Sat, 14 Sep 2013

Rail Trails #10

I have a goal of riding every named Rail-Trail in New York State. There are many more railbeds not used for trains anymore which are also ridable. They are usually unnamed, unsigned, and unpublished. I speculate that this is because the owner is either indifferent or away. I've ridden some of these but I'm more interested in getting the named trails ridden first. I'm uploading them to OpenStreetMap as I go.

Here are the trails I rode this summer: Stillwater Rail Trail on a chilly end-of-March day. The El Camino Rail Trail, the Heritage Park Rail Trail, the Lehigh Memory Trail, and the Pittsford Rail Trail as part of the Erie Canalwail Trail ride. I hit the Kennedy Rail Trail, NYO&W Liberty and Parksville Rail Trails, the South Cazenovia Rail Trail, the Tarrytown Lakes extension, and walked the White Plains Greenway. Re-rode the Hudson Valley Rail Trail / Walkway Over the Hudson / Dutchess County Trail system (end to end this time), re-rode the Orange Heritage Trailway and the Gorge Trail, and rode a bit on the Walkill Valley Rail Trail.

Trails I've ridden:

Trails I haven't (yet) ridden:

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Ride starting Sun Jun 9 18:54:14 2013

8.02 km 26303.10 feet 4.98 mi 2462.00 seconds 41.03 minutes 0.68 hours 7.28 mi/hr

I've ridden this once before, but after the South Cazenovia Rail Trail debacle, I needed to ride a real rail-trail (the Gorge Trail) to get it out of my system.

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Ride starting Sun Jun 9 17:58:18 2013

7.17 km 23521.59 feet 4.45 mi 2139.00 seconds 35.65 minutes 0.59 hours 7.50 mi/hr

I tried to ride the South Cazenovia Rail Trail on this day in early June. Unfortunately, the rail-trail has some extremely wet spots in it. It's more of a snowmobile trail, really. I can't see how any wheeled vehicle, or even pedestrians could make it the length of the rail-trail. And don't even ask me about the mosquitos. All those puddles make it mosquito city.

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Ride starting Sun Jun 9 10:38:30 2013

4.07 km 13336.97 feet 2.53 mi 1872.00 seconds 31.20 minutes 0.52 hours 4.86 mi/hr

Parksville's O&W Rail Trail is only about a mile and a quarter. It needed some clever work to get around badly eroded sections of railbed, some slumped into the creek below. So although it's short, I'm glad they put out the effort to create it at all.

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Ride starting Sun Jun 9 08:32:11 2013

13.91 km 45633.92 feet 8.64 mi 5590.00 seconds 93.17 minutes 1.55 hours 5.57 mi/hr

The Liberty O&W Rail Trail follows the route of the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad through town. At the south end in Ferndale, it abruptly ends where a huge trestle carried the railroad over a valley. On the north end it stops when the railroad went behind a bunch of people's houses, and beyond that, at the high school, and beyond that, at another big missing trestle.

Unfortunately, the O&W was abandoned at a time when people weren't thinking about rail-trails, so when they ripped it up, they ripped everything up. Every last bit of metal was sold to help with the bankruptcy debt.

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Ride starting Sat Jun 8 15:24:41 2013

6.32 km 20737.31 feet 3.93 mi 2346.00 seconds 39.10 minutes 0.65 hours 6.03 mi/hr

Tarrytown Lakes Extention is an extension to the North County Rail Trail, but it's actually the original main line for the Putnam line. It used to go through Rockefeller's estate, and he simply got tired of it. So he paid the railroad's expenses to relocate the line so it took a different routing. Now it's about a 2 mile long paved rail-trail that goes from Eastview almost to Old White Plains Road. It stops at a railroad bridge that has no decking. It would be a simple thing to add a deck; maybe there is a property restriction beyond that point? It's a nice trail and should be extended.

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Ride starting Sun Jul 14 06:15:59 2013

66.13 km 216968.94 feet 41.09 mi 20783.00 seconds 346.38 minutes 5.77 hours 7.12 mi/hr

Day Eight of the Cycling the Erie Canalway tour, Scotia to Albany and the finish line. The route today is nearly all on a rail-trail except where the trail has to break away at a nuclear site and in Watervliet. Took two side trips to look at our water quality sensors on the Mohawk River.

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Ride starting Sat Jul 13 06:58:51 2013

77.88 km 255506.47 feet 48.39 mi 34263.00 seconds 571.05 minutes 9.52 hours 5.08 mi/hr

Day Seven of the Cycling the Erie Canalway tour, Canajoharie to Scotia. The last two days are short. Together they would be one very long day. Went off-route in Fort Hunter at Schoharie Landing. This is one of the few points where the original Erie Canal -- Clinton's Ditch -- the Enlarged Erie canal, and the NYS Barge Canal take disparate routes. The advantage is that you can see what's left of each.

