The Pat McGee Trail is a 12.1 mile point to point rail trail from Salamanca to Cattaraugus. The highest point on the trail is the Eastern Continental Divide about 3 miles southeast of the Cattaraugus trailhead. The elevation gain from each end of the trail to the Eastern Continental Divide is 187 feet. The Cattaraugus trailhead has a small parking lot. Other parking lots are shown on the New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Pat McGee Trail map.
The trail is mostly gravel, dirt, and grass. Several sections, including near the Cattaraugus trailhead, can be very muddy after significant rainfall. Most of the trail does have good drainage.
Please consider carefully whether this trail surface is adequate for your activity.
There are no restrooms at the Cattaraugus trailhead. Perhaps there are some at the Pat McGee Trail Parking and Picnic Area in Little Valley or at the Salamanca trailhead.
Points of Interest
The Eastern Continental Divide is encountered on this trail about 3 miles southeast of the Cattaraugus trailhead. This and several other points of interest are shown on the delightful New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Pat McGee Trail map.
There is a Lean-to and picnic table approximately 0.6 miles southeast of the Cattaraugus trailhead.
From the Pat McGee Trail description by New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation:
The 12.1-mile Pat McGee Trail in Cattaraugus County connects the city of Salamanca and village of Cattaraugus. This multi-use trail along a former rail bed [ed. Erie Lackawanna Railroad] has connections with the current Finger Lakes Trail and the North Country Trail, which provide links to Allegany State Park in New York State and Allegany National Forest in Pennsylvania.
Named for former state Sen. Pat McGee, the trail opened in 2005 and is used for bicycling, hiking, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. It features a 1.8-acre community park with pavilion and two gazebos in Little Valley, along with five trailheads with parking areas. It also contains six former rail bridges that were rehabilitated for trail use.
The trail runs from the City of Salamanca line, through the Town of Salamanca; the village and town of Little Valley; and the towns of Mansfield and New Albion; ending at Leon Road just outside the Village of Cattaraugus.
Hiking Solo (and Running, etc.)
Suppose you can do the whole point-to-point trail distance but not the out and back. If you don’t have multiple cars to stage at trailhead start and end, consider using Uber or Lyft to get a ride back to where you parked. Since this trail is in a less populated area, you may have to wait 15 minutes or more for a ride. I’ve done this several times because I usually hike solo.
|24.2 miles out and back
|Gravel, dirt, and grass
|Point of Interest
|Eastern Continental Divide
|Cattaraugus trailhead parking
|About 5 spaces, not paved, not striped
- Load the PDF map into Avenza app on your smartphone in one of these ways:
- From your smartphone’s browser, tap this magic link to load the map directly into Avenza.
- From Avenza app’s Import Maps function, scan this QR code.
- Be sure to do this when you have good internet connection. Don’t wait until you are at the trailhead!
For more information about trail maps, see the Maps page.