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There are so many reminders from the heyday of the railroad age on the nearly 10-mile Auburn Trail that visitors might imagine they’re chugging through villages and countryside at the throttle of a locomotive. An old depot, a pump house, waiting shelters, and concrete mileage markers (two are original) are just some of the relics from the old days.
The crushed-stone trail follows the corridor of a New York Central line from Farmington to Pittsford. There remains one gap in Victor but work is under way to close it.
Near the southern end of the trail, Mertensia Park offers a convenient starting point, with parking at the entrance next to the trail. Turn right to follow the trail northwest, or take a new 3-mile section that heads southeast toward NY 332 and the Auburn Meadows subdivision.
Heading northwest, you’ll reach a 0.8-mile detour onto East Victor Road. The town of Victor plans to close this gap with a foot trail across golf course property. If it’s not completed, turn right onto East Victor Road, left onto Break of Day Road, and left onto Brace Road. Look for the trail on the right.
The Auburn Trail goes just over a mile to the site of a circa 1840 railroad depot of the Auburn and Rochester Railroad, which lends its name to the trail. A number of mergers resulted in its acquisition by New York Central Railroad in 1853. This corridor’s sections closed in 1960 and 1978. The depot is privately owned, as is an adjacent boxcar.
Another detour starts at the depot, although plans call for closing this gap with a trail alongside railroad property. If that’s not complete, turn right onto the bike lane on Maple Avenue; go 0.5 mile and turn left onto Adams Street (or go another block to Main Street through the historical Victor Village); and then turn left onto School Street and pass two breweries en route to the trail in 0.5 mile on the right.
You’ll cross the dirt Seneca Trail for hikers on the right past Rawson Road, and in about 2 miles you’ll come to Lehigh Crossing Park and cross under the Lehigh Valley Trail, which heads west 15 miles to the Genesee Valley Greenway.
You’ll arrive on Main Street in Fishers about a mile past the Lehigh Valley Trail junction. The small cobblestone building on the north side of the trail is a pump house built for the Auburn and Rochester Railroad in 1845 to supply water to steam locomotives.
The final leg to Woolston Road passes through rural countryside, crossing Irondequoit Creek on two stone-arch bridges and a 90-foot steel bridge. A painted mural graces the trail’s I-90/New York Thruway underpass. Facilities are available at the 380-acre Powder Mills Park, after you turn right onto Woolston Road and travel 0.3 mile to the park entrance.
To reach the Mertensia Park trailhead in Farmington from I-90, take Exit 44 toward Canandaigua, and merge onto NY 332. Go 1.4 miles, turn right onto NY 96, and then go 0.5 mile. Turn left onto Mertensia Road. Go 0.8 mile, and turn right into the park entrance at Fawn Meadow St. Trail parking is at the entrance.
To reach the trailhead in Pittsford from I-490 S, take Exit 28 and veer right onto NY 96 N. Go 0.2 mile, and turn left onto Fisher Road. From I-490 N, take Exit 29, and turn right onto NY 96 N. Go 2.6 miles, and turn left onto Fisher Road. From Fisher Road, go 0.5 mile, and turn right onto Woolston Road/County Road 29. Go 0.7 mile, and look for parking on the left or right in Powder Mills Park. After parking, continue another 0.3 mile on the shoulder of Woolston Road, and look for the trail on your left.
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