GOBike completes study for 80-mile Southern Tier Trail

Western New York

In this July 10, 2019, photo, mountain bikes are displayed at Cycles Etc bicycle shop in Salem, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

HINSDALE, N.Y. (WIVB) — GObike says it has completed a feasibility study for an 80-mile multi-use trail connecting 21 towns and villages in western New York.

It’s called the Southern Tier Trail. GObike says its 75 miles of off-road trails and five miles of on-road facilities would connect with the 90-mile Genesee Valley Greenway and the 750-mile Empire State Trail.

In fact, GObike says “the vision for the Southern Tier Trail connection is inspired by the successful development of the Empire State Trail.”

Just last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of the Empire State Trail, which connects via three different sections — the Erie Canalway Trail, the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail and the Champlain Valley Trail.

MORE | Take a look at the Empire State Trail map here.

This new Southern Tier Trail would incorporate the 27-mile Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail.

“With continued improvements to the Shoreline Trail, connections to the Empire State Trail network and Ontario, along with the opportunity to complete a regional loop through the proposed Southern Tier Trail and the Genesee Valley Greenway, the Western New York region has the potential to become a world class bicycling destination,” said Justin Booth, GObike executive director. “We are excited to release the final plan for the Southern Tier Trail to provide local communities across Erie and Cattaraugus counties a blueprint for neighborhood-level projects.”

Justin Booth, GObike executive director

Here are some of the key findings from GObike’s feasibility study:

  • An 80.1-mile route has been identified and categorized into 23 projects, including nine high-priority projects selected to connect major population centers and extend or enhance existing trails
  • The trail will extend from Ridge Road in Lackawanna to the Genesee Valley Greenway trail in Hinsdale, and have 24 trailheads and access points.
  • If preferred routes are implemented, 94% of the route (74-miles) will be off-road.
  • Equestrian and snowmobile access will be maintained in the southern portion of the trail.
  • Stabilizing the Cascade Bridge, an elevated trestle bridge in Springville, NY, will provide a signature destination for the trail.

GObike says the next step is working with local and state government officials to finalize the trail routes.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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