The Empire State Trail is open every day of the year and provides a variety of winter outdoor recreation opportunities. During winter months, trail activities are dictated by weather:
- Following snow events, some urban and suburban trail sections are plowed to facilitate walking and bicycling.
- Rural sections of the trail generally are not plowed. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available on unplowed sections, when snow conditions allow. When there’s no snow on the ground, the trail is open for walking and bicycling.
- Snowmobiles are prohibited on most sections of the trail – in particular snowmobiles are not allowed on the Hudson Valley section of the trail (New York City to Albany).
- The only trail segments where snowmobiling is allowed are the Erie Canalway Trail sections in Central New York, in Montgomery, Herkimer, Oneida, Madison, and eastern Onondaga Counties. The snowmobile season runs from mid-December through March, as snow conditions allow. Walkers, cross-county skiers, and snowshoers are welcome to use these sections, but may encounter snowmobiles on the trail.