10 Ways to Pack More Efficiently

Box full of cans, raisins, and macaroni and cheese (not to mention a few granola bars), ready to be packed in the van

Box full of cans, raisins, and macaroni and cheese (not to mention a few granola bars), ready to be packed in the van

So how do we get 10 people and all their clothes, food, trip info, and amusement for a three week adventure into one full size van?  Well, I’m certainly not going to give away all our tricks (because you probably don’t want to know, lol) but there are things we’ve found out along the way about how to pack more efficiently.  It helps that we’ve some pretty amazing packers who fill every nook and cranny with stuff (and then can find what we need without unpacking every last thing), but I think I can share a few things that could be used with (almost) any vehicle.

 

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Food, waiting to be packed

Food, waiting to be packed

#1 Ditch the suitcases.  Really!  They’re terrible …Read More

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Heliotrope Divide and Glacier – Fantastic Views!

Mount Baker and the Heliotrope Glacier from the

Mount Baker and the Heliotrope Glacier from the “end” of the Heliotrope Divide Trail

If you want a jaw-dropping view you don’t get most other places, try the Heliotrope Divide Trail on the side of Mount Baker in Washington.  Seriously.  The trail itself may not be that exciting (save for the four stream crossings), but at the end is a view you won’t easily forget.  A huge glacier spreads upward, beautiful yet ugly blue crevasses pitting the surface in neat yet natural streaks up the side of the snow.  After the shock of the glacier, look up to the cone of Mount Baker, or ‘way across the valley to the waterfalls that roar out from beneath the ice and snow.  Really: you don’t want to miss this one (especially at 6.5 miles (10.4 km) RT).

 

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Close-up on some of the ice and crevasses on Heliotrope Glacier, Mount Baker-Snoqualie National Forest, Washington

Close-up on some of the ice and crevasses

I hadn’t actually planned to hike Heliotrope Divide on …Read More

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Cape May Zoo: Free – and a Good One, Too!

This cheetah is pacing the fence because she can smell the white tailed deer on the other side!  Cape May Zoo, New Jersey

This cheetah is pacing the fence because she can smell the white tailed deer on the other side!

The Cape May Zoo is definitely something special.  Ok, sure, it has some of the same animals you’d find in almost any other zoo.  But what other zoo – besides the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. – has over 500 animals…and charges no admission prices to the casual traveler?  And the zoo is clean, the animals well-cared for and happy, there are no pushy donation displays, and the enclosures just small enough to let you get close to the wild animals…  What other zoo would I drive 4+ hours in horrible traffic, just to visit for a few hours?

 

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I first read about the Cape May Zoo about 7 years ago.  However, a …Read More

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Book Review: John Fielder’s Best of Colorado

John Fiedler's Best of Colorado Book

John Fiedler’s Best of Colorado

I originally wrote this review of the book “John Fielder’s Best of Colorado” for the now-debunked E-pinions website, so if it’s a little different style than what I usually publish, you’ll know why.

 

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Pros: Great information for the whole state; information about attractions for everyone; good index; outstanding photography

 

Cons: Doesn’t include admission price info; there aren’t pictures of everything

 

Climbing Fitzpatrick Peak was a last-minute decision when we read about it in John Fielder's Best of Colorado, Sawatch Range.

Climbing Fitzpatrick Peak was a last-minute decision when we read about it in the book.

I originally got this book out of the library when I was planning a family vacation to Colorado.  We even went clear across the county to get the book, because it was new and they wouldn’t do an interlibrary loan for us.  Well, I can tell you that the book was worth every mile we drove to get it, and worth the price to buy it.  I’d recommend it to anyone going to Colorado, no matter where they were going and what they are interested in doing, because this book has information for the entire state, both east and west (although it focuses on the mountain areas), and has helpful information about just about every activity available, from gaming, hotels, and restaurants to hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.  And, oh, did I mention that the photography is excellent?

 

North Clear Creek Falls on a misty morning, Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado

North Clear Creek Falls on a misty morning

John Fielder has written many, many books about Colorado.  He is also an excellent photographer, and in the book he often will give tips on how to take the best shots.  For example, about photographing Black Canyon of the Gunnison he says, “In order to create a sense of depth, employ perspective by including foreground in your scene when composing views into the canyon.  Foreground objects could include a pinion pine, juniper tree, interesting rocks, or a friend standing on the edge of the abyss!  If you wish to photograph in direct light, find vantages that allow you to see up or down the canyon.  Although the canyon runs on a northwest/southeast axis, find places where the rising and setting sun shines into, not across, the canyon, thus reducing the amount of shadow that can ruin the image.  Visit in winter when fresh snow creates highlights on the rock walls.”

