About the Chapter:
The Central New York Chapter of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) has approximately 140 members. We are passionate about maintaining the NCNST to an excellent condition for hikers, and providing interpretive experiences on the Trail through our recreational hikes and activities. By exploring, building, and maintaining the NCNST and the Link Trail in Central New York we play a significant role in building a part of America’s longest hiking trail. One of our goals is to attract and retain membership, both in terms of number and diversity.
Volunteers are a major element of the North Country National Scenic Trail and Link Trail. There are volunteer jobs in administration or in the field. On the trail, volunteers build, relocate and design trail sections, build and repair trail structures, and install trail markers and signage. Volunteers can join route scouting committees, become a Trail Adopter, organize events or lead hikes. Volunteers assist year-round in all areas: publications, fundraising, grant writing, membership development and more. Please join and volunteer with us!
Please contact us to find out about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities:
Join our Chapter! Become a donor member of the NCTA then join the Central New York Chapter.
View this area of the Trail on our online map
View and download the Chapter’s events for 2019.
Click an event below to see more details.
In New York State, the North Country Trail begins at the PA/NY line in Allegany State Park. Traversing the state, it overlays the Finger Lakes Trail, the Onondaga Trail, the Link Trail, and the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park Towpath Trail to Rome. Within the City of Rome, planning is underway to provide a trail northward to Lake Delta along the Mohawk River Walk route and traversing Griffiss Land Development and Art Park. The proposed trail continues from Floyd through Clark Hill State Forest to Pixley Falls State Park. (The current routing simply follows the highway, NYS Route 46, from Rome to Pixley Falls). Here it joins the Black River Environmental Improvement Association (BREIA) Black River Canal Trail from Pixley Falls to Boonville. Then the Black River Feeder Canal Towpath carries the NCNST to Forestport. It continues through the Adirondack Park to the Vermont/New York State Line.
The Central New York Chapter has primary responsibility for coordination and maintenance of the Trail route from the Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area as it continues north through Nelson Swamp Unique Area; Stone Quarry Hill Art Park near Cazenovia; the Village of Cazenovia with its historic homes, shops, restaurants, and Lorenzo State Historic Site; Chittenango Falls State Park (via a future side trail) and the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park at Canastota (at the end of the Link Trail). From Canastota the CNY Chapter coordinates with other NCNST stakeholders who do their part to maintain the Trail northeast through Rome, Pixley Falls State Park and Booneville, thence east to Forestport to the Adirondack Park “Blue Line.”
The Link Trail is a spur trail which goes north-south in the central part of the state, east of Syracuse. It was also designed to connect natural, cultural, and historic resources and to establish links between disconnected public lands. From its south terminus in Chenango County (at the Finger Lakes Trail) it traverses Madison County through the Mariposa State Forest, Muller Hill State Forest, Three Springs State Forest and Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area where it joins the NCNST, terminating in Canastota.
Canastota – Trail Town:
Canastota is a quaint village in central New York, located in the geographic corridor between the Mohawk Valley and Oneida Lake.
The North Country National Scenic Trail passes through downtown Canastota, offering resupply opportunities for long distance hikers as well as many options for day hikers finding their adventure right nearby.
Learn more about the Trail Town of Canastota here.
Nelson Swamp Unique Area: 1.7 miles one way
Easy w/only one steep bank. Constine Bridge Road to Hardscrabble Road. The Link Trail/NCNST follows an old rail bed through a mixed cedar and hemlock forest and then crosses a footbridge over Chittenango Creek. Grassland/low bushes offer wildflowers and bird watching. After a second wooded section, follow hedgerows/fields to Hardscrabble Road.
Also, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has built and maintains an Interpretive Loop Trail (.7 mi), handicapped accessible. From Constine Bridge Road trailhead, follow Link Trail/NCNST to begin the Loop Trail through cedar and hemlock forest along Chittenango Creek and alongside a meadow before looping back to the Link Trail/NCNST.
Stone Quarry Hill Art Park: approx. 1.9 mi
Easy to moderate hiking. Find the blue blazes of the Link Trail/NCNST near the parking area at the top of the hill. Follow the blue blazes west and north through woods, beside a small stream, through hedgerows with short open spaces, and into a mixed hemlock/hardwoods grove out to trailhead parking on Chenango Street at the edge of Cazenovia village. Car parking is available at both sites. Also, SQHAP appreciates donations from non-members.
Quarry Road to Mount Pleasant Street/Route 5, Canastota: 6.3 miles
Mostly level hiking except for one short, steep downhill and a climb up a 72-step stairway.
One of the newest sections of the Link Trail/NCNST on an abandoned railbed with valley views, creek and wetlands on both sides of the trail; continue through a scenic ravine with views of Canastota Creek. Climb out of the ravine via a stairway and continue through hardwoods.
Cazenovia to Freber Road/Chittenango Falls State Park: 7 miles
Mostly level hike. Walk from Gissen’s Photography Studio in Cazenovia along forested abandoned lehigh Valley RR bed, along scenic Chittenango Creek.
BREIA/Black River Canal Trail: approx. 6 miles
Easy, level walk. Connects Pixley Falls Park to Boonville Walk past historic lock, Boonville Canal Museum with replica canal boat, sometimes through State Park gorge. This is the NCT’s approach to the Adirondacks.