Visitors seeking information about the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail route should visit the Empire State Trail website (www.empiretrail.ny.gov), which provides detailed descriptions of trail segments, including an on-line map allowing visitors to zoom in to see the precise trail route, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions.
In December 2020, New York State announced the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail is complete and open for public use. The 36-mile non-motorized “AHET” trail runs from the City of Rensselaer to the City of Hudson, connecting eight towns, three villages, and two cities in Rensselaer and Columbia Counties. 85% of the AHET route is off-road “rail trail”, built on a former electric trolley rail corridor now owned by National Grid, which is accessible to bicyclists, walkers, and runners of all ages and abilities. The trail is 10-feet wide with gentle grades. Most of the trail is paved asphalt, except some rural sections in Columbia County have a compacted stonedust surface. All off-road trail sections meet Americans With Disabilities (ADA) accessibility standards. The remaining 15% of the AHET route is comprised of short on-road connections designated on the shoulders of public roadways, which are appropriate for trail users comfortable traveling adjacent to vehicle traffic.
The off-road trail segments are open year-round, dawn to dusk, for non-motorized recreation (ATVs, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and other motorized vehicles are prohibited). Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash at all times, and owners must clean up after their pets. Trail users are reminded to stay on the trail and not enter adjacent private property. The trail is not plowed – during winter months the trail is open for hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing as conditions allow.
The Albany-Hudson Electric Trail is part of the much larger 750-mile Empire State Trail which runs from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada, and from Buffalo to Albany along the Erie Canalway Trail.
The Hudson River Valley Greenway oversaw construction of the AHET trail and is responsible for its ongoing operation. The Greenway has partnered with local towns, villages, and non-profit friends groups who have agreed to help mow grass shoulders, trim vegetation, and remove litter.
Comprehensive information about the AHET trail is available below:
The “Trail User Information” section includes state Regulations and Policies governing trail use; Safety Tips; an Emergency Response Overview; and responses to Frequently Asked Questions.
The “Before & After Construction Pictures” section includes links to download comprehensive compilations of the AHET trail construction process.
The “History & Interpretation” section allows visitors to download PDF copies of 15 interpretive panels the Greenway has installed along the AHET trail, covering a variety of subjects include the history of the trolley line, villages along the route, Native Americans, and natural history information.
The “Planning and SEQRA” provides links to download background information compiled during the planning phase of the project.
Visitors with specific questions or seeking additional information can contact the Hudson River Valley Greenway by email at [email protected].