 

Attop Hallet Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park.  This hike wasn't mentioned in the book, but the trail to get up here (Flattop Mountain) was.

Attop Hallet Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike wasn’t mentioned in the book, but the trail to get up here (Flattop Mountain) was.

The way that the book is laid out also just makes a lot of sense: John Fielder takes each section of the state, and then divides it up into town areas (for example, Vail is one town area, and Georgetown is another) with information about activities in and near the town.  I found this very helpful as I was looking in specific areas of the state for activities, and having all of the information in one place was great.  Activities include main attractions, hiking, cycling, rock climbing, mountain biking, gaming, museums, restaurants, and even rock hounding (the activities listed depend on what is in the area).  This is great; I can skip all the gaming and go straight to the hiking descriptions!  There are also special icons that indicate when he is talking about 4-wheel-driving and activities that are good to do with children.  Occasionally, there will also be information boxes with Colorado lore.  An added bonus is the “Scenic Location”s where the author talks about some of his favorite places to go (usually scenic drives, but all of which have great photo opportunities).  That’s another con: way too often he say this specific view is the absolute best scenery in Colorado!

 

Although from his description I wasn't sure if I'd like Creede, Colorado, it turned out to be a highlight of the trip.

Although from his description I wasn’t sure if I’d like Creede, Colorado, it turned out to be a highlight of the trip.

If you’re looking for a specific attraction, but can’t remember where it is in the book (very easy to do—there’s so much information!), the index is also excellent.  Just about every city and attraction that is mentioned in the book is in the index.  This is a very big pro for me!

 

Chihuahua Lake.  This book inspired me to climb my first 14er - Grays Peak!

Chihuahua Lake. This book inspired me to climb my first 14er – Grays Peak!

As I said in the cons, the one drawback with the book is that he doesn’t tell if there is a fee for the activities (except hotels and restaurants, where he gives general pricing information; for example, $-$$$).  Because I was planning for a large group, this information would have been helpful, especially if the fee was per person (per vehicle isn’t so bad since we all drive in one vehicle).  Another drawback is that there is so much information that he can’t possibly give a lot of information on anything, so you may want to research some of the attractions on the internet (like I did) before you go.  Still, his directions to the attractions tend to be very good, especially if you have a good map to follow as well.

 

Bottom of Long Draw Route, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

I don’t think the Long Draw Route to the bottom of Black Canyon of the Gunnison was included in the book, but there was enough info about Black Canyon to get me interested in researching it on the internet.

To sum it up, this book is incredible, and gives enough information that you could probably plan a vacation anywhere in the mountainous part of the state using this book alone.  (OK, I did look up the attractions on the internet, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to do that.  Also, it might be better to find hotels and such in other travel guides as he doesn’t list each and every hotel or restaurant in a given town or city.)  The librarian at the library we got the book from said she loved it because she felt like she could travel to Colorado in the pictures, and she had a hard time returning it to the library.  So, that’s another use for the book: the photography is so good you can take a trip without leaving the comfort of your armchair!

 

What’s your favorite travel book about Colorado?

Climbing St. Mary's Glacier, Colorado - another highlight discovered in the book.

Climbing St. Mary’s Glacier – another highlight discovered in the book.



Imagine what it would be like to take a trip through Colorado with John Fielder as your tour guide, or to be on location at a Fielder photo shoot. Now is your chance to do both! The celebrated photographer who has traveled the state for more than 20 years in search of its most beautiful vistas shares his love for Colorado's rugged beauty, as well as his knowledge of Colorado's historical, recreational, and cultural richness, in this extraordinary guidebook. Through lively text and spectacular images, John reveals more than 160 of his most treasured Colorado locations to photograph so you can work magic with your own camera. You can enjoy some of the state's prime offerings while you travel, as John profiles his favorite restaurants, hotels, hiking and biking trails, and area attractions. Local lore and cameos of influential Coloradans through the ages highlight the state's fascinating heritage. Whether you're a longtime local, a new resident, or an out-of-state visitor, John Fielder's Best of Colorado guarantees the ultimate insider experience!
List Price: $29.95 USD
New From: $3.49 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.59 USD In Stock

 

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Ptarmigan Ridge – So Many Exclamation Points!

