The Greenway Mission
To continue and advance the state’s commitment to the preservation, enhancement and development of the world-renowned scenic, natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources of the Hudson River Valley while continuing to emphasize economic development activities and remaining consistent with the tradition of municipal home rule.
Overview: Hudson River Valley Greenway Act of 1991
The Hudson River Valley Greenway Act of 1991 (the "Greenway Act") created a process for voluntary regional cooperation among 264 communities within 13 counties that border the Hudson River. To view a map of the Hudson River Greenway Area and our partner communities, please click here. The Hudson River Valley Greenway (the "Greenway"), as established in the Greenway Act, is an innovative state sponsored program created to facilitate the development of a regional strategy for preserving scenic, natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources while encouraging compatible economic development and maintaining the tradition of home rule for land use decision-making. The Greenway Act created two organizations, within the executive department, to facilitate the Greenway process: the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council and the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley, Inc.
What is the National Water Trails System?
Over the years, a variety of local, state, and federal organizations have identified and developed numerous water trails on rivers, lakes, and other waterways throughout the United States. The new National Water Trails System (NWTS) serves to bring existing and newly identified water trails together into one cohesive national network of exemplary water trails. The National Water Trails System is a network of water trails the public can explore and enjoy, as well as a community of water resource managers that can benefit from information sharing and collaboration.
The National Water Trails System is a distinctive national network of exemplary water trails that are cooperatively supported and sustained.
More specifically, the National Water Trails System has been established to
- protect and restore America’s rivers, shorelines, and waterways and conserve natural areas along waterways.
- increase access to outdoor recreation on shorelines and waterways.
The National Water Trails System uniquely connects Americans to the nation’s waterways and strengthen the conservation and restoration of these waterways through the mutual support and cooperation of federal, state, local, and nonprofit entities by
- establishing a national system of exemplary water trails.
- becoming a catalyst for protecting and restoring the health of local waterways and surrounding lands.
- building a community that mentors and promotes the development of water trails and shares best management practices.
Water trails are recreational routes on waterways with a network of public access points supported by broad-based community partnerships. Water trails provide both conservation and recreational opportunities.
The Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area was designated by Congress in 1996 and is one of the now fifty-five federally-recognized National Heritage Areas throughout the United States. Through a partnership with the National Park Service, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area collaborates with residents, government agencies, non-profit groups and private partners to interpret, preserve and celebrate the nationally-significant cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley. In this way, we encourage public stewardship for these resources as well as economic activity at the local and regional level. The Heritage Area is managed by the Hudson River Valley Greenway.
To improve awareness of these resources, we have established a network of designated Heritage Sites, classified by theme and amenities. This network helps us to better interpret the individual sites and also helps us to better interpret the "big picture" story of the entire region and how those individual sites have worked together to shape our national history.
Designated Heritage Sites of the Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area are those that meet the following criteria: owned and operated by a local, state or federal government or a not-for-profit organization; open and accessible to the public; relevant to at least one of the themes of the Heritage Area; contain interpretive components and a trained staff; offer visitors an incomparable cultural or historical Hudson River Heritage experience.
Come explore all the Hudson River Valley has to offer!
The Hudson River Watertrail Association is a coalition of small boaters, primarily human and wind powered, who are actively interested in the Hudson River as a treasure of natural and human history. The HRWA was formed in 1992 as an all-volunteer, non-profit environmental and recreational action group, with the specific goal of building a river trail from the Atlantic Ocean to Canada and promoting a low impact approach to the river. The group was born of the realization that the Hudson River was difficult to access or actively use by small car-top boaters, including those interested in multi-day trips on the river
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.
New York State has more than 7,500 lakes, ponds and reservoirs and over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams. Boating on these waterbodies can take the form of canoes, kayaks, personal watercraft, sailboats and motorboats.
DEC provides many boat access points at campgrounds and fishing access spots in the Adirondack and Catskills. This includes both car top and trailer access sites.
The publication titled "New York State Boat Launching Sites (PDF)" (2.96 MB) has recently been updated. It contains a listing of boating access and launching areas available to the public. Other helpful information on launching and retrieving your boat and aquatic invasive species is included. If interested in obtaining a hard copy of the New York State Boat Launching Sites Directory, send an email to Fisheries and include your name, mailing address and publication you are requesting.
Welcome aboard! New York State offers an abundance of scenic waterways for boaters including the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, the Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers, lakes in the Adirondacks, the Barge Canal, the Finger Lakes, Great Lakes, and hundreds of other streams, lakes and rivers to enjoy. Boaters can escape on a relaxing cruise, fish a favorite cove, or embark on a family adventure exploring new waters, all while experiencing first-hand New York's incredible natural beauty.
The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation provides the public with a safe and enjoyable environment for recreational boating. Our goal is to assist the boater in developing safe boating habits and maintaining a strong law enforcement presence on our waters.
Everyone can be a safer boater by following three simple suggestions:
Take a boating safety course *
Wear your life jacket
Don't drink alcohol while boating
Explore New York!
Expand your horizons by exploring ours. From mountains to museums, New York has it all!
Financial support for this project was provided by Empire State Development. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ESD.