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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 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.
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