Update Monday, July 16, 2012
Update November 4 , 2010
After many years of planning and work, we are beginning to see the completion of the first phase of the Cay-Sen Trail being completed. To date, we have cleared the trail from Waterloo to route 96A so it is possible for someone to bike or walk that length of the trail. Three bridges along the trail have been decked with railings one of which is 110 feet long and is very picturesque. We have begun to lay stone dust on the trail with 1.75 miles completed from the Waterloo entrance to the trail. While we have sufficient stone dust to complete the entire length of the trail, we are waiting patiently for the type of truck that will spread the stone dust evenly on the trail and be able to maneuver to efficiently move up and down the trail. It is our intent to spread the stone dust as soon as possible before the snow arrives.
Vincent J. Scalise
Update March 31, 2010
The Border City Fire Department
has a new “utility task vehicle” to deal with fires and other emergencies on the Seneca-Cayuga Trail. The vehicle, which has a 160-gallon-per-minute pump and a 75-gallon water tank, was bought with a $10,000 donation from Seneca Meadows Landfill; a grant obtained through state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-54 of Fayette; and other donations through fundraisers. It will be used for emergencies at trail sites where traditional fire vehicles can’t be used. It features a back board for off-road medical rescues. Chief John Morabito said the vehicle will be available to other fire departments that need help making rescues in hard-to access areas.
UPDATE: March 26, 2010
Plan now to celebrate the opening of Phase One of the Cay-Sen Trail. On National Trails Day, June 5, the first segment of the 20-mile trail along the Cayuga Seneca Canal will be opened.
UPDATE: January 2010
The dream is finally becoming a reality! At it's January meeting, members of the Cayuga-Seneca Canalway Trail committee learned that funding has been received that will allow the 4.6 mile trail to be constructed from the city of Geneva to Waterloo. So far, all the construction work on the trail has been done by volunteers or donated machinery.
Seneca County Director of Planning and Development Mitch Rowe told the committee that the group has been awarded three grants from the Department of State Environmental Protection Fund. The grants, which total $180,000, will allow the group to construct an underpass, deck three bridges and install 18,000 linear feet of stone dust on the trail. .
“This couldn’t have come at a better time,” said committee chair Vince Scalise “We are now at a point where we can’t go any further without money, so this is huge.”
Rowe told the group that it is very unusual for a group to apply for three grants in one year and even more unusual to receive all three. Seneca County grantsman Peter Brown suggested the unusual move, reasoning that it might allow for partial funding, rather than an all-or-nothing application. Given the state's tight economy, the overall amount available for grants had been reduced, making grants even more competitive.
The grants cover: 1. $88,160 towards a $181,150 project to construct an underpass under Route 96a as designed by Costitch Engineering Co. of Rochester the project engineer. The plans already have been approved by the Department of Transportation. The committee will hire a contractor to construct the underpass. The grant also includes funds to apply 6,000 linear feet of stone dust to the trail into Seneca Lake State Park. The balance of the funding for this project will come from donations and donated machinery and time. When Rowe was discussing this project with Christ Covert, DOT Resident Engineer for Region 3, he pledged $10,000 toward the project.
2. A grant of $9,292, half of an $18,583 project to install decking on three bridges along the trail. The largest bridge will span Kendig Creek, a 110 ft structure building on existing wooden support structure. Waterloo Rotary Club has volunteered to install the decking and railing for the bridge. $6,000 of the grant will cover materials. The remaining $3,000 will cover materials for two short bridges. One will be decked by LaVerne Sessler III as his Eagle Scout project. The third will be decked by committee member Jim Hogan and his team from the Geneva Bicycle Shop. Both bridges are about 10 foot spans. Work on the bridges will start in the spring.
3. A grant of $78,92, half of a $157,843 project to apply 18,000 linear feet of stone dust on the trail from Geneva to Waterloo. The committee's in-kind contribution will include trucking and fill for low spots on the trail as well as trucking and spreading the stone dust.
Seneca County is the lead agency for the project. The Seneca County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote to accept the grants at its Jan. 12 meeting. Rowe told the committee that the permanent easement from NYSEG for the former railroad right-of-way has been approved by the county and is expected to be signed by NYSEG in the next few days.
