Big Flats Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

A pleasant walk between wetland habitat and farmland, this short community trail sits atop a sewer line that Corning Glassworks installed to serve its Big Flats plant. Corning provided the crushed stone surface for the trail.

The main trailhead is located near the center of the path off Kahler Road. A lovely new park with a pond, nature trail and a picnic pavilion is located here. It was developed by community volunteers in tribute to New York State Trooper Andrew J. Sperr, who was killed in the line of duty by suspected bank robbers. The park was designed as a continuation of the Lowes Pond wetland area.

Heading west from the trailhead, the trail descends briefly and then flattens out for about a mile. Wetlands on both sides of the trail make this a great place to observe the variety of birdlife here. The trail ends at Winters Road (also called CR 17 and S. Hibbard Rd.) near some houses. This entire section of the trail is open wetlands and doesn't provide much shade.

East from the Kahler Road trailhead is a more shaded experience. Woods on one side of the trail and a line of trees on the other keep you under leafy cover. The line of trees separates you from cultivated farmland until the trail dead-ends just before reaching Big Flats Road/County Route 64. There is no easy access to the road from this location.

A local transportation council has recommended that the Big Flats Rail Trail be connected to Consumer Square Mall and Big Flats Town Center, and also extend to the Town of Horseheads, connecting it with the Catharine Valley Trail. If these extensions are made, this trail will become more than a pleasant place to walk or bike; it will be a useful transportation connection for the community.

Parking and Trail Access

From I-86 in Elmira, take Exit 50 onto Route 63 South/Kahler Road. Follow about 0.25 mile to the park entrance. The trailhead is on the right.


Nicely constructed

   October, 2015 by RussNelson Rode this trail April 9th, 2011. The Big Flats Rail Trail is compacted stone dust, with a nice trailhead, and park benches. Just a short portion of the railroad is included. To the west, the tracks more

Great community asset

   September, 2015 by jmiller41785

The Big Flats nature trail offers a safe, easy and fun little trail for the whole family. We took my kids out in the bike trailer for a short after dinner ride. The trail was pretty quiet, the only other patrons last night were some birders. If you have more

Inspiring Tribute, Lasting Legacy

   October, 2014 by amberwalks

This lovely loop provides so much diversity in a short time. Very well maintained. read more