State Parks plans cycling celebration

The Niagara Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced the inaugural ‘Pedal for Parks’ to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the New York State Parks system.

The ride, similar to a gran fondo, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 22 and will start at Beaver Island State Park. The Bills are in Jacksonville on that Monday night.

There are three ride lengths that will take cyclists along the West River Shoreline Trail, Buckhorn State Park (16 miles), over the northbound Grand Island Bridge which will be closed to traffic, to state parks at Niagara Falls (34 miles), Whirlpool, Devils Hole and Ft. Niagara State Park (62 miles). Water stations and bike support will be provided along the route. An afterparty will take place at Beaver Island State Park.

“We are so excited to announce this ride. 100 years of our State Parks is certainly a reason to celebrate and what better way then to do it on two wheels with the whole family,” said Cindy Letro, chair of the Niagara Region of the State Council of Parks who is planning the event in partnership with local state parks officials. “Special thanks to Commissioner Tom Chambers and the rest of our commission for their leadership in planning this event and to the Thruway Authority for agreeing to close the Grand Island Bridge!”

While this ride will highlight the state parks and trails along the Niagara River, efforts have been underway in partnership with the Niagara River Greenway to connect trails all the way from Woodlawn Beach State Park in Hamburg to Ft. Niagara. The route is primarily on Greenway bike paths and routes and features an unprecedented opportunity for a bicycles-only crossing of the Grand Island Bridge.

The ride is geared to riders of all levels, from kids with training wheels to experienced distance cyclists looking for a metric century. More information and registration can be found at If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Angela Berti at

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