Archive for the ‘Rail-trail’ Category

This isn’t NY State related, but I can’t help but pass it on. Rich & I had a spectacular time biking the C&O Canal Trail (before it was extended into the Allegheny Passage). But, we had to pay for a guy to shuttle us and our bikes from the end point to the start. Now you can do it using an Amtrak train ride. How fun would that be?

Click here to read: Biking: Amtrak on a roll with new feature for cyclists

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By NED CAMPBELL, Observer-Dispatch,l link to original post

Dressed in baggy camouflage pants and smoking a cigar, Michael Mosher Jr. didn’t look like a cyclist.

But gathered outside Jack’s or Better tavern on Route 316 Thursday with about 20 cyclists who wore spandex pants and brightly colored windbreakers, Mosher was eager to go on a six-mile tour of the city. “I’m new to the area, and it’s helping me get to know the area and the people,” he said.

Mosher was taking part in the 12th annual Bicyclists Bring Business roundtable and bike-around event organized by Parks & Trails New York and the New York State Canal Corporation, which teaches cities how to market to and profit from cycling tourists.

He learned about the event from his friend Paul Guerrant. “He’s new, so I’m bringing him along,” the 11-year Oneida resident said.

A frequent user of the Erie Canalway Trail, Guerrant said he was interested to learn more about the city’s network of rail trails at the previous day’s roundtable discussion, he said.

Working with Madison County planners, the Oneida Rail Trail committee has applied for a $700,000 state Transportation Enhancement Program grant to fund an about 3-mile stone-dust surface trail starting at the Canalway Trail head in Wampsville and ending just shy of downtown Oneida, said Joe Magliocca, committee president.

That’s part of the committee’s larger goal to connect as much of the city’s 11 miles of rail trails as possible while highlighting Oneida’s rich railroad history. “Bicycling tourists are always looking for a destination outside the trail, an interesting community with either historic sites or unique downtowns, not just for places to eat or to stock up on drinks,” Magliocca said.

The trick is to encourage those people to stop in Oneida with proper signage, said Patti Meakin, the city’s recreation coordinator. “Thirty-six miles from DeWitt to Rome is a New York State Park, so we’ve got that going for us, and we’re only a mile down the road,” she said, referring to the Canalway Trail. “So we need a few signs, I’d say.”

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by: Greg Maker, Hudson Valley Reporter, link to original post

More opportunities to walk, run and bike are now available in Dutchess County with the Dutchess Rail Trail now officially open to the public.

County Executive Marcus Molinaro hosted a soft opening for trail on Thursday as county employees ceremoniously removed a barricade on the Rail Trail bridge over Route 55, Wappinger Creek and Old Manchester Road. Walkers, runners and bicycle enthusiasts dressed in their gear followed Molinaro down the trail for the first official walk.

“Today is an historic moment and one step closer to a very long path to bring the Dutchess Rail Trail to completion,” Molinaro said. “This effort began a long time ago thanks to a number of visionaries creating a beautiful linear park. This will be an attraction throughout the county.”

The final piece of the puzzle was a 743-foot bridge that was constructed in late July over Route 55 by the border of LaGrange and the Town of Poughkeepsie. The bridge connected the trail, which runs for 13 miles from the Hopewell Depot in East Fishkill to the Walkway Over The Hudson in the City of Poughkeepsie. The trail is built upon the abandoned Maybrook Line of the defunct Central New England Railway.

Molinaro said that with 2.4 million people from 42 countries visiting the Walkway Over the Hudson, they will now have an opportunity to see even more of Dutchess County by walking on the Rail Trail.

“The benefits of it are so reaching,” Molinaro said. “This really is a jewel for Dutchess County. This is an attraction to visitors, employers and tourists alike, As other governments are closing parks, we’re opening one today.”

Mary Kay Vrba, executive director of Dutchess County Tourism, said that she is hoping that the Rail Trail increases tourism in Dutchess County. She said that visitors to the county spent $475 million in 2012, an increase of 2 percent from 2011. Vrba said that the Rail Trail will attract more bicyclists from groups such as Bike New York and Hudson Valley Pedal.

“They can ride on the trail without having to deal with motorized traffic,” Vrba said. “It’s a win-win for them and us. Another benefit is people who come here will stay overnight, eat in our restaurants, and go to other venues.The outdoors is one of the things that we highlight and promote all the time.”

Rob Rolison, chair of the Dutchess County Legislature, who said he is a railroad enthusiast, agreed with Vrba that a benefit of the trail is that it will draw people to Dutchess County. He said that the Rail Trail will showcase areas of the county that people don’t normally see including both rural and urban areas.

