Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail
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  1. #1
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Rail Trails of Rochester: NYC Auburn road trail

    Section 1: Brighton NY to Pittsford, NY.

    Part 1: highland Ave. Brighton to Park Ave. bike store, Pittsford.

    This trail follows the "Old Road", the NYC Auburn division, which was first built as the Auburn-Rochester railroad in 1841, and for it's first 1/4 century, was the ONLY route into Rochester (until the "water level route" was opened). It was a single track road, and this section saw it's last freight train in 1981 (during the summer of 1982, a friend of mine worked on a crew that removed the rails and ties). It was last a through route in 1958, when the sections south of Pittsford was abandoned and the bridge over the canal was removed. Before that, passenger service existed, and even a nightly Pullman sleeper service to D.C. went down this route, to Canandaigua, where the Pennsylvania railroad took it the rest of the way.

    Highland Ave to Elmwood Ave.:
    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-highland-n.jpgRail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-highland-s.jpg

    First picture shows the most northerly remaining part, just about 500' east of I-590; everything north to the CSX mainline is gone. The second shows the trail as it heads south to Elmwood Ave, between houses, an elementary school, and an apartment complex. Trail is packed soil on top of ballast.

    Elmwood to Allens Creek:

    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-harley-s.jpgRail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-harley-n.jpg

    From Elmwood south, the surface is a lot rougher, being just a thin layer of moss/grass over straight ballast. The 2 pics are taken behind the Harley school fields, the first southward, the second northward.

    Allens Creek to Clover:

    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-clover-s-1.jpgRail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-clover-s-2.jpg

    Asphalt stretch, behind the church on one side, and the old bowling alley on the other side. Alas, they have chained up a gate, and I had to detour over a small path to get around and over to Clover St.

    Take a right, then a quick left int the parking lot, then go all the way to the corner.

    Clover to Park Ave. Bike shop (across from Pittsford Plaza).

    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-clover-s-3.jpgRail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-pa-bike-s.jpg

    From here, the old right-of-way is altered, with many ups, downs, zigs, and zags, but at least a prepared trail IS there. Just before this little bridge (which seems to use the old abutments of the previous RR bridge), there is a little path that will lead you to a parking lot, then another path down to the lot at the bike store.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-highland-n.jpg  
    Last edited by No Time Toulouse; 06-10-2018 at 02:55 PM.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  2. #2
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    From there, keep going until you cross French Rd:
    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-frenchrdcross.jpg

    It's a zig-zag, but pretty easy to follow. From there, the trail looks like this:
    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-french-schoen.jpg

    Some places have low overhanging branches, and may be a bit muddy. If wet, it can get a bit slippery.
    After about 1/2 mile, you will come out behind an apartment complex garage, and into a parking lot:
    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-csxbypass.jpg
    The overpass is the CSX bypass. At this point, the Auburn trail ends for a couple of miles, so if you want to continue on it, you have 2 choices: either go by road to Powder Mill Park, more-or-less paralleling the Auburn Road, or take the Barge Canal Trail (which will be a future ride post) down to Bushnell's Basin, then up to Powder Mill.

    If you wish to follow the canal trail, bear to the right, and either pick up the trail before the DelMonte Spa, or else go straight to the road. If you go straight, you will see the remnants of the railroad R.O.W. across the street, but there is no trail there:
    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-schoenauburn.jpg

    If you follow the canal, a mile or so down the trail, you will see the old bridge abutments for the bridge that the Auburn Road took down around 1959:
    Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-auburnabutment.jpg

    There IS a small sector of the trail leading to the old bridge, but it is dirt. following the Canal trail at this point is much easier.

    Coming soon: Bushnell's Basin to Victor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-frenchrdcross.jpg   Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-french-schoen.jpg   Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-csxbypass.jpg   Rail Trail: NYC Auburn road trail-schoenauburn.jpg  
    Last edited by No Time Toulouse; 06-06-2018 at 01:21 PM.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  3. #3
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Pittsford to Fishers and the Lehigh Valley crossing.

    Picking up a few miles down the road; if travelling by bike, you'll need to go south on Main st, turn left onto State st, then an easy right onto South st, then continue SE on Rt. 96. Turn left on East st, continue a couple of miles to a left om Park st, then a right onto Railroad
    mills rd. Shortly before you turn left and enter Powder Mills Park, the Auburn Trail will re-appear and cross the road. Here's what it looks like:
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    You will see old railroad concrete mile markers along the way that look like this:Name:  44747551921_b925db5bc0_m.jpg
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    The S stands for miles to Syracuse

    At this point, the trail more or less parallels Railroad Mills Rd. An odd name, because there are no longer any Mills or railroad. But, during the Civil war, this area was remote and was considered a perfect place to make gunpowder and explosives. The area is a glacial terminal moraine, and is quite hilly aside from the rail trail. It is also heavily forested in places, with a lot of deer, rabbits, etc. Here are some shots along the route southward towards Fishers, NY:
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    A little further down past that wooden bridge, you will go under the NY State Thruway, then into Fishers itself:

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    That stonework building is a pumphouse for water needed for the steam locomotives (still wood-burning) in 1845. This is the second oldest railroad structure in all of North America. The smaller kiosk was a passenger shelter. This last saw a passenger train in 1958.

    A couple of road crossings later, and you will come across a large abandoned truss bridge overpass, with a short connecting trail to your right:

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    This was the main line of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, a dual-track right-of-way, active from about 1885 to about 1976. It starts up as a trail less than a mile to the left, but to the right continues as a semi-improved trail another 15 miles or so, crossing the Genesee river on the old railroad high bridge where it meets up with the Pennsylvania Railroad rail trail, which runs north and south, following the old abandoned Genesee canal. These rail trails will be posted at some time in the future. Here are some pictures of the area; a plaque commemorating a major train accident here in 1960, as well as a shot of the Auburn Trail from the truss bridge:

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    The Auburn Trail continues south to Victor, deviates a bit, then continues all the way to the town of Farmington, which I will cover in the next installment.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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