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!
Before we begin, I want to point out an advantage Rochester has over some of its upstate neighbors of similar size using Google maps… Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse/Central NY, Albany/Capital District. Granted, these maps are not 100% accurate. Nor are many of the paths paved. Still it helps give us an idea, in part, why Rochester was named the most bike friendly region in upstate New York (just barely making it on to the top 50 bike friendly cities in the USA ).
This photo-tour highlights one of the easiest, most scenic rides in the Rochester Area – downtown Rochester to Fairport . 17 miles one-way, it is slightly net downhill to Fairport. And once you are en route, you never have to cross any roads! You are alongside either the Genesee River or Erie Canal almost the entire time.
We begin at the city’s entrance to the Genesee Riverway Trail [View map ]. Near the entrance to the Rochester Subway, just south of Dinosaur BBQ. This area has been greatly improved of the course of the last year. Let’s go!
At the park, there are a few bridges, one crosses the river to hook up with the westbound canal trail and southern river trail/Genesee Valley Greenway, and two others cross the canal for access to the park/golf course and parking to the south. To continue on the Eastbound Erie Canal Heritage Trail, you can cut across the park or loop around the outer path. You do not cross any bridges.
Before we see various scenes of beautiful Pittsford, take note that if you chose to stay on the trail, the village asks you to walk your bike through the populated areas. If you wish to ride through, you can head off the path and ride on Schoen Place.
In Pittsford, there are plenty of water fountains (also in Fairport; there are water fountains at the locks but when I tried them, they didn’t work). It’s an excellent pit stop to rest, “refuel”, and perhaps enjoy some gelato!
We then reach Bushnell’s Basin, a tiny hamlet with an impressive waterfront. Like most towns on the canal, it has excellent signage to guide you around town or help you relate where you are on the trail.
We now have reached Perinton Park, which has bathroom facilities (also tennis & basketball courts and a playground). When on the Canal Trail, you often meet people from around the region and around the state. The woman on the left in the first picture rode all the way from Lockport!
My first visit to this town was on this trip, and I feel as though you gain more of an appreciation for the little things around the town this way, rather than if you were to drive your car here, park, and go to your destination. Some images around town…
The final trip total was 37.9 miles and a ride duration of 3 hrs 25 minutes, due to a deviation from the path shown, and frequent stops to take photos. If starting in the morning, almost everyone, regardless of riding ability, should have no trouble doing this entire trip well before sunset (with a 30 minute stop in Pittsford and hour+ stop in Fairport, included).
Although the ride is very easy, please note that the entire trip is not recommended until you are used to sitting on a bike for that long and have rode similar distances before.
Fairport’s Canal Days are scheduled for May 31 through June 2, and what better way to fully appreciate the past and present of the canal that links most of us New Yorkers together than by cycling along the canal to and/or from the event? (Sorry, this article didn’t get posted until well after Canal Days… but you can still catch Fairport’s Autumn Scarecrow Festival !)
So get out there and enjoy the ride!
Stay tuned for future cycling photo-tours including westbound to Brockport, northbound to Lake Ontario, and the southern Greenway/Lehigh Valley loop trail.
About Ryan Green:
Tags: bicycle path, bike path, Bushnell's Basin, downtown Rochester, Erie Canal, Erie Canal Path, Erie Harbor Apartments, Fairport, Genesee River, Genesee Riverway Trail, Genesee Valley Park, Pittsford, Ryan Green, Schoen Place, Towpath Cafe, University of Rochester
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 at 8:00 am and is filed under Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.