The Erie Canal Trail is a massive trail that runs through New York State. It is part of the Empire Trail System, which is hundreds of miles of trails. The Erie Canal Trail cuts through Monroe County, and is so big with so many unique segments that it would be impossible to put it all into one article. So, instead, each article on the Erie Canal Trail will be focusing on a specific section of it. Look at the Erie Canal Tag to see all of the posts.
This particular article is all about the Erie Canal Trail between Lock 33 Park and "Section 7" of the Pittsford Sewer Department.
This segment starts on the east side of Lock 32 park. You can cross cross Edgewood Avenue by either using the cross-walk or taking the stairs that go under the street. The first stretch of the trail is relatively flat. The JCC is to the left, and once you pass it, the trail has more trees on both sides of the trail. While this does provide shade, be mindful of sticks or acorns that may fall from the trees. As you head east, you'll eventually leave the town of Henrietta and enter Pittsford. This is where the trail becomes a tad hilly, and narrows slightly. If heading west, there is a hill near the town border that can be fun to go down.
As you continue to board eastbound and approach George's cove, the left of the trail has no "shoulder". You may brush up against some plants if you are heading west and are on this side of the trail. If heading east, try to stay to the right so people heading westbound have plenty of space to pass. Eventually, you will reach a spot where there is water on both sides of the trail. On the right is the Erie Canal, and to the left is (according to OpenStreetMap) George's Cove. It is actually a pretty cool spot to skate through, and it is hilly as well. There is a bridge that crosses over some water here that may get a tad congested at times, so be ready to slow down if needed. The bridge is also where the yellow line down the middle ends for the remainder of the segment.
You'll soon pass through a gate to Lock 32 State Park. This stretch through the park is much wider than the rest of the trail. The park itself has some picnic tables, a water fountain, and some monkey bars. If you time it right, you may see boats go into the lock. On the east side of the park, there is a very steep hill that goes under Clover Street. The hill has all kinds of blind corners and sharp turns. If you are a beginner, consider walking this stretch.
At the bottom of the hill east of Clover Street is final stretch of this segment. It is pretty flat, but has a nice view of the canal to the right. The trail bends to the left and to the right through some trees, and intersects with the Pittsford Rail Loop Trail. This trail doesn't appear to be paved, so it is probably not a good spot to longboard on. The remainder of the segment is relatively flat, but still has a nice view of the canal.
At the end of the segment is a gate that says "Section 7" on a sign. This is usually where I turn around, but if you keep going, you will go down a hill through the woods, pass through the Pittsford Sewer Department, and eventually cross under Monroe Ave.
Getting to it
As usual with the Erie Canal Trail, a lot of people use it. You'll see bikers, runners, pedestrians, and fellow longboarders. Be aware of your surroundings so you don't collide with anyone. However, there are also a few places along this segment that longboarders should be mindful of.
Clover Street Underpass
On the east side of the Lock 32 State Park, the trail goes under Clover Street. There is a very steep hill that twists and turns under a bridge to the lock and then again under the Clover Street bridge. Because of the bridges, these corners are blind. Worse, if you fall off or need to bail, there is a non-zero chance that your board will fall into a ditch (....that may or may not have almost happened to me). If you are a beginner, get off and walk down the hill. The last thing you want to do is rear-end someone walking that you didn't see.
Lock 32 Gate
On the west side of the Lock 32 State Park, there is a gate the blocks off half of the trail to prevent cars from going through. Slow down when approaching the gate and make sure it is clear before passing through it. It can get congested at times if there are a lot of people on the trail.
I give this segment a "cool" rating. There are more hills than the segment between Clinton Ave and Lock 32, so it is a bit more exciting. There are some great views of the canal, and I also think the section near George's Cove is cool to skate through. However, be mindful of some of the hazards... you don't want to injure yourself or your board now do you?
Timelapse video of the segment
Lock 33 to Section 7
- Segment Rating: Cool
- Segment Length: 2.05 miles (3.30 kilometers).
- Minimum Elevation: 139.70 meters.
- Maximum Elevation: 152.40 meters.
- Average Elevation: 145.67 meters.
- View Start On Map
- View End On Map
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