I rode the Towpath Trail on the north side of the Enlarged Erie Canal. It passes one lock that you can only see from this trail, then you cross over onto the main trail at the next lock.

Found a bridge on the Fonda, Gloversville & Johnstown trolley line. Like many trolley lines, it was double-tracked for bidirectional running, so the bridge was quite wide. Chased that into Hutchinson Crossing. Explored quite a bit of the warehouse district north of Amsterdam Road. Some of it is still an active military base even though the warehouses look derelict, so I couldn't explore everywhere there had been railroad tracks.

Rolled into Scotia and set up camp for the last night.

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Ride starting Fri Jul 12 05:31:57 2013

127.33 km 417738.20 feet 79.12 mi 49679.00 seconds 827.98 minutes 13.80 hours 5.73 mi/hr

Day Six of the Cycling the Erie Canalway tour. A metric century plus. Almost 80 miles. Went off-route to find the Wheelers Creek bridge south of Rome. Then went on a six-mile "side trip". Or, rather, I got lost along with about a dozen other people. Just following the leader, like a sheeple.

Explored Utica's Blue Line -- a railroad spur which served the industries formerly served by the Erie Canal. Stopped by the brewery to grab some Saranac Root Beer (yummy!) and a shandy. Found an abandoned railroad bridge underneath East River Road. Big section of neither towpath nor railbed in the Ilion / Mohawk / Little Falls area.

Found a pretty abandoned bridge in East Creek, over the Canada Creek. It's got a tree growing on it that's at least 20 years old. I was able to walk out on it -- it's obvious that the locals go fishing off the bridge, so I didn't feel at risk. More road riding into Saint Johnsville. There was a lot of trail damage from rains a week earlier, so we got routed off the trail a lot.

The bridge over Caroga Creek in Fort Plain had its east abutment completely eroded away, so the bridge was falling into the creek. Gonna be an expensive repair, that. I entered the trail shortly after that even though the routing was on the north side of the Mohawk. I saw signs welcoming us into Canajoharie that probably nobody else saw. I felt very welcomed. Was late enough on this very long day that I didn't bother climbing the hill only to take the bus back into town. Just stayed in town and ate dinner. Climbed the hill with a full stomach. Not all that hard a hill.

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Ride starting Thu Jul 11 06:56:34 2013

109.92 km 360621.97 feet 68.30 mi 35256.00 seconds 587.60 minutes 9.79 hours 6.97 mi/hr

Day Five of the Cycling the Erie Canalway Tour. A metric century day. Found the Elmira and Cortland Branch bridge abutments over the Erie Canal on the east side of Canastota. Went east off-trail to Hubbard Place to find a place where three railroad bridges crossed Cowelson Creek within 120 meters of each other. Two of the bridges remain, as do the abutments of the third. They were, from north to south, the New York Central, the West Shore Railroad, and some trolley line whose name I do not know.

On the way out of Oneida, I rode a little bit on the New York Central, just to the bridge over the New York, Ontario & Western. Climb down onto the latter and rode it north. They've had substantial erosion on that trail. Seems to be unmaintained, sadly. Would make a nice trail, if a bit short.

Followed the O&W north until it diverged away. Found the 1877 Oneida Lake Canal on the north side of the Erie Canal, then went back on the trailway route. There's an O&W bridge a bit south of Foster Corners Road, but it's too brushy to get back to it wearing bicycle shorts. Have to come back in the early spring before the brush gets growing, wearing pants.

Went off-route again to find the 1835 Oneida Lake Canal. It lasted for almost 30 years until it finally fell into disrepair, prompting the creation of the later Oneida Lake Canal, which was an abject failure, being built on quicksand, so it constantly sprung leaks. Almost no boats transited this canal for the single year it was in operation.

Yet Again, I got into Rome too late to see any part of the Erie Canal Museum. Barely had time to watch a bit of their introductary video. Rode into town, made camp, stopped into Fort Stanwyx, had dinner, and hit the sack.

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Ride starting Wed Jul 10 06:53:03 2013

76.29 km 250297.27 feet 47.40 mi 32500.00 seconds 541.67 minutes 9.03 hours 5.25 mi/hr

Day Four of the Cycling the Erie Canalway tour. Seneca Falls to Syracuse, a short day, with almost no trail riding. Not sure why they routed us off so much of the trail this year. Could have been all the rain. The only exploring that I did was to go find the upside-down traffic light on Tipperary Hill. Yes, green on top, red on the bottom. It's just one of those things. Hail and lightning storm.

