Annual Genesee Valley Greenway Event takes place in Belfast, NY
by Karen Ash

Belfast, NY - November 14, 2007... Dozens of trail enthusiasts from
Cuba to Rochester joined together on Sunday, November 11th for an
annual hike, potluck dinner, and program as part of the annual
meeting of the Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway (FOGVG).

The Genesee Valley Greenway follows the path of the former Genesee
Valley Canal (1840-1878) and Pennsylvania Railroad, Rochester Branch
(1882-1963), passing through five counties (Monroe, Livingston,
Wyoming, Allegany, and Cattaraugus), seventeen townships, and
several villages. Presently, about 52 of its 90 miles are officially
open year-round for hiking, biking, birding, horseback riding,
snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Ron Abraham of Rockville, NY, a trail adopter and FOGVG member since
1999, led a two and one-half hour hike along generally gentle
terrain that included sections of the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail.
The weather couldn't have been better, sunny, with temperatures in
the low fifties.

Participants spent time at Lock 90 of the Genesee Valley Canal
(1840-1878), which has much of its stonework still intact. The group
hiked around a section of Rockville Lake, which was built to supply
water to the Genesee Valley Canal, and observed the final stages of a
project there to install a new culvert and bridge that will open an
additional section of trail. The hikers also stopped in the hamlet of
Rockville (called Caseville during the canal era), and visited the
sites of two bridge projects near Route 305 that, when completed in
2008, will enable the opening of an additional four miles of trail.

The hikers returned to the Belfast United Methodist Church where they
were joined by other FOGVG members to enjoy a most delicious potluck
dinner. Old friends had time to visit, and new friendships were
established. Dinner was followed by a brief FOGVG meeting chaired by
President Ned Holmes.

At 6:00 p.m. the group enjoyed a lively, informative slide
presentation by Allegany County Historian Craig Braack. He could
have titled his talk "The Why & How of Early Canals and
Railroads". Using drawings, charts, and historic photos, Mr. Braack
instructed his audience on why and how early canals and railroads
were built, and noted some interesting information on their
operation. His goal was to provide Greenway trail users with an
understanding of the historic importance of the transportation
corridor they are using, and leave them with discussion topics or
answers to questions for use when meeting a fellow Greenway user.

The Genesee Valley Greenway is being developed and maintained by a
partnership involving the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation; and the Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway. To
learn more, contact the Friends at , 585-658-2569 or
email at