There are great outdoor activities to experience in all seasons.
We can experience nature by hiking through the trails, photographing the animal kingdom or even taking out the fishing pole.
We can experience nature by snowshoeing through the hiking trails.
There was a point in Buffalo’s history when the city was one of the largest and most powerful industrial centers in all the country, and the Buffalo River was at the epicenter of this industrial might. Ships once traveled up and down the river, servicing the numerous grain elevators, steel mills and other factories. It now seems hard to believe that heavy industry once dominated this urban river-scape, and all three sites were formerly utilized for industrial related uses. Although some industry does still exist and some ships do pass through, it is a fraction of its former use, and now fish, wildlife and vegetation have come back to reclaim their historical homes.
The area around the park site is former industrial lands and still shows signs of this former use. Urban neighborhoods that once were vibrant with factory workers living in the shadows of their employers, are now much less vibrant and many are in need of revitalization.
The Smith Street site is only a couple blocks south of busy South Park Avenue, and is easily accessible from the I-190 (Smith Street exit), yet is the most remote of the Buffalo River Parks. It is hidden from any major views by the former railroad berm (the rail bridge abutments are still visible), and is situated between two very active railroad lines.
These are some before and after photos of Red Jacket Riverfront Natural Park restoration showcasing the progress:
Red Jacket 2013-2015
Red Jacket 2017