Buffalo's Outer Harbor
Completed projects at Buffalo Harbor State Park include:
- Public boat launch
- Expansion of utilities
- Redesigned vehicular roadway and parking to improve traffic flow for park users and boaters
- Nautically-themed destination playground
- Two open-air picnic pavilions
- New park furnishings
- Improved lighting and walkways
- Redesign of the break wall at the marina, which features a pedestrian walkway overlook, fishing access and seating.
These improvements helped to attract more than 134,000 visitors to the park in 2015 during its first year of operation.
The Outer Harbor Access & Activation Project consists of several capital improvements, including:
- Greenway Nature Trail: Nearly 1.0 mile of additional multi-use trails will connect the existing Outer Harbor trail system with Fuhrmann Boulevard to complete the shoreline loop. The Nature Trail will be surrounded by over 10 acres of habitat enhancements and encompass a 4-acre Great Lawn. With over 350 new trees and 150 new shrubs, as well as 1.5-acres of pollinator fields, these areas will see the removal of invasive species while providing habitat for several species of nesting and migratory birds.
- Bike Park: A combination of trails and skills loops, the bike park provides an introductory-level course for mountain bike riders. The activity zone includes a Pump Track, Skills Loop and Tot Track with a viewing area and concourse. Nearly 1.25 miles of single-user dirt trails will be installed throughout the site and present varying degrees of skills and obstacles.
- Great Lawn: A 4-acre grassed oval will provide space for events of all sizes. Surrounded by meadows and the Greenway Nature Trail, the Great Lawn will provide a fantastic setting for sunset views.
- Overlook: At the north edge of the Great Lawn, a mounded earthen overlook provides the adventurous with views over the breakwall and beyond.
The City of Buffalo Common Council approved the special use permit for this project in January 2018. Groundbreaking is expected in early summer 2018.
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is making a historic commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. As part of the 2013 transfer of almost 400 acres of land on the Outer Harbor from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to New York State, Buffalo Harbor State Park was designated as the 180th State Park in New York’s system and the first in the City of Buffalo. The Buffalo Billion commits $10 million for improvements to transform Buffalo Harbor State Park into a new visitor destination that continues the revitalization of the city's waterfront. The Buffalo Billion also commits $5 million to enhance access and facilitate greater public use and enjoyment of Buffalo's Outer Harbor. This $5 million will fund a series of improvements to faciliate active and passive recreational uses and future recreational programming on the Lake Erie waterfront outside of the Buffalo Harbor State Park. All the improvements are being constructed in phases.