“An epic tour of the Grand Canyon of the East (but beware of the creek Crossings!)
— Jon Sundquist
Closed in Spring. Nominal opening day June 1. Earlier if dry.
This is a section of a branch trail to the Finger Lakes Trail that is open to bikes during the summer. Most of the Finger Lakes Trail is closed to bikes, but this section, which part of a branch trail, not the main trail, is open within the park. Please help keep it open by riding only in season, when it is dry, and only within the park.
The trail starts at the Hogsback Overlook parking lot, which is on your left side of the road to the Mt. Morris Dam. The trail starts out paralleling the magnificent lower gorge of the Genessee River with some spectacular views. The trail travels inland often to cross some tributaries, but after a few miles, it follows very close to one of the steepest and deepest part of the lower gorge, with some short side trails to overlooks.
Soon after these spectacular views, there is an intersection in a pine grove that allows you to bail out to the road paralleling the park. Here you go right down a long decline. You now enter the central part of the park where the Genessee Valley is a broad valley rather than gorge. There are many many tributaries to cross along this stretch. Some are pleasant with a long slog inward to a good crossing spot and then a fast downhill along the other side. Others are much less fun and are classic poor trail design creek crossings which plunge straight into the creek bed, and straight up the other side, often too steep to ride.
Soon, you climb up to another intersection which is yet another bail out to the road. But keep cranking because the creek crossings start to diminish and you have many long ups and downs along the tributaries.
After you pass a log lean to slightly off the trail to your right, you come to another bailout to the road. usually you are tired by now, so that is often a good idea. If not, be prepared for a very long downhill followed by a very long uphill in the next section.
Next you come to the section along Dishmill Creek. The trail gets tougher to ride through here, but soon it dumps you out on the old tow path that followed the canal that used to bypass the gorge. This section is a road but then it turns into a grassy towpath - flat and straight. This gets interupted by a very technical part (due to a landslide) as it approaches the upper (most spectacular) gorge. Upon returning to the old tow path, it passes under the RR bridge, and ends with some singletrack just before ending at the road.
Turn around - it's only 22 miles back!