About the Chapter:
The Central New York Chapter has approximately 140 members. One of our goals is to attract and retain membership, both in terms of number and diversity.
Exploring, Building, and Maintaining the Link Trail/NCNST in Central New York—together with other segments of the NCNST per our charter—gives us a significant role in building a part of America’s longest hiking trail.
Volunteers are a major element of the Link Trail/North Country National Scenic 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. Year ‘round, volunteers assist in all areas: publications, fund raising, grant writing, membership development and more.
OR, just become a valued member and support the trail. Membership is now an affordable $20 a year.
Please contact us to find out about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities:
Join our Chapter! Become a member of the NCTA, join a Chapter and select Central New York Chapter here: northcountrytrail.org/membership
View this area of the Trail on our online map
Click an event to see more details.
In the Central New York area, the North Country National Scenic Trail follows existing trails whenever feasible—in New York State the Finger Lakes Trail, the Link Trail, and the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park Towpath Trail to Rome are utilized. Within the City of Rome, planning is underway to provide a trail northward to Lake Delta along the Mohawk River route. Further north, the NCNST follows the BREIA trail from Pixley Falls to Boonville, with additional segments carrying the NCNST to Forestport. Think of this as two highway routes occupying the same roadbed for a distance.
The Link Trail was designed to connect the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) with the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park Towpath Trail. While those two trails run east-west across New York’s Southern Tier, the Link Trail goes north-south in the central part of the state, east of Syracuse.
The Link Trail was also designed to connect natural, cultural, and historic resources and to establish links between disconnected public lands. From its south terminus, it traverses Chenango – Madison 9 State Forest, Muller Hill State Forest, Three Springs State Forest, Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area, Dugway County Forest, the Nelson Swamp Unique Area, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park near Cazenovia, the Village of Cazenovia with its historic homes, shops and restaurants, Lorenzo State Historic Site, Chittenango Falls State Park (via a future side trail) and the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park at Canastota, NY.
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.