Schenectady to Cohoes

Trail Safety

Trail Safety

Following common-sense safety guidelines will enhance your visit to the Empire State Trail.

  • Emergencies – Dial 911. Cell phone coverage exists along virtually all of the Empire State Trail route. In any emergency, dial 911.

  • Daylight Hours. The trail welcomes visitors during daylight hours, from dawn to dusk. No lighting exists along the trail – it is closed at night. 

  • Road Crossings. Trail users must stop at all road crossings, to check for motor vehicles before safely crossing. Ride defensively – “see and be seen.”

  • Bicycle Helmets. Bicyclists should always wear a helmet, properly sized with the strap buckled. New York State law requires all bicyclists under the age of 14 to wear an approved helmet.

  • Bicycle Speed. When trails are busy, bicyclists most slow down, reducing their speed to avoid risk of collisions with other trail visitors. Bicyclists should call out or use a bell to alert walkers when passing. Be alert that trail users – especially children – may make sudden movements without checking if bicyclists are approaching from behind.

  • Dogs. Dogs and other pets are allowed on most trail segments, but must be kept under control and on-leash at all times. Owners must clean up after their pets.

  • On-Road Sections. Most of the Empire State Trail is off-road trail where motor vehicles are prohibited.  However, some trail sections are designated on the shoulders of public roadways. The on-road segments, which are delineated on the website maps and route descriptions, are appropriate for trail users comfortable sharing the road with motor vehicles.

  • Electric Bikes. In 2020, New York State adopted a new law governing electric bikes. Class I and Class II “E-Bikes” are allowed on roads posted at 30 mph or less. However, on off-road trails E-Bikes are allowed only when approved by the state or local government entity that owns the trail. Trail users need to check local regulations and policies to learn if E-Bikes are allowed on a particular trail section.

  • Trail Manners. Stay on the trail. Respect the privacy of adjacent private property owners. Dispose of trash in available bins or take it with you when you leave. Clean up after your dog or pet.