Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail

The Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail stretches 24 Miles through some of the most vast, diverse reforestation areas Western New York has to offer. Spreading its roots through Chautauqua County, just off Interstate 90, the trail system is a moderate drive from many metropolitan areas. The Westside Overland Trail spans across 4 towns, 6 state forests, and is home to one of a kind scenery and adventures. You’ll find many unique habitats with their own distinct wildlife, trail difficulties for all ages, and refreshing adventures at every turn.

Who is Fred Cusimano?

Fred Cusimano is known as the father of the Chautauqua County Park System and served as the first Chairman of the Chautauqua County Parks Commission during its first ten years.

Trail Closure Information

Portions of the Trail are occasionally closed due to logging activity in forests managed by the NY DEC. Please see the West Trail Map page for more information.

24 Miles Long


12 Hours to Hike


6 State Forests


Spans Across 4 Towns


Stay Overnight in a Lean-To


Dogs Allowed on a Leash

Get to Know The Westside!

Chautauqua County sits between the Mississippi and Great Lakes watershed, also known as the Eastern Continental Divide. All the water from Chautauqua Creek running through the gorge will flow into Lake Erie, then Lake Ontario, and eventually into the St. Lawrence River and Northern Atlantic Ocean. Any water running through the creeks in Mount Pleasant State Forest flows into Chautauqua Lake, through a few smaller creeks and rivers eventually making its way into the Allegheny River. From there the Allegheny eventually meets the Ohio River, then the Mississippi where it drains into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Brokenstraw State Forest (where the Westside Trail ends/starts) supports a large diversity of aquatic life including the Eastern Hellbender. This aquatic salamander is North America’s largest salamander species and can grow over 2 feet in length!