Description - Traveling the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail through New York and Pennsylvania takes you along the scenic shoreline of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Ancient glaciers carved a landscape of waters, drumlins, and plains that includes the 1000 Islands, Niagara Falls, the northern hardwood forest, Presque Isle, and the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The Seaway Trail encompasses the military conflict, agricultural ingenuity, and recreational resourcefulness that shapes this distinct setting.
- Today, you can travel the Seaway Trail on bicycles and motorcycles, in motor coaches and RVs, and by car and camper. Discover a world filled with maritime and military historic sites, museums, farm tours, marinas, campgrounds, and trails for hiking, biking, and skiing.
Several museums along the Byway chronicle various contributions to American life. Visit the National Toy Hall of Fame at Strong Museum, the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum, the Niagara Aerospace Museum, Derby Hill Bird Observatory, Boldt and Singer castles, and the freshwater Antique Boat Museum. The Safe Haven Museum in Oswego preserves the history of America’s only shelter for World War II Holocaust refugees. The museum is just a short distance from a LT-5 tugboat that was used in the Invasion of Normandy.
Twenty-eight historic lighthouses, built in various architectural styles, dot the Seaway Trail shoreline. Some have public museums, some offer overnight accommodations.
Savor the regional bounty of the Seaway Trail year-round, from the maple syrup of late winter to fresh fruits and vegetables from spring through fall. Various farmsteads along the Trail supply the milk for River Rat, Great Lake and Heluva Good Cheeses, available at farm markets Trailwide.
Recreation - Visit restaurants and food processors during your trip that have created signature dishes, including the original Buffalo wings, the blooming apple dessert, hand-carved beef on ‘weck sandwiches, Zeigle’s hot dogs, 1812 Ale and Funny Cide Lite Beer, Grandma Brown’s Beans, the hamburger, Life Savers, the shore dinner, Webb’s Goat Milk Fudge, and Welch’s Grape Juice. And don’t forget the wine trails!
Many of the major battles of the War of 1812 took place along the shoreline of the Seaway Trail. Forts, battlefields, military cemeteries and former shipbuilding communities retain their historic links. Sackets Harbor, home to the Seaway Trail Discovery Center, was the site of two British attacks designed to disrupt military shipbuilding. Exhibits at Presque Isle State Park near Erie, Pennsylvania, tell the story of U.S. naval officer Oliver Hazard Perry who declared, “We have met the enemy and they are ours” after capturing a British squadron on Lake Erie in September 1813.
Regional hometown and visiting celebrities include comedienne Lucille Ball, castle builder George Boldt, suffragette Susan B. Anthony, Underground Railroad heroine Harriet Tubman, artists Frederic Remington and Roger Tory Peterson, and several American Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Millard Fillmore and Ulysses S. Grant.
Follow the green-and-white Trailblazer signs and stop at information panels, kiosks and interpretive site panels to learn more about the natural history, recreational opportunities and architecture of the Seaway Trail. Did you know the Buffalo area of this byway has five Frank Lloyd Wright sites? The Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor has three floors and nine rooms full of travel and adventure ideas!
Climate - Pennsylvania has four distinct seasons and recreationists can find good in each one. Summer is usually hot and humid often extending from late May into September. Expect temperatures in the southeastern part of the state to reach 90 degrees F frequently. Temperatures in the Northern and western areas of the state are slightly cooler. Summer lows usually don't dip below 60 degrees F.
Winter temperatures average between 25 degrees and 45 degrees F in southeastern Pennsylvania. The west and mountains receive colder temperatures that average between -10 degrees and 35 degrees F. Spring and fall are excellent times to visit the state as temperatures are mild with little humidity. Spring brings a variety of wildflowers and shrubs into bloom and fall color displays of deciduous trees draw many to the forests of the state.
The Seaway Trail Scenic Byway begins at the Ohio/Pennsyvania border on US Route 20. Follow US 20 east 1.5 miles to the junction of PA Route 5; make a left turn onto PA 5 and proceed northeasterly 19 miles to the (signalized) multi-leg intersection at Asbury Road and PA ALT 5 (West Lake Road); (the Erie International Airport is ahead to the right), veer left onto ALT 5/West Lake Road and proceed 2.5 miles to the (signalized) multi-leg intersection at Waldameer Drive (entrance to Waldameer Park) and West 6th Street; veer left onto West 6th Street and proceed .25 mile to the (signalized) intersection of PA 832 (Peninsula Drive), continue straight to follow the primary route on West 6th Street or turn left onto the spur route to Presque Isle. The spur route continues around the perimeter of Presque Isle in a 14 mile loop, returning back to the primary route.
The primary route continues easterly on West 6th Street 1.75 miles to the intersection of Shawnee Drive and entrance of Frontier Park area; veer left at the stop sign, continuing .5 mile on West 6th Street around the northern perimeter of Frontier Park, passing over the Bayfront Parkway, to the (signalized) intersection at Cranberry Street; turn left and proceed .25 mile to the Bayfront Parkway, turn right and follow the Bayfront Parkway 3 miles to the (signalized) intersection of East 6th Street, turn left and follow East 6th Street ¼ mile to the (signalized) intersection of East Avenue; proceed straight onto East Lake Road 1.5 miles to the (signalized) intersection of Franklin Avenue (junction with PA 5); continue straight on East Lake Road (now also PA 5) .75 miles to the (signalized) multi-leg intersection of Water Street and PA 955 (Iroquois Avenue); veer left, remaining on PA 5, and continue northeasterly 16 miles to the NY border.