Mount Baker, as seen from the meadows near the end of the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Mount Baker, as seen from the meadows near the end of the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail

“Ptarmigan Ridge or bust.”  That’s what he told me one beautiful morning a few days before we planned to leave on a trip.  I stared at him in disbelief.  Usually a quiet, easy-going guy (particularly when it comes to which trails to hike), I wasn’t expecting anything quite this strong from anyone, let alone him.  “Ok,” I said – and set out to make sure that if everything else blew up, we’d be in Washington and do that trail, 10+ miles (16+ km) RT through the snow or not.

 

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Why I hike the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail: Views of Mt. Shuksan, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Why I hike the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail: Views of Mt. Shuksan

We’d done the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail about five years ago as a side-jaunt while doing the …Read More

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The Chapin / Chiquita / Ypsilon Loop: 3 Summits, 8 Miles!

Climbing Mount Chiquita, the views are outstanding! Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Climbing Mount Chiquita, the views are outstanding!

Ever since I read about the Mount Chapin, Mount Chiquita, Ypsilon Mountain loop trail in Rocky Mountain National Park in 2006, I’ve wanted to hike it.  I had it all planned, too: We’d go in September, before the snow fell, and we’d have a lovely (if longish for us then) hike (total length is about 8 miles (12.8 km) RT).  However, an early snowfall kept us far away from RMNP altogether, and after a few snowy hikes near Colorado Springs (including Raspberry Mountain and the Manitou Railroad Grade) we left Colorado behind for the warmer temperatures of Canyonlands National Park.  Still, I never really forgot about the hike.

 

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Looking back down the trail up Mount Chapin, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Looking back down the trail up Chapin

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Tubing the Delaware – So Fun!

From the kayak, I snapped a picture of the tubers ahead of me on the Delaware River, Upper Delaware River National Recreation Area, New York

From the kayak, I snapped a picture of the tubers ahead of me

A few weeks ago, I did something I’ve always wanted to do.  Something I read about most of my childhood, heard about how fun it was, even planned at one point, but never did it.  Until now.  I tubed the Delaware.  Y’know, like, filling up a rubber tube, plopping in the water, plopping yourself on top of it, and floating downstream to wherever-the-river-takes-you.  And I can tell you it was so much fun!

 

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Rangers patrolling the river; they especially seem to frequent the rapids, Upper Delaware River National Recreation Area, New York

Rangers patrolling the river; they especially seem to frequent the rapids

We had a local guide with us; a friend who’d grown up in Port Jervis, New York and had done this particular route 50-100 times …Read More

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Games We Play on the Road

Autumn foliage on the road in Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Autumn foliage on the road in Great Basin National Park, Nevada

What do you do when you’re driving clear across the country to a vacation destination?  How do you fill those long hours in the car without either going stir crazy or hating every moment of the ride?  We often read, but you can only read for so long (especially when your books have to last three weeks…and you decided not to bring all three Lord of the Rings books this time).  And we enjoy looking out the window, but again, just how long can you do that in Wyoming?  So we began playing games.  These are some of our favorites.  Some are pretty typical (20 Questions) while others are at least somewhat original (Sing that Word).  Most are aimed at children / teens age 8+, but most could be played by younger ones, as well.  All can be played with any number of players, from 2 to infinity.

 

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Fall flowers at Corona Arch, Moab, Utah

Fall flowers at Corona Arch

That Reminds Me Of… This is one of my favorites, maybe because …Read More

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Hiking Up Green Mountain in Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The aerial view of Black Canyon from Green Mountain, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

The aerial view of Black Canyon from Green Mountain

Ok, so Green Mountain in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park may not be the most spectacular trail in the state – or even in the park – but it does have some good points.  First, it’s one of the longer trails on the North Rim (the only other long trail is the Deadhorse Trail, which I haven’t checked out yet).  Second, you can see Exclamation Point along the way, and if there’s a view that’s worth seeing of Black Canyon, it’s at Exclamation Point.  Third, you do get a unique view of the canyon, almost like a view from an airplane flying low.  So I suppose it is worth climbing at almost 8 miles (12.8 km) RT, even if it’s not as spectacular as other vistas in the park (that are right next to the road).