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Ride starting Tue Jul 9 06:39:27 2013

114.40 km 375314.54 feet 71.08 mi 48148.00 seconds 802.47 minutes 13.37 hours 5.31 mi/hr

Day Three of the Cycling the Erie Canalway tour, Pittsford to Seneca Falls. Another metric century day. Explored a bit of the Auburn Branch which seems to be well-used as a rail-trail even though it's gated at the Northern End. I'm going to call it the Pittsford Rail Trail. It's only a kilometer long, but still worthy of a name.

Fairport now has a bridge over the Erie Canal connecting the Trailway to the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Trolley Trail. Very nice. Explored the Expanded Erie Canal in Macedon. It's still kept in water because they use it as a feeder canal. Also found the West Shore north of Macedon. It's way down in a cut -- I'm sure that the current road has no bridge because they filled-in the railroad cut.

Snuck into the railroad yard in Lyons to take a snap of an old railroad bridge. I tried to ask for permission, but nobody was to be found. I figured that if there's nobody to ask permission of, there's nobody to catch me, so I made free. Didn't spend long anyway -- the mosquitos drove me off.

Narrowly avoided sleeping in the swamp at Seneca Falls -- one look at the kind of grass growing in their athletic fields told me it was going to be wet when it rained, and rain it did. Slept closer to the school on better-drained soil.

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Ride starting Mon Jul 8 06:35:57 2013

119.84 km 393161.49 feet 74.46 mi 34851.00 seconds 580.85 minutes 9.68 hours 7.69 mi/hr

Day Three of the Cycling the Erie Canal tour. Rode a metric century today. Lots of riding, not much exploring. Stopped in to the Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo station, now a museum in Brockport. Went off-route a bit in Greece to explore the Enlarged Erie Canal past the junction with the Barge Canal. Turns out that they had turned it into a dry dock, which was a great idea except that the barges they were going to work on didn't fit into the Enlarged canal, so it was all a waste. Still some ruins of the drydock to be seen, along with the lock that joined the Enlarged with the Barge canal.

Bicycled acrtoss the Rochester Terminal Branch bridge over the Erie Canal. Deck is poured concrete and is fracturing off at the edges. Just a Bit dodgy. Went into downtown Rochester and bicycled the El Camino Trail. Rode a part of the Pittsford Railroad Loop on the may into Pittsford, just because I could.

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Ride starting Sun Jul 7 06:14:04 2013

96.70 km 317257.48 feet 60.09 mi 39766.00 seconds 662.77 minutes 11.05 hours 5.44 mi/hr

Day one of Cycling the Erie Canal tour. Buffalo to Medina. Didn't follow the route in Buffalo, but instead, did my own exploring. Walked across the railroad bridge over Ellicott Creek. Found some forgotten rails embedded in pavement along Fillmore Avenue in Tonawanda, and along multiple roads in North Tonawanda. Also explored the old lift bridge out to Tonawanda Island and the tracks on the island. Rode the rail-trail through Heritage Park in North Tonawanda. I don't know if the trail itself has a name, but I'll call it the Heritage Park Rail Trail.

In Lockport I explored the industrial trackage on the north side of town, and traced the trolley tracks along Mill Street. Took a side trip to find the Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo bridge abutments over the Falls Road Railroad and Telegraph Road between Gasport and Middleport.

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Ride starting Sat Jul 6 16:10:39 2013

13.31 km 43674.64 feet 8.27 mi 2657.00 seconds 44.28 minutes 0.74 hours 11.21 mi/hr

Zeroth day of the Cycling the Erie Canal tour. Took the shuttle from Albany to Buffalo. Got here early enough to go for a little 8 mile bike ride before dinner. Picked up the Lehigh Memory Trail at the far end. Also rode a bit of railbed halfway back, south of Kenmore. There's a set of railroad abutments there, where the east-west railroad crossed over the north-south. Would be an awesome set of rail-trails if they had left the bridge in place.

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Ride starting Mon Sep 2 16:42:37 2013

5.60 km 18373.40 feet 3.48 mi 2237.00 seconds 37.28 minutes 0.62 hours 5.60 mi/hr

Rode the Kennedy Rail Trail. It's a nice trail, as far as it goes. Could use a bit more work. At least they have a parking area on the north end, but there are wet areas along the way that need better drainage (people are bicycling up along the embankment), and there are a couple of eroded areas that need some fill dropped into them. There's a bridge which obviously got blocked during one rainstorm or another (probably due to a lack of maintenance) and two nearby places got eroded down to the stream level by overflowing the railroad fill.

