Rosie Billquist Nature Trail Segment of the CR2T

While you're getting outside, please leave no trace for the safety of the land and pack the ten essentials for your safety.

The Rosie Billquist Nature Trail of the Chautauqua Rails To Trails (CR2T) is a 0.9 mile nature and rail trail near Sherman, Chautauqua County, NY. The downtown Sherman trailhead is behind The Cornerstone Restaurant & Bakery and proceeds east along French Creek to the railbed. At the railbed, the trail turns north and goes approximately ½ mile to Park Street. The total elevation gain is 50 feet.

If you park at the village lot, go to the trailhead, traverse the trail, and return to the parking lot via Park Street, the total distance is 1.66 miles and the elevation gain is 62 feet.

Parking

Park in the village parking lot at the corner of Park and Willard Streets. From there, it is 0.2 miles to the trailhead. This parking lot has plenty of spaces but is heavily used during the week and during events at the adjacent park. Can you park at the trailhead? Perhaps, but it is not designated parking for the trail or for the public.

nature trail

Trail Surface

The nature trail portion of the trail is mostly grass while the rail trail portion is grass and gravel.

Please consider carefully whether this trail surface is adequate for your activity.

Restrooms

There are no public restrooms at the trailheads or along the trail.

creek

Points of Interest

Rosie Billquist Nature Trail proceeds along French Creek in Ralph C Sheldon Jr French Creek Park. This section of the trail is a wonderful little nature park with many reported wildlife sightings among a diverse area of wetlands, woodlands, farms, and homes.

History

From Buffalo Architecture and History, Village of Sherman, Chautauqua County, NY, Reconnaissance Level Cultural Resources Survey:

In the 1970s, the abandoned rail lines in the eastern area of the Village of Sherman were removed. The unused corridor was transformed into a recreation trail as a part of the Chautauqua Rails-to-Trails program, which created the Sherman Recreational Trail along the former rail route through the Village. Today, the path of the historic rail lines is still a physical presence through the community, but instead of an unused eyesore, this area has now been transformed into a unique and revitalized feature for the Village of Sherman.

From Nature Trail In Sherman Renamed After Rosie Billquist, The Post-Journal, Sep 6, 2019:

A sign dedicating the Rosie Billquist Nature Trail at the Ralph C. Sheldon Jr. French Creek Park will officially be unveiled during a ceremony Saturday at noon. Billquist, an avid runner and cyclist, was killed in November 2017 in a hunting accident near her home.

The ceremony is being organized by Chautauqua Rails To Trails and the village of Sherman.

Bree Agett, vice president of the nonprofit outdoor group, said the particular stretch of trail had no official name beyond “Village of Sherman Nature Trail.” A native of Sherman herself, Agett said it “made sense” to name the trail after Billquist.

“She was an avid biker and runner,” Agett said. “It just made a lot of sense to rename the trail in an area where she grew up.”

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 populated area, you won’t have long to wait for a ride. I’ve done this several times because I usually hike solo.

Trail Summary

Distance 0.9 miles point to point 1.8 miles out and back
Elevation gain 50 feet  
Trail surface Grass and gravel  
Difficulty Easy  
Sherman Village Parking Lot 42.16064, -79.59351 Large lot, paved, striped

Avenza Map

  • Load the PDF map into Avenza app on your smartphone in one of these ways:
    1. From your smartphone’s browser, tap this magic link to load the map directly into Avenza. QR Code
    2. 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.

Load Avenza Map into browser