Archive for the ‘Victor Hiking Trails’ Category

Click here to read: David Wright (a founder of Victor Hiking Trails)  stays close to great outdoors

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by JACK HALEY | MESSENGER POST,. link to original post

Ontario County’s communities demonstrated great vision years ago when they embarked on plans to redevelop abandoned railroad lines into paths for biking, walking and winter activities.

In Victor and Farmington, the old Auburn Trail is a well-used path that connects Ontario County to one of the state’s largest trails: the Erie Canal path (editors note: this isn’t true). Conversely, bikers and hikers in Canandaigua can take the Ontario Pathways trail from the city and head for many miles into the country, traversing Hopewell, Seneca and even Phelps.

But there is one problem: There is no connection from the Pathways in Canandaigua to the Auburn Trail, which ends at Mertensia Road in Farmington, a stretch of about seven miles.

Leaders in the town and city of Canandaigua and Farmington want to change that. The three municipalities are in the initial stages of a study to connect these popular paths. They have created a committee representing respective governments and have hired a consultant, Fisher Associates, at a cost of $85,000 to forge a plan.

Building a connecting path would give Ontario Pathways users access to one of the largest trail networks in the state, one that in theory could take them to downtown Rochester or even Buffalo. That connection could also open the door to the growing bike-tourism industry by allowing those on, say, the canal trail to head south and take in all that Ontario County has to offer.

And it’s a win for county residents as well, by giving them a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to motor vehicles.

But the path to making this happen is not so clear. Some of the routes envisioned involve private land, meaning access — either through property easements or land sales — could take time to orchestrate.

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes

And then there is busy Route 332. At some point, the trail has to cross this major highway, either through the city or in the town. Possibilities include crossing at any number of traffic lights on the highway, although committee members aren’t sure that’s safe enough for walkers and bicyclists, especially children.

But what about the possibility of going over or under Route 332? Pedestrian bridges and tunnels aren’t cheap, but they’re safe. And if the county wants to create a true alternative transportation network, the money spent would be worth it. If federal funding is available to create traffic roundabouts in Hopewell — not exactly the highest-traffic area in the county — why not money for a fly-over to allow safe access for hikers and bikers?

Either way, the committee, comprised of authorities on everything from planning to recreation to the environment, appears to have the smarts needed to devise a plan, meaning that at some point the not-so-distant future, trail users in either Farmington or Canandaigua won’t find themselves at the end of the line.

Maps and details ion the Auburn Trail, Ontario pathways and many other area trails con be found in the guidebook “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.”

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By Julie Sherwood, Messenger Post, link to original post

Safety issues are a major concern in connecting the Auburn and Ontario Pathways trails, residents said during a public meeting Wednesday night in Farmington Town Hall.

Residents got an update from project managers with Fisher Associates during the public meeting, which included discussion and a chance for residents to express their views on the project. The goal is to fill a gap in the regional trail system by linking the existing Auburn Trail at Mertensia Road at County Road 41 in Farmington to the Ontario Pathways Trail in the city of Canandaigua.

“In this day and age when people are getting out and are health-conscious, we want walkable communities. That is desirable,” said Roseann Schmid, senior project manager with Fisher Associates.

A federal grant is paying the bulk of the $85,000 paid to Fisher to do a feasability study. The study is due to be completed in March 2012, after several trail options have been narrowed to one based on a number of factors and public input.

“This is one of the largest federally funded feasiblity studies in the nine-county region. There are a number of issues to overcome and once we find solutions, we need to identify environmental impacts,” Ron Brand, Farmington’s director of development, said during a break in the meeting as residents reviewed options for the trial connection that would fill a gap that is roughly seven miles as the crow flies.

This project, in its first step, is at a crucial juncture, said Brand.

“The more support we get now,” he said, the more willing government entities will be later to put money toward the project.

Challenges include obtaining permission to access private and agricultural lands and cross roadways that could involve the four-lane highway, Route 332, much of which has a 55 mph speed limit.

“You don’t want kids and families going across Route 332,” said Michael Buskus, an avid bicyclist who moved to Farmington about six months ago from the Albany area. He said he rides bike trails several times a week and encounters dangerous situations between bikers and motorists. Others expressed similar views, in addition to wanting a trail that is scenic and free from traffic noise and exhaust fumes
Residents can views maps, offer input and obtain updates and meeting information at the Town of Farmington’s website — www.townoffarmingtonny.com — or may call Brand at (315) 986-8189.

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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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Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area – A Unique Part of the Auburn Trail Extension

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Victor Hiking Trails opened a new loop trail and lists upcoming hikes for 2010, as well as updates on Dryer Road Park, Fishers Park, Victory Municipal Park, and Lehigh Crossing Park in their newsletter; click here.

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Victor Hiking Trails recently added about two miles of new hiking trails to their system of trails. The newest trails connect to the Lehigh Trail near Lehigh Crossing Park.

The first Trail begins on Omnitech Drive about 1/4 mile west of Route 96, near the new Best Western Hotel. It is built on the old Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railway track and terminates on the Lehigh Trail at the northwest corner of Lehigh Crossing Park.

The second trail is actually two separate trails or a loop trail. It begins at the edge of the woods in back of Fishers Landing Plaza on Route 96. Park in back of Monroe Muffler and look for the trail marker. You can follow the yellow trail to a creek and then follow the creek to the Lehigh Trail and Lehigh Crossing Park. Or you can follow the red trail directly to the same point on the Lehigh Trail.

There is also a new trail in Lehigh Crossing Park that goes from that same point on the Lehigh Trail to the ponds. Follow the yellow markers.

Another new trail is located within Victor Municipal Park, located between East Street and Brace Road. Based on the Master plan for the park, this new trail runs north and south and connects the southern 10’ path with the old Trolley Trail. It cuts through dogwood bushes and hard woods. Another section connects the new, deepened pond with the Trolley Trail and runs along the edge of the wetland.

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