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.