’s ride include a commemorative Cycle the Erie Canal pint glass, an ECT sticker, our best-selling guidebook, and new for 2017, a Cycle the Erie Canal cap. Visit the PTNY shop for more information about these items.
  • Four-day and Weekend Options: If you don’t have the time for the entire eight-day tour, consider a shorter getaway on the Erie Canalway Trail. PTNY’s four-day and weekend options allowing you to fit the tour to your schedule. They are also great for families with kids and inexperienced riders.

See our series:

Going Places, Near & Far: Cycle the Erie Canal Tour Affords Extraordinary View of ‘Real America’

Going Places, Near & Far: Cycle the Erie Bike Tour Crosses Finish in Albany

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NYS Completes Largest Addition to Adirondack Forest Preserve in a Century: 20,758 acre purchase of Boreas Ponds Tract

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the completion of the state’s largest Adirondack land acquisition in more than 100 years, with the purchase of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. This is the final acquisition in a series of land purchases the state has completed under a 2012 agreement with The Nature Conservancy to conserve 69,000 acres of land previously owned primarily by the former Finch, Pruyn & Company paper company. The Tract is located primarily in the town of North Hudson in Essex County, south of the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Governor Cuomo also sent a letter to the Adirondack Park Agency requesting the agency begin the classification process for the Boreas Ponds Tract. Since 2010, through the Governor’s efforts to promote recreation in the Adirondacks, tourism-related employment is up nearly eight percent, tourism spending is up 10 percent and visitation is up 15 percent in the Adirondack Park.

“The Adirondack Forest Preserve is a national treasure, and adding nearly 21,000 acres to the Preserve by completing the acquisition of the former Finch lands will benefit the region for generations to come,” said Governor Cuomo. “By acquiring this remarkable tract, we are helping to conserve the region’s natural beauty while also creating new economic opportunities for communities in the park. This will provide even more unparalleled settings for outdoor tourism and recreation, and I encourage New Yorkers to visit the region and see what they’ve been missing.”

The state purchase the tract with $14.5 million from the Environmental Protection Fund, providing the resources necessary to protect this treasured resource and its remote character, while expanding outdoor recreation opportunities including hunting, hiking, paddling and wildlife observation. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is in the process of developing interim plans to provide trails, parking lots and waterway access sites for public use in the summer. With this announcement, the public may access and recreate on the lands and waters by non-motorized means only.

The Nature Conservancy purchased 161,000 acres in 2007 from Finch Paper Holdings LLC, the company that purchased all of Finch, Pruyn & Company’s assets. In 2010, the state purchased conservation easements on 89,000 acres of these former Finch lands. In 2012, Governor Cuomo announced the planned acquisition of the remaining 65,000 acres of former Finch lands in fee, along with 4,000 acres of other Nature Conservancy lands. Under the agreement with The Nature Conservancy, the property was sold to the State in a phased five-year contract. Using the EPF, the State paid a total of $47.3 million for the property over five years.

In addition, DEC and The Nature Conservancy provided 15 grants in 2014 to local businesses and communities to implement tourism and recreation projects related to former Finch lands. These grants – adding up to $500,000 provided by The Nature Conservancy – are supporting equestrian staging areas, modernized lodging, campground improvements, marketing initiatives and professional outdoor guiding businesses.

The Nature Conservancy will now also provide an additional $750,000 in grants to be administered by DEC to assist the local municipalities to strengthen the critical links between local economies and conserved lands. These grants will greatly enhance local tourism infrastructure within these municipalities and assist in further expanding economic development initiatives in the Adirondack Park.

A large portion of the Boreas Ponds Tract is a lowland area between the North River Mountain Range to the west and the Boreas Mountain Range to the east. The summits of the Boreas Mountain Range are on the tract. Spectacular views of these mountain ranges and mountains in the High Peaks Wilderness – such as Marcy, Haystack, Gothics, and Saddleback – can be seen from a number of locations. This new purchase, when combined with the Casey Brook Tract acquired by the state in 2013, connects three major Forest Preserve areas.

Boreas Ponds, the namesake of the tract, form a 320-acre body of water, now one of the largest in the park completely surrounded by Forest Preserve. Other waters on the tract include LaBier Flow, Boreas River, LeClaire Brook, Casey Brook, Slide Brook and White Lily Brook, which provide habitat for cold water fish, including brook trout. A portion of this parcel serves as the divide between the Lake Champlain and Hudson River watershed.

While more than 80 percent of the former Finch lands are in Newcomb, North Hudson, Long Lake, Indian Lake and Minerva, the entire property lies within 27 towns across the Adirondacks. The state will pay full local property and school taxes on the land. These land acquisitions are one component of a larger conservation plan under which some 95,000 acres of former Finch lands are now protected by working forest conservation easements, and a collection of tracts in Newcomb, Long Lake and Indian Lake were set aside for community purposes.