The New York section of the Seaway Trail begins in the town of Ripley. From Ripley, follow State Route 5 (Lake Road) in a northeast direction 36.5 miles to the Village of Silver Creek. Continue on State Route 5 (Central Avenue) 0.6 miles into Silver Creek, where Route 5 turns left onto Howard Avenue.
Follow Howard Avenue / State Route 5 for 1.2 miles to where it merges with State Route 20. Merged State Routes 5 and 20 continue 2.9 miles across Cattaraugus Creek, where State Route 5 continues to the left. Continue on State Route 5, 0.7 mile to Old Lake Shore Road. Turn left onto Old Lake Shore Road and follow it to the Town of Brant line; at this point the Town road becomes known as Lake Shore Road. After 8 miles, Lake Shore Road turns left and continues 5 miles to the Hamburg Town line. In the Town of Hamburg, the town road is known as Old Lake Shore Road for 3.2 miles.
At the intersection with State Route 5, turn left and follow State Route 5 for 6.4 miles to the City of Lackawanna. Continue on State Route 5 (also known as Hamburg Road) through Lackawanna, to the City of Buffalo, and across the Buffalo River and Harbor Channel (where State Route 5 is also known as the Buffalo Skyway) another 3.2 miles to the Delaware Avenue exit.
The Seaway Trail proceeds on Delaware Avenue 0.3 miles to Niagara Square in the City of Buffalo, and then goes around the square (past Buffalo City Hall) to Niagara Street. Follow Niagara Street 3.4 miles to a “Y” and bear left still on Niagara Street (State Route 266) to the Town of Tonawanda. After the town line State Route 266 is known as River Road for the next 4.3 miles to the City of Tonawanda. In the City of Tonawanda, follow State Route 266 (also called Niagara Street) to its intersection with Seymour Street in Tonawanda. Turn left on Seymour Street and cross the bridge over the Erie Canal into the City of North Tonawanda and follow State Route 265 known as River Road.
Follow River Road 5.3 miles to the City of Niagara Falls where the name changes to Buffalo Avenue. Follow Buffalo Avenue 2.5 miles to the entrance to Robert Moses State Parkway. Turn left onto the westbound lanes and continue 3.3 miles until the Parkway reaches the Quay Street exit in the city of Niagara Falls.
Exit right onto Quay Street for 0.2 miles to State Route 384 (known as Rainbow Boulevard). Turn left and continue north on State Route 384 for 0.8 miles towards the Rainbow Bridge in the City of Niagara Falls. Turn right onto Main Street, State Route 104 east; at 1 mile the route jogs to the left and continues to follow State Route 104 (also known as the Lewiston Road) 5.5 miles to the Village of Lewiston where it intersects with State Route 18F (Center Street). Turn left on Center Street and proceed through Lewiston for 0.8 miles to 4th Street.
Turn right on 4th Street for 0.2 miles, then left onto Oneida Street for 0.1 mile. Turn right and continue on State Route 18F (Lower River Road) for 4.4 miles to the Village of Youngstown. In Youngstown, State Route 18F (Main Street) continues 1.3 miles to Scott Avenue. Turn right on Scott Avenue (18F) for 0.6 mile to the intersection with Lake Road, and turn right to continue on State Route 18F for 2.7 miles (cross the Robert Moses Parkway) to the intersection with State Route 18 (Lake Road).
Turn left onto Lake Road (State Route 18) and continue 9.3 miles to the Village of Wilson. Continue through the Village 1.1 mile on State Route 18 (locally called Harbor Street and Ontario Street). Follow State Route 18 (Lake Road) 3.9 miles through the Village of Olcott, and east another 26.1 miles to the entrance to the Lake Ontario State Parkway. (Note: commercial traffic is not allowed on the Parkway; in addition there are several low-clearance bridges. Recreational vehicles and other vehicles requiring greater clearance should follow State Route 18 approximately 35 miles to where it intersects the Seaway Trail at Stutson Street in the City of Rochester.) Turn left onto the on-ramp (0.2 mile) and merge onto the Lake Ontario State Parkway heading east towards Rochester. The Parkway ends (34.8 miles) on Stutson Street.
Continue on Stutson Street 0.7 mile across the bridge over the Genesee River where the name changes to Pattonwood Drive. Continue 0.6 mile and turn right onto Saint Paul Boulevard (0.1 mile), then left onto Lake Shore Boulevard. Lake Shore Boulevard becomes Pine Valley Road at 2.4 miles, and then Sweet Fern Road after 0.3 mile. Continue 0.5 mile to Culver Road and turn right onto Culver. Where Culver Road meets Empire Boulevard (3.8 miles) turn left onto State Route 404 (Empire Boulevard). Follow State Route 404 across Irondequoit Bay 3.4 miles to Bay Road. Turn left onto Bay Road and after 3.7 miles, turn right onto Lake Road.
Follow Lake Road (Wayne County Route 101) through the community of Pultneyville and continue 27.9 miles to the Village of Sodus Point. In Sodus Point, the route turns right (south) onto Ontario Street (State Route 14) for 4.5 miles to Alton, where it intersects Ridge Road. Turn left onto Ridge Road (County Route 143) and go 8.1 miles to the Village of Wolcott. Continue through the village on Main Street (0.7 mile) to Mill Street. Turn left onto Mill Street (County Route 163) and continue 3.8 miles (crossing State Route 104) to the junction with State Route 370. Turn left onto State Route 370 for 0.7 miles to the intersection with State Route 104. Cross State Route 104 to follow State Route 104A for 0.7 mile to the Village of Red Creek.
Continue on 104A (Water Street) into Red Creek, and turn left (0.6 mile) onto Main Street (still State Route 104A). Continue on State Route 104-A going north 4.6 miles to the Village of Fair Haven, continue through Sterling 11.5 miles