Explore Wild New York

WAG Trail

The WAG Trail extends 8.7 miles from the New York/Pennsylvania state line (380 feet northwest of the junction of Cryder Creek and the Genesee River) to Weidrick Road immediately east of River Road, just south of Wellsville. (The map pin is located at the northern end of the trail at Weidrick Road.) The WAG Trail gets its name from the Wellsville, Addison and Galeton (WAG) Railroad, which formerly ran along this route from 1954 to 1979; the trail traverses the old railroad bed.

The property was acquired by the state of New York  in 2009. Since acquiring the property, the DEC, in cooperation with several volunteer stewardship groups, has implemented numerous improvements along the trail, including redecking bridges, replacing culverts, installing erosion-control measures, grading and resurfacing the trail, and installing new gates and signage. At each trailhead, information kiosks feature a map of the trail and a brief history of the route.

The WAG Trail generally follows the course of the upper Genesee River, sometimes at a distance but often quite closely. Unlike many trails in the hilly southwestern region of New York, the WAG Trail is nearly level because it traverses a flat valley bottom. The grade along the WAG Trail is less than 5%, with only about 80 feet of elevation change over the 8.7-mile length of the trail. (See DEC information and map under Links.)

This multi-purpose trail can be used for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, biking, and horseback riding. The trail is also open to snowmobiling, but the use of other forms of motorized vehicles is prohibited. For an interesting video of a section of the WAG Trail, see "YouTube Video - WAG Trail" under Links. Note that the video was shot with a 360° camera, so move the screen around with your cursor. And turn your volume up or you won't be able to hear the dialog. 

In addition to providing a beautiful corridor for hiking, this juxtaposition of land and water offers opportunities to view an astounding variety of wildlife. Especially abundant in such environments are birds. Raptors, songbirds, and waterbirds are commonly seen along the trail, so if you enjoy birding, be sure to bring along a camera and binoculars. I've included three bird lists from eBird under Links.    

Needless to say, the WAG Trail is very popular with anglers due to its proximity to the upper Genesee River, which is one of the premier fishing waters in western New York. This section of the river is stocked annually with many thousands of rainbow trout and brown trout, and the fishing for smallmouth bass in this section of the river is excellent. The trail also crosses the lower end of Ford Brook, which is a good-quality wild trout stream.

Volunteers were instrumental in creating the WAG Trail, and they are still essential to maintaining and improving the trail. If you are interested in helping to maintain this beautiful trail, contact the DEC’s Region 9 office at (716) 372-0645.


(1) The DEC parking area on Route 19 in Shongo is intended for fishing access only. Trail users should use the Hawks Road parking areas instead.

(2) The trailhead at Weidrick Road is also used to access the Wellsville water intake facility. Be sure not to block the trail with your vehicle.

Location Map


Signs posted at trail gates lay out the basic ground rules for using the WAG Trail.
One of the great aspects of the WAG Trail is that it offers you opportunities to both hike and fish. Seen here is the Genesee River near the Hawkes Road parking area just downstream of the state line.
Much of the WAG Trail parallels the upper Genesee River, which can be seen through the trees in the right of this photo. The photo was taken where the trail runs between the river and Hawkes Road. What a great way to spend a beautiful fall day!
This parking area is located along Hawkes Road a short distance from the southern end of the WAG Trail. It provides access to both the trail and the Genesee River.
The WAG Trail crosses Route 19 about 200 feet south of Hawkes Road in Willing. If you follow the trail northwest for about 1,700 feet, you come to a bridge over the Genesee River. This provides more access to a productive section of the river, and its a good spot for birding.
Eastern phoebes are commonly seen along the trail from early spring through mid-fall. These small birds usually breed in wooded areas near water, which provide insects, their main source of food. Where available, their nesting sites are usually found in man-made structures such as the eaves of buildings and bridges. This bird probably had a nest under the bridge I was standing on.
The WAG Trail crosses Ford Brook by means of the bridge seen in the background. A high-quality tributary of the upper Genesee River, Ford Brook holds healthy populations of wild brook trout and brown trout.
A long section of the WAG Trail runs through the Genesee River Wildlife Management Area and parallels the Genesee River, providing multiple opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Resource Map

See DEC map under Links.

Driving Directions


Road Access:

At the northern end of the trail at River Road and Weidrick Road, only limited roadside parking is available. Do not block the trail with your vehicle, as it is also used to access the Wellsville water intake facility. Going north to south, additional parking areas area located at Carter Road, Stone Dam Road (at the Genesee River WMA), Graves Road, Hawkes Road (north), and Hawkes Road (south). Be aware that you might get ticketed by the DEC, especially in the spring, if you park in a DEC fisherman's parking area and aren't fishing.

Boat Launch Site(s):




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