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WAG Trail

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WAG Trail along river

The WAG Trail is a 9-mile multi-use recreation trail and historic transportation corridor in Allegany County, extending between the Village of Wellsville and the Pennsylvania state line. It follows the route of the former Wellsville, Addison and Galeton Railroad along the upper Genesee River, just a few miles from its headwaters.

Recreation

Currently four miles of the WAG Trail are open to the public: the northern two miles between Weidrick Road and Jack Bridge Road, and the southern two miles between NY Route 19 in the hamlet of Shongo and the state line. The remaining five miles in the middle section have a number of bridges and culverts that need repair, as well as several areas of river erosion that need to be addressed.

The trail is open for all non-motorized uses, and is popular with fishermen for access to the Genesee River. Snowmobiles will also be permitted once "user-friendly" trail gates are installed to replace the temporary farm-style gates.

History

Old rail car on WAG railroad

The WAG Railroad was originally part of the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad system, which at its peak extended from Buffalo, NY to Sagamore, PA. The branch from Galeton, PA to Wellsville was constructed in 1895-1896. In 1929 the "B & S" became part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad system, but in 1956 the Wellsville branch and the branch from Galeton to Addison, NY were sold off to the H. E. Salzberg Company and became the Wellsville, Addison and Galeton Railroad. The railroad served the Sinclair Oil refinery in Wellsville and several tanneries in Pennsylvania, hence its nickname "The Sole Leather Line". The "WAG", as it was known, operated until 1979, but the closure of the Sinclair refinery in 1963 had already eliminated the railroad's major customer in Wellsville. The Wellsville branch ceased operating altogether in 1973 after severe damage from the remnants of Hurricane Agnes. The State of New York acquired its 9-mile section in 2009.

Directions

The northern section of the trail can be accessed from Weidrick Road, Carter Road and Jack Bridge Road. Currently only roadside parking is available on this section. At Weidrick Road the trail is also used as access to the Wellsville water intake facility, so be alert for occasional vehicular traffic.

The southern section has two parking areas along Hawks Road: one in the hamlet of Shongo and the other 1.5 miles south of Shongo. Note: the DEC parking area on Route 19 in Shongo is intended for fishing access only. Trail users please use the Hawks Road parking areas.

Important Numbers

West Almond Lands & Forests Office (M-F 8-4 p.m.): 585-466-3241
Forest Rangers: 585-403-9574 or 585-415-1521
Emergencies: 911


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