Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Genesee Valley Greenway State Park

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Address
Genesee Valley Greenway
1 Letchworth State Park
Castile, NY 14427

Know Before You Go: Please check the Detours page for updates

The Genesee Valley Greenway State Park is a 90-mile open space corridor that follows the route of the Genesee Valley Canal (1840-1878) and the Pennsylvania Railroad Rochester Branch (1882-1963) from the Erie Canalway Trail in Rochester's Genesee Valley Park to the Village of Cuba in Allegany County. The Greenway will eventually extend to Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County.

It includes a public, multi-use trail and natural and historic resources. The majority of the trail is an old railway bed that is a straight, level surface consisting of cinders, gravel and mowed grass. The Greenway passes through woodlands, wetlands, river and stream valleys, rolling farmlands, steep gorges, and historic villages in sixteen towns located in Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, Allegany, and Cattaraugus counties.

Like other abandoned towpaths and rail beds across the country, the Genesee Valley Greenway provides opportunities for public recreation, an off-road link to communities, parks, other trails, attractions in the region and preservation of open space and the natural and cultural resources in the corridor. The GVG connects to the Genesee River Trail, Finger Lakes Trail, Erie Canal Recreation Way, the  Erie Attica Trail and the Lehigh Valley Trail.

Natural Features:

  • The continuity of the corridor creates a 'tunnel of green' and acts as a physical link between adjacent habitats providing an important bridge for organisms.

Historical Features:

  • Black Creek Canal Culvert
  • Belfast warehouse - The only surviving canal warehouse on the greenway, and locks.
  • Chili, Monroe County and Oakland, Livingston County Location: Old railway bridges and bridge abutments.
  • Oakland: Locks
  • Interpretive Signage is provided along the trail at key locations.

Pet Policy: A maximum of two pets are allowed in day use areas unless prohibited by sign or directive. Pets are to be supervised at all times and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation shall be produced if requested by staff. Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, pools and spray-grounds or guarded beaches (this does not apply to service animals).

Hours of Operation

  • Park is open year round.

  • Dawn to dusk, daily.

    *Park hours and facility operations are subject to change. Patrons are encouraged to contact the park directly to confirm operating hours before traveling.

After decades of succession from the abandonment of the railroad, the trail provides a great diversity of alien weedy species combined with the spreading native species from adjoining woodlands, fields, wetlands and river and stream valleys. Besides the hundreds of flowers, more than forty species of trees, shrubs and vines can be found in just a few miles of trail. Woody plant diversity is impressive including spruce, pine, cedar, tuliptree, cucumber tree, spicebush, sassafras, moonseed, sycamore, witch hazel, hackberry, elm, hickory, beech, oak, alder, birch, hornbeam, basswood, cottonwood, aspen, willow, shad, hawthorn, cherry, rose, ash, locust, autumn olive, dogwood, buckthorn, creeper, grape, bladdernut, maple, sumac, ivy, tree-of-heaven, prickly-ash, honeysuckle, elderberry and viburnum.

With spreading views of the Genesee River meanders and the scattered remaining ancient oaks of the valley, the corridor is also home to thousands of animals. Amongst the familiar mammals such as squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, fox and deer are the most numerous insects that include the colorful butterflies such as swallowtails, whites, sulphurs, hairstreaks, blues, fritillaries, crescents, commas, admirals, monarchs, browns and skippers. Birds occur year-round and amongst the summer diversity are woodpeckers, flycatchers, jays, crows, titmice, nuthatches, wrens, thrushes, catbirds, waxwings, vireos, warblers, tanagers, cardinals, buntings, towhees, sparrows and finches.

