Hamilton NY : Official Website

Recreation is more about just getting outside and being active; it can have big economic impacts. A recent report from the National Association of Homebuilders cited trails as the second most important feature for homeowners when choosing a community. 
To look at specific examples, the Virginia Creeper Trail in southwestern Virginia brings in an estimated $2.5 million annually for recreation visits; Out-of-town visitors spend about $1.2 million to support the local economy. 

In the Town of Hurley, NY, 10% of trail users identified as non-locals averaged over $200 per trip. This and similar economic data, paired with enhanced community vitality, make improving recreational offerings a great way for PCD to serve the area. 
Last November, the PCD embarked on a two year recreation initiative with three goals in mind: 
  1.  Create an attractive, consistent signage system for all recreational
     activities in the area.
  2.  Develop a comprehensive recreation website.
  3.  Improve the physical conditions of the Chenango Canal Towpath.

To meet the third goal of the project, PCD has been working with a team of Cornell students from the City/Regional Planning department to design upgrades to the towpath. On February 27th, the students came to Hamilton to experience our town and to evaluate the trail system. They spent all day meticulously reviewing all parts of the towpath and documenting the great possibilities that exist. 

On Saturday, April 9th we held our first public meeting to share the Cornell University team's progress to-date and to hear your general ideas about recreation in our area. As you will see from the images below, "we had a room filled with enthusiastic people ready to share their experiences, vision, and hopes for recreation in our area.  The event resulted in an interactive, creative and productive discussion.

On Tuesday, May 20th we held our second public meeting and heard the findings of the Cornell team.  We were fortunate to have visual renderings along with a full presentation highlighting opportunities for trail improvements and suggestions for surface, signage and other considerations. 

The CHENANGO CANAL TOWPATH TRAIL DESIGN RECOMMENDATIONS REPORT (DRAFT) has now been received from and may be read here;

This is a report with suggestions as opposed to a concrete blueprint to follow. We will be holding additional meetings this summer and invite you to express opinions or interest in volunteering by contacting Rhona at the  PCD at /.