Best Easy Day Hikes Buffalo  by Randi Minetor

Best Easy Day Hikes: Buffalo Guide Book

by Randi Minetor (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Buffalo  by Randi Minetor
Best Easy Day Hikes Buffalo chooses the trails that lead to the most panoramic views, and that wind through the prettiest woods and meadows and into the most interesting natural areas in Erie, Niagara and Genesee Counties. Urban trails, river walks, converted rail rights-of-way and park paths are just some of the wonderful walking experiences you’ll find right here in Greater Buffalo—selected for you by a lifetime upstate New York resident, professional travel writer and active area birder.

© 2010 Randi Minetor/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Buffalo" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 20.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 20.

If you don’t live in northeastern Erie County, you may never have come across this agreeable little park on the banks of Murder Creek. Legend has it that in the early 1800s, several murders took place here in a single night: A family became unsuspecting victims of a desperate officer named Sanders, an Indian man named Gray Wolf died defending a young native woman from this crazed officer, and Sanders died of wounds inflicted by Gray Wolf. The story differs depending on who tells it, but the event gave the creek its name. This easy amble along Murder Creek in Akron begins with a waterfall viewpoint, and continues on the edge line between developed land and wilderness.
Akron, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2
This delightful preserve trail wanders through hardwood and spruce forests, past glacially sculpted kettle ponds, and across an open field and arboretum.
Holland, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 2.1
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The mighty Niagara River splits at the southern end of Grand Island, flowing east and west around the land and reuniting at the island’s northern tip. Walking the Long Trail at Buckhorn Island State Park brings you right to the point of the river’s confluence, from which you can view both the American and Canadian cities of Niagara Falls and feel the winds of Canada sweeping across the peninsula.
Grand Island, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
If Erie County Parks and Recreation decided to choose a signature hike—a trail that provided the most unusual and gratifying outdoor experience in the area—the Eternal Flame Trail at Chestnut Ridge Park might qualify. In just 0.75 of a mile, this hike descends through a tranquil hardwood forest into a deep ravine sliced out of the rock by Shale Creek, then crisscrosses the creek itself on whatever rocks and logs may have landed here during the area’s legendary storms.
Ellicott, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
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Meadows, mature forests, a former orchard, and falling waters tumbling into the 400-foot-deep canyon—these treats and more await you in this National Natural Landmark.
Gowanda, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3.5
Nearly obscured from view until you’re standing at its rim, the Devil’s Hole area can be startling at first glimpse: a deep gouge in the Niagara Gorge—actually a side gorge, eroded by an outlet of an ancient glacial lake (long since run dry) and now filled with thriving vegetation. You’re about to follow a series of stone and concrete staircases around the perimeter of the side gorge, finally coming to ground just a few feet above water level—an extraordinary place from which to view the river’s pounding rapids, standing waves, and daunting rock formations.
Niagara Falls, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
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This well-maintained, multiuse pathway along Ellicott Creek—a 47-mile waterway that flows from Bennington to the Niagara River—serves as a favorite fitness trail for University at Buffalo (UB) students, neighbors in Amherst and Tonawanda, and seniors living in the communities that flank the north side of the paved walkway. Whether you’re looking for an energetic 5-mile hike or a short, pleasant stroll on a sunny afternoon, the Ellicott Creek Trailway is an excellent choice.
Williamsville, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 5.2
The developed areas in this park mask its true beauty: a ravine carved by Cazenovia Creek, with two cascading waterfalls easily reached on a woodland trail.
East Aurora, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
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History meets recreation along this 6-mile section of the 400-mile Erie Canal towpath, an easy walk from the original canal’s flight of five locks through open farmland and pocket parks.
Lockport, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 6
Scattered throughout southern Erie County, the segments of the Erie County Forest began, for the most part, as tracts of farmland purchased from landowners in the late 1920s and 1930s. Thanks to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, a whopping 7.5 million trees were planted on this land, creating the stands of hardwood—from black cherry to sugar maple—and evergreens (red pine, spruce, white pine, and others) that are now dense enough to block the sun and sky as you hike between them.
Springville, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.4
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Trek through a wild, undeveloped park with a plunging ravine, a merrily babbling creek, and wide woodlands filled with northern hardwoods.
East Aurora, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.9
There’s no better place to hear the amphibious spring chorus than in this emergent marsh, where frogs thrive among the cattails and reeds and waterfowl gather on the still waters.
Medina, NY - Birding,Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 1.3
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When it comes to awe-inducing power and the thrill of swirling rapids, few rivers in the northeastern United States can match the Niagara—especially in the miles after Niagara Falls tumbles from its 176-foot height into the basin below. To appreciate the river’s force and its influence on the sedimentary rock walls that contain it, descend into the gorge on the gentle Great Gorge Railway Trail.
Niagara Falls, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
Meticulously preserved and protected by its original owner, this sparkling preserve’s trails lead to open meadows, ponds covered with water lilies, bird-filled marshland, and eighty acres of ancient forest.
Depew, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking - Trail Length: 1.7
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This world-class fitness pathway follows the course of the Niagara River from the city of Buffalo to Niagara Falls. This Tonawanda section provides leisurely walking through two developed parks.
Tonawanda, NY - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 5.2
Hike to the bottom of a hidden ravine, cross a swaying cable extension bridge over a rushing stream, and ascend to the top of a four-season waterfall on this lushly wooded, secluded trail.
Gasport, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
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Residents of Clarence keep mum about this sweet little preserve, concealed between housing developments and away from the bustle of Main Street to the north and the Thruway to the south. Even with the relative secrecy, however, all manner of waterfowl find their way here during spring and fall migration, pulling in after a long flight to rest and recharge on the nutrient-rich waters of the area’s eightyacre cattail marsh.
Clarence , NY - Birding,Cross-Country Skiing,Fishing,Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
Tucked into this fifty-two-acre parkland are such treasures as a six-acre old-growth forest with beech and tulip trees nearly two centuries old; a tranquil lake that provides sustenance to geese, ducks, and a veritable tabernacle choir of frogs; and a carpet of trillium and other wildflowers in spring and summer.
Getzville, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.8
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This park’s 476 acres of mature woods, wetlands, and meadows provide a peek into the wildlife-rich wilderness along relatively flat, easy trails. While the longer trail in this park crosses open meadow and follows along the highway, our recommended trail takes hikers into woods and wetlands to explore the edge of the marsh and the East Branch of Twelve Mile Creek.
Wilson, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 1.4
For sheer scenic majesty, Zoar Valley offers one of the finest experiences in western New York, combining old-growth forests, the powerful flow of two major waterways, and an erosion-sculpted ravine still influenced by gravity, wind, and weather. Avoid trail edges, as underlying shale may have fallen away, creating an unstable ledge.
Gowanda, NY - Fishing,Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
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