Sun 01 Jan
First Day Hike Rochester
Sunday, January 1, 2023 10:00 AM
Genesee Valley Greenway State Park
Start the New Year off with an easy walk along Genesee Valley Greenway State Park, which was once part of the Genesee Valley Canal & Railroad. Enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding wooded wetlands while looking for birds, animal tracks or other signs of wildlife. We'll start at Brook Rd and go north toward Black Creek. This walk is suitable for all levels with options for shorter of longer distances. The longest walk will be about 4 miles roundtrip to see a unique double-arched stone culvert over Black Creek. Genesee Land Trust will provide warm drinks and light snacks. Please meet at Brook Rd Parking Area – 30 Brook Rd, Rochester, 14623. In case of severe weather, please check Genesee Valley Greenway State Park on Facebook for event status. Parking is available at the meet site. Please follow all current Covid-19 guidelines for indoor/outdoor activity. Dress weather appropriate. If there is snow, feel free to bring your snowmobile, snowshoes and/or skis.
Sun 01 Jan
First Day Hike York
Sunday, January 1, 2023 11:00 AM
Genesee Valley Greenway State Park
This location offers 3 different starting points but all end with a yummy lunch and campfire at the York Landing Parking Area at 12:15pm. All hikes will offer unique views of farmland, forest, and the Genesee River. The 3 starting points are Piffard, Rt 63 – Yard of Ale restaurant parking lot-hike north 2.8 miles, Fowlerville, Fowlerville Rd-hike south 2.6 miles, and York, York Landing Parking Area-hike north/south. In case of severe weather, please check Genesee Valley Greenway State Park on Facebook for event status. Parking is available at the meet site. Please follow all current Covid-19 guidelines for indoor/outdoor activity. Dress weather appropriate. If there is snow, feel free to bring your snowmobile, snowshoes and/or skis.
Sun 01 Jan
First Day Hike Avon
Sunday, January 1, 2023 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Genesee Valley Greenway State Park
Join us in Avon at the Erie-Attica Trail parking lot for hot dogs, snacks, and beverages. Warm yourself by the campfire before embarking on a hike along the Erie-Attica Trail for 1 mile to Genesee Valley Greenway State Park, then hike north or south for as many miles as you wish. This event is cohosted by some of our snowmobile clubs, so if there is enough snow, we invite you to bring your snowmobile! Please meet at Erie-Attica Trail Parking Area. In case of severe weather, please check Genesee Valley Greenway State Park on Facebook for event status. Parking is available at the meet site. Please follow all current Covid-19 guidelines for indoor/outdoor activity. Dress weather appropriate. If there is snow, feel free to bring your snowmobile, snowshoes and/or skis.
Sun 01 Jan
First Day Hike Hinsdale
Sunday, January 1, 2023 12:00 PM
Genesee Valley Greenway State Park
Join us for an easy, yet invigorating 2-mile walk along a very secluded section of trail heading east along Oil Creek. This hike will be led by members of the Hinsdale Historical Society who will serve hot chocolate afterwards. Please meet at Hinsdale Methodist Church, Main St. In case of severe weather, please check Genesee Valley Greenway State Park on Facebook for event status. Parking is available at the meet site. Please follow all current Covid-19 guidelines for indoor/outdoor activity. Dress weather appropriate. If there is snow, feel free to bring your snowmobile, snowshoes and/or skis.
Sun 01 Jan
First Day Hike Scottsville
Sunday, January 1, 2023 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Genesee Valley Greenway State Park
Begin the year off right with a self-guided walk along the newly resurfaced Genesee Valley Greenway State Park! Hiking is all day but join us between the hours of 1-3 to warm up by the campfire. Head south to the Lehigh Valley Trail and Genesee River Bridge overlook for a 5-mile round trip, or, if you prefer, head north or south to the next crossroad for a shorter 2-mile roundtrip. Please meet at Canawaugus Park. In case of severe weather, please check Genesee Valley Greenway State Park on Facebook for event status. Hike participants are invited to the fire pit at Canawaugus Park before starting their self-guided hike along the Greenway. Parking is available at the meet site. Please follow all current Covid-19 guidelines for indoor/outdoor activity. Dress weather appropriate. If there is snow, feel free to bring your snowmobile, snowshoes and/or skis.

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