Could also be extended through through the Kennedy School, if only they were more accepting of public travel through the school property. It could be extended to the Golden's Bridge railroad station. Maybe it would pick up some bicycle commuters that way?

I published some pictures on my Google+ stream.

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Ride starting Sat Aug 17 18:09:51 2013

21.11 km 69268.80 feet 13.12 mi 3791.00 seconds 63.18 minutes 1.05 hours 12.46 mi/hr

Rode the Saddle Brook Trail before my epic trip to California and then India. Had an early flight out of Newark, and got to Newark before dark. Well, "before dark" is a bit of a stretch, since it was pitch-black by the time I got to the far end.

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Ride starting Sat Aug 17 08:19:49 2013

3.35 km 10982.57 feet 2.08 mi 990.00 seconds 16.50 minutes 0.28 hours 7.56 mi/hr

Rode the Delaware & Hudson Canal Towpath Trail in Port Jervis. It's paved, but barely so. It's paved at most three feet wide, with rather a bit of a drop-off on the sides. It's like they just dumped some asphalt down and forgot to put some fill on the sides. Anyway, it's a pretty ride on the towpath, with substantial evidence of the canal on the northeast side, almost the whole way.

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Ride starting Fri Aug 16 18:04:58 2013

31.52 km 103404.68 feet 19.58 mi 6506.00 seconds 108.43 minutes 1.81 hours 10.84 mi/hr

Rode the Orange Heritage Trail, or at least the paved portion, from Monroe to Goshen. It continues as unpaved dirt from Goshen a few miles west, and from Monroe to Harrison as straight-up ballast (very hard to ride, but I've ridden it). The return trip was in pitch darkness. Good thing there are so few road crossings and I had a headlight.

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Ride starting Fri Aug 16 10:37:04 2013

64.81 km 212622.25 feet 40.27 mi 15998.00 seconds 266.63 minutes 4.44 hours 9.06 mi/hr

Rode the entire Walkway trail system. Started in Hopewell Junction, rode the Dutchess County Trail to Poughkeepsie, then the Walkway Over The Hudson state park, then the Hudson Valley Trail. Stopped for lunch in Highland. Two pieces of pizza and some garlic knots. A lot of carbs, but much less than I burned over 40 miles.

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Ride starting Sun Aug 11 17:28:34 2013

32.86 km 107818.17 feet 20.42 mi 7960.00 seconds 132.67 minutes 2.21 hours 9.24 mi/hr

A visit to the New York & Ogdensburg engine house, via Norwood and Knapps Station (aka North Stockholm on the USGS maps).

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Ride starting Sat Aug 10 14:48:57 2013

38.31 km 125685.18 feet 23.80 mi 7866.00 seconds 131.10 minutes 2.19 hours 10.89 mi/hr

A straight out-and-back to Parishville. It's a nice hill going up to Parishville, so it's also a nice hill coming back.

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Ride starting Fri Aug 2 18:01:27 2013

33.78 km 110822.09 feet 20.99 mi 7043.00 seconds 117.38 minutes 1.96 hours 10.73 mi/hr

Not the usual kind of ride -- I rarely go so far out in one direction before making a loop. This was a lot of ingress hacking. Gotta kee the inventory up.

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Ride starting Wed Jul 31 18:55:22 2013

19.20 km 62978.69 feet 11.93 mi 3659.00 seconds 60.98 minutes 1.02 hours 11.74 mi/hr

Not a long ride, but it's got some nice hills on it. Almost any ride to the south of me is going to have hills, because we live on the very northern edge of the Adirondack Mountains.

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Ride starting Sat Jul 27 14:25:34 2013

67.03 km 219914.99 feet 41.65 mi 17149.00 seconds 285.82 minutes 4.76 hours 8.74 mi/hr

Just felt like a long ride. Did a bit of Ingress hacking along the way. Managed to run my cellphone battery down all the way. Should have brought my external battery along, but didn't.

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Ride starting Fri Jul 26 18:17:21 2013

13.85 km 45435.36 feet 8.61 mi 4560.00 seconds 76.00 minutes 1.27 hours 6.79 mi/hr

The shortest loop ride that I can do, but ... I must not have turned off the GPS promptly, because there's no way it took 1.27 hours.

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Ride starting Sat Jul 20 18:29:27 2013

23.61 km 77461.61 feet 14.67 mi 4532.00 seconds 75.53 minutes 1.26 hours 11.65 mi/hr

Rode "around the block", up to Norwood and Norfolk.

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