Genesee Valley Greenway State Park Trail

This scenic and historic corridor follows the route of the 19th century Genesee Valley Canal and the later Genesee Valley Railroad which operated into the second-half of the 20th century. As a result the GVG has a wonderful mix of flat, easily traversed trails that lead users through diverse natural areas, scenic views, and historic attractions.

photo: Genesee Valley Greenway State Park - Brook Road Type: Equestrian Trail, Fitness Trail, Greenway, Mountain Bike Trail, Nature Trail, Rail Trail, Snow Trail, Urban Trail
Length: 84.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement)
Bicycling (off pavement)
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Fishing
Heritage and History
Motorized vehicles - Snowmobiling
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Roller/Inline Skating
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Snow - Snow Play, General
Snow - Snowshoeing
Wildlife Observation
Agency: State
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

See more details.

Become an NRT Ambassador

Join a cadre of volunteers to help improve the data on this trail.

Directions

Location: The Genesee Valley Greenway is located in Western New York and extends 84 miles from the City of Rochester in the north to the Village of Cuba in the south.
States: New York
Counties: Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, Allegany, Cattaraugus
Latitude: 43.12265   Longitude: -77.64205

The trail can be accessed at any road crossing. For a map of the trail, which also depicts larger parking areas along the length, please visit www.fogvg.or or www.nysparks.com

Description

As a New York State Park the Genesee Valley Greenway (GVG) is regularly maintained through a cooperative effort between the Genesee State Park Region and the Allegany State Park Region. Currently (2013) a Management Plan is being developed for the facility utilizing input from the Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway, neighboring municipalities, adjoining landowners, and the general public.

The Genesee Valley Greenway is an 84-mile public, multi-use trail and natural and historic resource corridor that follows the route of the Genesee Valley Canal (1840-1878) and the Pennsylvania Railroad Rochester Branch (1882-1963/1971) from the Erie Canalway Trail in Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park to Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County. It passes through the woodlands, wetlands, river and stream valleys, rolling farmlands, steep gorges, and historic villages in sixteen towns located in Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, Allegany, and Cattaraugus counties. Like thousands of other abandoned towpaths and rail beds across the country, the Genesee Valley Greenway provides opportunities for public recreation and an off-road link to communities, parks, and other trails such as the Finger Lakes Trail and Lehigh Valley Trail, and attractions in the region.

The cinders of the former rail bed serve as a level, 12-feet wide trail open for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Presently, forty-two miles of the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park are open to the public in Livingston and Monroe counties, thirty-two miles between Rochester and the Livingston County Village of Mt. Morris and another ten miles in the Livingston County towns of Nunda and Portage.

In the Wyoming County Town of Genesee Falls, approximately 2.5 miles of the former rail bed have served as part of the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) since 1968. (In 1998, 1.2 miles of this section of FLT and Greenway was also designated North Country National Scenic Trail. On June 26, 1999, this small section of Greenway and FLT also became a National Millennium Trail, by virtue of the North Country National Scenic Trail receiving this distinction.)

In Allegany County, between Belfast and Oramel, 3.1 miles of rail bed are being used as an off-road link between the two communities. Five miles of Greenway have been cleared of brush and trash and are being used by the public in Allegany County between Gleason Hill Road and Route 305 in the Town of Belfast and between Tibbetts Hill Road and South Road in the Town of New Hudson. 1.2 miles of trail are being used between Route 243 and the Route 19 crossing north of Caneadea.

In other locations in Wyoming and Allegany counties, the absence of bridges and culverts and areas of significant erosion, caused by the Genesee River and Black Creek, compromise the integrity of the rail bed and restrict its use. Furthermore, from the Village of Cuba north to .35 miles south of Jackson Hill Road in the Allegany County Town of Cuba, the rail bed has been sold to private landowners.

Greenway development has taken place on the section of former canal and Pennsylvania rail bed located in Cattaraugus County. Portions of the corridor were previously sold by RG&E to private landowners and to New York State for the construction of Interstate 86, making creation of a continuous trail to the Town of Hinsdale more difficult. Nevertheless, Hinsdale citizens have cleared Lock #102 and begun to develop a trail along some of the former canal corridor that is privately owned, south of the State-owned section.

As a scenic and aesthetic resource, GVG trail users have cited:

• The canal prism
• The tunnel of green created by the canopy of trees overhanging the trail
• Pastures and farm fields adjoining the trail
• Oak trees among farm fields in Caledonia and Wheatland
• Keshequa Creek gorge and surrounding hills
• Small waterfalls in Sonyea State Forest
• Genesee River gorge and waterfalls in Letchworth State Park
• Amish farmsteads and farming practices
• Views of the Genesee River
• Beautiful stone structures

Additional Details

Width: 127 inches.
Primary Surface: Grass or Vegetation
Secondary Surface: Asphalt
Boardwalk
Grass or Vegetation
Gravel
Snow or ice
Soil, compacted

Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: 500
Elevation High Point: 1,500
Year Designated: 2014

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, & Hist
Website: Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Kristina Schoepfer
Park Manager
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Pres.
1 Letchworth State Park
Castile , NY 14427
(585) 493-3614
kristina.schoepfer@parks.ny.gov

 

Photos

No additional photos are available.

Reviews

No reviews are available. Be the first to leave one!

 



Enter our contest

We're giving away one Trail Boss mug per month through the end of 2018. Leave a review of this or any trail to be entered into the drawing.

Suggest an Edit

Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact us below: