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Archive for the ‘Southern Tier’ Category

To fully enjoy the sights and smells that autumn in New York has to offer, try walking or biking along a multi-use trail. Take your time as you stroll or pedal your way through a canopy of bright fall foliage, breathing in the fresh air, and drawing in the scenery around you.

Multi-use trails such as rail and canal trails, greenways and bikeways are family friendly places to walk, run, or bike. Many are along historic railways or canal corridors and are mostly flat. Many of the trails are also located near scenic rivers and streams. One thing they have in common, however, is that they all offer a view of the beautiful foliage during the fall months.

Parks & Trails New York has put together a list of Ten Terrific Trails we recommend for fall.

To find a trail near you, use TrailFinder, Parks & Trails New York’s online guide to multi-use trails across New York State at www.ptny.org/trailfinder. TrailFinder can be used to search for trails in several ways—by trail name, by trail attributes such as length, surface, allowable uses, distance from a particular location, or by browsing the interactive map.

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. Find out more about Parks & Trails New York by visiting www.ptny.org and our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Take Your Bike - Rochester available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Rochester available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Erie Canalway Trail – Between Albany and Buffalo more than 270 miles of Erie Canalway Trail provide the opportunity to experience quaint towns and a bounty of fall color along the state’s historic New York State Canal System.  The longest continuous stretch of trail begins in Lockport, about 10 miles east of Buffalo, and continues 100 miles to Lyons along the Erie Canal in western New York.  Other long stretches can be found in the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park between Dewitt and Rome in central New York and the more than 40 miles of trail between Little Falls and Amsterdam in eastern New York. When completed, the Erie Canalway Trail will provide 365 miles of multi-use trails along the canal, making it the longest intra-state trail in the country.

Genesee Valley Greenway
- In western New York, the Genesee Valley Greenway’s well-known “tunnel of green” turns to red and yellow as more than 60 miles of trail follows the Genesee River and the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal through woodlands, farmlands, and historic villages from Rochester to near the Pennsylvania border.  Within Letchworth State Park, the Genesee Valley Greenway affords sweeping views of the famous gorge and waterfalls of the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Catharine Valley Trail – The hillsides resplendent with autumn color above Seneca Lake are a perfect backdrop to begin a visit to the Catharine Valley Trail in Watkins Glen.   The 10-mile trail follows abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors through the 900-acre Queen Catharine Marsh, historic villages, and a heavily wooded, glacially carved valley Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Pat McGee Trail – In the western Southern Tier, the relatively rural 12-mile Pat McGee Trail offers the opportunity to experience the colors of fall while passing through woods, wetlands, and open fields filled with rich a variety of plants, trees, and wildlife.

Cato-Fairhaven Trail – Ponds, wetlands, and old farm buildings add to the rural and agricultural charm of the 14-mile Cato-Fairhaven Trail.  Dense stands of sumac, beech, maple, and aspen trees provide plenty of fall color along this corridor near the shores of Lake Ontario in Central New York.

TOBIE Trail
 
– What better place to experience autumn color than in the Adirondacks.  There are plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by the best of fall foliage from this 12-mile trail that connects the five mountain communities that give the trail its name – Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, and Eagle Bay.

Catskill Scenic Trail
– The Catskill Scenic Trail follows the route of the former Ulster and Delaware railroad. Young and old will find this an easy and enjoyable route through the foothills of the Catskills.  The trail parallels the West Branch of the Delaware River for the entire route and offers many delightful fishing spots.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park:  Drink in breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley fully decked out in autumn color from more than 200 feet above the middle of the river on the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  The Walkway is the center piece of a 3.6-mile loop that links riverside parks, cultural attractions and historic points of interest on both the Poughkeepsie and Highland waterfronts.

North County Trailway  Following the bed of the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad, this paved trail winds more than 22 miles through the woodlands, parks, and suburbs of Westchester County.  Historic rail stations and a beautiful bridge across the New Croton Reservoir add to the appeal of the route.

