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New trails at state park reconnects the Cataract City with Niagara Falls

Recent improvements provide direct access from neighborhoods to the waterfront, along with new recreational opportunities

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — With spring arriving, even though it doesn't always feel like it, Western New Yorkers are getting outside again and rediscovering the some of the great natural attractions of the area. 

One of those attractions at the top of that list is the Niagara Gorge.

The Niagara Gorge now features new trails to offer new views of our wonder of the world. 

2 On Your Side's Pete Gallivan found on a recent visit is the investment in the park has reconnected Niagara Falls, with Niagara Falls.

Angela Berti from the New York State Parks and Pete hit the new hiking trails along the gorge. Let's just say it's not your grandfather's Niagara Falls State Park anymore. 

In addition to all the old standbys like the Maid Of The Mist and Cave Of The Winds, a labrynth of hiking trails that give you views from above and right at river level. The trails range from difficult to easy, and offer spectacular viewing opportunities to everyone.

The park just underwent the largest expansion since it was opened in 1885. 

The newest part is called Gorgeview. It was made possible by removing six lanes of traffic and pavement, formerly known as the Robert Moses Parkway, and using that land and recycled asphalt to create miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking, rollerblading and just viewing the spectacular surroundings.

As much as the removal of the two-mile stretch of expressway has added to the park, it has also reconnected several neighborhoods with the water.

Connecting The Falls, with The Falls, if you will. 

Berti says, "That's huge, right? I believe, that now that we've done this project, every street connects with the waterfront. Every street that runs toward the water now has an actual connection to the waterfront. You know, in Buffalo, we know how important our waterfront is, and now in Niagara Falls, the community has that same ability to access their waterfront, which is world class." 

That's important because, like in Buffalo, many neighborhoods and communities in the Falls have felt disenfranchised and passed over by much of the development that has gone on. But this new reconnection, Berti adds,  gives people across the city direct access to its greatest asset. "It really does, it allows tourists to enjoy what we have here in Niagara Falls, but really, more importantly, the community to access their waterfront and get to the nature they have right in their backyard."

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