 

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Early morning light on the cliffs from the North Vista Trail, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Early morning light on the cliffs from the North Vista Trail

We started out from the North Rim Ranger Station one very early morning in August.  In case you’re curious …Read More

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Biking the Genesee Valley Greenway

Bicycling the Genesee Valley Greenway just north of Mount Morris, New York

Bicycling the Genesee Valley Greenway just north of Mount Morris, New York

This summer we’ve been doing daytrips closer to home.  That’s not to say we won’t be taking a longer trip, as well, but it’s been a lot of fun to travel in our own neighborhood.  One highlight was definitely biking the Genesee Valley Greenway from Mt. Morris to the Brookdale Preserve (south of Rochester, NY).  It was almost exactly a 30 mile ride, which is very long for us, but I think we all enjoyed it.  The trail is quite well-groomed and flat, sometimes shaded, sometimes passing through agricultural New York.  The only negatives were the bugs (where were fine as long as we didn’t stop too long) and one section of the trail which was closed.  However, the later rerouted us through some lovely scenery, so I can’t complain.  On the positive side, we got to follow the remains of an old canal, ride across the Genesee River, see an old canal lock, stand on a train trestle, ride under I-90, follow the Genesee about 30 ft. above the river, see the site of an old Indian village…all in a peaceful setting.  Pretty good by me!

 

The bridge over the Genesee River in Mount Morris, New York, Genesee Valley Greenway

The bridge over the Genesee River in Mount Morris

We didn’t exactly get an early start one day in July.  We’d all been up very late a couple nights before and I guess we were still catching up on sleep.  Add to that we were trying to print out one last map for the ride, and it simply wouldn’t go through the mail system…you get the idea.  Then we had to drive 1.5 hours down to Mt. Morris.  So we didn’t even begin until after 11am.  The good news was that there was a nice parking area for us to unload the bicycles (I’ve included the GPS coordinates for all the parking areas along the route at the bottom of this post).  Two members of the group weren’t real excited about biking, so they agreed to follow us in the van, park wherever they could, and then walk to meet us along the way.  It worked pretty well, except in the closed section…but more on that later :-)

 

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The Genesee River in Mount Morris, New York, from the Genesee Valley Greenway

The Genesee River in Mount Morris

The trail through Mt. Morris (starting at State Street) is quite rough (bumpy) and has the only real hill on the route (other than a few hills to cross roads).  It passes behind some old buildings (probably left over from the railroad days), then climbs a hill to the sidewalk, then fairly quickly crosses a busy road (Rt. 36).  There are definitely some nice things about New Jersey that you don’t see in New York: In New Jersey, cars stop for bicycles waiting by a crosswalk, but in New York, you can wait 5 minutes for all the cars to stop streaking by (or hope a non-local stops for you!)  If you’re not sure where to go, watch for the green hiking signs and the “Genesee Valley Greenway” sings (which seem to be everywhere).

 

The real train tracks we had to cross on the Genesee Valley Greenway just north of Mount Morris, New York

The real train tracks we had to cross just north of Mount Morris

From here, the trail enters the forest for a short distance, then crosses the Genesee River.  A parking area is located on the other side; near the parking area, you will need to cross Rt. 36 again.  Be patient; you probably won’t ever have to wait that long to cross any other road on the route, at least not for quite some time.  The trail on the other side of Rt. 36 doesn’t go far before it comes to a set of real railroad tracks.  Look both ways, then pick up your bicycle and walk it across the tracks.

 

Then the excitement calms down a bit.  The trail is wide and grassy; in some places, three or four bicycles could ride abreast (for most of the trail, two could comfortably ride abreast, although we usually went single-file).  On either side of the trail are hills and fields, although there isn’t much in the line of views due to the bushes.  We crossed several roads without incident (these roads are so small they don’t even have a center stripe…or they’re farm driveways).  Signs usually indicate when a road is coming with “stop ahead” and then the name of the road painted on the gates that keep motorized vehicles off the rail trail.

