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Archive for the ‘Genesee Valley Greenway’ 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 Colleen M. Farrell, Messenger Post, link to original post

Background
The towns of Chili and Riga, along with the Village of Churchville, have been looking at implementing a trail system along Black Creek, which runs through all three municipalities. Earlier this year, the three communities received a grant from the Genesee Transportaton Council totaling a little over $60,000 to study the topic. The municipalities kicked in $6,000 amongst them and some in-kind services, according to Chili Supervisor David Dunning.

The study is researching the feasibility of building approximately 15-mile-long multi-use trail system parallel to the Black Creek stream and linking Black Creek Park, the Genesee Valley Greenway, and Churchville Park. Representatives from Bergmann Associates and Steinmetz Planning were retained to conduct the study.

The creation of a trail along Black Creek is an idea that has been bandied about for quite some time, Dunning said. He would like to make use of the “untapped resource” that is the park. “I thought, ‘What a great opportunity this would be if we could get a trail along this creek,’” he said.

Present
The study is almost wrapped up, according to Dunning. A second public meeting was held last week. Previously, there was talk of the trail having to be installed on some private land. Residents strongly spoke out against it, he said.

“None of us are interested in exercising eminent domain or devaluing properties,” he said.
The latest recommendations include installing the trail along public properties and public right-of-ways and avoiding private property. Putting the trail on private property was a concern from some owners, Dunning said. The final recommendations will be revealed in the study, which he expects to be finalized early next year.

“They’ll give some recommendations, as well as some preliminary cost estimates based on what the cost might be today to put in a trail,” Dunning said. Estimates right now stand at $1 million per mile.

Future
Dunning said he hopes to see the Black Creek trail become a reality for his town, which has a small trail in Union Station and another in Chili Nature Park. But the odds are not in his favor, he said.
“We lack trails and it’s something that I would really like to see here in the town but this particular trail is not going to happen the way we want.”

The obstruction, he said, is cost. Financially, it’s just not feasible.” If federal or state grant money starts to loosen up at some point we will stay on top of that,” he said, adding that a trail system could be built “piecemeal.”

He added that the study will yield a lot of useful information that will guide future planning for a trail.

“I’m disappointed – not in the consultant team, not in our steering committee – I’m just disappointed we have this remarkable resource in the town and we really can’t offer it to all the residents to enjoy because it really is just beautiful,” Dunning said. “So we can offer up portions of it, hopefully.”

For more information about the feasibility study, go online at www.townofchili.org or www.TownofRiga.org.

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By Tony D’Imperio, Livingston County News, link to original full post with PHOTOS

Walkers on the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail approaching the Genesee River at Route 36 no longer need to ‘break’ route onto the highway bridge.

Although the highway bridge has a sidewalk, getting to it from the Greenway required trail users to risk their safety — especially in winter — by walking along the roadside of Route 36 and the staying on the apron of Sickles Avenue, a Mount Morris Street without sidewalks. The new pedestrian bridge, dedicated last Saturday, makes an unbroken continuation of the trail across the river, following the route of the old “Pennsy” Railroad that went out of service in 1963.

In fact, the entire Greenway follows the route of the “Pennsy” Railroad, and before that the Genesee Valley Canal, which operated from the 1840s to the 1870s. The piers, constructed using granite to support the railroad bridge, are now bearing — with some modifications — the weight of the pedestrian bridge. “I find it fascinating that the piers are linking the old and the new,” remarked Regional Director of Transportation Bob Traver.

Planning for the pedestrian bridge began in with the Mount Morris Main Street Highway reconstruction project about ten years ago, and the $1.7 million cost of the bridge was covered by monies from the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009.

The fabricated steel sections were constructed off site and transported to the river area for installation. The concrete floor and 12 foot width will allow emergency vehicles to cross. The structure is 450 feet long.

A large ceremonial ‘Gold’ Nut and huge Wrench were exhibited to commemorate the turns of the last nuts and bolts that join two sections of the bridge at the center. “A nut that big was hard to find,” said Dave Nagel, grinning from ear to ear.

Nagel, a Friends of Greenway Board Member and retired schoolteacher, got the nut from a former student who owns Blum Brothers Customs, a metal and automotive shop in Fowlerville, NY. He picked up the wrench from Second-Chance Merchandise consignment store, corner of Routes 36 and 63. Both businesses donated these expensive items; the nut, according to Nagel, carried a retail price of around $80.