Bethpage Bikeway – The 6.5–mile Bethpage Bikeway links Long Island’s Bethpage State Park with the South Shore at Massapequa.  From the Park, the trail passes through a mature forest cover along the Bethpage State Parkway before entering the mixed evergreens and deciduous forests of the Massapequa County Park and Preserve.  The park’s ponds, wetlands, and Massapequa Lake and Creek can all be experienced from the trail.

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By Jeff Cole, The Evening Tribune, link to original post

The Hornell Common Council on Monday approved applying for a Transportation Enhancement Program Grant, which could help fund the creation of a walking/biking trail from Hornell to Arkport, possibly paving the way for a bike trail between Arkport and Canisteo.

Mayor Shawn Hogan said he has had preliminary discussions with Ken Isaman, Hornellsville town supervisor, about paving the walking trail from Shawmut Park to Webbs Crossing Road to start create a walking/biking trail from Hornell to Arkport.

“We’d like to begin the planning and implementation phase,” Hogan said. “I talked to Kenny Isaman and he seems very supportive of it. It would be a joint venture (between) the town and the city and also what I’d like to do is eventually develop a bike trail that would run from Arkport to Canisteo using abandoned railroad property.”

According to Hogan, the city is going to begin the planning and budgetary stages for the trail from Shawmut Park to Webbs Crossing, then look to develop the area running from East Avenue to Belle Haven and turn it into a well-developed trail.

“That would basically give us a bicycle trail that would run from Canisteo to Arkport,” Hogan said. “You have to follow an in-city bike trail, which would run down East Avenue to Main Street, Main Street to Thatcher Street and Thatcher Street down to Shawmut, but then it would go on a trail, so it would be some intercity travel and intracity travel, but most of it would be designated bike trail, which eventually would run from Canisteo to Arkport.”

Hogan said Hornell is “missing the boat” by not developing full-blown bike trails.

“Biking is becoming more popular,” Hogan said. “They’ve got extensive bike trails in Olean, in Williamsport, Pa., in Rochester. We’re missing the boat. I’d like to begin a preliminary study and implementation of a section that would run from Shawmut to Webbs Crossing, but eventually work to having a bike trail that would run from Arkport to Canisteo, which would be a great bike trail.”

As for the amount of state aid the city is applying for, Hogan said, “We’ll be applying for whatever we can get.”

The Council also approved the Hornell Area Humane Society conducting a door-to-door dog-and-cat census in response to the cat overpopulation problem in the city.

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A new driving guide makes it easy for the public to visit the Chemung River by vehicle, enjoy the natural views and learn about the waterway’s history.

 “Shoot the chute.” The new driving guide tour includes a visit to the site of a former wooden water toboggan used in the early 1900s near today’s Fitch’s Bridge in Big Flats where locals went to “shoot the chute” and ride a wooden sled down the toboggan into the river. (Photo provided by Friends of the Chemung River Watershed). Notice the boat paddlers in suits and ties.

“Shoot the chute.” The new driving guide tour includes a visit to the site of a former wooden water toboggan used in the early 1900s near today’s Fitch’s Bridge in Big Flats where locals went to “shoot the chute” and ride a wooden sled down the toboggan into the river. (Photo provided by Friends of the Chemung River Watershed). Notice the boat paddlers in suits and ties.

“A Driving Guide to History Along the Chemung River,” a free 12-page publication, includes maps, photos and GPS coordinates to historic sites along the river, including a former Civil War prison camp, the Chemung Canal, tobacco farms and a wooden water toboggan. It is a self-guided driving tour of the river between Big Flats and the town of Chemung that helps people explore the 45-mile river and learn about its historical significance.
The scenic two-hour tour visits historic sites and boat launches and brings you to the river’s edge and history’s doorstep. Many of the boat launches include kiosks spotlighting local history for visitors. A word of caution: Some of the narrow boat launch access roads are crushed stone or dirt, so conditions can be rough at times.
The full-color spiral-bound guide was written and published in a partnership between the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed (River Friends) and the Chemung County History Museum to encourage the public to visit the river and learn about its history and natural beauty. It was paid for by a grant through the museum.
The guides are available at the museum gift shop, 415 E. Water St., Elmira or at the River Friends office, 111 N. Main St., Elmira. You may also access the guide online at www.chemungvalleymuseum.org  or www.chemungriverfriends.org  at  http://www.chemungriverfriends.org/pdf/DrivingGuide_History.pdf

Take A Paddle - Finger Lakes

Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes

Go back & paddle the Chemung River (& other area rivers) using the guidebook “Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks.”

