Serrano and May Introduce Bill to Create Senior Hiking Trail Guide

José M. Serrano

February 25, 2020

Trail Guide Would Create an Accessible Resource for Seniors to Discover Trails in State Parks and Public Lands

(Albany, NY) - Senator José M. Serrano and Senator Rachel May today announced the introduction of legislation to create a New York Senior Trail Guide that identifies walking and hiking opportunities for active seniors in State Parks, DEC managed lands, and along public, non-motorized multi-use trails. The bill (S7765) creates an easily accessible resource for seniors seeking appropriately graded walking and hiking routes across the state.

"There is significant scientific evidence showing the physical and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle- especially among older New Yorkers," said Senator Serrano. "New York's State Park system offers vast recreational opportunities for active seniors and this bill would create a curated listing of walking and hiking trails for exercise, sightseeing and general well-being, so that they can discover and enjoy the natural wonders of our State Parks."

“New York State has such an abundance of diverse recreational and natural assets, and we want to do all we can to make those areas enjoyable for all ages,” said Senator May. “This is especially important for older New Yorkers, who make up an increasingly larger proportion of our state’s population—and who stand to benefit greatly from staying active and engaged in outdoor recreational pursuits. This senior trail guide will be a great resource for encouraging lifelong fitness, enhancing quality of life, and deepening appreciation for our state’s incredibly beautiful parks and other public lands.”

“Keeping healthy and socially connected are keys to successful aging," said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. "With more New Yorkers now age 65 and over than under the age of 13, AARP supports Senators Serrano and May in their legislation to help older New Yorkers access and enjoy our trail system.”

According to the National Institute of Aging, maintaining an active lifestyle as a senior may prevent or delay the onset of diseases like diabetes, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. Exercise also has proven mental health benefits like improved moods, better sleep patterns, increased cognitive function, and has been shown to stave off dementia.

New York already incentivizes senior residents to visit State Parks through the Golden Parks Pass, which offers free weekday access to New York State residents age 62 or older. Access to a Senior Trail Guide would encourage seniors to take advantage of the Golden Parks Pass and explore their local trails.

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Contact: Damaris Olivo | olivo@nysenate.gov | 212-828-5829