The Niagara River Greenway Commission recently hosted a bicycle tour to identify what they consider to be critical gaps along the Greenway corridor, which runs from Lake Erie to the Lake Ontario along the Niagara River.
Greenway members, stakeholders and New York state agency staff began their Oct. 25 tour at Gallagher Beach in Buffalo, riding along the Shoreline Trail and stopping along to way to meet with municipal leaders who host the Greenway. The tour ended nearly 25 miles later in the City of Niagara Falls. Initial findings from the tour found that, while there are approximately 25 miles of marked trail, there are about 25 more miles of trail that need to be better marked and made more accessible to bikers and other users.
"This bike tour was a real visual way to assess the needs we have along the Greenway in terms of creating a more seamless spine for people to enjoy the river. This tour will help us establish our next steps, which will focus on signage and connecting our trails," said Greg Stevens, chairman of the Niagara River Greenway Commission.
Stevens said once the Niagara River Greenway Trail is truly connected, it will form a critical linkage to regional trail networks, including The Erie Canal Trail, which extends from Canalside in Buffalo to Troy and the Hudson River Greenway; the Canadian trail systems and the Via Bike Train, which will connect in the summer 2015 over the Whirlpool bridge to Toronto; as well as the Seaway Trail and the Niagara Wine Trail. Additionally, the Shore Line Trail will link to the Pennsylvania border, which will connect to a regional trail system being developed from Washington, D.C., to Chicago.
The Niagara River Greenway Commission was adopted and created in 2007. It is charged with creating a continuous, linear park and multiuse trail along the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, while restoring the ecological health of the riparian zone of the Niagara River. It promotes public access to the waterfront while creating and enhancing public amenities that will encourage sustainable activities enhancing awareness and appreciation of the Niagara River.