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click here to read: Happy Trails to You on the Catharine Valley Trail

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes

Editor’s note: The Catherine Valley Trail is one of many trails mapped & detailed in the guidebook “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.”

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A family enjoys the Lackawanna Rail Trail.  Photo provided by Chemung River Friends.

A family enjoys the Lackawanna Rail Trail. Photo provided by Chemung River Friends.

The Lackawanna Rail Trail runs 2.5 miles between Eldridge Park and East Water Street, in Elmira, NY.
The 15-foot-wide paved trail was built along the path of the former Lackawanna Railroad. It’s mostly level and can be used for walking and running, cycling, inline skating and pushing baby strollers, among other activities. The northern portion weaves over the city’s Eastside industrial center, via railroad overpasses. The southern section follows Newtown Creek and offers scenic views of nature.
For information on the trial contact River Friends at 607-846-2242 or riverfriends@stny.rr.com.

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Anyone who does trail maintenance should watch this video. Can you imagine being the maintainers for this BMX trail system?  Endwell Trails – Upstate New York

Here’s more info on the Endwell Trails. http://www.bmxunion.com/blog/blog/through-the-lens-spot-check-endwell-trails/

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By Dave Sherry, WBNG

The Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study, or BMTS, held a presentation Wednesday at the Broome County Public Library to show off their proposed signs for the Greenway Trail System.

This system will be the joining of trails from several different municipalities, and BMTS is trying to make them easier and more enjoyable to use.  In order to accomplish that goal, they have designed a uniform signing system, while still allowing for each trail’s individuality.

“Each municipality does have its own signing. That’s one of the objectives in this sign plan, was to incorporate what’s out there, rather than replace it. The point, too, is even though we’re proposing a uniform signing system, we want each individual trail to keep its own unique character, as well,” said BMTS Senior Transportation Planner Scott Reigle.

Reigle said the next step in the process will be to raise funds for fabrication and implementation of the signs.

Click here for another article on the subject.

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River Friends volunteer and board member Don Hall removes one of several a discarded tires from the Chemung River in Elmira during an Oct. 17 River Friends tire cleanup.

Here’s an idea that should be implemented elsewhere across NY State:
There are thousands of used tires discarded in Chemung County each year, and some of those tires are illegally thrown in rivers, dumped in fields or tossed over road embankments.
Those tires will now be recycled through a new partnership that could save Chemung County up to $2,500 a year.
The Friends of the Chemung River Watershed (River Friends), Firestone Complete Auto Care in Elmira , Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District, and the Chemung County Highway Association recently joined forces to remove and  recycle tires.
The Firestone dealership, at 49 S. Main St., has generously agreed to accept, at no charge, used car and small truck tires that the county obtains during its annual tire collection day. In addition, Firestone will accept all tires that River Friends removes from our rivers and streams during the organization’s many riverside cleanups.
“We always find tires thrown in the rivers when we do cleanups,” said Jim Pfiffer, executive director of the River Friends in Elmira. “This new program makes it easier and less expensive for us to dispose of those tires and to recycle them. That’s great for the environment.”
In the past, Chemung County had to pay $2,000 to $2,500 annually to dispose of the tires it received during its tire collection day. The money saved will be used to continue to improve our environment. The used tires are ground up and used to make playground surfaces and a base for new roads.
“This is a great program and partnership that saves the county money,” said Mark Watts, District Manager of the Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation Program. “It allows residents to discard tires in a responsible manner and keeps them from polluting our countryside.”
The 2013 tire collection day will be held on a Saturday in May and will be open to all Chemung County residents, but it is not open to businesses. The date and location of the event will not be publicized until residents register for the event to prevent people from illegally dropping off tires at the disposal site. The event is sponsored by Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Chemung County Highway Association.
For more information on the tire collection day and program, contact the Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District at (607) 739-2009.

