Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 23, 2020

New York State Announces Launch of Virtual Passport Program to Promote Craft Breweries Along the Empire State Trail and a Comprehensive New Trail Website

Empire State Trail & New York State Brewers Association Partner to Add Passport Program to New York Craft Beer App

Program Will Showcase 200 Breweries Within 10 Miles of Empire State Trail

New Website Provides Detailed Information for 750-Mile Route

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a virtual passport program that will showcase the 200 craft breweries closely surrounding the Empire State Trail, in partnership with the New York State Brewers Association. A comprehensive new
 website providing Empire State Trail users with quick and easy access to trail information along the 750-mile route is now available. The Empire State Trail Brewery Passport, made available through the NYSBA's existing New York Craft Beer App, will encourage New Yorkers to visit breweries within 10 miles of the Empire State Trail along the 750-mile route that spans the state.

"During this unprecedented and challenging time, this new partnership will make it even easier for New Yorkers to experience both this great state's natural beauty and world-class craft beverages," Governor Cuomo said. "Tourism and recreation are at the foundation of our local economies, and as we near the completion of the Empire State Trail by the end of this year, this program will both benefit local residents and spur economic activity in communities across the state."

"We are committed to growing and supporting the craft beverage industry in New York, especially as we continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new virtual passport program will help to promote craft breweries along the nearly completed Empire State Trail, and provide information to help residents and visitors explore all that New York State has to offer. This partnership will help to support local businesses and strengthen the economy as we work to build back better and stronger for the future."​

New York State Brewers Association Executive Director Paul Leone, said, "The New York State Brewers Association is excited to partner with the Empire State Trail. Almost half of the State's craft breweries are within 10-miles from the Empire State Trail, making this the perfect initiative to shine a light on the Trail and the State's craft beer industry."

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The Empire State Trail follows the length of New York's canal system, bringing hikers, bikers, kayakers and more within a stone's throw of the very best recreation opportunities that New York has to offer. In a year when everyone is looking for new ways to safely get outdoors and explore New York, this partnership is a key step forward in promoting the Empire State Trail and demonstrating how it can bring travelers to unique experiences and opportunities in every corner of the state."

Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers said, "The Empire State Trail is not only the longest multi-use state trail in the country - it's also a conduit for economic activity and tourism for communities across the state. We are thrilled to announce this partnership and continue to engage with New Yorkers in innovative ways to showcase the opportunities for recreation that exist along the entire length of the Trail."

At each brewery along the Trail, visitors can digitally check-in on the app, earning a stamp on both of the app's passport programs - the Think NY, Drink NY Passport and now the Empire State Trail Brewery Passport. By visiting New York State breweries and checking in on the app, visitors earn points that can be used to earn rewards. Individuals with previous stamps from those breweries on the Think NY, Drink NY Passport, are encouraged to revisit and earn stamps for new rewards. Passport participants are encouraged to drink responsibly.

Exclusive rewards are awarded at levels determined by the number of stamps received on the Empire State Trail Brewery Passport, from neck gaiters, to shirts, to backpacks and more. By checking-in at 200 breweries and completing the Empire State Trail Brewery Passport, visitors will receive a branded cooler backpack and a t-shirt stating, "I completed the Empire State Trail Brewery Passport."

The New York Craft Beer App is the first state-wide beer app in the country and is available for both Apple and Android devices. The app gives craft beer enthusiasts access to a map containing every brewery across New York State, searchable by region, and includes directions to breweries and allows users to build and save a personal tour of selected breweries. Additional information about the app is available here.

Empire State Trail website

The new Empire State Trail website provides quick and easy access to trail information along the 750-mile route including segment descriptions (paved and stone dust off-road trails, on-road sections, etc.), access points, trail distances, parking areas, restrooms, and nearby amenities and attractions. The website's responsive design is user-friendly for desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices and includes interactive maps that allow users to zoom in to their specific location of interest and the ability to download and print maps of trail segments. Cyclists are able to print "cue sheets" with highly detailed directions for following a selected trail segment. The site also features information about the variety of activities and destinations on or near the trail such as campgrounds, parks, historic sites, and popular stops among the local communities.

Initially announced by Governor Cuomo in 2017, the Empire State Trail currently spans 400 miles. Upon its completion by the end of the year, it will be 750 miles from end to end, spanning the state from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo - the longest multi-use state trail in the nation, designed from the beginning to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians.

Governor Cuomo announced the Empire State Trail in January 2017. About 400 miles of the Trail currently exists in disconnected sections. Upon completion by the end of 2020, the Empire State Trail will be a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, making it the longest multi-use state trail in the nation.