Here's How You Can Walk From NYC To Canada

How do you get from New York City to Canada? You strap on your hiking boots and leave NYC's skyscrapers behind to enjoy a scenic 400-mile hike on the Empire State Trail. From Manhattan, you can reach the Canadian border near Rouses Point. The full Empire State Trail is 750 miles and is the longest multi-use trail in the U.S., according to Bike Empire State.

As Bike Empire State explains, the trail can be divided into three main sections: the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail from Manhattan to Albany; the Champlain Valley from Albany to the Canadian border; and the Erie Canalway from Albany to Buffalo. For your trip to the Canadian border, you'll hike the Hudson and Champlain Valley sections. This trail was completed at the end of 2020, so it's a baby in terms of long-distance trails in the U.S. All the more reason to head out now and enjoy it before it becomes as famous as other long-distance trails.

What's the route like?

Empire State Trail has detailed maps of the route, with information about the types of surfaces you'll be walking on. In the Hudson Valley, you'll mainly be walking off-road, while there are more on-road sections in the Champlain Valley. In terms of scenery, the trail is nothing if not diverse. From Battery Park with views of Manhattan's financial district, through quaint towns and villages and along canals, to the Adirondack Mountains in the Champlain Valley, the views are delightful.

There are lots of cultural attractions along the way too, according to Empire State Trail, including the North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm and the Franklin D Roosevelt Home National Historic Site near Poughkeepsie. For some well-deserved refreshments along the trail, download the NYS Brewers Association app from New York Craft Beer to find breweries along the route. On your walk from New York City to Canada, you'll be able to take in this variety of scenery and experiences.

How can I do the Empire State Trail?

The biggest thing you're going to need to complete this trail is time. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, hikers can expect to walk 8 to 10 miles per day for the first week on a trail, with the distance you can trek gradually increasing after that. With that in mind, hiking the 400-mile trail from end to end will take around a month.

What you don't need is to be incredibly fit right from the start. Empire State Trail is clear in stating that the trail is for everyone and is accessible to people of all fitness levels. You also don't have to complete the hike all in one go; section hiking is popular. There are campsites on or near the trail, as well as other types of overnight lodging, through Empire State Trail warns that they may not be evenly spaced for walkers. They state that for this reason, many people choose to bike the trail, being able to cover longer distances in one day.

Finally, we highly recommend taking the train to reach the terminuses of this hike. Amtrak runs services from Manhattan and has a station at Rouses Point, making it a convenient and environmentally friendly way to start and end your hike.