Posts Tagged ‘catharine valley trail’

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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Nature trails offer path to fitness, prosperity for Southern Tier

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by Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails NY

Visiting a rail or canal trail is a wonderful way to stretch your legs after a long, cold winter. With scores of beautiful birds available for viewing during spring migration, bird watching is a great reason to get moving. Birding is one of the most popular forms of recreation in the country, with one in five people enjoying the activity. With this in mind, Parks & Trails New York has developed a list of trails especially good for birding.

New York’s multi-use trails offer the perfect place for bird watching. Within a few miles, many trails pass through multiple habitats including forests, wetlands, open fields, ponds, marshes, lakes, streams, and even sand dunes, providing multiple opportunities to see and hear a large number of species in a single outing.

“The diverse habitats our trails in New York traverse provide the opportunity to see many species, maybe even less common or rare species, which can be very exciting,” said Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails New York’s Executive Director. “Bird watching on trails is an inexpensive activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family.”

While enjoying the sights and sounds of birds on the trails, it is important not to disturb their homes. Audubon New York works to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and their habitats. The Important Bird Areas (IBA) program is an international bird conservation that identifies the most important places for bird species vulnerable to habitat loss or disturbances, and works to conserve them. There are currently 136 IBA sites in New York.

There are many places to enjoy bird watching across the state. Here are Parks & Trails New York’s top rail and canal trails to help you revel in the beauty of spring migration.

Ralph C. Sheldon Trail (Western NY) – More than 175 species have been identified along this 5.5 mile trail, part of the Chautauqua Rails-to-Trails system. Recognized as one of the outstanding bird habitats in the region, some of the rare birds spotted here include the Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, American Bittern and approximately 25 species of migrating and nesting warblers. While visiting Chautauqua County, be sure to stop by Ripley Hawk Watch, which has officially counted more than a quarter-of-a-million raptors since 1985, and Point Gratiot, one of the most visited regions in Western New York by birders for spring migrants.

Chenango Canal Towpath Trail (Central NY) – The 6.4-mile Towpath Trail runs five miles along the historic Chenango Canal and over one mile along an abandoned railroad. The Towpath trail has excellent bird watching at peak migration and a wide variety of waterfowl in the Canal and Woodman Pond.

Harlem Valley Rail Trail (Mid-Hudson NY) – Enjoy 15 paved miles of converted rail trail as you explore rural Dutchess and Colombia County landscapes. Along the trail you will see former railroad stations and interpretive signs highlighting the railroad, community, and natural history. Many species of birds and other wildlife can be seen from the trail including the red-winged blackbird and yellow rumped warbler.

Old Erie Canal State Historic Park (Central NY) – A 36-mile stretch of the 363-mile Old Erie Canal has been designated a national recreational trail by the National Park Service. This trail will take you through woodland and wetland habitats, giving you the opportunity to observe many species of birds. Several areas have footbridges that aid access to the canal towpath where visitors can view the remnants of stone aqueducts.

Catharine Valley Trail (Finger Lakes NY) – Experience the scenic beauty and historic charm of the glacially-carved valley south of Seneca Lake. The compact stone dust trail runs 6 miles along an abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors. Passing through a variety of habitats, the trail is home to warblers, catbirds, cardinals, orioles, hawks, and owls.

Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail (Capital District) – Just east of downtown Saratoga Springs, this rail-trail runs two miles through open marsh, wet meadow, and forested wetlands via an extensive boardwalk system. This environment attracts migrant birds and residents alike, with over 100 recorded species. View beautiful Bog Meadow Brook from the trail and learn the historical significance of the area with posted educational signs.

New York has hundreds of trails with exceptional birding opportunities. Visit one of our top picks or find one closer to you on the Parks & Trails New York Trail Finder at www.ptny.org/trailfinder.

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By Jeff Murray, Star Gazette, link to original post

When Tom Trifoso of Elmira decided to rekindle his interest in biking after a 21-year absence, he had no idea it would lead to a fast-growing club that is now certified to help other bicyclists handle emergencies.

But that’s exactly what happened when Trifoso and fellow bike enthusiast Carol Worden started the Finger Lakes Mountain Bike Club in December.

In less than a year, the club has attracted 37 members, has a website and recently received training and certification from the National Mountain Bike Patrol. “It’s a spinoff of the National Ski Patrol. What Carol and I had to do is be First Aid and CPR certified,” Trifoso said. “The patrol is the eyes and ears of landowners. If we see trees down or anything dangerous, we report it. If anyone falls and gets hurt or has mechanical problems, we’re trained to help them out.”

Trifoso took additional classes and is certified to train others to become part of the bike patrol.

There are about 60 National Mountain Bike Patrol groups in the United States and only two or three in New York, Trifoso said. A big part of the club’s mission is safety education. “We do take beginners. There are a lot of adults and children that don’t wear helmets,” Worden said.

Trifoso is close friends with Jim Pfiffer, director of the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed. He’s also fond of riding on some of the trails along the river, so it made sense to set up the club as an affiliate of the friends group.

The fledgling club is looking for more members and it doesn’t matter if they are advanced bicyclists, Trifoso said. Mainly they want people who are willing to get their hands dirty and help develop new trails or improve existing ones.

Membership is free. “We’re not a bunch of kids bombing down a mountain. There’s a lot more to off-road riding,” Trifoso said. “We have the Catharine Valley Trail, Keuka Trail, a lot of trails that are really relaxing and fun to ride on.

“This is for all skill levels. We really want to focus on kids, getting them out here so they can see the benefits of getting out in nature and getting off the road.”

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