The New York Power Authority and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (State Parks) have announced the construction a new footbridge along the southern border of Mine Kill State Park in Schoharie County.
The new footbridge, funded by NYPA, is the latest enhancement on the Long Path, a 358-mile hiking trail that starts in downtown Manhattan, extends through the Catskills, and connects to John Boyd Thacher State Park, southwest of Albany.
“NYPA is pleased to have partnered with State Parks and local advocacy groups on this meaningful improvement to the Long Path,” said Brian Saez, New York Power Authority regional manager, Central New York.
“The Long Path Hiking Trail is truly a gem of New York State, and this improvement in accessibility aligns with Governor Cuomo’s ambitious tourism and recreation improvement projects throughout New York State.”
Located at the crossing of Pigeon Creek in southern Schoharie County, the new footbridge will make hiking the Long Path safer and easier under all conditions.
Currently, hikers have to ford the stream which was only possible at low water.
Nearly 5 miles of the Long Path traverse New York Power Authority property and Mine Kill State Park, passing by Mine Kill Falls, the Mine Kill State Park pool complex, and the New York Power Authority’s Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center. Construction on the new footbridge is scheduled to begin in September.
“Hiking is the most popular year-round activity at Mine Kill State Park,” said Chris Kenyon, park manager of Mine Kill and Max V. Shaul State Parks. “There are over six miles of trails within Mine Kill State Park, including this section of the Long Path. With the new footbridge, hiking the Long Path south of Mine Kill State Park will be greatly enhanced, providing easier access to a dramatic and beautiful section of the Schoharie Creek upstream of the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir.”
“Thank you New York Power Authority. Pigeon Creek is the last major water crossing on the Long Path north of Catskill Park and we have long advocated for a foot bridge over the creek to make this crossing easier,” said Mark Traver, president of the Long Path North Hiking Club.
“We are grateful to NYPA and the Schoharie County Conservation Association for helping to make this project a reality. We believe this investment will pay off in increased tourism in Schoharie County and make the trek from Nickerson’s Campground to Mine Kill State Park safer and more enjoyable for many years to come.”
The Power Authority developed Mine Kill State Park in the early 1970s, supporting it under its federal operating license for the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project.
The park is located within the boundary of the B-G hydroelectric plant.
With almost 85,000 visitors annually, Mine Kill State Park has basketball courts and playing fields, 6.5 miles of trails and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Among Mine Kill’s varied features are fishing opportunities and boating.
The park is also open in the winter for snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice skating on a man-made rink. In 2015, NYPA and State Parks agreed to eliminate all parking and swim fees at the popular state park in Schoharie County.
Other recent improvements to the Long Path in Mine Kill State Park include stepping stones across the Mine Kill, new interpretive signs at Mine Kill Falls, and a footbridge across a tributary of the Mine Kill, built by volunteers from the Long Path North Club.
Visit Mine Kill State Park for more information.