Grit Meets Connectivity: Rochester’s El Camino Trail

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Yesterday I took another bike trip (I’ve been doing this a lot lately) along Rochester’s El Camino Trail, a 2.25 mile dirt path that epitomizes the true gritty, functional spirit of the urban pathway. While humble in appearance, this trail, which occupies the right of way of an old rail line, slices through one of the more dense neighborhoods in Rochester, connecting residents to streets, community centers, park spaces, schools and the Seneca Park Zoo.

The trail connects to a new playground
Murals line the trail

The trail crosses many streets known widely across the city for their crime rate rather than their hard working residents. All I’ve ever come across are good people.

The signs of hope are there. Where so many houses are in rough shape, many boast new siding, even new structures entirely.

Avenue D
There are some very positive things happening in this area, but so much of the work has yet to be done

And for neighborhoods like these that are working hard every day to find solid footing, spaces like the El Camino Trail are increasingly important, giving children and families a place to walk and play away from traffic.The El Camino Trail is a compliment, a gritty “take me as I am” functional connector in a neighborhood that needs it. Linking back yards to city streets, schools to community centers and people to people… that’s the spirit of this pathway, a spirit we can all learn a little something from.