Enjoying the Greenway
Whatever the temperature or the season, a visit to the Genesee Valley Greenway is rewarding. Winter is the perfect time for a hike, fat tire bike ride, cross country ski, snow shoe, or snowmobiling in selected locations. The lack of tree cover from late fall to early spring offers the best opportunity to view the undulating farm fields, rivers and streams that line the corridor as well as many artifacts from the canal and railroad era such as historic canal locks and the canal prism.
Spring brings the return of a large variety of birds, wildflowers, and frogs in trailside ponds as the Greenway’s well known tree canopy turns green. In the summer, that canopy makes the Greenway the best choice for a hike, jog, or bike or horseback ride when temperatures are soaring. And, when the leaves turn colorful and the fields are full of ripening wheat and corn, the colors of the canopy delight once again.
In any season save time to punctuate your visit with a stop at a nearby historic village to visit unique shops or museums, or grab a meal or snack.
Greenway Trail Surface
The Genesee Valley Greenway trail is typically 12-feet wide. Much of its surface consists of packed cinders and mowed grass, but the 17 miles of trail between Ballantyne Road in Chili and Route 5 in Caledonia has been recently resurfaced with compacted stone dust making this section optimal for gravel bikes. One mile of paved trail can be found between Genesee Valley Park and the Scottsville-Paul Road intersection in the Town of Chili.
In early spring or after heavy rains, places on the trail may be muddy. A hybrid bicycle is probably the best choice for the Greenway. An off road, mountain bicycle is not necessary. The trail surface may be somewhat rough for a road bike.
Some trail sections are still under development. On-road detours in Livingston and Allegany Counties are noted on the Greenway map (LINK).
Encountering Horses on the Trail
One of the greatest things about the Genesee Valley Greenway is that it is open to many types of trail users, including equestrians, but for everyone to be safe, it is important to practice proper trail safety and etiquette when encountering horses on the trail.
As the horse is a prey animal that insists on making its own evaluation of approaching objects and deciding whether or not they are friend or foe, and whether to ignore, fight, or flee, obey follow these guidelines when encountering a horse and rider on the trail:
Use line of sight.
If approaching from the opposite direction, STOP.
If approaching from the rear, announce yourself. Your voice is clearly that of a human and carries with it all the familiar experiences that the horse has had with humans.
Move to the outer edge of the trail and STAND where the horse can see you and can pass you with the greatest amount of clearance.
SPEAK to distinguish yourself as human, familiar and non-threatening. A simple “Hi! Nice day!” will do.
Wait for instructions. Never assume every encounter will unfold in the same way. Only the rider (and horse) has a feel for the best way to proceed. PLEASE ASK FOR INSTRUCTIONS by calmly talking. Don’t take offense if the rider isn’t talking back much. It may be that he/she needs to keep full attention on the horse to maintain safety.
If you have a dog, keep it on a leash at all times. A dog is no match for a well-placed kick from a horse.
If you would like to pet the horse, please ask.
Instruct children how to behave when meeting horses on the trail.
If passing a trail intersection as a motorist, please SLOW DOWN.