Tonawanda Rails to Trails

New York

9 Reviews

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Tonawanda Rails to Trails Facts

States: New York
Counties: Erie
Length: 4.7 miles
Trail end points: Kenmore Avenue (Town of Tonawanda) and State Street (City of Tonawanda)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6501312

Tonawanda Rails to Trails Description

Opened in 2016, Tonawanda Rails to Trails offers a paved linear route through the Tonawanda community north of Buffalo. The rail-trail was built atop the former Erie Lackawanna Railway, which carried both freight and passengers in the 1880s. The pathway runs through a mix of residential and commercial areas and links several schools and parks.

At the trail's southern end, it connects to the North Buffalo Rails to Trails, another paved route which provides easy access to the LaSalle Metro Rail Station.

One day, the trail will stretch farther north to connect with the vast Erie Canalway Trail, which stretches nearly 300 miles across New York.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available near the north end of the trail in Ives Park (2 Frances St.) and at Walter M. Kenney Field (2000 Colvin Blvd.). Mid-Trail, parking can be found at Lincoln Park (1200 Parker Blvd.).

Tonawanda Rails to Trails Reviews

pleasant ride

Convenient street crossings with traffic signals. Not too busy, so it was a nice quiet ride across town. Nice and green, lots of benches along the route to stop and rest. Very clean.

Easy to do a 38-mile circuit of Buffalo using this trail

Grew up in Tonawanda walking the train tracks when this was active rail line- website description states a northern terminus at State and Young Streets in Tonawanda- actually, cross Young Street and continue north on an old train trestle across Ellicott Creek and the trail will end at Fillmore Avenue- make a left under the Tonawanda Viaduct train trestle and follow this for less than a mile to the trail that follows the old Erie Canal and downtown Tonawanda and North Tonawanda (restaurants and bathrooms).

My partner and I did a circuit this past summer around Buffalo- went south on the Tonawanda Rails to Trail, making a stop at Anderson's on Sheridan Drive near the trail for some of their famous homemade ice cream (and a bathroom break!). Continued down the trail to its southern terminus in Buffalo at Shoshone Park. Overall, the path was well paved and smooth, fairly level- Not very scenic- passing by light industrial areas and through residential neighborhoods.

Made our way east on Hertel Avenue over to and south down Main Street (admittedly on the sidewalk- road is rough) to Amherst Street- at this point, you could enter the Amherst Station for the Metro Rail and ride the subway with your bike downtown and to Canalside- we chose instead to head westward through the Parkside neighborhood on Amherst
Street and along Delaware Park, turning on Nottingham Terrace where we caught the Jesse Kregal Pathway westward along Scajaquada Creek. Some surface street riding got us to dedicated bike lanes on Niagara Street going south, eventually connecting to the Shoreline Trail just north of the Peace Bridge. Weaved our way down to and through Canalside and worked our way through an industrial area along Ganson Street (should have been along Ohio Street but had to turn around as then Ohio Street lift bridge was closed for repairs- saving grace was the aroma of baking Wheaties at the General Mills factory!). Finally went under the NY 5 overpass to the entrance of Buffalo Harbor State Park. At this point we retraced our steps back north along the Shoreline Trail, all the way back to Tonawanda and the start of the trail.

Whew! 39 miles, mostly in the rain but it comes with the territory in Buffalo.

Yes, Buffalo is a Rust Belt city, but it is experiencing a resurgence of sorts- obviously you will need cross country skis in the winter but bring the bike in the spring, summer or fall to really experience the city, and make a detour to see the Falls.

great Trail

Wide trail, very active but nice ride from North Buffalo to the river!

Nice, easy, and well maintained

This is a great, relatively flat trail for biking, with a nice connection to Lincoln Park near the southern end. There is a gentle slope uphill from the north end to the south end, so when you're riding back north, it's a nice downhill cruise. Very smooth trail and a nice easy ride.

Great afternoon to pack a picnic lunch, start at State St, take a 4 mi ride to Lincoln Park, have lunch, and take a slightly easier ride back north.

Only major road crossing is Sheridan Dr. and it's pretty safe with the crossing lights.


Decent Starter Train

Rode yesterday with a friend for the first time in 20 years. Trail is paved throughout and starts on Kenmore Avenue in Buffalo to Younge Street in North Tonawanda. Codes several major roads and predominantly crosses built up neighborhoods. Very Safe and moderately populated trail.

clean easy path

My sons live near this and took me. It was a great ride during the pandemic to get a break from being indoors. Very well planned.

Tonawanda Bike Trails

The Bike Trail that goes from the Erie Canal along the Niagara River past the Grand Island Bridge is the worse maintained trail I ever rode on, it is full of cracks and large bumps in the pavement making a ride uncomfortable and dangerous. Although the trail is scenic, it is NOT maintained at all. I will no longer ride this trail. If you rise a road bike with thin tires, you have a definite risk of wheel destruction. I do NOT recommend this path for biking!

Incorrect North-End Parking Address

The parking address listed on the Trail Link description is not correct. The actual parking area for this trail is located on State Street near the intersection of State and Young Streets - not on Francis Street.

That being said - I love this trail, I grew up very close to this rail line and I think this is a great use of it.

nice walk

Love how this trail system connects to the north buffalo trail system!

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