 

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North of Mount Morris, New York, on the Genesee Valley Greenway

North of Mount Morris

The next bit of excitement (if you can call it that) came at 7.0 miles when we crossed Chandler Road.  Here we found the site of an old Indian village, or at least a marker stating that the village was once here.  There was also a picnic table, so even though there wasn’t any real parking, everyone (including the drivers – who had most of the food) gathered around for lunch, since it was almost 12:30pm.

 

We started again about 1pm.  Since the next road (Rt. 63) wasn’t too far away (though it does have a parking area), the drivers decided they’d meet us at the next parking area – at the end of York Landing.  The trail was good, shady, and cool, but after crossing Rt. 63, we found orange fencing completely blocking the trail.  Trail closed?  What for?  Now what to do?

 

The sign for the O-Ha-Gi Tuscarora Indian Village Site, along the Genesee Valley Greenway, New York.

The sign for the O-Ha-Gi Tuscarora Indian Village Site

Now was when I was thankful we had taken the time to print the maps that morning.  We turned west on Rt. 63, then, after almost half a mile, took a right onto River Road.  This was the most beautiful section we bicycled that day, through fields, by an abbey and generally feeling as close to touching the puffy clouds in the sky as you can get in New York.  Rt. 63 had a pretty good shoulder lane, and River Road was very lightly traveled, so we didn’t run into any trouble that way (which was a good thing since for some of our younger riders this was their first trek bicycling on a road!)

 

Fields along River Road as we rerouted off the Genesee Valley Greenway, New York

Fields along River Road

After another 2.7 miles, we turned down York Landing (apparently there was a dirt road we could have turned down (so said the drivers, who had walked past it on the trail), but we weren’t sure if it would take us to the trail or if it was private property, so we opted to go down to the paved York Landing).  This was fun, as the dead end road is simply one long hill to a parking area with an interesting sign kiosk next to the Genesee Valley Greenway.  Biking down, I was happy to later discovered I’d gotten up to an unprecedented 25mph :-)

 

A rural farm from York Landing Road headed for the Genesee Valley Greenway, New York

A rural farm from York Landing Road

Now we were in another quandary.  There sat the van, empty, and our drivers nowhere to be seen.  We knew they’d be ok without us, but we also knew they’d worry if we didn’t show up.  This side also had the “trail closed” sign and fence, but someone had cut the fence making it possible to enter the trail from this end.  The other direction was open for recreationalists.  We all refilled our water bottles from the supply we’d left in the van, then decided to leave a note under the windshield wiper saying where we’d gone (continuing up the trail).  However, before I could finish writing, a group member finally was able to make contact through our walkie-talkies with the drivers (they were out of range when we first arrived).  They’d walked up the closed trail figuring they might find us…

 

Fence along the Genesee Valley Greenway, New York

Fence along the trail. Not long after this, the canal began to follow the old railroad line.

We continued northward through one of the most interesting sections of the Genesee Valley Greenway (to me).  On the left side of the trail, from now nearly up to Rochester, are the remains of an old canal (probably the Genesee Valley Canal).  However, as we kept riding, the land sloped away on our right until I could see the Genesee River some 20-30 ft. below us.  Wow!  It’s peek-a-boo, through the trees, but it’s amazing to be riding that high above the gully.  The trail through this section was slightly wet, but since we’d had rain the day before, I suppose it was to be expected.

 

Old railroad abutment along the Genesee Valley Greenway, south of Rochester, New York

Old railroad abutment along the trail (this was the first one, maybe 0.25 miles before the Lehigh Valley Trail)

We met up with the drivers at Fowlerville Road (where there was a parking area and a portable rustic restroom) and continued north.  From here, there really isn’t anything too exciting – just forests, fields, and streams, with the canal on the left most of the time – until the section just south of the Lehigh Valley Trail (north of Rt. 5).  Here the trail passes by a marsh (yes, the bugs are terrible) then past an abutment that probably once held train tracks over the Genesee Valley Railway.  A short distance further, there is a second abutment.  This second stone structure once carried the Lehigh Valley Line; the Lehigh Valley Trail crosses directly after the abutment.  At the crossing are a few picnic tables and an informational sign.  I highly recommend that you turn right here to the trestle spanning the Genesee River.  It’s just plain cool.

