This 3.9 mile trail is composed of two segments on top of a former railroad bed in the Town of Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda.  The railroad corridor was operated for both freight and passenger service dating back to the 1880's. Two track systems were in place.  A westerly set of tracks was primarily operated for passenger and freight service by a succession of companies beginning with New York & Erie Railroad Co., thru the Erie-Lackawanna railway to 1968.  The International Railway Company operated passenger service between Buffalo and Niagara falls from about 1918 to 1937 on the easterly set of tracks.  In 1988, the NFTA acquired the right-of-way from the Consolidated Rail Corporation thru New York State legislation.  This trail is contracted atop the westerly railroad bed.

Rails to Trails Sign

In 2002, Erie County initiated the rail to trail project, seeking federal funding and working with partners at the New York State Department of Transportation, NFTA, Town of Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda on the project planning and funding mechanisms as well as the operation and maintenance needs. This trail, constructed in 2016 by Erie County, is operated by the Town of Tonawanda and City of Tonawanda in their respective jurisdictions thru a cooperative agreement with the NFTA. 

  pdf Click here for a Rails to Trails map (3.97 MB)


The Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks and Recreation Department is now accepting applications for individuals wishing to purchase memorial plaques along the Town of Tonawanda Rails to Trails.  Bronze plaques with room for up to four lines can be ordered at a fee of three hundred dollars.  Dan Crangle, Councilman and Chairman of the Youth, Parks,and Recreation Committee stated that, “plaques can be purchased for a limited number of existing benches located along the trail, as well as numerous trees”.  Applications are available at Youth, Parks and Recreation facilities as well as the website.  

pdf Rails to Trails Bench and Tree Memorial Application (346 KB)



2nd Annual Earth Day Rails to Trails Clean Up

Saturday, April 22

Lincoln Arena (1200 Parker Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14223)

Sponsored by Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks & Recreation, National Fuel, and NFTA-METRO. 

Help us clean up the new Rails to Trails path through the Town of Tonawanda in celebration of Earth Day! Meet at Lincoln Arena at 8:30am to receive your assignment. You may need to get yourself to a different part of the path, depending on where you are assigned, so please be prepared with your own transportation. Dress appropriately for weather. Pants, long sleeves, gloves, and boots encouraged. This is a great event for families, neighbors, sports teams, youth groups, and coworkers to get involved in their community. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments provided. Parking and restrooms available at Lincoln Arena and Kenny Field. Sign up to volunteer!

  pdf Clean Up Flyer (827 KB)


Chalk Fest

Saturday, April 22

Lincoln Arena (1200 Parker Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14223)

Sponsored by the Town of Tonawanda Youth Bureau. Celebrate Earth Day and explore your creativity by beautifying the new Rails to Trails path at Chalk Fest! Check in at Lincoln Arena at 10:30am to receive your plot location and materials. Chalking will take place 11:00am-12:00pm. This year’s theme is “Concrete Jungle.” Competition categories: Individual child (ages 5-11), individual youth (ages 12-18), individual adult (ages 18+), and family/team (3-6 people). Local artists and leaders will serve as judges and announce the winners at 1:00pm. Refreshments provided. Parking and restrooms available at Lincoln Arena. This event is free for participants and spectators! Sign up online!

  pdf Chalk Fest Flyer (521 KB)