Manchester Gateway Trail, Manchester & Shortsville

Manchester & Shortsville, NY

The Villages of Manchester and Shortsville and the Town of Manchester

The "Twin Villages" of Manchester and Shortsville started out as mill towns along the Canandaigua Outlet, but rose to prominence in the late 1800s because of their significance to the Lehigh Railroad, which was particularly important to businesses and farms. 

Jump to:

 While passenger trains no longer run through either community, rail transportation remains a significant part of the local life.

In the village of Manchester, railroad workers of yore founded the Manchester Railroaders, a semi-professional baseball team. Today, the Red Jacket Junior Baseball League continues that tradition. The village of Shortsville houses the Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society, where you can learn all about the Black Diamond Express, the luxury passenger train that ran from Buffalo to New York City for more than 60 years.

Nature lovers in the Twin Villages enjoy the Canandaigua Outlet, which provides many opportunities for fishing, white water canoeing, rafting, and kayaking. Every spring the Wild Water Derby invites competitors to build creative water rafts to maneuver down the outlet.

Surrounding the Twin Villages is the Town of Manchester, where Joseph Smith first established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1830. People from around the world travel each year to Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, where they can learn about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints history and culture. 

Today, farming is one of the main industries sustaining this community, particularly dairy. There are also a number of cabbage fields in the vicinity, much of which is made into sauerkraut at GLK Foods near Shortsville.

Residents love Manchester and Shortsville for the small- town charm and rural surroundings, the Red Jacket school district, and the close access to the New York State Thruway, making Rochester an easy 35-minute drive away.

Fast Facts

Originally part of the town of Farmington, the town of Manchester was first settled in 1793 near Clifton Springs. In 1822 it was established as the town of Burt, but renamed itself Manchester a year later after the village of Manchester, which was founded in 1811 and incorporated in 1892.

The village of Shortsville was named after the man who settled the village in 1804, Theophilus Short. It was originally called Short Mill, due to its abundance of mills for flour, paper, wool and a distillery). Shortsville was incorporated in 1889.

Town of Manchester: 9,395 (2010 Census)
Village of Manchester: 1,709 (2010 Census)
Village of Shortsville: 1,439 (2010 Census)

Town of Manchester: 37.8 square miles
Village of Manchester: 1.2 square miles
Village of Shortsville: .6 square miles

The town of Manchester is in the north central section of Ontario County, with Wayne County bordering it to the north. The New York State Thruway runs through the town and has an exit there (Exit 43). Route 96 and Route 21 are the other main arterials. 

The land in the village and town is mainly flat with some gentle rolling hills. Canandaigua Outlet runs through the area.

Key industries

Farming: Dairy farming is big in the town of Manchester, with farms such as Willow Bend Farm and Black Brook Farm. 

Light manufacturing: Sanford Industrial Contractors specializes in industrial installations. Other light manufacturing operations include Sandmans Blasting & Coatings and Sidco Filter Corp.

Services and retail: There are a variety of home, finance, insurance and auto repair service businesses, as well as some independently owned retail shops. 


Students in this area attend the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District, also known as the Red Jacket School District.

Key landmarks and attractions

Hill Cumorah Visitors Center (town of Manchester): Open year-round in the town of Manchester, the Visitors Center tells the story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society: Housed in the old Shortsville train station, this museum (open once a month from spring to fall,), is full of artifacts from the heyday of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the Black Diamond Express.

Budd Park: This popular park, in the Village of Shortsville, features playground equipment, baseball diamonds, and basketball and tennis courts.

Jones-Blunt Park: This Shortsville park, adjacent to the Canandaigua Outlet, is great for family picnics, hikes and fishing.

Manchester Gateway Trail: 1.5-mile trail for pedestrians, bicyclists and, in winter, cross-country skiers and snowshoers, runs along the tranquil Canandaigua Outlet.

The Pheasant Golf Links: A 27-hole public golf course in the Town of Manchester.

Reinvention Brewing: Come for the beer, stay for the atmosphere. Sit and relax in Reinvention's tasting room, or out on their porches in the shade of the hop bines, and enjoy a glass (or two). The perfect environment to unwind with a friend and try several of their different varieties.

Bandstand Park: A Village of Manchester landmark with an original bandstand from the late 1800s and a Veterans memorial monument. Railroad Memorial Park: This Manchester landmark (Caboose) is on Route 21 and houses Lehigh Valley Railroad memorabilia.

Manchester Family Park and Mike Griffin Memorial Park: Located on West Avenue in Manchester, these two parks offer summer programs, concerts, playground equipment and ball fields.

Key Events

Wild Water Derby: The Canandaigua Outlet becomes the early spring race site for homemade watercraft. 

Kirby's Kompound Mud Bog: For enthusiasts who like to watch monster trucks wrestle in the mud, this three-times-a-year event has developed a cult following.

Community Resources

Town of Manchester:
Village of Manchester:
Village of Shortsville:
Shortsville Manchester Chamber of Commerce:
Hill Cumorah Visitors Center:
Wild Water Derby:
Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society: