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The Lehigh Valley Trail is part of a developing system of rail-trails in western New York. The segment from Victor to Rush offers nearly 16 miles of serene wooded and rural areas. Plus, it is literally expanding horizons for trail enthusiasts. The trail connects on the western end with the Genesee Valley Greenway and on the east end to the Auburn Trail. About midway, at Rochester Junction, the trail joins the Lehigh Valley Trail–North Branch. This developing trail will eventually connect to the Erie Canal Towpath about 5 miles to the north.
Some call this gem of a rail-trail the Black Diamond Trail, which stems from the Lehigh Valley Railroad's nickname, "The Route of the Black Diamond." The railroad's 435-mile main line between Buffalo and New York City was used for hauling anthracite coal (black diamonds) from Pennsylvania.
In Victor you can park just off Victor Mendon Road at the current eastern terminus of the trail. If you park a little farther west (at the Phillips Road Trailhead), you'll also have access to the Auburn Trail as well as the Seneca Trail. The Lehigh Valley Trail's newly decked trestle bridge is visible from the parking area; west of the bridge is the short connector to the Auburn Trail.
Heading west, the Lehigh Valley Trail is a smooth, crushed-stone path. Equestrians are encouraged to preserve the trail surface by using the 5-foot grassy space that parallels the trail. This is the trail's most recently built section. You have open views of meadows and some industrial park buildings, but trees soon enclose the corridor.
Around mile 1 you reach a small park with picnic tables in a pavilion and a section of preserved railroad track. You might want to leave the trail to explore the quaint hamlet of Mendon and pick up a snack. Beyond the park are the town's athletic fields.
As the woods become denser, watch for deer. From this point on the view from the trail alternates between wooded sections and farm fields with occasional horse paddocks. Near the midpoint a kiosk in Rochester Junction tells the history of the railroad spur that ran to Rochester. From here the Lehigh Valley Trail–North Branch heads toward Rochester, with some on-road sections and other trail segments as yet incomplete.
As you approach pretty Honeoye Creek and its forested wetlands keep your eyes open for red-winged blackbirds. At about mile 10.5 in Rush Veterans Memorial Park is a viewing platform above the creek. If you've worked up an appetite, you'll find places to eat in Rush just off the trail, but don't miss the trail's grand finale. At its western end, before connecting in a T-bone fashion with the Genesee Valley Greenway, an old railroad bridge gives you a grand perspective on the lovely Genesee River.
To reach the Phillips Road Trailhead near Victor: From the New York Thruway (Route 90), take Exit 45 and follow Route 96 South. Turn right on Main Street in Fishers (Route 42), then left on Phillips Road. Go about a mile, watching for a trail crosswalk on the road. The first parking area is for the Auburn Trail; the second is for the Lehigh Valley Trail.
Access is also possible in Rush and Mendon, and were the trail crosses the following roads: East River, Plains, Quaker Meeting House, Chamberlin, West Bloomfield and Mile Square.
Great trail. Flat, easy to ride - crosses a few roads but overall pleasant. Direction Correction: The directions say that after taking a left on Phillips Road to go about a mile. Instead go .4 miles for the Auburn Trail and then .5 for the Lehigh Valley Trail.
Love the Lehigh valley trails out in the Rush area. was out on it today and the scenery is beautiful. The ride is pretty good. not really bumpy. my favorite so far
Wow, extremely cool especially if you are into train history. Walked from E. River Rd over to W. River Rd, going over the Genesee River; this particular bridge is included in the pics here. The Wadsworth Junction location has many remains of a huge train trestle which made this an amazing walk into history. Now that I have discovered this trail I have a lot more walking to do...
i parked at N 42 59.115 W 077 35.870 which is by Junction Road. I ran eastbound and encountered two roads to cross about .6 mile and 1.3 miles respectively. Mostly crushed limestone in this section. As trails go, I would rate it 2.5 stars. A plus is that there are restrooms at the coordinates above.
All the reviews give the trail good marks, so I parked at Roch Junction and headed east. About a mile into it, I was swarmed by horseflys/sweatbees. They are annoying since they fly around your head, and they bite. It was July, and the area is swampy, so I chalked it up to bad time of year. I turned around and headed west, and the sweatbees were not a problem on this stretch. But the trail is just dual tracks of stone dust, and it was muddy from recent rain. So I only went as far as 390, and called it a day.
Tow things not already covered in the description, or other reviews.
1. There is an extension from the Greenway to West River Road at the western end. Parking is available there.
2. Allow time to explore the wye at Rochester Junction, where the branch went south to Hemlock.
I rode this trail from Rush about 4 times, and enjoyed it a lot. Most often I see deer on the trail, and what I enjoyed is after I cross the river, I connect with the Gennesee Valley Greenway, and travel a few miles on it. Although the Greenway is a little rough in places, it is a beautiful ride.
Took the Auburn Trail from the city of Victor and connected on to the Lehigh Valley Trail which some friends and I rode out to Rush NY. A long the trail in Rush we stopped at the Rush Creek Inn and had a nice lunch and drinks before heading back to Victor (10 miles one way). 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.
We bike on this trail from the Rush Station to the Mendon/Victor point since the Rush station is right behind our home. It is such a lovely, well maintained trail and most of the ride is right next to the Honeoye Creek. The early morning is the best time to ride since you can see so much wildlife. We have seen fox families, deer mommas with their fawns, bunnies, beautiful birds and chipmunks (they will dart across the trail right in front of you..just be on the lookout), oh, and snakes..just little harmless ones. Once you cross Plains Road...stay to the right. Before you get to the little wooden bridge there is a little trail that you can walk on that takes you to the Honeoye Creek...there is a little bench where take a break and you can also walk across the creek on the large stones and get your feet wet. LOVELY.
My wife and I rode from Henrietta to Mendon and back using the Lehigh Valley trail and the northern extension. We really enjoyed it. Beautiful scenery and easy riding. A couple roads to cross but all around very nice.
I found this trail through the TrailLink.com site. The description and review made us want to give it a go and we are glad we did. The trail is in pristine condition with a stone dust surface for all types of bikes. There is plenty to see along the way for nature lovers. Railfans and history buffs will love the 100 year old steel bridges over the Genesee River and Honeoye Creek. We have not covered the whole ride yet having done a couple out and backs from the E River Rd and Rush parking areas. No steep hills and few road crossings make it a wonderful place for a family ride.
I live in Scottsville and bike on the Lehigh Valley Trail all the time. We're lucky to have such well kept, fun and safer biking resources so close to where we live. This trail is crushed stone dust and is suitable for a mountain bike, hybrid bike or perhaps a road bike. I get on the trail from the Genesee Valley Greenway but there are many parking areas along its length. I never knew where it ended until today when in celebration or perhaps denial of my 53rd birthday I decided to bike 53 miles. I went to the end of the Lehigh Valley Trail and then connected to the Auburn Trail for a bit. Another thing I like about the Lehigh Valley Trail is that other than crossing some roads you don't have to bike on the streets unlike the Auburn Trail. This country biking also pretty much guarantees that you see some kind of wild life when you bike. I've seen deer, foxes, turkeys, other birds beyond counting, a beaver and today a snapping turtle.
This is a wonderful trail to ride on. It provides a nice, even surface for miles with beautiful scenes along the way. However, in some places the footing for horses is a bit rocky. We are trying to resolve this issue. If you are interested in getting involved to help please contact the Mendon Foundation and let them know you support the equestrian portion of this trail!
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