The Narrows is being created by a partnership between the Post Contemporary (a local arts organization), the Rensselaer Land Trust (a local land conservancy), and the City of Troy (the local municipality), with numerous other boosters, supporters, and friends shown below. The project was formerly known as the Troy Urban Trails.


The Narrows is an extensive 5 mile hiking trail proposal that winds through the waterfalls, outcrops, and historic landscapes of Troy’s Wynantskill and Poestenkill valleys: a wilderness hike… in the City. When complete, the wilderness trail will wind to Downtown Troy from the Hudson Mohawk Bike-Hike Trail over the river on the 378 Bridge.

The Narrows will highlight Troy’s exceptional cultural heritage and scenic beauty, exhibit strong connectivity to regional trail systems, heighten quality of life and health for citizens of Troy and the region, bolster community identity, and add to economic development.


The project began in 2011, spearheaded by local project manager, John Johanson.  Under the guidance of the Open Space Institute, the project blossomed into its current partnership in 2014. Other major milestones include receipt of a $48,480 EPF Grant in 2015 (under the name Troy Urban Trails) to commence the design of Phase One of the trails, and the application for a 2018 CFA Grant for the construction of the major infrastructural elements of Phase One.

Current Status:

Landscapes traversed by the Narrows are currently accessible in some form by the public, most notably the Burden Pond Preserve, the Staalesen Preserve, the Poestenkill Gorge, and Prospect Park. Their current state however leaves them largely underutilized, and disconnected from Troy’s Downtown and the surrounding region. The Narrows seeks to remedy that.

Currently the Narrows is in pre-construction, with the potential of Phase One opening as early as late 2019.
Phase One:

Phase One will connect the Burden Pond Preserve to the Staalesen Preserve along an over 2 mile trail that weaves its way along the Wynantskill’s gorgeous waterfalls, gorges, and uplands. This route was chosen because of its spectacular natural features, and its complete site control.  The connectivity to date has been impossible because of lack of infrastructure, most notably of two long span bridges needed to cross the Wynantskill at key locations.

Phase One design is currently being completed by Chazen Companies as part of a 2015 EPF Grant, and the project is applying for a 2018 CFA for construction.

Phase One has the potential to open as early as late 2019, depending on funding and construction schedules.
Phase Two:

Phase Two will connect Phase One to Downtown along Spring Ave, and through the Poestenkill Gorge and Prospect Park.  Phase Two will also connect Phase One to the Hudson Mohawk Bike-Hike Trail via south Troy’s 378 Bridge.

Phase Two concept planning is well underway; however, completion can happen as early as 2020, depending on funding.


The project is located in Troy, a bustling and creative post-industrial City in New York’s Capital Region.

When people think of Troy, the renaissance of its historic and forward thinking Downtown immediately come to mind. Yet Troy’s beautiful stream valleys, waterfalls, gorges, and historic landscapes are largely forgotten. A similar renaissance, connecting Troy to its unique wilderness and heritage landscapes, is needed!

The Narrows is a catalyst for this Trails renaissance. When complete, it will stretch to Downtown Troy from the Hudson Mohawk Bike-Hike Trail over south Troy’s 378 Bridge, almost entirely through wild and rugged landscapes.


There are many reasons we believe the Narrows needs to happen. Here are a few:

  • Troy has wonderful scenic, recreational, and historic resources in its stream valleys and uplands, but they are deeply underutilized
  • Troy has existing parks and preserves which are tragically disconnected both from each other, and from Troy’s Downtown and the surrounding region
  • South Troy’s neighborhoods are seriously underserved by open space and recreation, are located in DEC Environmental Justice Areas, and have high percentages of low and moderate income persons which deserve access to their natural and recreational resources.

The Narrows addresses these through an extensive trail network which connects, preserves, and opens Troy’s forgotten scenic heritage.


The project is being created through a public, private, and non-profit partnership, working hard to design, fundraise, and manage the Narrows into reality.  And we have come a long way.  But we need your help with…

… trail construction and maintenance,
… funding,
… spreading the word,
… exploring the existing trails, and
… many other ways.


Funding for this project comes in part through an EPF grant administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Under Article 15A, Executive Law, the State of New York is committed to providing Minority and Women Owned Business (MWBE) equal opportunity to participate in government contracts.