 

The trestle on the Lehigh Valley Trail over the Genesee River, south of Rochester, New York

The trestle on the Lehigh Valley Trail

Returning to the Genesee Valley Greenway, we had only 5 miles more to go to reach I-90.  The trail passes among fields, with occasional good views, before entering Canawaugus Park at mile 25.8.  Shortly after the park (which has an old train bridge across an old canal filled with water), the trail crosses North Road, another tricky crossing due to the number of cars.  From the park, it’s only another 2 miles to the I-90 crossing.  I had been led to believe that the crossing was an old tunnel; however, it’s just an overpass.  Still, walking under an interstate – let alone an interstate from coast to coast that I’ve driven every part of – doesn’t happen every day, and we all enjoyed a few minutes listening to the trucks and cars zoom over our heads.

 

The Genesee River from the Trestle on the Lehigh Valley Trail, south of Rochester, New York

The Genesee River from the Trestle

It was then a final push toward the van.   Some of us were getting tired (which wasn’t surprising, given we’d been on the trail over 6 hours).  Still, I wanted to make it an even 30 miles, so when we came to Morgan Road, I convinced the drivers to pick us up at the next road (which turned out to be at the Brookdale Preserve).  I’m so glad we did those extra two miles.  Not only were there fields all around us, but at 29.8 miles we came across an old lock (Lock #2).  That was interesting, and so was the informational sign nearby (which starts out something like, “All the locks on the canal should have been built like Lock #2…”)

 

Brookdale Preserve is just off the trail; you can either take the not-very-busy road or take one of the mown trails to the parking area.  This parking area is quite large; it would be a great place to start from if you didn’t have a shuttle vehicle (like we did) because there is plenty of space to unload your bicycles and other gear.  There are also a few picnic tables in the Brookdale Preserve.

 

Looking up at the girders where the trains used to go over the Genesee River on the Leigh Valley Rail Trail, south of Rochester, New York

Looking up at the girders where the trains used to go over the Genesee River (we were on the “lower deck”)

Overall, I’m so glad we did it!  We enjoyed ourselves, and the scenery was serene if not stunning.  If I did it again, I’d probably start slightly closer to Rochester, but, hay, crossing the Genesee the first time was fun, too!

 

Round Trip Trail Length: As long as you make it.  We did 30 miles with a shuttle vehicle.

Starting Elevation: 600 ft.

Ending Elevation: 523 ft.

Net Elevation Gain / Loss: About 25 ft. (total would be closer to 100 ft.)

Facilities: Very few on the trail itself; there are restaurants in the towns and one port-a-potti in one of the parking lots.

Fees: None

 

Trail ★★★★☆

Road ★★★★☆

Signs ★★★★★

Scenery ★★★☆☆

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Key GPS Coordinates for the Genesee Valley Greenway

Looking upriver at the Genesee River from the train trestle on the Lehigh Valley Trail, south of Rochester, New York

Looking upriver at the Genesee River from the train trestle

Mount Morris Parking off of State Street: 42.72614N / -077.87244W (42° 43′ 34.104″ / -77° 52′ 20.7834″) (750 ft.) – Shared parking area with apartments.  Would have felt bad unloading too early in the morning, but since it was 11am, I just tried to keep the noise down for the residents’ sakes. (0.0)

Mount Morris Parking #2 (near Genesee River): 42.73951N / -077.88235W (42° 44′ 22.236″ / -77° 52′ 56.46″) (598 ft.) – Medium-size parking area located just after the trail crosses the Genesee River on a substantial bridge.  (1.25)

US-20A parking 42.77721N / -077.87035W (42° 46′ 37.9554″ / -77° 52′ 13.26″) (574 ft.) – Medium-size parking area.  (3.9)

Chandler Road / O Ha Gi Indian Village Site: 42.81823N / -077.85181W (42° 49′ 5.6274″ / -77° 51′ 6.516″) (602 ft.) – no dedicated parking, but a picnic table was next to the historical marker sign. (7.0)

One of my favorite pictures I took that day: Wheat Fields south of Rochester, New York

One of my favorite pictures I took that day: Wheat Fields south of Rochester

State Route 63: 42.82820N / -077.85086W (42° 49′ 41.52″ / -77° 51′ 3.0954″) (573 ft.) – parking shared with a restaurant.  Here the trail was closed, so we had to skirt the closure via the road to York Landing.  Comparing the map to my GPS reading, taking the road added about 1.5 miles to my mileage from here to the end.  (6.8)

