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You can access the trail from Pittsford Plaza and near the intersection (south) of Monroe Avenue and Clover Street. A small parking lot is available at approximately 364 French Road, where the trail crosses the road. You can also park at the shops on Village Lane.
This has to be the roughest most poorly maintained bike path in the Monroe county area!. Most of the riding path is one bike width and at times dangerous to navigate between tress, rocks, and tree roots. I personally strongly recommend riders avoid this sad excuse of a trail!
This trail is not really a loop, it is an inverted Y (or Greek lambda) shape. The left leg is the original Erie Canal route, and is not finished well. The right leg is mostly finished in stone dust, though it has a couple of jogs around business parking/loading areas. The top section is mostly mowed double track. It is in the Town of Brighton, the rest is in Pittsford.
The left, right and top sections aren't connected as trail, you have to use short sections of a busy road and/or business parking lots. This connection is not well marked. You can make a loop out of the left and right sections by taking the Erie Canal Trail (paved here) between the southern ends.
I now commute to work from Pittsford to Rochester on the right and upper legs. The right leg is ok in most weather, though it is unplowed and a hard ride in snow. The upper part is not good to use in wet weather, it gets soggy wet.
I wish the town of Brighton would finish the upper part, their part of this trail. It could be a good link between residential areas, the southeast part of Rochester and the Pittsford Plaza area. Like most places, trail development does not consider utility cycling, only recreational use. This section is fine for walking and MTB use in good weather, but not on hybrid or road tires, especially in the rain.
The ride from pittsford village, out along Oak Hill and back behind pittsford plaza is OK. The scenery is not great unless you like the bowels of capitalism (the whole way is the back side of retail space) and the trail is pretty bumpy. it was good for something different but i would not be in a hurry to go back
I have ridden this trail system many times over the years and it is one of the most historic routes in the Rochester NY area.
It covers both the Auburn branch of the New York Central railroad, and part of the original Erie canal, and you can see a complete double lock.
One of the previous reviewers implied that it may not be good for cyclists. It is fine if you have an off road bike, or a solid hybrid. It would be a little hard on your road bike. (but I have ridden on a road bike too.)
There is some new trail development taking place north of French Road, on the western leg. The old Erie Canal has been exposed, and you can get all around the lock.
Additionally, when you get to Pittsford, you have the option of following the canal east, and picking up a short segment of the Auburn Branch of the NYC RR near Mitchell road.
You are also close to the Rochester & Eastern Trolley Trail which runs west from Marsh Road toward the village of Pittsford. This Trail is North of Route 31.
I ran a 4 mile out run out and back starting at the French Rd. entrance and turning back at the village of Pittsford.
The trail was great for running. It was relatively flat with some slight inclines. The trail was a mix of paved canal path, dirt trail, and concrete rail bed. I will be running here again!! Beautiful scenery.
I've done about 2/3 of this trail on the larger loop starting at the U of R and going up the River trail, cutting across downtown and riding down to the canal in Pittsford. Parts of the trail were pretty much grass and not exactly clear, but overall ok.
I rated this a poor two star, though parts of the trail deserve a much higher rating. Going south from the start at Highland Road the trail is essentially unimproved, just a surface of the original railroad bed that is large rough gravel. Slow bumpy ride, picking the way along a bad surface. Eventually it gets smoother, single track, some grassy but smooth. Around the middle section the trail runs into parking lots behind businesses and is not marked at all, and cuts through who knows where. I found my way through with gps on my ipad, otherwise no way. One nice thing in that area is the Park Ave Bike Shop, super nice folks even if you don't need to buy anything. From the bike shop going east is a nice finished and well marked trail with crushed stone surface, a little loose here and there, but no challange for my mountain bike with trail/road tires. The trail goes trough grassy and shady areas, ending up close by the Erie Canal trails. This trail will work for casual riders, but end to end watch the long rough spots and expect to get lost in the middle.
We rode the eastern leg of the loop in July 2010 as a connector to the Erie canal path from our hotel on busy Monroe ave. The trail starts as a stone chip trail (not stone dust) behind the stores accross from the Wegmans plaza, the trail seemed promising but went from a stone chip trail down to single track dirt then to no-track (just grass) before it ended in a parking lot.
This trail might be good for dog walkers but not for cyclists. We didn't ride the western leg, but we think we found its trailhead behind the canal house resturaunt place on Monroe, the path was also grass covered. Pittsford ought to make the trail surface compatable with the canal trail like other towns have to allow Erie canal trail users to access thier town.
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