Trail Development & Acknowledgments
The greater Rochester area is a community blessed with civic leaders and private citizens who have preserved our heritage and built the trails described in this book for all of us to enjoy. Through the preservation of abandoned railroad corridors and the development of trails along major arteries, they're gradually building a network of trails that will someday crisscross our area. Each year, more miles are opened as the land is secured, brush is cleared, and bridges are built to span our many waterways.
Two major initiatives began in 2002 that bode well for our chances of having an interconnected system of trails in the near future. The Genesee Transportation Council conducted a study to identify and prioritize the building of trails and bridges to connect existing trails. (For details on this initiative see web site
http://www.gtcmpo.org. ) Also, a new organization called the Genesee Region Trails Coalition was formed. Its goal is to promote cooperation among private organizations and public agencies who are working on trails, greenways, open space, and linear parks in the Genesee Region to develop trails from a regional perspective, coordinate resources and promote the awareness and use of trails.
To local volunteer trail organizations we owe a debt of gratitude. Without their hard work and dedication, we wouldn't have trails to ride or walk. We also thank the leaders of these groups for lending their support in the making of this book. These groups include:
Crescent Trail Association
Friends of Genesee Valley Greenway
Friends of Webster Trails
Hansen Nature Center
Macedon Trail Committee (Peter S. Henry)
The Mendon Foundation
Ontario Pathways (Kyle Gage)
Penfield Trails Committee (Jim Britt)
Rochester Bicycling Club (Todd Calvin)
Victor Hiking Trails
Likewise, it�s foresight, planning, and action by our public officials that result in paths dedicated to us bicyclists and outdoors enthusiasts. Kudos and thanks go to:
Cayuga County Planning Board
City of Rochester, Bureau of Parks and Recreation (Jim Farr)
City of Rochester, Water and Lighting Bureau (Don Root)
Hamlin Beach State Park (James Slusarczyk)
Henrietta Parks Department (Bill Dykstra)
Lakeside Beach State Park (Thomas J. Rowland)
Monroe County Parks Department
New York State Canal Corporation
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Pittsford Parks and Recreation Department
Town of Greece
Town of Webster
Wayne County Planning Department
Webster Parks and Recreation Department
A special thanks to Karen Howe, the owner of Moondance Pet Boarding in Hamlin for directing us to the Hilton and Hamlin sections of the Hojack Trail. Now more people will be able to enjoy these beautiful stretches of trail.
Finally, thank you to Susan Domina. Her fine proofreading skills made this a much better book.
If you walk into a bike shop in Rochester and ask where you can go bike riding and be safely off roads, you're likely to hear about the canal towpath, also known as the Erie Canalway Trail, but not much else. That trail is spectacular, and we include it in this book. But, many other options are available around Rochester; they're just a well kept secret. Well, the secret's out! This book is loaded with havens that you can retreat to for a short respite or a long adventure. Choose the length and type of terrain to fit the ability of the participants.
We enjoy bike riding very much. It makes us feel good, it's fun, it's healthy, and it's inexpensive
& a great combination. But, we don't particularly like riding the narrow shoulder of a busy road as cars and trucks zip by within inches of our bikes. That's not relaxing, and it's certainly not fun. Biking doesn't have to be like that. Off-road alternatives exist that are much more conducive to a family outing or an invigorating adventure. You'll find them in this book.
The American Heart Association recommends 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity at least 3 to 4 times per week to maintain cardiovascular fitness. You're more likely to achieve this level if you pick activities that you enjoy and that are convenient. Biking is a perfect way to improve the fitness of your heart and lungs. It burns calories too. Here's a breakdown of approximate calorie use per hour for three weight categories:
Person's weight: 100 lb.
150 lb. 200 lb.
bicycling 6 mph 160
240 312 calories burned per hour
bicycling 12 mph 270
410 534 calories burned per hour
You don't need a special (or expensive) bike to enjoy these trails. The only bike that isn't suited to an off-road venture is a road-racing bike. There are a few exceptions where rugged trails require a mountain bike but they are clearly labeled. See the section "Types of Bikes" for specifics on the types of bikes available. The important thing is to grab this guide, hop on your bike, and go for a ride.
And, why stop at bicycling? Many of the trails listed in this book are equally well-suited to hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching, rollerblading, running, and strolling. Enjoy them at various seasons and using various means of locomotion. Each visit can be a unique experience. CAUTION: If you venture onto the rural trails during the fall hunting season, be sure to wear blaze orange so that hunters can spot you easily.
Many of the trails in this book were built by and are maintained by volunteer or community groups. They all welcome new members, especially anyone who is willing to help with the work. We encourage everyone to join a trail group and benefit from the camaraderie and service to your community. Except for trails located in state parks, the trails listed in this book are free and open to the public. You do not need to be a member of the sponsoring group to enjoy the trails.