York Landing: 42.86452N / -077.85101W (42° 51′ 52.2714″ / -77° 51′ 3.636″) (568 ft.) – large parking area at the end of a small road.  Informational kiosk with interesting info about the area.  (11.3)

Parking at Fowlerville Road: 42.89148N / -077.82372W (42° 53′ 29.328″ / -77° 49′ 25.3914″) (582 ft.) – small parking area with a port-a-potty. (13.9)

Telephone Road parking: 42.91816N / -077.78402W (42° 55′ 5.376″ / -77° 47′ 2.4714″) (579 ft.) – large parking area.  Busier than normal road crossing, but not bad.  (17.3)

The I-90 overpass over the Genesee Valley Greenway, south of Rochester, New York

The I-90 overpass

Lehigh Valley Trail trestle: 42.98449N / -077.73176W (42° 59′ 4.164″ / -77° 43′ 54.3354″) (585 ft.) – Very cool train bridge.  You are actually on the lower deck; the train would have passed across the bridge on the girders above you. (23.0)

Canawaugus Park: 43.01901N / -077.74683W (43° 1′ 8.436″ / 77° 44′ 48.588″) (556 ft.) – Nice parking area, picnic tables, etc. (25.8)

I-90 underpass: 43.04385N / -077.73261W (43° 2′ 37.8594″ / -77° 43′ 57.3954″) (562 ft.) – Just an every-day, typical underpass such as you’d see on any given interstate.  Still cool to know that there might be a truck from Seattle rumbling over your head. (27.8)

Our bicycles under the I-90 overpass over the Genesee Valley Greenway, south of Rochester, New York

Our bicycles under the I-90 overpass

Morgan Road: 43.05023N / -077.72854W (43° 3′ 0.8274″  / -77° 43′ 42.7434″) (530 ft.) – No real parking area, but there is a place to pull off the road. (28.4)

Lock #2: 43.06754N / -077.71814W (43° 4′ 3.144″ / -77° 43′ 5.304″) (527 ft.) – Genesee Valley Canal lock & interpretive sign. (29.8)

Brookdale Preserve Parking: 43.07719N / -077.70943W (43° 4′ 37.884″ / -77° 42′ 33.9474″) (523 ft.) – Large parking area with picnic tables. (30.8)

 

The gpx file for the Genesee Valley Greenway can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.

Download GPS File File size: 382.1 kB Downloaded 75 times

(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website.  Thanks!)

Getting to the Genesee Valley Greenway:

Lock #2 on the old Genesee Valley Canal along the Genesee Valley Greenway, south of Rochester, New York

Lock #2 on the old Genesee Valley Canal

We parked at the State Street Parking in Mount Morris, NY.  To get there, take Exit 7 off of I-390 and head toward the town of Mount Morris, following the signs for the Mount Morris Dam and Letchworth State Park (if you’re coming from I-90, you’ll want to go south on I-390 at Exit 46 to get here).  Drive 1.7 miles; the parking area will be on the left just before Genesee Street just before entering the middle of town.  The trail crosses the road and then continues behind the buildings.

 

Visual map of the Genesee Valley Greenway from Mount Morris to the Brookdale Preserve, just south of Rochester, New York.

Visual map of the Genesee Valley Greenway from Mount Morris to the Brookdale Preserve, just south of Rochester, New York.

Helpful Downloads

This map was invaluable to me (it’s also semi-official with mile markers and some of the parking areas marked).  It says GPS file, but it’s really a pdf.

Download GPS File

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If you’re looking for rail trails in New York, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey, this is the book to get.  With descriptions of the routes, mileages, and decent maps, it’s a real help when deciding which trail to take, as well as on the trail.

 


Rail-Trails Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York (Paperback)

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Weather for the Genesee Valley Greenway
Today Sun Sep 21 Mon Sep 22 Tue Sep 23 Wed Sep 24
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on September 20, 2014
Partly Cloudy
77°/61°
It is forcast to be Chance of a Thunderstorm at 11:00 PM EDT on September 21, 2014
Chance of a Thunderstorm
75°/52°
It is forcast to be Rain Showers at 11:00 PM EDT on September 22, 2014
Rain Showers
57°/46°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on September 23, 2014
Partly Cloudy
70°/46°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on September 24, 2014
Partly Cloudy
70°/46°

 

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