Posts Tagged ‘Canandaigua NY’

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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Pack, Paddle, Ski Corp. is an amazing organization. They not only intrioduce people to the outdoors through local adventures in New York State, and take people to far flug locales across the globe for outdoor adventures that stay far away from tourists routes and allow you to experience local cultures up close, but they have a heart.

Over the years they have created Journeys of Inspiration to create a community of people to support cancer victims. They created Journeys of Solutions where people raise funds for scholarships and projects in needy places. And Volunteer Adventures where people travel to build houses, and help in orphanages and schools across the globe. Not just a travel adventure company, Pack Paddle Ski is a people helping organization with a world focus. Awe inspiring.

One of their latest projects has to do with providing water for school kids in drought stricken Africa. In the words of Bob Kuehl. President, Journeys of Solutions:  “As many of you may know, there has been an extended drought in East Africa. Tanzania has not been immune. We recently received an appeal from Bayo, the headmaster of the Tumaini Primary School in Kartu. We have been supporting the school, and sponsoring scholarships for children from the Shalom Orphanage to attend Tumaini. The school is in need of more water. They have drilled an exploratory bore hole and have reached good water, but at a great depth. Now they need the funding to construct a well. Journeys of Solutions has committed to help. If you would like to help with a donation, please visit http://www.journeysofsolutions.org and designate the donation as Tumaini Water Fund. Also, we will be holding a JOS fund raiser on November 5th at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua. More details will be available soon so hold the date.”

If you can, donate to this worthy cause. Or, get involved with any of the many outreach projects sponsored by Pack, Paddle, Ski. It’s a small world and your rewards for participating in the greater good will be many.

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A portion of a trail affectionately dubbed the “Peanut Line” is now open for use. The history of the trail dates from 1855, when the New York Central Railroad acquired the space. In 2008, James Judkins of Canandaigua donated to the town of Canandaigua his section of the Peanut Line, which runs from County Road 30 to Cooley Road.

In its trails master plan adopted last year, the town of Canandaigua stated plans to connect the city of Canandaigua through the town to East Bloomfield with the Peanut Line Trail, with hopes to eventually continue to connect to Honeoye Falls.

Click here for a pdf with photos of the June 4, 2011 grand opening.

Don’t confuse this with the Peanut Line Trail in Clarence (near Buffalo) which is a 6 mile trail, with a proposed extension, along an old rail system.  This trail runs parallel to Clarence Center Road, from Meadowlakes Park to Kraus Road. Click here for info.

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