The town of Perinton, New York, has been hard at work improving the Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Trail, and it shows. Since 1996, when the American Hiking Society designated Perinton as a Trail Town USA, the trail has a new connection with the town hall and its surrounding park facilities, and there is a state-of-the-art road crossing at busy Route 31. Even the crushed limestone surface is in great shape.
The rail-trail connects with the town's Crescent Trail footpath system and now, thanks to a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the canal built by the town of Fairport, also connects directly with the Erie Canal Heritage Trail.
The trail is also known locally as the RS&E Trail, the Perinton Hike-Bikeway, or the Trolley Trail, for the electric trolley that ran on the corridor. Whatever name you use, the trail provides an excellent spot for a walk or bike ride.
It's probably best to start your adventure at Egypt Park on the corner of Route 31 and Victor Road. From the southwest corner of the parking lot, follow a short connecting path to the trail. Turn right onto the rail-trail but look left to see the horses and other animals of Lollypop Farms, the large Human Society branch of Monroe and Rochester counties. If you have time at the end of the trip, visit their education center, hands-on outdoor pens or even the adoption center. From Egypt Park, the trail heads both east and west; east where it dead-ends (for now) at Pannell Road and west toward Fairport.
Heading west from Egypt Park, the trail crosses Route 31. At the far side of the busy road, the trail continues on the left. You may notice the power lines overhead. The Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Trail is one of the many rail-trails—nearly 40 percent—that pulls double duty as a recreation and transportation corridor and a utility right-of-way.
After crossing over Route 31, you may feel the headwind off Lake Ontario, about 10 miles north. If you listen closely, you can hear the train whistle from the active rail line a few miles still ahead. Forested and open wetlands buffer the trail for much of its length, and at times the trail rises 15 feet. The trail winds its way through neighborhoods and connects with some backyards. You will see parents pushing baby strollers in the morning and kids walking home from school in the afternoon.
At 2.3 miles a new connecting trail will take you 0.25 mile up the hill to the Perinton Town Hall and Community Center complex and park. At the base of the hill on the connecting trail are nice soccer fields, a storm shelter, bathrooms and picnic areas. Farther up, at the top of the hill, you will see a pool and indoor waterslide. Back on the rail-trail turn left. The trail continues to the Erie Canal.
To reach the Egypt Park Trailhead from I-490, take Exit 26 to Route 31 east. Continue on Route 31 and Pittsford-Palmyra Road for almost 4 miles until you see Egypt Park on your right. At the intersection of Mason and Loud roads, the trail crosses Route 31, but travel another 0.5 mile and turn right on Victor Road. Turn right again into the Egypt Park parking area.