Here in Western New York, if there’s one surefire way to know that Spring has finally arrived, just swing by any of the numerous bike paths that carve through our cities and towns.
When the warm weather hits, these treasured trails become a hot spot for anyone looking to break in that new bike they got for Christmas, log some training miles for the Buffalo Marathon, or just enjoy an easy stroll and some scenery.
In the Town of Clarence, residents and visitors alike can enjoy two trails – just over 10 miles combined – that feature town parks, historical sites and so much more. And as an added bonus, you can tack on other nearby trails in Akron/Newstead, Waterford and Spaulding Green if you’re looking for even more adventures.
For this blog, we’ll focus on the two main Town of Clarence Bike Trails: Peanut Line and West Shore Trails
This 6.1-mile stretch is named after the corridor of the long-abandoned New York Central Batavia rail line, which took on the “peanut” moniker due to its insignificance in the Big Apple’s railroad empire.
Today it’s a popular trail that traverses through beautiful neighborhoods and farmland. The western trailhead is located at Transit Road (Rt 78), just a mile or so south of North French Road. Whether you’re starting your stroll at this end of the trail, or finishing up, you’re in for a treat – literally. Pautler’s Drive-In Diner is just steps away from the Transit end of the path. Grab a bite, a shake or your favorite ice cream treat. Plus, popular casual dining spots Grover’s Bar & Grill and The Rock Kitchen & Bar are also right at the edge of the trail.
Once you get going on the Peanut Line Trail, you’ll notice how it transitions throughout from dense wooded areas to beautifully landscaped private properties to wide-sweeping farmland. The scenery is a fantastic mix – and if you’re lucky, you may see some wildlife.
You can expect smooth terrain throughout, making it easy going for all 6 miles. Plus, mile markers help you keep track of how far down the trail you’ve traveled.
Photo by Pautler’s (Facebook)
Highlights along the way:
Play at park – If the kids come along for the ride, check out Meadow Lakes Park. There’s a fun playground, basketball and tennis courts, an area dedicated to roller hockey, soccer fields, baseball diamonds and loads of green space.
Eat and drink on Goodrich – When you hit the Goodrich Road portion of the path, take a detour left or right for a quick bite or delicious treat. On one side of Goodrich from the path you’ll find Clarence Pizza Company and Big Sings Ice Cream. Try the other side for popular restaurant Gertie’s, Toasted by Buffalo Beauty Foodie, Clarence Center Coffee Co., Mardee’s, and Dawns Candy Shack. And be sure to shop local at The Perfect Gift, for, well, the perfect gift.
Get your kicks! – The Memorial Park Soccer Complex is a sight to see! Stop by on a weekend – or really any time – and you’re see to see a ton of action!
The West Shore Trail totals 4.1 miles and begins on Wehrle Drive in Clarence, just over 2 miles from Transit, and ends at Davison Road where it connects to the Clarence (Peanut Line)-Akron-Newstead Trail discussed above.
West Shore is much more wooded than the Peanut Line Trail, especially for the first mile or so. It’s a peaceful stretch of nature with all the sights and sounds you want from a forest setting – just on a nicely paved trail. After the early stretch, the trail transitions to a mix of trees just dense enough to screen neighborhoods, Clarence High School and other sites along the path.
One of the highlights of West Shore is Main Street Town Park. It’s a park that offers a little of everything: a playground, a pond green space, a public pool, baseball diamonds, picnic areas and more. Plus, the Clarence Historical Museum and the Goodrich-Landow Log Cabin, moved from Goodrich Road, where it was built in 1825 are just outside the park.
Journey just a little further on a Spring or Summer morning and you can hit the Clarence Hollow Farmer’s Market for some locally grown produce, treats and specialty items.
Photo by Clarence Hollow Farmers’ Market (Facebook)
Highlights along the way:
Easy-peasy parking – West Shore has convenient parking at the trailhead. Looking for the lot on the left-hand side if coming from Transit.
Sun and snow – According to some WNY trail blogs, both the Peanut Trail and West Shore Trails are open to snowmobiling. So consider those for 4 seasons of fun.
Photos galore – West Shore has an absolutely beautiful mix of forest, wetlands and pure nature. Bring your camera and take advantage of early morning or evening sun and get some amazing shots.
Whether you’re looking to bike, stroll, skate or snowmobile, the Clarence Pathways are the perfect trails when you want to get out and go.
Tips of the trails:
• Use the trails during daylight only, and always with a friend when you can.
• Watch for residential roads that cross through the paths throughout.
• Be respectful the natural wildlife and neighbors who live along the route.
• Keep the trails clean by picking up after your four-legged friends.