The Future of the Greenway Trail

This statement is both true and false: “the Genesee Valley Greenway is a  90-mile public use trail.”  It is 90 miles long. It is for public use. But only 52 miles of actual Greenway trail are considered ‘open’ and easily accessible  today. 

The partnership that includes the Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway (FOGVG), NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation, and NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is working to open all 90 miles. 

A trail repair and bridge installation project over the old Rockville Lake spillway is nearly finished.  Once the prefabricated bridge is placed on existing stone abutments, an additional 0.7 trail miles will be opened.

Foot Bridges
Replacing two bridges near
Route 305 will open nearly
four additional miles of trail

Similarly, two railroad bridge replacements -- one south and one north of Route 305 -- are scheduled for 2008. This will open another 3.5 trail miles -- from Rockville Lake to the hamlet of Black Creek.

These projects exemplify the partners’ dedication to repair, preserve, enhance, and interpret this historic transportation corridor.   Another partner initiative is to increase public awareness and use of the trail.  This series of articles in the Cuba Patriot helps meet that goal.

Rolling tires
The Lakeland Rovers Hiking Club
removing trailside debris

The FOGVG is currently organizing “local committees” in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties, enlisting volunteers from communities along the Greenway. These committees will, for the most part, define what they want to accomplish locally on behalf of the trail. If they choose routine mowing or clearing of trail sections, that is what their committee will do.  If they also choose to branch into fundraising; organizing trail events like 5K walks or bike tours; establishing small parks or rest areas; researching canal/rail history for interpretive signs and kiosks; or simply promoting use of the Greenway, then that is what they’ll work on.  Committees may also assist with an upcoming ‘user survey’. These are local folks working together on trail projects of local interest.

To attend a local committee meeting, please contact Karen Ash at (585) 409-5918 or email kash@frontiernet.  For general Greenway information; to learn more history of this canal-to-rail-to-trail linear park; to read the Greenway News; or join as a member or business sponsor, visit www.fogvg.org.  Pick up our brochure and map at libraries, banks, and elsewhere. Attend our event on Nov 11th, featuring a guided hike, potluck, dinner, and slide presentation by Allegany County Historian Craig Braack.

But if you do nothing else, please… take a hike (on the Genesee Valley Greenway, of course)!