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The Genesee Valley Greenway rolls through towns and countless landscapes from Rochester south to Cuba, New York. The greenway is a work in progress, but there is a long, continuous segment (37 miles) between Rochester and Sonyea that provides an off-road experience. As of spring 2012, 60+ disconnected miles of the trail are open to the public; several more are planned that will link the disconnected sections. On the off-road trail segments you may encounter missing bridges or occasional washouts requiring detours. For the latest trail information, visit Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway.
The greenway follows the old transportation routes of the Genesee Valley Canal and the Rochester Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Historical villages and connections with other trails and relics—such as surviving canal structures—provide a rich layer to this otherwise rural ride.
Only the northern 2 miles of the greenway are paved. Cinder, grass and packed dirt give the rest of the trail a firm, level platform. From the start at Rochester's Genesee Valley Park are intriguing sights: you pass the Rochester International Airport fire training school and two charred airplane fuselages used in demonstrations. A short on-road detour along State Route 383 and Ballantyne Road takes you off and then back to the trail. A short side trail takes you north over historic Black Creek Culvert (circa 1838), one of the state's largest 19th-century canal culverts, before it dead-ends at an active rail corridor.
Back on the greenway you pass a large tract of forest conserved by the Genesee Land Trust. At 5.5 miles is the impressive stone Canal Lock #2, one of the few surviving locks along the greenway.
The village of Scottsville, at 9 miles, has connected itself to the trail via the Canal Street Boardwalk. After a detour into the village for refreshments, you can head across Oatka Creek to Canawaugus Park, which has picnic tables, parking and a view across the creek to some remaining historical canal structures. Portions of the old canal bed have become a wetland habitat. Over the next several miles wildlife abounds, attracting birdwatchers and nature photographers.
In Wadsworth Junction, at mile 12.5, you can see massive stone abutments from the bridge that carried the Lehigh Valley Railroad across the Pennsylvania Railroad route. Today both rail corridors are parks. The Lehigh Valley Trail travels 15 miles east across Monroe County. In the trail's first few hundred feet, a short distance east, you are carried over the Genesee River on the same railroad bridge that carried Lehigh Valley cars on its upper deck.
As you continue south, the views from the greenway are primarily agricultural. Occasional woodlands interrupt the otherwise expansive farming landscape. Horses and cattle graze in pastures. Farmhouses, barns and other outbuildings punctuate vast swaths of soybeans, corn and cabbage.
Between Sonyea and Cuba the Genesee Valley Greenway is a work in progress. Sections have been improved, others have recently been added, but some bridges are missing and other sections detour on-road. Visit Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway for a detailed map of open segments and on-road detours, as well as a mile-by-mile trail description.
To reach Rochester from I-390 exit onto Scottsville Road/State Route 383. Turn left onto Scottsville Road. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Genesee Park Boulevard. At the T-intersection turn right again. There is a large parking lot on the left near the tennis courts. At the rear of the parking lot, you will find the Canalway Trail. Follow this trail to the west (don't cross the bridge) to the start of the Genesee Valley Greenway.
There is a large parking area for trail users on the north side of US Route 20 (Telephone Road) to the west of the village of Avon. From Avon, take US Route 20/State Route 5 west. Stay on US 20/Telephone Road. There is a large parking lot on the north side of US 20 before the intersection with River Road.
To reach other access areas along the rest of the length, contact:
Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway
P.O. Box 42
Mt. Morris, NY 14510
My wife and I rode our bikes in the fall of 2019 from Piffard south towards Mount Morris and found the trail well maintained and easy riding, only exception was lots of acorns on the trail. No big deal. In July 2022 we rode several miles south of Belfast to Black Creek and really enjoyed this stretch. Scenic and very easy riding. Well maintained too. Prettiest trail in Western New York without a doubt. They now have funding to complete the southern terminus of this trail so 2023 will be busy on the extreme south end. Can't wait for it to be done!
The GVG is advertised as a Hybrid bike trail to ride comfortably. Don't believe it. This is a Mountain Bike trail. Lots of long stretches of bumpy dirt and grass legs.
Tried riding the section identified as Trail #7 in the southern section of the park. Probably OK for mountain biking, but not typical rail-Trail. Better luck at the north end at Mount Morris. You can park right at the west side of the river or a little further south in town is a nice access with parking. We rode several miles south from Mount Morris and found it to be a nice easy ride. Mostly packed gravel with some dirt.
Me and my wife TRIED to bike the trail system but several things prevented a good ride. We first parked at the Belfast parking on 153. Found the trail was closed going north to Belfast. Road a few miles on the southbound to Cuba, but not very interesting and the trail is slow due to high grass. Drove over to Caneadea and found the parking on 19, but wow was that scary. Decided not to leave our car. Plus the trail looks not to be maintained. So far our visit to this area has not been very successful.
This will be a great trail when it is completely open. There are numerous detours as you travel north toward the city center.
Scenic trail. Easy riding. As of 7/7/18 trail is closed north of 305. I rode north from Black Creek crosses 305 to a shut down trail.