“Dutchess County is an outdoor type of county and this addition really enhances our quality of life,” Rolison said. “People will spend money here and help with our county budget. As a government official I look at it as more than just a chance to walk, bike and run on it. It’s going to bring in tax dollars and keep Dutchess County running.”

Rolison and Molinaro both gave credit to former County Executive Bill Steinhaus whose administration spearheaded the effort to create the Rail Trail.

There are still portions of the trail that need to be completed. The county will hold another ceremony on Nov. 16 when the construction is finished to mark the official grand opening..

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Rails to Trails Project in North Buffalo Moves Forward

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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.

– 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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North Elba wants tracks gone, favors multi-use trail

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On September 4th at 11:00am the Developers of the Williams Lake Project will open their 1.5 mile section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail for public access with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Congressman Chris Gibson, Senator John Bonacic, Supervisor Jeanne Walsh and County executive Mike Hein and many others have been invited to participate in this historic occasion. All are welcome to attend and light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

The planning for the opening of the Rail Trail has been ongoing for more than two years now. The Williams Lake Project’s developers have been working collaboratively with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and the Open Space Institute to create a permanent public easement for the rail trail through the more than 779 acres of lands owned by the development company. The trail will open under a temporary easement that will become permanent once the Williams Lake Project developers receive approval for their master plan by the Rosendale Town Board.

As with everyone else in Rosendale and the surrounding area, the Williams Lake Project’s developers are excited about opening this beautiful section of trail. The connection through the Williams Lake area north of the trestle will allow the general public, from as far south as Gardiner, to travel all the way to the city of Kingston for the first time since the rails came up on the former Wallkill Valley Rail Road line in the early 1980’s.

“Connecting the Williams Lake Rail Trail to the greater rail trail network has been a priority for us from Day One. We are thrilled to provide public access to the beautiful historic resources on the property and to take an important step forward in creating a connection between the Resort and Main Street Rosendale”, stated Tim Allred, Project Manager of the Williams Lake Project.

This historic event is one more critical step forward in creating a county wide system of interconnected trails and trail systems that will soon become the envy of New York State.

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By Julia Reischel, Watershed Post, link to original post

If you drive around the Pepacton Reservoir in Delaware County, you quickly notice that there aren’t many places to hike or stroll. That means that the grand vista of miles of New York City’s drinking water is often hidden from view. (Or only glimpsed through the window of a passing car.)

This Friday, that’s going to change with the opening of the new Shavertown Trail in the Catskills town of Andes. The brainchild of a determined Andes resident and Catskill Mountain Club board member named Ann Roberti, the Shavertown trail is a 5.3-mile jaunt that begins near the water and then climbs a ridge to sweeping views of the water. The whole trail is on NYC Department of Environmental Protection land.

This is a step forward for the DEP, which historically had forbidden most public access to its large landholdings around the reservoirs. In recent years, the DEP has opened many of its lands and waters. But working with local groups — in this case, the Catskill Mountain Club, the town of Andes, Andes Works, and the New York New Jersey Trail Conference — to plan a trail on DEP land is a big new step.

Thanks to Roberti, the Shavertown trail isn’t the only new hiking trail in Andes. Last year, she helped create the Andes Rail Trail, a 2-mile hike on an old railroad right-of-way that begins just outside of town. This year, Roberti led the community in landscaping the entrance to the rail trail and in expanding it another two miles with the Bullet Hole Spur.

We asked Roberti to tell us more about the improvements to the rail trail. Here’s what she sent us:

Rail trail entryway

The Common Ground Garden Club a local club for garden enthusiasts with a commitment to supporting the community, took on landscaping the entryway to the Andes Rail Trail as this year’s community project. Mel Bellar, of the CGCC and owner of Zone4 Landscapes, designed a beautiful pergola, bench and gate for the entryway, as well as native plantings for around the structure and the start of the trail. Members of the garden club, along with volunteers and donations from members of Andes Works!, the Catskill Mountain Club and several Andes citizens, made Mel’s design a reality. They also created beautiful planting beds by the pergola and gate, as well as around the kiosk that was created last year with a grant from Parks & Trails NY to provide a trail map and railroad history.

[The weekend of August 2 to 4], club members planted native shrubs and perennials that will make the entryway beautiful and inviting for years to come. Commenting on the project, Mel Bellar said: “It is a very exciting project and it is going to be beautiful. It is so thrilling to see how many people are already using the trail and to see the whole project taking shape.”

The citizens of Andes and the many other trail users are so grateful to the Common Ground Garden Club and the other contributors to this terrific project.

