LEHIGH VALLEY TRAIL:
SCOTTSVILLE-VICTOR, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 5, 2015
Length: Lehigh Valley Trail; 16.3 miles
Lehigh Valley Trail; South Branch;
Difficulty: Easy. Flat stone-dust rail trail.
To Start from Lehigh Crossing Park [Eastern End]; From I-90 take exit 45 to I-490 west. Quickly take exit 29 to Route 96 and head left. Travel 1.8 miles and turn right on Route 251. The Park entrance is on your right.
To Start from Rochester Junction [Central]; From I-390 take exit 11 to Route 251 east 3.8 miles. Turn right on Plains Rd. The parking lot will be on your left.
To Start from the West River Road parking area [Western End]; From I-390 take exit 11 to Route 251 west for 3.7 miles. Turn left on River Rd and travel 1.5 miles to the trailhead on your left just before the Centerpoint Transfer Station. Across from the Livingston Office Park. No trail sign.
The Lehigh Valley Trail begins west of the Genesee River and follows the rail bed of the old 1892 Lehigh Valley RR. Also referred to as the Black Diamond Trail because the rail line used to haul clean burning anthracite coal, known as "Black Diamonds". Before crossing the Genesee River it intersects with the north-south Genesee Valley Greenway . At Rochester Junction you can travel along the Lehigh Valley Trail; North Branch as it heads north to Rochester where it connects to the Erie Canalway Trail; Syracuse- Rochester and Erie Canalway Trail; Rochester-Buffalo . In Victor the trail crosses paths with the Auburn Trail before ending at Lehigh Crossing Park. For more information visit; LEHIGH VALLEY TRAIL .
Starting from Lehigh Crossing Park; Porto-Potty located here. Head northwest along the wide stone-dust trail and bear right around a pond into the woods. Cross an old RR trestle bridge over the Auburn Trail before coming to a spur trail on your right at 1 mile.
Note; This spur trail takes you down to the Auburn Trail .
Cross Phillips Rd heading west. I haven't checked out this next section. This fairly open trail follows an industrial corridor, crossing Wangum Rd, followed by Old Dutch Rd at 2.5 miles where you'll find a parking lot. Follow a residential corridor crossing Route 70, followed by Mendon Rd in Mendon at 3.7 miles. A set of old RR tracks preserved here. Location of the old Mendon RR Station. Come to Route 251 where you'll find a crosswalk. Caution; Busy road. Pass by some ball fields and parking lots before entering a more wooded corridor. Cross Route 66 at 4.8 miles, Chamberlain Rd at 5.8 miles, Quaker Meeting House Rd at 7.5 miles and Clover St at 7.9 miles. You'll pass by a spur trail on your left where the South Branch to Hemlock came in followed by another spur on your left, also where the South Branch to Hemlock came in.
Note; This South Branch of the Lehigh Valley Trail extended to Hemlock, however, only a short section of this old rail bed has been developed. See; Lehigh Valley Trail; North Branch .
Pass by the old RR Interlocking Tower and Pump House before another intersection. This is Rochester Junction at 8.6 miles. Informational board here.
Note; Heading right takes you past the site of the old Rochester Junction RR Station and an old red RR car to a replica Train Station (restrooms and water fountain) and the Rochester Junction parking lot. Straight across Plains Rd is the start of the Lehigh Valley Trail; North Branch .
Continuing straight past the old Rochester Junction RR Station and replica Train Station you'll cross Plains Rd. At 9.1 miles you cross the Genesee River via an old RR trestle bridge. Here the trail roughly parallels the river. You'll pass by the Lehigh Street parking area as you enter Rush where you parallel Lehigh St out to E Henrietta Rd at 11.2 miles. Small park on your right overlooking the river and the mill dam. The trail travels past fields before crossing the Genesee River, traveling through a tunnel underneath W Henrietta Rd and coming to Fishell Rd after 13 miles. Head right on-road traveling underneath I-390 a short distance where you rejoin the trail on your left. Cross E River Rd before crossing a bridge over a RR at 15.1 miles. I've checked out this final section. Cross another bridge high over a creek and you'll notice the trail start to descend. You'll pass by an old bridge pier on your right.
This was part of the old 1891 Lehigh Valley Trestle, which was over 0.5 miles long with 38 piers. The trestle is long gone except for the section that crosses the Genesee River, which is why the trail descends down to the old RR bridge. You cross the bridge, utilizing the under span, as the train would have traveled above you.
After crossing the bridge you intersect the Genesee Valley Greenway at 15.8 miles.
More bridge piers located here along with an informational board and picnic tables. This was the junction for the Rochester Branch of the Pennsylvania RR and Lehigh Valley RR. Before the railroads it was known as Cox Basin for the Genesee Valley Canal where boats were loaded and turned around.
The trail continues up a slight incline and back to the rail bed where the old trestle would have ended. An open trail then brings you out to the West River Road parking area at 16.3 miles and the end of the trail.
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