This final part serves to tie up some loose ends, and to showcase additional trail options and connections in the region. Here, we will go on an alternative route North to the lake, this time on the east side of the river gorge, and check out the parkway and Route 390 trails, which provide us with additional connections. [View this route in Google Earth using this .KMZ file]
The fourth part of the Bike Rochester Series differs quite a bit from the previous ones. We will be venturing on old railroad rights of way (train tracks converted to trails via Rails to Trails Programs). The biggest difference here is that these trails are not paved; they are packed dirt/grass and crushed stone (similar to parts of the unpaved canal trail). So a road bike is not recommended, however a hybrid bike will be more than comfortable and safe. This is the perfect ride to do during the Fall!
In this third piece exhibiting Rochester’s bicycle trails, we will be returning to the Erie Canal Heritage Trail. Click HERE and HERE to see parts one and two, respectively. This time, we will be heading westbound towards Brockport. Although there is not much of a net elevation change between downtown and Brockport, it feels a bit more hilly than the eastbound trail. As we will see, the towns and hamlets we will encounter on this western route have a different character to them than the ones on the eastern trail…
By now you’ve probably heard of the GardenAerial project. But you may not be clear on the details. What is it? And why is it important? Benjamin Woelk is Associate Director of Administration & Community Engagement at GardenAerial. He recently gave a presentation at TEDxFlourCity where he explained how the GardenAerial project will reinvent our community by giving Rochester a “sustainable identity.”
Benjamin reminds us that we have a 96 foot tall waterfall… inside a canyon… in the middle of our city. High Falls has been here for millions of years. Yes it’s evolving; but it’s also been here longer than Kodak, Lilacs or Garbage Plates. Rochester began here. And as he correctly points out, this is a world-class site. Repeat it: A World. Class. Site.
Now watch the video and see how High Falls could be transformed into New York State’s first EcoDistrict, and a boon to our economy once again…
The second part of The Biking in Rochester Series showcases the route from downtown to Lake Ontario, following the Genesee River Trail. It is 20 miles, roundtrip, from downtown to the end of the pier at Lake Ontario Beach Park and back. Actually, I’ll take us a bit further and ride along the lake shore, east to Sea Breeze – adding another 8 miles to the trip.
Although this route is not as consistently scenic as the first one, it has much better rewards, and you get more of a workout. We’ll pass by 3 waterfalls, 3 beaches, 3 lighthouses, and two piers out onto the big lake. The western portion of this route is on the Genesee Riverway trail, a mostly completely dedicated bike path such as the one on the canal. The eastern portion is on King’s highway/Goodman street…
This is the first in a series of photo tours aimed at encouraging people in the Rochester area—regardless of cycling ability—to get out and enjoy the plethora of trails we have. It is written as an introduction, although most people around here are probably already familiar with some of the trails. Disclaimer: I am not a local… and no where near a veteran cyclist!
“The units at Erie Harbor are very poorly designed and overpriced… The ground floor units don’t even have a view of the river – it is blocked by a berm… Shoddy construction… The stairs creak… Tacky… Ugliest building in Rochester…” These are all comments you may have heard about the Erie Harbor Apartments which were officially opened last fall .
When comments like these were left under a recent post on RochesterSubway.com, Jim Mayer didn’t take it sitting down. He contacted me and invited me to visit his home. He and his wife Irene sold their home in Brighton and now live at Erie Harbor. I admit, after nearly a three hour visit, I left feeling a bit jealous at just how much this couple is loving life in their new digs…
Something outstanding is happening in our community—Rochester is catching Bike Fever. Over the past decade or more Monroe County and local municipalities have been steadily making investments in existing off-road trails and in new ones, especially around our colleges, universities and along the river and lake shore. You may have noticed some new ones near you. Bicycling Magazine even placed Rochester on their list of America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities this year. Albeit at #50, but hey, it’s a good start!
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.