Scalise said several local companies, especially Sessler Companies, have been generous in their support so far. Other businesses have come forward with donations, discounts, loans of equipment and other contributions. He said a resident of Fayette recently sent a $500 donation, Leadership Geneva is raising funds to construct two kiosks along the trail and Finger Lakes Land Trust will construct wooden signs and is developing a side trail in the Bishop Reserve nature area adjacent to the trail.
Committee members reported that the portion of the trail in Waterloo already cleared has become popular with dog walkers, joggers and walkers.
“Come next summer, people will be able to walk from Waterloo to the State Park in Geneva without going on the main highway,” Scalise predicted.
The Cay-Sen Trail committee meets monthly at the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce. Future meetings will be at noon on Feb. 18 and March 18, when planning of Phase 2, from Waterloo to Seneca Falls, will begin. The public is invited.
I just want to add that along with the volunteers we have had great support from the staff of the County. In particular, we owe much of the progress we are making to Mitch Rowe. His work in securing an access agreement with NYSEG, the acquiring of grant funds and his work with the DOT are just 3 critical areas that have us where we are. And Peter Brown’s work with the 3 grants is also much appreciated. There is a great team of people working to make this trail a reality and I thank you all for your efforts and enthusiasm.
UPDATE: October 2009
After years of planning, the Cayuga-Seneca (Cay-Sen) Canalway Trail is now becoming a reality! With the help of Seneca County and New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) Phase I of the trail is officially under development. Phase I is the section of NYSEG property along the south side of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal from the east side of Route 96A to the Village of Waterloo.
June 6, 2009 was Cay-Sen Trail Blazing Day. Volunteers, including local Scouts, gathered just west of C&S Lock 4 in Waterloo to begin clearing brush on the trail property. Since then, organizers from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Finger Lakes Community College, Seneca County Workforce Development and Geneva Bicycle Center have conducted separate work parties working from both ends of the Phase I section, advancing the clearing to get the surface ready for grading where needed. The goal is to have the 10’ wide finished path surfaced with stone dust.
Manpower and equipment donated by Sessler Excavating and Wrecking, Inc. has been instrumental in the removal of the old timber deck on the former railroad bridge over Kendig Creek. Seneca Meadows Landfill has donated the use of a bulldozer that has been invaluable to the process of “opening” the trail, and has accepted, with the help of the Raucher Co.’s donation of a large dumpster and Mr. Tom Parks and the use of his wagon, about 150 old tires for recycling.
While the list of Friends of the Cay-Sen Trail continues to grow, the next stages of development are currently being planned: connecting the trail to Seneca Lake State Park; connecting to the Bishop Preserve; and extending the trail from Waterloo to Seneca Falls.Once the 3 bridges have been decked, which should happen by mid November, hikers and bikers should be able to travel between Waterloo and 96A with no difficulty while construction continues. Cross country skiing and snow shoeing along the path should help to make the winter more enjoyable. No motorized vehicles are allowed.
Cayuga-Seneca Canalway Trail Committee Receives State Award
September 30, 2004 @ 10:44 AM
The committee working to create a trail along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal has received a major state award for its efforts. Friends of Cayuga-Seneca Canalway Trail were presented the Canalway Trail Tender Award at the annual New York State Canal Conference in Glens Falls. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the development and enhancement of New York State's historic canalway trail. It was the first time the award has been presented to a group.
Members of the Cayuga-Seneca Canalway Trail Association are: chairman Vince Scalise, Geneva Chamber of Commerce; Salim Chishti Adler, Parks and Trails New York; Francis Caraccilo, Seneca Falls Village Planner; Dominic Christopher, Seneca County Chamber of Commerce; Caren Cleaveland, The Gridley Inn, Waterloo; David Duprey, Waterloo Village Trustee; Harriet Haynes, Seneca County Development and Planning Department; Jim Hogan, Geneva Bicycle Center; Kathy Jans-Duffy, Town of Tyre; Tom Jasikoff, Superintendent, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge; Maureen Koch, Seneca County Tourism Director; Jeff McDonald, NY Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Bob Peterman, Town of Fayette; Wilhemina Pusmucans, Frank J. Ludovico Sculpture Trail; Peter W. Same, Supervisor, Town of Seneca Falls; Gary Westfall, Village of Waterloo Administrator; Doris Wolf, volunteer, Canalway Trails Association of New York; Ted Young, Town of Waterloo. Advisors: Keith Ashby, Seneca County Administrator; John DiMura, New York State Canal Corporation; Tina Orcutt, Superintendent, Women's Rights National Historical Park.