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Another mile of the Genesee Valley Greenway officially opened in the Allegany County village and town of Cuba, bringing to 62 the number of miles of the 90-mile corridor now open to the public.  PTNY spearheaded the Genesee Valley Greenway project starting in 1991.

PTNY’s Fran Gotcsik joined project sparkplug Michael Doyle, Mayor Tom Taylor, Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, and representatives for Congressman Tom Reed and State Senator Cathy Young for a ribbon cutting ceremony held October 6.

The Cuba trail was built using a $589,000 award from the federal Transportation Enhancements Program, funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and donations of labor and materials from countless community businesses and residents who also supplied trailside benches and a trailhead gazebo, parking area, and bike rack. Project funds also were used to construct a pedestrian walkway and 100-foot bridge over an active rail line to safely connect the trail and local school with village neighborhoods and historic landmarks.

As part of its Healthy Trails, Healthy People program, PTNY will continue working with the village and Cuba Friends of Architecture to promote use of the trail by visitors and area residents.

source: Parks & Trails New York e-newsletter

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By James Nani, Times Herald-Record, link to original post

A great blue heron stands on one spindly leg, staring through wetlands and brown, windswept cattails before spreading its bluish-gray wings and taking off with slow, deliberate wing beats.

To bird-watching novices, the scene is something you may expect captured by a National Geographic camera crew hiding deep in a bayou, miles away from civilization. Try Goshen instead.

The 61/2 Station Road Wildlife Sanctuary, supported by the Orange County Audubon Society, is not just home to a tiny 62-acre wetland filled with flora and fauna but a place to peacefully enjoy an autumn stroll as leaves slowly change from green to shades of red and gold.

The funny name for the road the sanctuary is on dates to a time when farmers used to leave their milk at the nearby Erie Railroad station on what is now the Heritage Trail. The stop was six-and-a-half miles to the next stop, where milk was transferred to New York City.

In 1981, the local Audubon chapter purchased the land with a $25,000 loan from the National Audubon Society’s Whittell Fund. More than 30 years later, 171 species of birds have been seen there, according to the society. Today, the Heritage Trail borders the sanctuary and also provides a steep contrast. While the Heritage Trail is well maintained and filled with joggers and trimmed foliage, the sanctuary is roughly hewn, with tall reeds and less maintained, meandering paths. The two spots make a good pair, but bring a good pair of boots.

Whether you decide to stroll the Heritage Trail or the sanctuary, a good pair of binoculars should allow you to spot a few birds along the way.

Walking along trails lined with briars and thistles, those exploring the sanctuary might find hosts of sparrows bursting out of an Eastern red cedar and landing in unison on the branch of a weeping willow, among its lance-shaped leaves. Take a seat on a wooden bench and listen to the cooing of fawn-colored mourning doves and the constant low hums and clicks of insects.

Though the sanctuary is small and surrounded by the bustling Route 17M in the distance, it serves an important ecological function. It’s a recharge site for the surrounding water table and a natural reservoir that holds an estimated 112.9 million gallons of water that eventually flows into the Wallkill River aquifer. The sanctuary also absorbs excess storm water that helps in controlling flooding and cleanses the impurities in the water that flows through it.

Whether you’re watching a yellow warbler perch on a white ash in the sanctuary or out for a morning jog on the Heritage Trail, the changing autumn leaves will be a draw for anyone looking to enjoy the region’s spectacular foliage display.

6 1/2 Station Road Wildlife Sanctuary
How to get there: From the Village of Goshen, head northeast on Greenwich Avenue toward North Church Street, turn left onto West Main Street, then take a slight left onto West Main Street Extension. Take the ramp onto New York 17M W/US-6W/Grand Army of the Republic Highway. Turn right onto 61”2 Station Road; the sanctuary is on your right.

Don’t Miss: When you first arrive at the wooden entrance of the sanctuary, lift the wooden panel in front. There’s a book inside where people note the birds they’ve spotted and animals they’ve seen. Also check out the trees that have placards in front of them with facts about each species.

Be Aware: The paths in the sanctuary can be dense, hard to follow and can just sort of … end. Bring a good pair of boots and be aware of the paths. Binoculars are a must, to catch glimpses of all the wildlife.

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