Genesee Riverway Trail: Bridging the Best Part of Rochester — Part 2

June 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Genesee Riverway Trail

Turning Point Park Causeway

Part 2 — 2011 Bike or Die:  Maplewood Park to the Port Of Rochester

The Genesee Riverway Trail:  an urban off-road trail along the Genesee River through the scenic, historic and cultural heart of Rochester, linking the (statewide) Erie Canal Heritage Trail, the Genesee Greenway Trail (Erie Canal to Pennsylvania), downtown Rochester and the Port of Rochester on Lake Ontario.

“Over 100 years ago, Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York City, designed a park system for Rochester. He suggested two parks both located on the Genesee river, South Park, now Genesee Valley Park, had broad meadows and North Park, now Seneca and Maplewood Parks, featured the nearly 200 foot deep gorge of the Genesee River. Rochester’s first park.”

The ride on the Riverway Trail from Maplewood Park to Charlotte is quite lovely. The trail winds behind homes through a wooded area until you rejoin the sidewalk along Maplewood Drive and Bridge View Drive. (You will ride by another beautiful pedestrian bridge, that will take you across the gorge, and through Seneca Park — another great ride.)

A short stretch on Lake Avenue is punctuated by some lovely architecture, as well as several cemeteries.

Genesee Riverway Trail

Entrance to Holy Sepulchre cemetary

“Holy Sepulchre Cemetery – (another worthy detour) This cemetery was an early project of Bernard J. McQuaid, the first bishop of Rochester. Installed as bishop on July 16, 1868 he decided that having five smaller cemeteries was impractical and planned for one large Catholic burial ground. In early 1871 he purchased 110 acres of land spanning Charlotte Boulevard (now Lake Avenue). One east side section was consecrated on September 10, 1871 and the first burial took place eight days later.”

Genesee Riverway Trail

Turn right after Riverside and head downhill

Genesee Riverway Trail

Turning Point Park resident

Right after Riverside Cemetery look for a turn off the road that will take you through woods, down a long hill to the best part of your ride. Turning Point Park allows you to ride at river level with a lengthy boardwalk that spans a long section of marsh. You can see turtles, a pair of nesting swans and LOTS of fishermen, while riding over the river.

Genesee Riverway Trail

Busy Marina near the Port of Rochester

As you approach the Port of Rochester, you pass by several very colorful boat yards and get to observe the teeming water city that sets up when good weather arrives.  We continued all the way up to the pier so we could stop for drinks and a snack at Pier 45.

Rochester Bike Rides

This is where I'll park to watch the world end.

If the world was GOING to end, and it was a lovely sunny day, you might want to find an outdoor cushion on the second floor of Pier 45. Order a Bloody Maria, some calamari, and set back to watch things unravel. From here you get a great “big sky” view of the boats coming in and out of the river.

Genesee Riverway Trail

Port of Rochester Bridge takes you over the river to the Seaway Trail

Our journey on the Riverway Trail was over, but we were still about 10-12 miles from home. Fortunately, the city has built several great trails that helped us get most of the way back home. The Seaway Trail took us from Charlotte to Sea Breeze in less than 20 minutes. The stretch along Durand Eastman Park, and the Ontario Lake shore was the most scenic as much of the ride is on a sidewalk through suburban neighborhoods.

Rochester Bike Trails

Seaway Route from Charlotte to Sea Breeze

Rochester Bike Trails

Durand Eastman Beach along Lake Ontario

Before we go to al the way to the end of the trail at Sea Breeze, we headed south on Culver Road. It is marked as the “Seaway Trail” and much of the road had a wide shoulder which gave us a bit of space from the traffic. Crossing Titus Ave and Ridge Road still no picnic, but the remainder of our ride home was simple, so I thought

Somewhere before we crossed Empire Blvd, I was still having fun. but Charlie’s legs went dysFUNctional. When I told him later that he had ridden 30 miles, he told me that he had 25 mile legs. Maybe I’ll remember that — next time.


Entry filed under: Activities, Biking, boating, Dining, Finger Lakes, Genesee River, Hiking, New York, Rochester, Trails, Watwrfalls. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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