Bullet Hole Spur hiking trail

The Andes Rail Trail is now complete with the opening of the Bullet Hole Spur addition to the hiking trail. This extension to the rail trail adds an additional 2 miles, bringing the option of the total walk to 3.9 miles round trip. The Spur climbs Hemlock Knoll, the ridge above the rail bed, taking hikers through mature hardwood forest, open woodlands covered in ferns and princess pine, magnificent rock outcroppings, an old pine plantation and hemlocks towering above the Bullet Hole Creek. It is really a beautiful trail, giving the hiker a bit of many different Catskills environments. The Spur is more strenuous than the flat railbed, climbing 250 feet in a half mile, but switchbacks and stone steps help out. The steep sections are followed by relatively flat areas so you get a nice break after working a little harder. The trail has been getting a lot of use by Andes residents and visitors who have been delighted with all that this relatively short trail has to offer.

People ask when the trail will be extended to the Pepacton, and the answer is “it won’t be”. The old railbed now passes through active dairy and beef cattle farms as well as through other properties that are not conducive to a public footpath. While it would be lovely to have a longer trail, it is just not feasible for the old Delaware and Northern railbed which was decommissioned 88 years ago and has been used for other things since then.

Hiking in Andes

Celebrate the grand opening of the Shavertown Trail this Friday, August 30, at noon, at the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch, just off Route 30 on the north side of Shavertown Bridge in Andes. Two-mile hike to follow. If you can’t make Friday, the Catskill Mountain Club is leading a guided hike of the new trail on October 8, 2013.

To hike the Andes Rail Trail, head to 266 Depot St., Andes.

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Ontario Pathways is a linear rail trail. It forms a large “V” with a leg from Canandaigua to Stanley and another leg from Stanley to Phelps. Before reaching Phelps, it passes through the town of Orleans in what’s called the Wheat Road section. The linear trail now has a side loop. Doug Daniels spearheaded a group of volunteers to build the loop tril on land owned by Ontario Pathways between the rail trail and Flint Creek. The new trail is marked by white rectangular blazes.

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

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

To find the new loop trail, head north on Ontario pathways. From the intersection where the Route 488 bypass (necessitated by the damage to the Route 488 bridge) rejoins the rail trail, look straight across to find the white blazes. The trail will lead down to and along Flint Creek, ending at a farmer’s lane, where you hike back up and rejoin the rail trail.

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

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

Source: edited from article by Tim Wilbur in the OP newsletter. Tim didn’t mention the length of the new loop trail so if anyone knows, please add it as a comment.

Both “Take Your Bike” guidebooks include Ontario Pathways.

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By Roger Muehlig, Batavia News, link to original post

The town of Batavia will seek state funds to develop a bicycle/hiking trail along an abandoned railroad bed east of the city.

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

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

The proposal looms as the possible start of a larger-scope trail project that has been in Genesee County’s vision for a long time, according to town Supervisor Greg Post. The trail would be located on a portion of the former New York Central Railroad’s old “Peanut Line.” “Hopefully, it’s the first leg of an extended trail,” said town Councilman Chad Zambito.

The Town Board, in cooperation with the city, authorized applying for a Transportation Enhancements Program grant from the state during a special board meeting Wednesday night.

The program would provide 75 percent funding for what Zambito said would be a biking/hiking trail stretching from Seven Springs Road to the city. The city and town would split $340,000 of the cost of the estimated $1.2 million project.

Post said there would be no monetary impact for the town, that most of its share of the project would be in in-house services from its engineering, highway and parks staffs. “We’re not looking at incurring additional costs,” he said.

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

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

Zambito, a member of the town’s Parks and Recreation Committee, said plans call for the path, adjacent to a proposed housing project, to be paved and hopes are that it would take bicycle traffic off East Main Road. Eventually, it could run along abandoned rail lines through the city to Pearl Street, he said.

The board authorized Stuart I. Brown/LaBella Associates of Rochester to prepare a grant application for TEP funds at a cost of $5,000. Post said the town should receive an answer from the state by the end of October.

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

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

The “Peanut Line” connected Canandaigua and Niagara Falls. Its route passed through towns including Le Roy and Batavia.

But the route eventually became redundant and a portion in Livingston County was abandoned in 1939. Most of the remainder was torn up by the 1970s, although some tiny segments remain in use, including in Batavia.

Portions of the old line have also been converted into trails in Amherst, Clarence and Canandaigua. These are included in the guidebooks “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region”, “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in the Rochester NY Area”, and “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in NY’s Finger Lakes Region.”

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