Allegheny River Valley Trail

New York

Get a FREE guidebook when you join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Take your pick of one of our 13 trail guides when you give $30 or more to build trails!

Allegheny River Valley Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Cattaraugus
Length: 8.1 miles
Trail end points: Bonaventure Road and E. Union St. (Allegany) and E. Greene St. and Edwards Ct. (Olean)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016683
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Allegheny River Valley Trail Description

The towns of Allegany and Olean (OH-lee-an) sat at the hub of river, railroad, wagon road, and canal traffic during New York’s early history. It’s no wonder that today the area is home to a popular trail that connects the two towns.

The Allegheny River Valley Trail comprises a 5-mile main loop and a 1-mile cutoff around St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, and a 2-mile connector on paths and sidewalks into Olean. The entire 8 miles is paved, traveling along the wooded Allegheny River shoreline for about 3 miles, encircling the college campus, and passing through the industrial and retail center of Olean to a trailhead brewery.

The main loop trail dates back to the 1990s, when local businessman Joseph Higgins conceived a loop trail using the southern edge of a sprawling rail yard. He helped negotiate an agreement among the Town of Allegany, the City of Olean, and St. Bonaventure University. The extension through Olean was added later.

Starting at the trailhead near the tennis courts at St. Bonaventure University, take the trail to the left to reach the Allegheny River in about 0.25 mile. The river carried early settlers west and brought commerce to the region.

Oak, maple, ash, and cherry trees provide welcome shade in the summertime. At 1.2 miles, you’ll pass a mile-long trail on your left that offers a loop around the university and can serve as a shortcut back to the trailhead. On the main loop, you’ll cross a few bridges over small tributaries and experience short dips and climbs.

At 2 miles, you arrive at Gargoyle Park, which has parking, athletic fields, and restrooms. East and west of the park you’ll see earthen berms—all that’s left of a 368-acre oil tank facility that held some 300 tanks until the early 1940s. The 4.5-foot embankments surrounded each tank in case of fire or a rupture. Company owners created the park for tank farm workers and their families.

The trail turns away from the river at 3 miles and heads north along an unshaded utility right-of-way for about a mile to a trail fork. A right turn goes 2 miles through residential and retail areas of Olean on paths and sidewalks along Constitution Avenue, Wayne Street, and an active railroad line to the local campus of Jamestown Community College, where you’ll see a 1940s vintage Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station. The trail continues south along Olean Creek to a sidewalk on Adams Street that ends at Edwards Court.

A left turn at the previously mentioned fork follows the main loop. After crossing Constitution Avenue, you’ll pass a popular ice cream shop and travel within sight of the rail yard. You’ll return to the St. Bonaventure campus about a mile after the fork and arrive at your starting spot in about another 0.5 mile.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the trailhead at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany from I-86/Southern Tier Expy., take Exit 24, and head south on W. 5 Mile Road. Go 0.4 mile, and turn left onto NY 417/W. State Road. Go 0.8 mile, and stay straight as the road becomes NY 417/Main St. Go 0.5 mile, and turn right onto S. Seventh St. Then go 0.1 mile, and turn left onto E. Union St. Go 0.4 mile, and turn right onto Bonaventure Road; look for parking on the right. The trail is adjacent to the parking lot.

To reach the trailhead in Olean from I-86/Southern Tier Expy., take Exit 26 and turn right onto NY 16/N. Union St. Ext. Go 0.6 mile, turn left onto Front St., and then go 1.2 miles. Turn right onto E. State St. Go 0.3 mile, turn left onto Fulton St., and then go 0.2 mile. Bear right onto Adams St. Go 0.1 mile to E. Greene St., and look for parking at Four Mile Brewing, which allows trail parking.

Allegheny River Valley Trail Reviews

2nd time been here did the small loop. But was a great time.
This trail is great shape & well taken care of.

I just found out about Wheelchair Accessible Trails. Thanx TrailLink! First I'd been hiking in years only went in 1 mile. But it was very nice! Thanx, again I'll be back!

Walked this trail last weekend and found it refreshing and relaxing. Lots of nice wide paths and well maintained.

Accordion

Ran here in July on vacation.Started at St Bonaventure Tennis Courts.Cool summer morning.Just a very pleasant trail,scenic views of river,and friendly people.

myself and my partner just moved to Olean, Ny and were looking forward to biking local trails..we were pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the trail..

