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New excuses to get outside

After a record-breaking winter, it’s long past time to celebrate under the sun with attractions that have popped up across Western New York.

Take a spin or stroll on the Shoreline Trail extension

In October, a 1.5-mile multi-use trail spanning through the former Bethlehem Steel property opened in Lackawanna. The area was made available after rail line and security fencing were removed. It’s considered a Class 1 pedestrian and bicycle trail, which means it’s wide enough for both walking and riding (with no vehicle traffic!).

“For the first time in over 75 years, the chain link fence along the west side of Route 5 has been removed from the Buffalo city limits to Dona Street in Lackawanna,” said County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “People can get a glimpse of the magnitude of the site’s size and watch as new development takes place.”

The Poloncarz administration has plans to extend the Shoreline Trail even further into Woodlawn Beach State Park. It’s anticipated that preliminary planning and public meetings will be completed in 2020.

Crack open a book at the Reading Park

This summer you can check out a bestseller—and the new Reading Park in front of the Downtown Central Library, located on Washington Street between Broadway and Clinton Streets.

Expect to see plenty of colorful seating, umbrellas and tents on the library’s front lawn. Depending on the day, there will also be various programming, including chess games, author visits, writing workshops and poetry readings.

“We look at it as an extension of what’s inside the Library and bringing it outside of the Library,” said Joy Testa Cinquino, Assistant Deputy Director, Development & Communications at Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. “Its location right in the middle of downtown means that this can be a key ‘people place’ where both familiar and new activities can take place right in the heart of it all.”

Challenge yourself at the Outer Harbor’s bike park

The new bike park will not only be an extension of the current Greenway Trail but will also include three different tracks for a variety of skill levels and types of riding.

You can ride your own bike or rent one on-site at the rental station. Prices will vary based on the length of the ride and type of bike.

“The Outer Harbor offers those in the community the opportunity to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and connect to a natural landscape,” said Beth Potozniak, General Manager, Outer Harbor Management Group.

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