The 90 mile long Genesee Valley Greenway extends from Genesee Valley Park in Rochester to Cuba, N.Y. in the Southern Tier. In 1991 the first section of the Greenway opened in Mount Morris.

The Genesee Valley Greenway is one of more than 1100 greenways winding their way across America, transforming old canals, abandoned rail beds and forgotten riverbanks into green recreational corridors. The cinders of old railbeds provide a firm, level surface for walking, jogging, biking, horseback riding and cross county skiing.

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By Chris Potter, The Evening Tribune

The Upper Genesee Trail is nearing the one-year anniversary of the launch of the latest addition to its trailhead. The milestone may provide cause for a moment of reflection, a brief respite to consider how far the trail has come, but Allegany Trails, Inc. is too busy forging ahead with future successes to spend too much time in the past.

The Wellsville non-profit organization opened the newest stretch of the Upper Genesee Trail on July 14, 2011. The 12-foot wide stone path runs on the west side of the Genesee River, from the south line of the village of Wellsville to the high school.

The recent addition is between the Alfred State College campus on South Brooklyn Avenue and the river. A foot bridge over the Genesee takes walkers to the east bank and Island Park, providing Wellsville with a hub for outdoor recreational activities 365 days of the year.

“Hiking, biking, walking, running, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, tree identification,” said Allegany Trails President Bill Dibble, ticking off the potential uses of the Upper Genesee Trail. “It’s year-round activity, to get people out and enjoy nature and the beauty of what we have in this county.”

Dibble’s vision for the trail is extensive and far-reaching, though the future is now for certain aspects of the plan. Allegany Trails hopes to line the Upper Genesee Trail with several dozen benches to provide travelers with a place to relax and enjoy the view.

The 8-foot long metal benches will have the name of sponsoring businesses or families cut into them, providing a lasting legacy along the trail for generations to come. An $800 donation covers the entire cost of the bench, from freight to installation. The first two benches are on display at Steuben Trust and Community Bank in Wellsville.

The community can also take ownership of the trail by adopting a section. Jones Memorial Hospital has done just that, adopting a stretch that will someday feature fitness stations along the trail. “We’ve written a couple grants (for the fitness stations),” Dibble said. “They weren’t funded. You don’t give up. You apply again.”

Allegany Trails is working to extend the Upper Genesee Trail past the high school and on to the Riverwalk Plaza. From there, the group hopes to put its base of Wellsville far in the rearview mirror, pushing on to Scio and then Belfast, where it can link up with the Genesee Valley Greenway. That trail follows the Genesee River to the south end of Letchworth State Park and north all the way to Rochester.

“We want to have the Rochester folks and the Rochester Bicycling Club be able to actually tour the whole Genesee River, at least down to Genesee, Pa.,” Dibble said. “It can be done. It just takes a little bit of effort to put the pieces together.

“That will help not only tourism (locally in Allegany County), but it’s good for people who are already here. It’s good for families.”

Allegany Trails is working to expand the Upper Genesee Trail holdings in Pennsylvania, where the Genesee begins. It also has its hand in forming and growing other trails around Allegany County, an agenda that includes joint efforts with Alfred University.

The all-volunteer organization depends on the passion of its members and the generosity of the public to advance its mission. Insurance costs alone require around $3,000 a year in donations, Dibble said.

Any trail system is constantly evolving, and the Upper Genesee is no different. The trail has gone by several different names, including the River Trail and the WAG Trail, after the former Wellsville-Addison-Galeton railroad.

“In a grant we wrote for the DEC it was called River Trail, but there’s lots of rivers,” Dibble recalled. “We thought about it, kicked around some ideas. We said let’s call it the Upper Genesee Trail. Of course the Genesee, that goes to Rochester. The Upper Genesee, that’s us.

“We wanted to be logical and tie the name to where we are. Prior to the WAG it was the Buffalo Susquehanna Railroad, the B&S. That became the B&O, and that was there for many years. I think as time goes by the Upper Genesee Trail is the proper name for it.”

To sponsor a bench or get involved with the trail, call Dibble at (585) 928-2626, or email dibs@infoblvd.n

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Join Rochester Area hikers for healthy outdoor fun

For many other places to hike in the Greater Rochester area, pick up a copy of the guidebooks “Take A Hike – Family Walks in the Rochester Area” and “Take A Hike – family Walks  in NY’s Finger Lakes Region.”

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