While I was riding in Ellicottville a week ago, I struck up a conversation with a man hiking out on Big Merlin. Seems he had just retired, and decided to up and move from Cleveland to Ellicottville. He said that he moved here because he said it had some of the best hiking around. I told him about WNYMBA and he thanked us for all the work we have done on the trails.
Most hikers share this perspective. They believe in shared use trails, and enjoy what can be achieved when different user groups work together. To most hikers, the shared use trail network in Ellicottville is wonderful.
However, there is a minority of the hiking community that doesn’t believe in shared use trails. They believe in single use, segregated trails. This minority includes some, but not all, of the leadership of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. The Finger Lakes Trail, also known as the White Trail in Ellicottville, is also part of the North Country Trail, a national scenic trail. This minority wants a single use trail through the state forests in Ellicottville.