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Rails to Trails Project in North Buffalo Moves Forward

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KidsOutAndAbout Readers’ Choice 2013:
Top 20 Places to take kids in the Buffalo area : click here

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source: TheBuffaloNews.com, link to original post

Learn first

The following online sites can teach you more about the WNY paddling scene:

bnriverkeeper.org: Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper gives beginner kayak lessons and offers free tours on the Buffalo River, Scajaquada Creek, Black Rock Canal and Cayuga Creek in Niagara Falls. Sign up online. The nonprofit has 30 kayaks available for those who don’t have one – courtesy of the M&T and Community foundations – but they tend to go fast. They do take donations.

Take A Paddle - Western NY at footprintpress.com

Take A Paddle – Western NY at footprintpress.com

• Smartstart: This Thursday evening beginner class at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island is for kayak owners who want to learn the basics. To register, call 282-5154.

WeKaNu.com: Certified instructors Jeff and Laura Liebel teach other paddling instructors in the region but also offer classes to enthusiasts of all abilities. Their website also has a “Places to Paddle” section.

ehow.com: Includes tips and videos on how to be safe on the water; search “paddling.”

Get out

• Businesses that rent kayaks and canoes in the region include Blue Water Marina (bluewatermarinagi.com) on Grand Island; BFLO Harbor Kayak (bfloharborkayak.com, cityoflightfitness.com, a related standup paddleboard company) at Canalside on the Buffalo waterfront; Buffalo River Canoe and Kayak Outfitters (paddlebuffalo.com) in West Seneca; Canoe and Kayak Rentals (ucanyak.com) in Wilson; Eastern Mountain Sports in the Town of Tonawanda; and Paths, Peaks and Paddles (pathspeakspaddles.com) along Ellicott Creek in the Town of Tonawanda.

Take A Paddle - Finger Lakes  available at www.footprintpress.com

Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

paddling.net/launches has a good list of launch sites in the region.

Go with others

• Buffalo Paddles: This Facebook page, captained by Bob Van Hise of the Adirondack Mountain Club Niagara Frontier Chapter, is loaded with information and photos from paddling excursions from throughout the region. The site includes a list of launch sites.

kayakbuffalo.com: This website and its Facebook page keep people up to date on outings and has links to several paddle-related and outdoor websites across Western New York and Southern Ontario.

• Meetup.com: The popular social networking site buzzes with group trip prospects on regional waterways. See more at kayaking.meetup.com/cities/us/ny/buffalo.

• Clubs: The Scajaquada Canoe Club has a Facebook page and the Zoar Valley Paddling Club (zoarvalleypaddlingclub.org), a website that includes announcements on upcoming events.

Explore

These top regional paddlers have enjoyed their sport across the country – and all love the Adirondacks – but recommend heading onto the following waters in the region:

Bob Van Hise: Oak Orchard River, north of Medina. This is moving water, so it’s a one-way trip and you have to go with friends and “spot” a car at the endpoint, then drive back to the starting point. He also loves the Niagara River but recommends making your first voyages here with an experienced paddler.

Vanessa Nazny: Alabama Swamps, south of Medina. “If you put in on Sour Springs Road, the stream is Oak Orchard Creek, but it’s flat, and it’s part of the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge,” Nazny says. “You can go as far as you want to, upstream or downstream, and turn around and come back. Just don’t go during hunting season.” She also likes the Marden E. Cobb Waterway Trail on the Cassadaga and Conewango creeks, which snakes through several communities in Chautauqua County.

Jeff and Laura Liebel: Black Creek in Churchville, western Monroe County. “It meanders,” says Laura, “and in the springtime, when the water’s higher, you can travel in among the trees, which is just a blast.” No need to spot your car here. “We also go out on the canal a lot,” she says. “We put in at Veterans Canal Park (off Tonawanda Creek Road in Amherst). We’ve seen mink and green heron, blue heron. It’s not very wide, there’s a little bit of current, but you can travel. We also put in at Widewaters in Lockport and you can get ice cream there.” You can also go through the locks.

Go on your own guidebooks

Footprint Press offers Take A Paddle guidebooks for Western NY & the Finger Lakes Region.

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blog by Erin Daetsch  •  Buffalo. com, link to original post

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at www.footprintpress.com (includes Eternal Flam Falls)

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at http://www.footprintpress.com (includes Eternal Flam Falls)

Earlier this summer I hit the outdoors and ventured out to Orchard Park to hike the Eternal Flame trail with my mother. It was so great I thought I would bring her along on yet another one of my adventures, this time adding my dad into the mix. Talk about family bonding.

Buffalo is no stranger to biking, especially during the summer. Just look at all the bike lanes that have been added to our streets over the past couple years. And if you are a resident of the Northtowns, you have the pleasure of living close to multiple bike paths, including Ellicott Creek Trail.

Instead of piling the bikes in the car and driving over, we decided to do it the old fashioned way and ride the entire way from our house to the bike path. I was told this would add about three miles to the journey. I quickly realized that parents lie and the additional three miles was in reality eight. Funny how things turn out.

We started our journey at the beginning of the bike path just off of North Forest, north of Maple Road. We then followed the trail to the five-mile mark, at which point we were ready to turn around and peddle home. If only we had pushed ourselves a little further, we would have been led to the Niagara River. Yet, considering my Saturday afternoons typically involve lounging by the pool, I was more than satisfied with my 18-mile journey.

There is no need to be a young Lance Armstrong to lay your tracks on the bike path. This is an activity that can be enjoyed by all, even the little tikes who like to hang out and toss back a few Hi-C pouches in the backseat of the bike trailer.

