Perinton is Trail Town USA

by Sue Freeman

Our very own Perinton is one of only 10 communities designated as “Trail Town USA.”

In 1996 the American Hiking Society introduced “Trail Town USA” to acknowledge places that were working toward the goals of “Trails for All Americans,” a plan to bring trails to within 15 minutes of every American's home or workplace. "We were overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the nominations received," said American Hiking Society President David Lillard. "It was exciting to see all the innovative plans going on out there on behalf of trails. Narrowing the list down to 10 was a lot tougher than we thought it would be."

The nominations were graded in a series of categories by a panel of judges that included people from the US Bureau of Land Management, the American Society of Travel Agents, the National Park Service, the travel editor for USA Today, and the US Chamber of Commerce. "Our judging panel was representative of the diverse benefits trails provide, such as travel, business and recreation," said Lillard, who also had a hand in selecting Trail Town USA's charter members. "Each of our judges brought a unique interpretation of the importance of trails to their surrounding community."

The Crescent Trail Association nominated the Town of Perinton. Trailmaster, Dave Schaeffer, prepared a 3,000 word essay describing Perinton’s three, interconnecting recreationways – the Perinton Hike/Bikeway, the Erie Canal, and the Crescent Trail - their history, and how they are an integral part of the community. He also prepared several volumes of supporting material, including maps, photographs, letters of support, newspaper clippings, brochures, and newsletters.
"We asked for nominations from places that went beyond using trails purely for recreational purposes," explained Lillard. "Recreation is one important aspect of a healthy trail system, but we were also looking for areas where trails promote nonmotorized transportation, bringing added economic benefits to the area, and connect to other trail systems, adding to the ongoing effort to create a nationwide system of trails and greenways."

In the 10 years since 1996, Perinton has continued to add trails and interconnect their existing trails to improve the network. They earned the “Trail Town USA” designation and have continued to prove that building and maintaining trails makes a community a wonderful place to live. Even Money Magazine agrees. In 2005 Money Magazine designated Perinton as one of the top 100 “Best Places to Live in America.” Trails make all the difference.

Details for some of the Crescent Trail segments can be found in the guidebook “Take A Hike – Family Walks in the Rochester Area,” available at or call 1-800-431-1579.

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