El Camino: Butterhole-Seneca Park Trail

New York

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El Camino: Butterhole-Seneca Park Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Monroe
Length: 2.3 miles
Trail end points: Genesee Riverway Trail at St. Paul Blvd. in Seneca Park and St. Paul St. and Scrantom St.
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6210628
Trail activities: Bike, Walking

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El Camino: Butterhole-Seneca Park Trail Description

The El Camino: Butterhole-Seneca Park Trail (often more simply called the El Camino Trail) runs diagonally through a neighborhood and industrial properties in northeast Rochester on an abandoned CSX railroad corridor. Trains on the line once hauled coal to the now out-of-service Beebe Station power plant. Views from the trail are not completely dominated by the industrial landscape; the trail is bookended in both the north and south by scenic views of the Genesee River.

Part of the trail’s unusual name refers to the former name (Butterhole) of the neighborhood from its time as a predominantly German enclave of Rochester. The neighborhood was supposedly named for the dairy farms that once dominated the area. At the trail’s northern end, the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Seneca Park offers open fields, picnic shelters, a large pond, playgrounds and a popular zoo. Trail users can also connect to both the Genesee Riverway Trail and the Irondequoit Lakeside Multi-Use Trail within the park.

At the El Camino Trail’s southern end, a new small park (located at the intersection of Conkey and Clifford Avenues) has served as a natural community space for the neighborhood since it opened in 2010.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the El Camino Trail can be found in Seneca Park. Access the park from directly opposite the intersection of St. Paul Boulevard and Collingwood Drive; the parking lot is a short drive north. From the parking lot, take the Genesee Riverway Trail south, and do not cross the bridge. The El Camino Trail is located south of the bridge on the same bank as Seneca Park.

El Camino: Butterhole-Seneca Park Trail Reviews

As John said, this trail goes through a very urban neighborhood. Expect to see the backs of a lot of buildings. Still, it's a nice ride, all downhill going north towards the lake. In places, you can still see rails or ties left in place. Always nice to see remains of the railroad that created the trail.

This trail follows the original route that the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad took in to the city of Rochester. The RW&O was nicknamed "Hojack".

The official trail goes from Scrantom St to Seneca Park. As the guide says, parking is best at Seneca Park, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. It does go through urban neighborhoods. This part of the trail is suitable for hybrids.

A trail continues north of Seneca Park on the old rail bed for another 3.7 miles to Thomas Ave. this is unimproved, and you will want an off road type bike for this. it is bumpy, and overgrown. You will also be riding up hill on the way back.

You can easily combine this with a ride on parts of the Genesee Riverway Trail to make a loop. I rate this 4 stars because it is something different, and you can get a little workout.

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