Pat McGee Trail

New York

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Pat McGee Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Cattaraugus
Length: 12.1 miles
Trail end points: CR 6/Leon Rd. (Cattaraugus) and Center St./SR 353 nr. Forest Ave. (Salamanca)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016708
Trail activities: Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Snowmobiling, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Pat McGee Trail Description

Make way for diversity on the Pat McGee Trail. This 12.1-mile path boasts a diverse array of plant and animal life, with more than 150 species of bird. A variety of users, including snowmobilers and equestrians, can be seen. The trail even crosses the eastern Continental Divide, meaning that the rainfall on one end of the trail is diverted to the Atlantic Ocean and on the other end to the Gulf of Mexico.

The trail connects seven quiet communities in the heart of Cattaraugus County in southwest New York. If you begin your journey at the northern trailhead just south of Cattaraugus, be prepared for a climb. The grade is gentle but you will know you are going uphill. Not far from the trailhead is a lean-to. Snowmobile riders huddle here in winter months, and in summer it provides relief from sudden storms. The rail-trail's first several miles pass mostly through woodland, as you climb toward the eastern Continental Divide. Informational signs chronicle the wide assortment of mammals (41 species) and plants (174 species), as well as describe geological features and 9 unique ecosystems. In spring the woods abound with wildflowers. Keep an eye out for white-tailed deer and other wildlife on the trail ahead.

After passing the Continental Divide, the trail begins a slight descent and the landscape changes to wetlands. There is agricultural activity here, too, signaling the rural nature of the communities woven together by this old rail line.

In the village of Little Valley, about midway on your journey, a community recreational park has pavilions and picnic tables. Didn't pack your picnic lunch? Head a block or two into the village, where shops and eateries welcome trail visitors. A short paved section of trail leads from the park southward.

Other trails cross and branch off of the Pat McGee Trail. These trails are used by snowmobilers, hikers and equestrians. The North Country National Scenic Trail, Bicentennial Bike Trail and the Finger Lakes Trail provide additional opportunities to enjoy scenic Cattaraugus County.

The southern section of the Pat McGee Trail travels through farmland, offering wide vistas of the surrounding hills. Six railroad bridges over several streams have been restored for trail use. There are big plans and a multi-phase strategy to connect the rail-trail with Allegany State Park, Zoar Valley natural area, Erie County to the north and two reservations of the Seneca Nation of Indians. For now, the only connections are with the DEC Trail, primarily an equestrian trail, and the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail. Both trails connect to the rail-trail south of Little Valley.

The trail is named for Patricia McGee, the longtime state senator from nearby Franklinville, who championed the trail project. When the senator passed away in 2005, there was unanimous support for naming the new trail in her honor.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the northern endpoint, just south of Cattaraugus on State Route 353, turn onto Leon Road (County Road 6). The trail begins on the left side of the road. There is limited parking on the right side of the road.

To reach the southern endpoint from I-86, take the exit for New York State Route 417. Proceed east on Route 417. Turn left onto New York State Route 353, or Center Street. Just north of Salamanca, on the right side of Route 353, you will see parking and the start of the Pat McGee Trail.

For other access points, visit the Cattaraugus County website and download the trail map.

Pat McGee Trail Reviews

Biked trail from Little Valley parking area south to end in Salamanca. Fairly level, smooth, mostly grass. Nice bridges. Fairly dry considering the recent rain. Could use a few benches or picnic tables along the way or at the Salamanca end. Had to bike back to Little Valley to have lunch at the picnic shelter. After lunch, biked a few miles north. This part is in more open farm land. Because of the lack of pavement, this trail requires tires wider that a typical road bike. My mountain bike worked well.

Just rode the trail from south to north and back. Beautiful and widely diverse scenery. The trial was slow compared to asphalt or crushed stone, being mostly grass, hard-packed dirt, and some crushed stone. Mostly double-track but single-track in some places. The southern-most end was primarily mowed grass, but the further north we rode, the harder and smoother the trail surface became. There was a Porta-John at the ball field in Little Valley, which was nice, but otherwise no amenities. Met the Director of the Pat McGee Trail on his tractor. Was thrilled that we "came all the way from Rochester to ride his little trail."

I rode this trail on a fat bike north end to south and back the same day. The distance listed here matched the distance my GPS watch recorded. The trail was very clear and it moved quick. Very enjoyable scenery as you cross a few bridges and some historic sites. I rode the trail in April 2016 with dry conditions.


