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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 are two gaps in Victor, but work is under way to close them. One on-shoulder detour takes an interesting jaunt past shopping and old buildings in the village of Victor.
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.
Back on the Auburn Trail, 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.
My wife and I had a nice ride in spite of some on and off rain during our ride. The trail was well drained and it was not muddy. My only complaint is that there could be a little better signage on some of the road sections of the trail. As we traveled west out of Mertensia Park we had to guess which way to travel on the road when the trail hit the back of the golf course.
Biked down this trail this afternoon with my 5 year old, it was a very pleasant ride. Though we only scratched the surface, looking forward to riding again.
Can’t add much to other reviews, very nice trail. Added benefit in Victor it passes by Twin Elders Brewing Co and within a 1/4 mile from Stumbling Monkey Brewing. Nice way to end a ride or take a break on the way. I bike with my dog, Stumbling Monkey is dog friendly so very inviting
I biked northwest from route 251 to the northern terminus at Woolston Rd yesterday. Very nice trail and very well maintained. I especially liked the wooded section north of Fishers with its many creek crossings and elevated right-of-way. I also enjoyed the historical information and artwork along the way. Considering that the railroad was abandoned in 1960, the concrete mileage markers are in great shape, which makes me wonder if they were added more recently.
Rode east on the Auburn Trail from its intersection with the Lehigh Valley Trail. It leaves the railbed between School Street and Maple Avenue. You have the option of taking the footpath routing, or going up School Street to a bit of the same railbed used by the Trolley Trail to the west, and then down Maple Avenue to the trailhead. I walked my bicycle on the footpath going east and the bicycle routing on my return. Rode it to the end and a bit past that to pick up some needed refreshments. It peters out at the eastern end, coming little more than a sidewalk in a residential development. The railroad continues, but is brushed over. There is no physical impediment stopping the trail, so there's hope it will be continued eastward.
I rode the whole length of this trail during a cross-state trip. It is very well maintained though it has a couple road-dependent gaps. There are a lot of historical features to add interest. It is an important green link in a growing semirural/suburban environment.
I really enjoy riding this trail when I want to just relax. You will ride over a well maintained path, some parts are shaded and no real busy intersections to cross. Very, very nice trail.
Took the Auburn Trail from the city of Victor and connected on to the Lehigh Valley Trail which we rode out to Rush NY. The trail is crushed stone and was a beautiful ride. There were plenty of maps and markers to show the different routes and it was a nice cruising path. I used a Hybrid Performance Bicycle with no problems. I saw a lot of families with their children out enjoying the trails on bike, running and walking. We did run across some deer, wood chucks and lot of birds. Definitely worth exploring.
This trail a a gem, well maintained, significant shade. Easy to find, ample/safe parking. There are minimal services though a short excursion to crossroad towns would be easy (Victor, NY is upstate NY cute). Wooden bridge, old rail over/underpasses. Connects to Lehigh Trail. Not much grade/hills. Some fresh gravel and sand. I saw some cyclists on road bikes but a hybrid is a much better fit.
On 7/11/12 and again on 7/16/12 I rode this trail end to end. This trail was a treat to ride. I'm used to hills and some difficulties but there were essentially none on the Auburn. The trail is almost completely finished, offering a smooth well finshed surface and long shady sections end to end. Only the last few trail markers on the north end are lacking, but the trail is easily found and accessed. The surface of the trail is consistant hard-packed crushed dolomite, suitable for casual riders and even some road bikes. I ride a mountain bike with trail/road tires, so had no trouble, and found few loose surface areas and no muddy sections. On the days I visited there were very few other riders, hikers and runners, maybe five folks altogether. This trail offered me a cool casual ride through the country to my destination in Ontario County. In Victor the short street detour takes the rider past shops and restaurants, which is nice for the rider who likes to stop and tour.
This trail was updated in 2009 with stonedust topping from Main Street Fishers to the Victor-Farmington townline. Excellent ride with a few road crossings. You can also connect to the Lehigh Valley Trail that leads west to the towns of Mendon and Rush. Continue west to cross the Genesee River and hook up with the Genesee Valley Greenway which runs from Rochester to Mount Morris, NY and Letchworth State Park.
Look for the extension of the Auburn Trail to the north to connect Fishers with Pittsford, NY, scheduled to be open in 2012.
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