The Greenway Nature Trail at Outer Harbor in Buffalo is the latest in the city's efforts to rehabilitate its waterfront from the veritable wasteland left behind by disused industrial properties and the contamination they subjected Lake Erie to during their heyday. Much of the area is neglected and the overgrowth hides the solid industrial waste, but access to the lakeshore for residents was hazardous and unpleasant until trails began to be developed and sections of shoreline reclaimed.
Although the Greenway Trail is relatively short, its paved route along the lake from the old Bell Slip, which was once used for huge cargo ships, to Wilkeson Point on the northern trail end features furtastic views and a quiet atmosphere that's pawrfect for a stroll with your leashed pooch. Pleasure boats tied to floating docks fill the old slip, and beyond the long seawall, boats of all types can be seen plying the waters of Lake Erie. The steel Flatman Sculpture sits near the entrance of the slip and provides a pawsome backdrop for photos of the lake and its sunsets. Several wind sculptures dot the shorefront as well.
The freshly-installed shore plants and boulder embankment provide habitats for shore birds like ducks and migrating egrets. Deer can often be seen crossing the trail or lurking in the grasses along its borders, and in the spring wildflowers are abundant throughout the area. The Greenway Nature Trail can also be combined with the 4.5-mile Outer Harbor Trail to form a longer loop hike, and the Industry Heritage Extension Trail can be accessed at the Greenway parking area for an extra 2-mile walk under the Buffalo Skyway for a view of two historic grain elevators that have been preserved for other uses.
When you're interested in a short hike in a picturesque area near the water, the Greenway Nature Trail at Outer Harbor will fill the bill. Open year-round, it's an ideal spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well!