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The Empire State Trail Stops Before Long Island. Environmentalists That Changed

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The Empire State trail stretches 750 miles from Buffalo to Manhattan — but stops short of Long Island. Elected Officials joined environmental advocates on Tuesday to call on New York State to extend the trail through Montauk.

The push to bring the Empire State Trail from Manhattan through Suffolk County comes as advocates work to make Long Island more sustainable.

Carter Strickland, who leads The Trust for Public Land in New York, said no place needs safe places to walk or bike more than Long Island.

“The big vision for the trail is to help Long Island become a 21st century sustainable suburb, you know we have an opportunity to retrofit an area designed around cars to be designed around people and be more human scale,” Strickland said.

The first phase would be a 25-mile connection from Eisenhower County Park in Nassau County to Brentwood State Park in Suffolk County. This will link 13 parks and numerous trails.

State Senator Phil Boyle said there can be no true Empire State trail without Long Island.

“They refer to it as the Empire State trail and in my mind the Empire State includes Long Island as well,” Boyle said.

Boyle said extending the trail to Montauk will allow more New Yorkers to visit and experience Long Island’s vistas.

The trail extension would cost close to $114 million and reach 7 million New Yorkers.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.