Destination New York: Lackawanna Rail Trail

Destination NY

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – There are many places you can travel while staying safe amid the pandemic right here in the southern tier. One of them includes the Lackawanna Rail Trail.

“We have thousands of people each year who bike, walk, who jog on the path. Last winter, people were snow skiing, and using the snowshoes on the path,” said Brent Stermer, the 2nd district Councilman for the city of Elmira.

The Lackawanna Rail Trail is a multi-use pathway connecting Lowman, New York with Elmira along the Chemung River.

This is an all-year trail where people come to enjoy the natural beauty of the region as well as the historic past.

The trail begins in Lowman, where the battle of Newtown was fought, to river vistas and along the Newtown creek into Elmira and ends in Eldridge Park.

The Lackawanna Rail Trail keeps us connected to our past as well as our future.

“By the 1860s, we were a regional hub with lines running down into Pennsylvania and north to the Great Lakes. When Elmira was founded, it was a lumber town, as in, it was a source of lumber which would then be floated down the river to the Chesapeake Bay. The Langdons and Arnots sold local lumber rather than bringing lumber here. By the time the rail lines came in, a lot of those forests were gone and the trains were mostly transporting goods and people up from the city or coal from Pennsylvania,” said Chemung County Historical Society archivist, Rachel Dworkin.

“As we look forward to the future, I’m hoping that you know maybe someday we could afford a snow groomer, to make it a real destination,” said Brent Stermer.

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