I did the 1-mile section in Cuba, NY and found it extremely bumpy. I searched for access points in Black Creek and Belfast and couldn't find them. Heading north, I couldn't find the access on Batzing Rd. the first time but found it the next day after getting used to the difficulty of finding this trail. Many access points don't have parking. York Landing does but you can only go a short distance north before a huge break in the trail.
In Piffard, I parked in an industrial lot across from Yard of Ale and rode a few miles south before encountering a closed gate with very high grass beyond.
Finally, I parked at an access point on Batzing Rd. and rode north hoping to get to Rochester but didn't see the sign for the detour at Ballantyne Rd. and continued to the train tracks. That section has a sign about the Black Creek culvert. Took the on-road detour but didn't make it to Rochester.
All in all, a very frustrating experience and rough riding. Parts of the trail are nice but on hot days there can be a lot of sun exposure. I liked the intersection of the trail with the Lehigh Valley trail between mile markers 12 and 13. There's a very nice bridge there that was the highlight of my ride and the remnants of a stone bridge.
Biked the trail southward from a parking area on the east side of RT. 19, just south of Caneadea. First part is grass and fairly smooth and level. After a somewhat dangerous crossing of Rt. 19 to the west side the trail soon enters a shady section. This was wet and muddy with a large tree blocking the path. It also had not been cut recently. Definitely need a mountain bike on this trail. We turned around after about 2.5 miles.
Rode from Jefferson Rd (252) to the Lehigh Valley trail. Nice and flat. Just south of Erie Station Rd there are a few huge trees that came down obstructing the trail that you have to kind of climb through (watch out for poison ivy). Otherwise a very nice ride.
Parked at mile 18 on north side of route 20. Bicycled south to mile 28 and then back. Terrain was reasonably flat and passed farms and Genesee river. Was a washout around mile 24 with a small detour around but had to walk bikes down and backup a somewhat muddy hill. While the trail was wide, the bike portion was challenging because you only had a six inch rut in many places of packed earth to follow and being fall some ruts were filled with leaves,or twigs and fruit that fell from the trees, but if you like to ride slowly it was fine. The route was mostly shaded, reasonably dry (it rained the day before) and the section south of the washout was better. Overall it was an enjoyable ride and the weather was quite pleasant.
I parked in the Cuylerville parking lot and road this trail from there to Mt. Morris and back. Then I went in the opposite direction and rode to York and back.
It was a great ride and very easy that most anyone could do it. Not only was the biking great, but I would also recommend it for runners and horse back riders.
There are benches all along the way spaced out about every 1/3 mile. The terrain is mainly level. A good ride for families of all ages.
One of the best trails in Western, NY for horseback riding. The footing is second to none and miles of trail for riding every gait. This trail is not to be missed. Other trail users are very polite to equestrians which is a major plus.
I lived in Chili in the late 90s and biked this trail several days a week. I absolutely love it and I miss it. I live in colorado now and think about how much i enjoyed this trail. I loved packing a lunch and riding through the woods and behind the farms. I often spotted deer and other wild life and loved coming home with muddy legs after a good, long ride. I hope to ride it agin some day and am please to find photos online of it. This is truly the best trail in Monroe county!
As the map suggests, the Greenway is not continuous yet. In one important place there's a discontinuity that the map doesn't reflect. When the trail emerges from the woods south of Rochester at the intersection of Scottsville Rd and Paul Rd, it just ends. There are no sidewalks, bike lanes, or share-the-road markings along Scottsville. The map shows the trail continuing south on Scottsville, but this is inaccurate.
In fact, cyclists have to ride on Scottsville Rd, which has a generous shoulder going south, but very little shoulder going north. Car and truck traffic travels at 50mp here. After crossing Black Creek, cyclists can connect with the Black Creek Rd parking / fishing area, but it's more difficult than suggested by the TrailLink (and now Google) map.
Google StreetView will confirm this, and they even captured a cyclist going the wrong way in the shoulder of Scottsville Rd: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=I-390+N&daddr=S+Livonia+Rd%2FNY-15+N+to:I-390+N&geocode=&hl=en&mra=ls&dirflg=b&sll=42.726839,-77.346497&sspn=0.595201,1.454315&ie=UTF8&ll=43.095066,-77.680107&spn=0,0.003862&t=h&z=19&lci=bike&layer=c&cbll=43.095146,-77.680044&panoid=yQbaaMAZStC7i5Acktt2JQ&cbp=12,139.21,,0,16.56
This error won't deter experienced cyclists, but it should be corrected for the sake of
I stayed overnight in a hotel that was literally 100 yards from the trail. No one seemed to know it existed or how to find it. This is a fantastic trail once I found it but the area is working way too hard to keep it a secret.
An awesome trail for horseback riding. The surface is excellent and the other users of this trail that I have met have been really nice and accommodating. Lots of beautiful views along the way. A must ride!
"One of my favorite places to go on the Genesee Valley Greenway is the boardwalk that connects directly to the trail just north of the railroad bridge. It's one of the few boardwalks that I've been on that isn't flat (bikers beware when wet). It takes you through a wooded/wetland area to a street very near the center of the village. Close by is Oatka Creek and some very interesting canal structures from the 1840s. Park, picnic and fish in Canawaugus Park."
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