This is a beautiful, paved trail that winds through forested, shady area along the Allegheny River section, perfect for a warm summer day. It has never been too busy when I was on it, maybe I was just lucky. There are a few slightly hilly areas, and I love going over the wooden bridges that cross the small streams flowing in to the river. I have seen deer several times back in the woods, and there are several benches as well as a park where you can stop to rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
I usually start my ride (or walk) from Bonnie and go to where it crosses W. State Street, then turn around and go back, as the other part of the trail is open and passes near homes and businesses. That's the reason why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars. This is good, though, if you want to grab a bite to eat or a coffee at Tim Hortons.

nice ,its almost downhill all the way around. has an ice cream stand near the end. my wife even liked it, n shes not an avid bike rider! I wanted to go around again!

We parked at St. Bonaventure University parking lot and headed on the trail on the East side of the University. It was a beautiful warm autumn day and what an awesome trail this is. It is flat, wide and paved the entire way. You have to cross a few streets but Olean is not a real busy place. It really was not a problem. If you don't want to cross any streets, you can just turn around and ride back since it is a loop. You pass by a park halfway around the trail so you could pack a lunch and bring it. There is a small playground in the park. You may be able to fish in the river that goes alongside the trail. This path is a just the right amount of bike riding for one day for a family. It would be great for rollarblading also. I recommend it for a nice fall day!

Although never far from the sound of traffic, we found this trail to be a gem. The section along the Allegheny River went by gorgeous big trees, mostly red and white oaks. There was a variety of birds singing, and plenty of squirrels and chipmunks gathering acorns. The part of the trail away from the river went by St. Bonaventure University, and, on the north side of Route 417, past businesses, including a railyard, and through neighborhoods. The trail itself was paved, with gentle changes in elevation and enough curves to make the ride a lot of fun. Our odometer measured the length as just over 6 miles, so we went around twice. We'll definitely make this a trail we ride a few times a year.

The trail along the river was beautiful. The trail is well maintained as well. I would like to see map on the TrailLink.com Web site so people can see where it goes before they set out on the trail.

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Richard E. McDowell Trail

Pennsylvania - 1.3 miles

The Richard E. McDowell Trail is a hiking and biking trail on the edge of the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford campus. The trail is almost entirely...

Blaisdell-Emery Trail

Pennsylvania - 3.8 miles

The Blaisdell-Emery Trail follows an abandoned railroad bed between South Bradford and the borough of Lewis Run. This scenic trail parallels Tunungant...

Pat McGee Trail

New York - 12.1 miles

The key word in describing the Pat McGee Trail in western New York is variety. The rail-trail rolls for more than 12 miles across the Allegheny...

Accordion

Marilla Bridges Trail

Pennsylvania - 1 miles

The Marilla Bridges Trail provides a 1-mile loop around Marilla Reservoir in Bradford, not far from the Pennsylvania/New York border. The fine-crushed...

Genesee Valley Greenway

New York - 68.8 miles

The Genesee Valley Greenway rolls through towns and countless landscapes from Rochester south to Cuba, New York. The greenway is a work in progress,...

Shawmut Trail

Pennsylvania - 0.6 miles

The Shawmut Trail begins in the southwest corner of the small, charming community of Smethport and continues southwest out of town along Marvin Creek....

Kinzua Bridge Skywalk

Pennsylvania - 0.2 miles

hough it may only be 600 feet long, the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk is a special treat for history buffs and thrill seekers alike. Situated within Kinzua...

Knox Kane Rail Trail

Pennsylvania - 3.8 miles

A 3.8-mile section of northern Pennsylvania's Knox Kane Rail Trail opened in McKean County in 2018. The crushed-stone pathway runs through a largely...

Kinzua Valley Trail

Pennsylvania - 6 miles

Deep within the Allegheny National Forest lies a rail-trail with a past. The Kinzua Valley Trail follows the route of the former Kinzua and Hemlock...

Springville Pop Warner Rail Trail

New York - 1.8 miles

The Village of Springville in western New York is home to the first section of the proposed 27-mile corridor that will eventually be known as the...

Allegheny National Forest - Deerlick XC Ski Trail

Pennsylvania - 9 miles

This trail is not groomed. The trail is a combination of logging roads, railroad grades and pipelines that offer challenges to a wide range of skill...

Warren to North Warren Bike Trail

Pennsylvania - 3 miles

Located along the banks of Conewango Creek, the open 3-mile segment of this proposed 11-mile trail follows an old New York Central branch north from...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Build trails nationwide + pick your FREE 2019 RTC member t-shirt!
Get a FREE guidebook when you join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

OR