Expanding State Park Programming in Niagara Falls
Empire State Development and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation will partner on several initiatives to - implement portions of outdoor recreation in Niagara Falls State Park and along the Niagara River and Gorge. ESD has committed $5 million through Buffalo Billion to expand the amount and types of outdoor recreational offerings. These projects could potentially include:
- Renovation of and improvements at the Gorge Discovery Center, including the possibility of transforming the former Schoellkopf Power Station masonry foundation wall into a climbing and rappelling wall and establishing a café and space for equipment rentals.
- Four season activation of Niagara Falls State Park, capital improvements needed to facilitate extended use, and marketing for better promotion of the all-season uses of the park.
- Rehab and widening of existing Goat Island trails, construction of new trails, and soft trail upgrades to paths through the woodlands.
- Establishment of recreational facilities and additional improvements along the Riverway, from the Upper Niagara River to Niagara Falls State Park, and construction of a pedestrian pathway from the ESD-purchased parcel at 305 Buffalo Avenue down to the Riverway.
Major Milestones Accomplished
- Completion of $75M in State Park improvements that will facilitate outdoor activities.
- Completion of the $35M improvement to create winter storage/maintenance facilities for the Maid of the Mist, which created new summer public elevator access to the base of the Niagara Gorge.
- Completion of the $18.8 million “Riverway” project, which enhances access to the waterfront and to Niagara Falls State Park. Along the one-mile stretch mostly within the State Park, all expressway features have been removed and are replaced with a pedestrian-friendly park road that evokes the characteristics of Frederick Law Olmsted’s original design for the Riverway that historically passed through the area.
New York State Parks is exploring options for recreational offerings in Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls attracts millions of visitors every year and by improving outdoor recreational activities in the area, New York State is supporting this vital tourism industry by continuing to grow the local economy. This exciting new programming will be designed to increase the number of visitors and boost the tourism economy of the City of Niagara Falls by extending the stays of visitors while putting an emphasis on the natural assets of Niagara Falls USA.