Just took the trail in its entirety from north to south . Some parts were great , two tree falls over the path, one just by the fair grounds , the second about 3 miles south. Both tree's were not to hard to get around . Last 1/4 of trail was a bit grown in but seemed to be no problem for a MT bike style bike, Camp sites markers were not visible Issued them both

Didnt know what to expect on the trail, As I have never have done a trail ride.. Was very surprised! I am 66 and this is my second year with my trike and have put over 1400 miles on it.. All on roads..
I have read about trails but never had a conveint chance to do one.. Sat was beautiful day and I just loaded the trike and headed to Catt..NY found the trail head.. Fitted the trike to ride.. Long story short.. learned that you dont coast with a trike on these trails you pedal all the way to the End.. But was a great ride.. I rode frm Catt to Salamaca..And back it took me frm 10am to 4pm..With a lot of stops and picture taking.. Wild life of all kinds and nice people(some with maneating dogs).. lol Will do it again!! And will find more trails to ride..Happy trails .. Don

It had everything. Old bridges to cross. Hard ground, big gravel, crushed packed gravel and grass. So many challenges to test your riding skills. We went north to south and the northern end was so nice in the shade. Little Valley has a great place to stop and have a snack. CITO.

Northern portion would require a hybrid or mountain bike - a lot of gravel. Southern portion a hybrid would be fine. Brooks Market is 100 yards from the shelter in Little Valley for food/drinks. The colors in the fall would be great.

I started in Little Valley at the parking lot where Main Street ends. The adjacent market has a great Deli. The rail North was great with farmland, wetland, and forest. Slight hill up then down, but not significant. I used a road bike, but would recomend a hybrid or mountain bike. The trail immediately South of town was rough and could use some work. I like trails that do not follow highways and this fit the bill. Would recommend if you are in the area.

What an awesome trail! The elevation changes, scenery, wildlife and overall condition of the trail were excellant. Much better than the typical paved paths we normally ride. We had a great trip from Cattaruagus to Salamanca. It is a definite addition to our fall ride list. Thank you!

My son and I arrived in Little Valley late Saturday morning. We conveniently parked in the center of town, next to the picnic area and former location of the Erie Railroad station. This is a great place to start your journey, as the parking is safe and located next to a market store. We began our ride south, toward Salamanca. The first thing we noticed was the overall condition of the trail, from crushed stone to grass, which was perfect for our mountain bikes. The trail is clean, well maintained and very scenic. We were actually the only bikers on the trail for most of the trip, passing numerous folks on horseback. The weather was warm and sunny, allowing us to reflect back over the history of this region, while fully enjoying the tranquil settings. As we crossed several bridges, one could only drift back to a simpler time when the hills were filled with steam whistles from passing trains. There are plenty of places to rest in between, usually under a bridge next to a crystal clear stream. Once reaching the outer part of Salamanca (where the trail ends), you can continue a bit further into town or just start your return journey. Upon arriving back in Little Valley (about a 12 mile round trip), we rested and visited the local market store for much needed refreshments. A great adventure that is highly recommended!

I went onto the trail from the Woodworth parking area over the weekend - out doing some geocaching. Saw a fellow cacher leaving and there were hikers ahead of us. We hadn't explored this part of the trial yet - we were not disappointed - the stream is beautiful. What a thrill when we saw the bridge! We spent time just standing on it & watching the water. This part of the trail is a little more grassy, but absolutely a great place for walking or biking. I really enjoy the interreptive stops.

The Pat McGee memorial trial streching from Cattaraugus to Salamanca is a real gem. Very well maintained and great for both hiking and biking. Just got back from a bike ride earlier today and encountered 6 other bikers and several hikers. The trail is in super shape and has become a great recreational resource for our area. My wife and I try and get out there at least a couple times a week.
It has a variety of interpretive stops and a shelter for those wishing to take a break with a great view. I highly recommend the trail to felllow hikers and bikers---you will be pleasantly surprised.

to the one who said "need help". I think you need to loosten your chin strap. This is an excellent trail for many things. We use it often for hiking, biking and geo caching. The trail is maintained very well and served by many volunteers. Rick Lefeber and the LDC did an excellent job getting this trail set up and maintained. It's not a city trail with black top, it's on the souther tier. It's nature at its best. It's a former railroad bed and has a lot of history. Some area are grass, some are gravel and all very easy on the feet, bicycle tires or horses feet. I highly recommend this trail to anyone who wants to get back in touch with nature.

I love this trail! We hike it, bike it, jog it, geocache, and sometimes just wander to clear the mind. It is so beautiful & relaxing...I love the scenery, the scent of the woods, the beauty. We love to get to the beaver pond & just sit & watch. Our goal is to bike the entire trail & back. We've met very friendly people along the way. There is so much education along the trail too...makes us stop & think & use our imagination as to what is was like to drive a train down it & what is was like just after the glacier. We love this trail and in my opinion is wonderfully maintained. I don't want it to look like a paved, city trail....I love it as it is. Natural & beautiful. Thank you for the fantastic job you've done with it!

the trail here is not keep up and there no way to ride any other bike but a Mt. bikes as I have try..

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