Niagara River Greenway Commission
Rob Belue, Executive Director
2136 West Oakfield Road, Grand Island, New York 14072
General overview/history of Trail:
In September 2004 legislation was signed authorizing the establishment of the Niagara River Greenway Commission. The Commission was charged with the responsibility for developing a plan that would define the future of the Niagara River corridor between Lakes Erie and Ontario.
During the late spring of 2006, the Niagara River Greenway Commission was asked to identify and organize an event that would draw people to the Niagara River. The intent was to give people an opportunity to experience the natural, cultural and historic attributes of this internationally renowned water resource. A paddlesports event was selected as the best way to achieve this goal. "Paddles Up Niagara" was thus established deriving its name from the custom where canoe travelers approaching a Native American village would point their paddles skyward to signify their intent to land in peace. Over one hundred kayaks and canoes participated in the 2006 inaugural event and more than double that amount participated in 2007.
At the conclusion of the Paddles Up Niagara 2006 event there were a number of requests from members of the public to establish a blue water trail that could be used by paddlesports enthusiasts. The Niagara River Greenway Commission worked with state and local agency officials and obtained approval for a trail that follows the perimeter of Grand Island which is located in the placid waters of the Niagara River several miles upstream of Niagara Falls.
Overview of paddling level required:
Beginner to intermediate skill level
Put in locations:
Total of seven public launch and recovery sites
Trail Maps available:
Best time to paddle for specific weather conditions?
Early morning is best for most trail segments. Winds are predominantly from the southwest during the afternoon, requiring additional but not extraordinary paddling effort.
Best paddling conditions range from May through October. Protection from cold water exposure and immersion is recommended. Paddling during periods when ice is running in the Niagara River is dangerous and not recommended.
Beginner skill level for short and intermediate trail segments. Advanced beginner to intermediate skill level for trail segments exposed to southwest winds.
Buffalo, New York and Niagara Falls, New York
The physical trail facilities (launch sites) are maintained by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Volunteer groups can participate in trail clean up campaigns working with the Grand Island Quality Quest Coalition and the Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper.