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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
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