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A smooth, flat asphalt ride that allows you to discover the town's railroad history (and present), the Cheektowaga Rails to Trails pathway is a great community asset for this Buffalo suburb. About 1.5 miles of trail are built next to an active rail line on the site of the former Lehigh Valley Railroad, which hauled coal from Pennsylvania up to Buffalo and Lake Erie, making this rail-with-trail a hotspot for railroad buffs.
Beginning in the east, the trail departs from the sidewalk along Union Road and makes use of a pedestrian bridge to cross the road, paralleling the active railroad bridge. The trail heads west, separated from the tracks by a wooden and chain-link fence, and quickly enters a tree-lined corridor behind residential neighborhoods. Several neighborhood streets have short access paths to the trail, and trail users can make use of one such path to check out the adjacent Raymond Park, which hosts a soccer field, playground, and other recreational amenities.
The trail emerges from the trees to pass under the interstate and through a utility corridor, before returning to more shady and pleasant terrain. Approaching another underpass and entrance point from Stradtman Street, the trail offers up a great view of the Norfolk Southern yard, before continuing on past Wrazen Park and stopping at Strawn Avenue. If you continue down Strawn Ave, cross William Street and head right, the trail continues along the old rail corridor for a brief spell before ending at the intersection of Hurd and Medina Streets.
A trail that helps preserve an element of local history and adds a fantastic means of getting in some exercise and recreation, the Cheektowaga Rails to Trails is a great addition to the area's developing trail system.
Dedicated trail parking is available at the trail access points off of Ludwig Ave, St. Felix Ave, and Stradtman St. Users may also find on street parking near the access points, and may find parking near the eastern trailhead in the Apple Tree Business Park lot. Be sure to follow any posted signs and warnings.
To reach the eastern trailhead from I-90, head towards Cheektowaga and take exit 52A. Head east on William St, then turn left onto Union Rd. The trailhead will be on the right, past the intersection with Como Park Blvd, but you may wish to park beforehand.
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