Story By Arian Horbovetz.  Arian is a Rochester resident and creator of The Urban Phoenix, a blog that discusses urban and community design and topics as our cities transition to a better future.

Brighton will soon open a new piece of pedestrian and cycling connectivity as the long awaited “Highland Crossing Trail” moves closer to completion. A joint collaborative effort between The City Of Rochester and The Town Of Brighton, the new mixed-use trail will combine crushed stone paths with double-wide sidewalks through Brighton, connecting the Erie Canalway Trail and the Genesee Riverway Trail via Brighton Town Town Park and Highland Park.

Photo from The Town of Brighton website featuring the Highland Crossing Trail Route

The project, more than a decade in the making, will wind through Brighton, connecting the already existing trail from The Erie Canalway through Brighton Town Park to Westfall Road, Elmwood Avenue near Lilac Drive, Highland Park, South Avenue near May Street, and eventually the Genesee Riverway Trail via Mount Hope and McLean Street. The section between Westfall and Elmwood is particularly key, as it bridges a gap for pedestrians and cyclists that would otherwise mean traversing busy roads like South Ave. and Clinton.

This crushed-stone portion of the Highland Crossing Trail will be a vital piece of connectivity between Elmwood Avenue to the north (shown here) and The Erie Canalway Trail via Brighton Town Park to the south
One of the many “double wide” mixed use sidewalk portions of the Highland Crossing Trail. This section along South Avenue was completed in time for this year’s Lilac Festival

“I am excited to partner with the City of Rochester on the Highland Crossing Trail project,” said Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle. “Trails enhance the quality of life in our community by connecting people and neighborhoods, and by bringing people closer to nature. The Highland Crossing Trail will connect the Erie Canal Trail in Brighton to the Genesee Riverway Trail in Rochester and will be the latest link in Brighton’s expanding trail system.”

Moehle’s trail reference includes the “Brickyard Trail” which opened in 2016, connecting the town’s residential neighborhoods and library with Buckland Park.

Elmwood Avenue entrance to The Brickyard Trail in Brighton
Brickyard Trail

The Highland Crossing Trail is a welcomed collaboration between The City of Rochester and The Town of Brighton, helping to sew the multi-modal and recreational fabric of our communities together. While seemingly a small step, the importance of this urban/suburban partnership to improve connectivity and quality of life in our area cannot be overstated. This new mixed-use project highlight’s Brighton and Rochester’s commitment to a rich trail system that facilitates commuting, fitness, recreation and family activities in the hopes of a healthier, more sustainable community that encourages all types of active mobility.


  1. I am very excited for this!
    Two questions:
    (1) do we know an official date when the trail will be Officially Open For Business?
    (2) will it be okay to ride the day after a rainstorm? I know that riding on wet dirt trails hurts them; I don’t know if crushed stone is the same. (This might be a silly amateur question; I happily self-identify as a silly amateur)

  2. Yes, well over a decade in the making. I wrote the grant for the federal funds before I retired 10 years ago so I’m guessing it has been 15 years if not longer. Glad it’s nearing completion but never understood why it took so long for such a small project. Of course, the Raised Inner Loop took 28 years.

  3. The crushed stone will be OK to ride after rain. The wet wooden bridges will be more of a challenge. I would recommend using the old road just to the west of this trail if you are concerned about trail conditions. Just watch for potholes.

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