Together, Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands throughout the Adirondacks provide an abundant variety of recreational access opportunities, including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, paddling, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. These large forest areas, interspersed with towns and villages, distinguish the Adirondack Park from other parks around the world and are integral to the local economy and way of life.

The Boreas Ponds Tract and the adjoining Casey Brook Tract will be available for limited public access while the Adirondack Park Agency leads the process to classify the lands under the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. This process involves, among other factors, careful consideration of the natural resources’ capacity to withstand use. After the land is classified, DEC will develop a management plan to fully identify and develop the recreational infrastructure on these lands.

A handful of leaseholders will continue to have driving access to their camps on the Boreas Ponds Tract through September 30, 2018. TNC will also have administrative access to the property for several years to tend to camp removal, including the removal of Boreas Lodge, which is anticipated to take place this spring.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and DEC for this extraordinary accomplishment. Larger in size than Manhattan, the addition of the Boreas Ponds tract to the Forest Preserve is one for the history books,” Nature Conservancy Adirondack Chapter Executive Director, Michael Carr said. :”This property is of National Park quality. We are proud to partner with New York to protect such a priceless resource.”

Bill Farber, Chair of Hamilton County Board of Supervisors said, “This acquisition, is the final piece, of a historic transaction. Through the leadership of TNC, DEC, and particularly Governor Cuomo, these additions to the Forest Preserve have been historic, not just for their environmental significance, but in the way communities have had a chance to partner in this process. Communities continue to benefit from the Governor’s commitment to Tourism, and the commitment the State Agencies have made to working with the Towns and Counties. When there were questions about whether the Lodge could be sustained on site, or moved, TNC, DEC, and the impacted municipalities explored the options together. When all the options to sustain the Lodge, or salvage the Lodge, had been exhausted, TNC and DEC again stepped up to assure $750,000 in funding would be available to develop Tourism infrastructure in the communities. This partnership is historic, and long overdue!”
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Registration Opens for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th Annual 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour

Cycle the Erie riders bike on the Medina section of the trail built over a rushing creek that drops into waterfalls, with an extraordinary angled turn that displays the engineering genius of the builders © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Cycle the Erie riders bike on the Medina section of the trail built over a rushing creek that drops into waterfalls, with an extraordinary angled turn that displays the engineering genius of the builders © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Registration is now open for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th annual Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile, eight-day bike tour, an unparalleled opportunity to experience great cycling while taking in the rich history of the legendary canal that helped transform America.

The 2016 tour kicks off in Buffalo on July 10 and arrives in Albany on July 17. This year, the Cycle the Erie Canal tour offers:

2-day and 4-day Options: If you can’t take off a full week, consider joining us for half the tour or for a weekend. With 4-day options from Buffalo to Syracuse and Syracuse to Albany, you’re halfway to becoming an Erie Canalway Trail End-to-Ender. These shorter options are great for children, too.

Return Shuttle: Riders from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and points west will be happy to hear we’ll once again be offering our return shuttle from Albany to Buffalo at the end of the ride. Less driving means more time to discover the Erie Canal, and there is so much to discover.

Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for only $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and help PTNY promote the Erie Canalway Trail and bicycle tourism! Registration includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer jersey and guidebook and special recognition on the tour. Learn more.

Last year’s ride had more than 600 riders and was frankly amazing, with all the sights to see and special activities arranged, not to mention to comradery and the adventure of camping out. The trip – superbly organized – really touches on all pistons.

For more information about Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or email eriecanaltour@ptny.org. Also, check out the new Cycle the Erie Canal website to learn more about all the Erie Canalway Trail has to offer.

See our series from the 17th Annual Cycle the Erie bike tour:

Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile tour affords extraordinary view of ‘Real America’ and slideshow

Cycle the Erie 400-Mile Bike Tour: Lockport, a Town Birthed by the Erie Canal and slideshow

Cycle the Erie ride reaches Seneca Falls, Birthplace of Women’s Rights Movement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: National Women’s Hall of Fame personifies struggle, achievement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Seneca Falls to Syracuse crossing half-way mark of 400-mile tour and slideshow

Syracuse’s Erie Canal Museum Highlights Day 5 on 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Tour and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Fort Stanwix, Rome, Brings Revolutionary War Era to Life and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Remington Gun Museum links history to current issues and slideshow

400 miles and 400 years of history, Cycle the Erie tour crosses finish at Albany and slideshow



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New York State to Spend $50 Million to Promote Tourism

Feel like an Olympian at the bobsled run at Lake Placid, New York © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Feel like an Olympian at the bobsled run at Lake Placid, New York © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

At the third New York State Tourism Summit, State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a commitment of $50 million  to promote statewide tourism, create jobs, and attract more visitors to every region of New York. This investment, which is one of the largest ever by the State, builds upon the historic investments in the tourism industry which generated a $100.1 billion economic impact in 2014.