For those of you who haven’t looked at a calendar, today marks the first day of August. Summer is quickly flying by and before you know it you will be seeing more school buses on the road than bicycles.

Now is the time to put as many miles on those tires as you can. There are several bike paths throughout the Queen City, including Outer Harbor/Tifft Street, Riverwalk, Erie Canal and Clarence.

On top of that, Buffalo is also home to the Midnight Bike Ride, which gathers at midnight every Sunday at the corner of College and Allen. It gives you the perfect opportunity to grab a Southern Tier at Allen Street Hardware before embarking on a late-night adventure of biking and shenanigans.

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bike ice creamMy bike stops for ice cream. I also use ice cream as a go-to-goal when heading out biking. In that spirit, here’s a new reason to follow the Erie Canalway Trail to Lockport:

Lake Effect Ice Cream opened its new Lockport ice cream parlor, a cone’s throw from the Erie Canal, in June. Tourists have been flocking to the store, no doubt having earned a fling after soaking up the canal’s backstory for a solid hour.

Take Your Bike - Genesee Valley available at www.footprintpress.com

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

The store (79 Canal St., Lockport) usually carries more than 25 flavors from Lake Effect’s far-ranging menu. That includes established favorites like Salty Caramel and Frozen Hot Chocolate, and wacky ones like Love Potion # 9 (raspberry, lavender).

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

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

The biggest draw to the new shop isn’t the ice cream – it’s what they can build with it. Lake Effect pints are already available at many area Tops Markets and Wegmans. The shop also offers floats, ice cream coffee drinks and ice cream cookie sandwiches the size of a baby’s head.

But people have been driving to Lockport for their sundaes, said Jason Wulf, who runs the company with Erik Bernardi.

A Wee Bit of Scotland ($4 “mini,” $5.50 large) features Lake Effect’s Whiskey and Brown Sugar ice cream, layered into a plastic parfait cup with raspberry sauce and toasty granola-like oats, adorned with whipped cream and a stick of shortbread. (A “mini” sundae starts with two big scoops of ice cream, and is enough for most mere mortals.)

Wulf said he drew inspiration for the sundae from a trip to Scotland with his wife, Heather. At a restaurant he experienced the Scottish dessert cranachan, which involves whipped cream or pudding, honey, whiskey, oats and fresh raspberries. “I wanted to bring something back from that trip, and it just seemed perfect,” he said. Lake Effect already made whiskey ice cream.

Another popular sundae is the Morning Commute, with Mocha Cappucino ice cream, chunks of Paula’s Donuts, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and chopped walnuts.

“We get people coming from far and wide,” said Wulf. “We have people come from Batavia and Orchard Park, not just Kenmore.”

For info, visit www.lakeeffecticecream.com or call 201-1643.

source: Buffalo News

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Don’t stay in the house just because fall and winter are here! Come out and join the Paths Peaks & Paddles crew for a Tuesday evening hike or snowshoeing adventure. The hike is FREE. Because WNY weather is so unpredictable the evening hike can be anywhere! We have ventured out to local parks, local bike paths, along creeks, lakes or even Niagara Falls. The average evening hike is anywhere from 2 to 4 miles. If/when snow hits we venture out and snowshoe. The snowshoe hike is FREE. Rental of any gear is always an option.

All hikes are weather dependent. We will hike in anything except rain! Because we like to explore different areas of WNY we try to leave our facility at 6:00 PM. If you would like to join us please contact us at 716-213-0350. We do car pool to our hiking destination so you should plan to be at our facility by 5:45 PM.

Dress for the weather, bring water, hiking poles if you desire. Hiking poles are available for rent. When snow hits you are welcome to rent snowshoes and poles.

Paths Peaks & Paddles, Inc.
1000 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda, NY 14150
Ph: 716-213-0350

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If you’ve spent any time on Elmwood Avenue lately you may have already noticed an initiative to make the city more bike-friendly. A new $50,000 grant will make areas of the city even safer for biking and other outdoor activities.

Executive Director of GOBike Buffalo Justin Booth said, “Our streets are one of our greatest public assets and this is a really great opportunity for us to utilize that space again. We’re looking to do five locations throughout the city. One location each month and have it open on a weekend for a couple hours in the afternoon.”

During the events, there will be no cars, no parking – just a place to have fun. You’ll be able to bike, skate, do Yoga, Zumba dancing. Essentially, the street will become a park. “BlueCross BlueShield has sponsored Play Streets around the country, selected only 10 locations in the United States to receive a grant,” said Gretchen Fierle, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for BlueCross BlueShield of WNY.

While there is a move to make the city more bike-friendly and a healthier place to live, the bike symbols recently placed in the middle of the driving lanes of Elmwood Avenue have left just a few people scratching their heads. That was especially the case with a few people that we caught up with on Wednesday.

Alyssa Valenti said, “I know there’s a lot of bikers down here. I’m wondering if the bikers can go with traffic. It is strange to see them on the road. I bet nobody is really going to know what they mean.”  “Say if I open up my door and your coming and zipping by then you would hit my door then you would go right over my door onto your face. And half of the people that bike don’t wear helmets,” added Steve Procknal, another Elmwood Avenue commuter.

According to City of Buffalo Streets Commissioner Steve Stepniak, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the travel lane for vehicles has now become a bike lane. In fact, one of the reasons for placing the symbol in the middle of roadway is because there would be less traffic-ware.

“They’re not designed for them to ride in the middle of the roadway. They’re designed for the motorist to be aware of bike traffic in that area,” Stepniak explained. He added in order for the signs to be effective, both cyclists and drivers will need to observe NYS traffic law

source: WIVB

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