Fully Funded NYS EPF Designates $300M for Hikers to Get Paid to Explore Trails

A.T. Thru HikersYesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the final 2016-17 New York State budget includes a $300 million Environmental Protection Fund—the state’s largest EPF budget ever.

Not only is this a historic moment for open space protection in New York State, it’s an unprecedented time for trail users, who are poised to benefit immensely from this announcement. In a surprise move, the entirety of the EPF has been designated for hikers, runners, and bikers to explore the state’s trail systems.

Starting today, New York State residents who sign up on a first-come, first-served basis will be eligible to receive $1 per every mile traveled along a trail. This new focus of the EPF is expected to boost tourism and reduce obesity rates.

A grassroots campaign founded by a group of young Brooklynites burned out by startup culture has been credited for this last-minute budget change in favor of adventure-seekers. Using the hashtag #MoreHikingLessWork, the movement gained momentum with those in search of a more authentic, “unplugged” alternative to the typical 40-plus-hour work week.

“Participants are encouraged to tell their bosses, both literally and figuratively, that they’re ‘taking a hike’ and will not be returning to the corporate drudgery slowly killing their soul,” said #MoreHikingLessWork founder Hudson Hillary. “Once free from the shackles of responsibility, pick a trail—any trail! All the trails!—and enjoy your newfound freedom.”

The April 1 start date for enrollment in the EPF’s hike-for-pay program coincides with the beginning of spring and the start of many thru-hikers’ journeys on long-distance trails, such as the Appalachian Trail—the first section of which was opened in Bear Mountain State Park.

It also happens to be April Fools’ Day.

All $300 million of the New York State Environmental Protection Fund may not actually be going to trails, but this historic level of funding does mean the Trail Conference will be able to further our mission throughout the state.

New York State may not be paying anyone to hike, but we’d still love to see you on the trails… find a hike and how to get involved with the Trail Conference on our website.

About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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One Response to Fully Funded NYS EPF Designates $300M for Hikers to Get Paid to Explore Trails

  1. Sylvain Trubert says:

    Great idea there are a lot of trails to explore in new jersey too.is it available in new jersey because i will do that

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