The summit, held in Albany, brought hundreds of tourism experts to the Capitol to discuss innovative ideas and new ways to encourage travel to all 11 vacations regions of the State. As a result of the Governor’s support of tourism, the industry has seen an increase in spending, state and local tax revenue, visitors and employment since 2011, and a record-breaking economic impact of $100.1 billion in 2014.

Last year, New York’s tourism industry generated direct spending of $62.5 billion, producing $7.8 billion in state and local taxes. The number of visitors to New York increased by 8.2 million with nearly 227 million visitors in 2014. As New York’s fourth largest employment sector, one out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related. Data from 2014 show the tourism industry supported 867,900 jobs and generated more than $31 billion in wages.

Initiatives announced at the Summit include:

Increased Level of Tourism Funding: The State will invest nearly $50 million in tourism funding. This is more than $5 million compared to last year and includes tourism marketing, transportation promotion, international marketing, and funding for industry development.

Tourism Marketing Campaign: $25 million will be utilized for tourism marketing, featuring the I LOVE NY, Path Through History and Taste NY initiatives. The new marketing campaign will feature TV ads and other media at airports, on roads, on railways, on the web and on mobile devices to promote tourism opportunities throughout New York State. The very successful I Love New York television advertising campaign featuring actors and athletes from New York will continue into 2016.

Increased Transportation Access: A $4 million investment will be utilized to work with the Port Authority and MTA for opportunities to promote Upstate travel and make transportation information easily accessible for all travelers. The investment will also promote linkages from New York City via partners like car rental companies and bus and train operators to create transportation options in key areas where none exist.

Expand Global Tourism Markets: The Governor announced I LOVE NEW YORK will continue to expand its global reach through key markets in Australia and Puerto Rico. New York will create a Tourism Advisory Board in Australia, and host the first-ever Australia trade mission to bring New York travel representatives to meet with airline operators, travel media, and tour operators in Australia. In addition, announced during the Governor’s Solidarity Mission to Puerto Rico, a $5 million joint I LOVE NY tourism ad campaign will be used to promote travel between New York and Puerto Rico. This investment will provide a unique opportunity for travelers to experience the beauty of both Puerto Rico and New York and maximize the newly opened “I Love New York Welcome Center” in Puerto Rico at the NYS Office of Trade and Tourism. New York will also promote Upstate and build awareness of New York’s 11 regions through targeted marketing.

Winter Tourism Promotion:

The weekend of January 16-18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend) will be a free snowmobiling weekend to encourage out-of-state and Canadian snowmobile enthusiasts to sled in New York State. State registration fees will be waived for properly registered and insured out-of-state snowmobiling enthusiasts wishing to explore New York’s 10,500 miles of snowmobile trails. Information on snowmobiling, including online registration for out-of-state snowmobilers is available here

President’s Day weekend (February 13-14) will be a free ice fishing weekend to encourage more New Yorkers to try Ice fishing while many are on winter recess. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the fresh or marine waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport. More information is available here

I LOVE NY is also entering a partnership with all five New York State AHL teams: Utica Comets, Rochester Americans, Albany Devils, Binghamton Senators and the Syracuse Crunch to increase economic impact of spectators at New York winter sporting events and expose sports fans to New York State winter getaway opportunities. New York State tourism destinations will be promoted at team games and events and the AHL schedule will be featured on I LOVE NY platforms.

Business Travel and Special Events: To maximize New York State’s appeal to business travelers and event planners the State will: leverage corporate relationships to promote New York State through corporate travel departments to increase the number of meetings and conventions held in the state; engage concierges at New York City hotels, directly and through trade associates, to highlight daytrips and overnight getaways outside of Manhattan through the I LOVE NY Bus; and underwrite a percentage of costs incurred by municipalities or private entities who were successful in drawing new special events to New York State.

Lodging development: A multi-agency, public-private workgroup will be convened to explore incentives and grant programs that would encourage investors and developers to create and improve lodging in areas where few facilities exist.

Outdoor Recreation Promotion: Working in partnership with Department of Parks and DEC, leverage New York’s world-class parks and outdoor recreation facilities by promoting parks, trails and activities to nature lovers through targeted publications and websites.

Agri-Tourism and Heritage Tourism: Through the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and Taste NY, continue to build awareness of New York’s agri-tourism industry through culinary tours and encourage the creation of additional farm visit programs for consumers.

Market NY: Funding for the Market NY program will be increased to $13 million. This funding allows tourism assets to make necessary improvements and launch strategic marketing campaigns to increase visitorship. The funding will be awarded through the regional economic development council process.

