Jun 30, 2016 – For all the doldrums of winter, Buffalo and Western New York more than make up for it in the summer, when the days are long, sunny and perfectly warm. Residents can be found performing a plethora of outdoor activities once the first nice day hits.
And what better way to enjoy summer in Buffalo than to get some exercise outdoors? With plenty of great places to hike, bike, walk and run, there’s no excuse not to get your heart pumping while taking advantage of the amazing weather.
Check out our list of some of the best places to enjoy outdoor activities in Buffalo and Niagara Falls and their distance from our local apartment communities.
The Best Places to Run, Walk, Hike and Bike in Buffalo
North Buffalo / Elmwood Village
Buffalo, NY 14214
Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York City’s Central Park, Delaware Park is considered the “crown jewel” of the Buffalo Parks system. It was named one of the nation’s 10 Great Public Spaces in 2014. Year-round (but especially in the summer), you can find runners, walkers, cyclists and even in-line skaters circling the park’s paved 1.8 mile loop. Others can be found golfing on the green or playing basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer or FootGolf. In the west part of the park closer to the Elmwood Village, the picturesque loop around Hoyt Lake provides another beautiful place to walk or run around, as does nearby Forest Lawn Cemetery. And with the main park area just 0.4 miles from both our Main Jewett Apartments and Delaware Park apartments, residents are just a short walk away from this beautiful setting for performing all sorts of outdoor activities.
310 Niagara Street
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Delaware Park might get most of the accolades, but Tonawanda’s Niawanda Park may have the best running/walking trail in the area. The popular paved path along the Niagara River is full of people running, walking, biking and skating while enjoying the spectacular views across the river to Canada. There’s also green space for doing yoga, kicking around a soccer ball, or doing any other activity. With plenty of restaurants for grabbing a hot dog or ice cream after you’ve worked up a sweat, Niawanda Park is a perfect place to spend a summer day in Tonawanda. And since it’s less than a mile from our Riverview Manor Apartments, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of the opportunity to be active or just relax in this picturesque nearby gem.
Tonawanda Rails to Trails
The newest edition to Buffalo’s outdoor exercise scene is the Tonawanda Rails to Trails path, which runs along an old railroad bed and connects the Town of Tonawanda and City of Tonawanda to North Buffalo and downtown. The northern point starts at State Street in the City of Tonawanda and the trail runs south, crossing Brighton Road, Colvin Boulevard, Sheridan Drive, Englewood Avenue and Kenmore Avenue. The path also connects to the separate North Buffalo Rails-to-Trails project, which runs from the LaSalle station Metro Rail stop on Main Street to Kenmore Avenue. The 4-mile trail isn’t officially open yet but is already seeing heavy use from cyclists, in-line skaters, runners and walks. In an area not considered one of the more bike-friendly parts of Buffalo, mostly inaccessible to the city without a car, this path has been lauded for helping to make bike commuting a reality for those traveling between the Tonawandas and Buffalo, and for opening up a new space for locals seeking a safe place to exercise. And since the path passes by Sheridan Ave., home of local food favorites Paula’s Donuts, Ted’s Hot Dogs and Anderson’s Frozen Custard, there’s no risk of running out of fuel on the way.
Chestnut Ridge / Eternal Flame
6121 Chestnut Ridge Road
Orchard Park, NY 14127
With scenic driving, forest hiking, biking, and plenty of trails with varying terrain to explore, Chestnut Ridge is worth the half hour drive if you’re looking for a place to enjoy outdoor activities near Buffalo. In addition to these trails, the park also features 12 tennis courts and a disc golf course. At 1,213-acres, it is currently the largest park operated by the Erie County Department of Parks. But the real treasure is Eternal Flame Falls, a small waterfall located in the Shale Creek Preserve section of the park. Visitors can run or walk to the base of the waterfall, where natural gas is emitted and lit to produce a small flame. The peaceful, calm setting offers a great place to relax after an intense run or hike while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Just over the Canadian border in Niagara Falls, outdoor fanatics will find their mecca at Niagara Parks. Niagara Parks has 15 km of hiking footpaths through six different nature areas and one 53-km paved Niagara River Recreation Trail that’s perfect for runners and cyclists, who can feel safe knowing the path is closed to motorized traffic. The path passes through many Niagara Parks attractions, historic sites and natural areas, making it easy to spend the day exploring while getting some fresh air and exercise. For those looking for even more of a physical challenge, there are bouldering opportunities at Niagara Glen, and permits are available for purchase. Just about 8 miles from our Niagara Apartments in Niagara Falls, NY, it’s more than worth the trip across the border.
What are your favorite places to run, walk, bike and hike around Buffalo and Niagara Falls? Let us know in the comments below.