by Jennie Acklin

If you haven’t heard, Ellicottville and Great Valley will have a new off-road, multi-use trail in the next few years. Just like at major resorts in the West, the Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail will create an easy way to access local businesses, schools, the library, government offices, parks, area resorts and other destinations. The project has been in the works for more than a year.

Since early June 2013, members of the Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Committee have been working diligently to prepare a major grant application for a $2 million Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) grant from the New York State Department of Transportation.

In May of 2013, the committee hired landscape architect Rick Manning of Ithaca to design the master plan for the trail project. Manning has been working closely with Town Engineer and committee member Mark Alianello, Kate O’Striker, Ken Hinman and Jennie Acklin. Ellicottville Town Supervisor John Burrell contacted  grant writer Lynda Stephens to aid the process, and the group began working together to prepare the project details for the TEP application due by Aug. 16, 2013.

The master plan for the trail outlines the entire proposed project. The first phase of the Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail comprises three sections.

The first section is a one-mile section of off-road, multiuse trail linking the Ellicottville Central School campus on Route 219 to the existing sidewalk network at Holiday Valley Road.

The second section, the “complete street” section that runs between Holiday Valley Road and Mechanic Street, is made up of on-road bikeways and improved sidewalks.

The third section is a multiuse trail along Mechanic Street and Parkside Drive to the Town Center Building (former Cooperative Extension building),  providing linkages to the Ellicottville Memorial Library and the Village Park.

The committee will continue to develop additional phases of the trail once the TEP application is submitted.

A fundraising campaign to pay for planning, as well as future maintenance of the trail, will become a major focus now that the master plan is nearing completion.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to help build the trail with a tax-deductible donation. To date, over $27,000 has been raised by private and business donations.

Please consider making your tax-deductible donation online at, or mail your check payable to: Community Foundation/Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Fund, c/o Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, 120 N. Union St., Olean NY 14760.  Every dollar makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.

The Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail will connect people young and old throughout the community, while keeping them active and close to nature. Whatever type of donation you can make will help make the vision a reality.

For more information, visit and “like” the trail’s Facebook page ( or call Jennie Acklin at (716) 699-4062 or Ken Hinman at (716) 474-8214.

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