In addition to increasing the state’s annual investment in tourism, the Governor will continue to host successful events such as the Adirondack Winter and Summer Challenges, and the new Catskills challenge to bring together state and local officials, tourism industry representatives and outdoor enthusiasts to strengthen tourism in Upstate New York.

“Tourism is vital to New York’s economy – it creates jobs and opportunity in virtually every community across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “When people visit New York, they fall in love with all that our state has to offer and keep coming back. I am proud that our administration is continuing to play a leading role in supporting tourism across the state, and I look forward to seeing the industry and our economy thrive for years to come.”

“As a result of Governor Cuomo’s historic investments, New York State continues to experience record-breaking tourism year after year,” Lieutenant Governor Hochul said.  This can be attributed to the Governor’s ambitious agenda that has helped resurrect our I Love New York campaign, create good paying jobs, and attract scores of visitors from the North Fork to Niagara Falls. It’s no wonder that tourism generated over $100 billion dollars in economic impact last year alone. And with today’s $50 million dollars in new investment, we will entice even more people to come see what New York has to offer.”

For more travel features, visit:

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www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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New York State Partners with ResponsibleTravel on Sustainable Travel Online Guide, Itineraries

You can find out about bicycling along the Erie Canal tow paths at an online New York State Responsible Travel Guide which also offers itineraries © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.
You can find out about bicycling along the Erie Canal tow paths at an online New York State Responsible Travel Guide which also offers itineraries © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Have you ever thought to explore New York State’s Amish culture, or bike along the hundreds-of-miles long Erie Canal towpath? Eco-oriented travelers can discover such lesser known and authentic aspects of New York State at an extensive online guide to sustainable travel, along with bookable itineraries, at www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/new-york-state/travel-guide.

The initiative, in conjunction with responsibletravel.com, makes New York one of the only U.S. destinations to promote sustainable tourism on such a large scale.

The Responsible Travel Guide to New York State provides an overview of the culture, history and ecology of each of New York’s regions as well as practical information on public transportation, eco-friendly activities and accommodations. An easy-to-navigate format invites eco-oriented travelers to discover many lesser known and authentic aspects of New York State. Equally valuable as a planning tool, the guide links to other useful sites as well as a tour section that is constantly growing with a multitude of click-to-book New York itineraries.

The New York State guide and itineraries were produced in partnership with United-Kingdom-based responsibletravel.com, a leading international travel organization and pioneer in sustainable and responsible tourism.

A separate section of the tour operator’s website features a growing catalog of easy-to-book eco-tourism activities in every region of the state.

The partnership and program reflect Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to increasing tourism throughout New York, conserving the state’s unrivaled natural wonders and supporting local communities.

“This initiative will continue to New York State’s history of pioneering environmentally responsible tourism,” Governor Cuomo said. “From our millions of acres of protected wilderness where New Yorkers can hike or kayak, to our vast network of parklands, New York is truly unmatched when it comes to opportunities for sustainable tourism. On top of all that, these assets support eco-friendly jobs and growth in local communities, and ultimately reinforce the value of preservation.”

Justin Francis, co-founder of responsibletravel.com, said, “We are delighted to be working with New York State to find and celebrate the best examples of responsible tourism. I was staggered by the diversity of experiences we found within the state, and by the contribution these make to conservation and communities. I think our clients will be too. We are thrilled that New York State has decided to turn perhaps the most powerful tourism branding in the world, I Love NY, green to help us launch this guide.”

The guide has been penned by Catherine Mack, an ecotourism expert and writer who has contributed to several ecotourism guidebooks as well as responsible-travel oriented articles for the National Geographic Traveller UK, The Irish Times, and other publications.

New York’s strong commitment to conservation dates back more than a century to the ratification of the “Forever Wild” amendment to the State Constitution in 1894. The amendment mandates that state-owned and acquired forest preserve lands be “forever kept as wild forest lands.” New York’s Adirondack Park, the nation’s largest park outside of Alaska, is bigger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined and is just one of the state’s many natural treasures. The original two preserves – the Catskill and Adirondack parks – have since expanded to more than 175 New York State Parks with activities such as fishing, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, cultural presentations and historic re-enactments.

For more New York State travel ideas, visit http://iloveny.com/.

See also:

Journey by boat and bike along the Erie Canal: Macedon-Fairport-Pittsford and slideshow

Erie Canal journey by boat, bike: Exploring canaltowns from Pittsford to Albion and slideshow

Erie Canal journey: Albion-Medina bikeride is most scenic, illuminating and slideshow

Erie Canal journey by boat and bike: Palmyra, ‘Queen of Canal Towns’ and slideshow

A gal getaway hiking New York’s Hudson River School Art Trail and slideshow

Getaway on the Hudson River School Art Trail: Thomas Cole National Historic Site and slideshow

Getaway on The Hudson River School Art Trail: Frederick Edwin Church’s Olana and slideshow

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures