Hiking Wesley Hill — a Natural High

September 26, 2010 at 12:08 am 1 comment

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Typical trail view inside the Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

On a sunny Saturday afternoon I drove down the east side of Honeoye Lake, looking for Wesley Hill Rd.  I had decided that this was the easiest  route (by looking at the map) to get to the Wesley Hill Nature Preserve. Wesley Hill Road was almost as much of an adventure as the beautiful 300+ acres I hiked at the top. The road is not paved and very steep. I am assuming that the bottom of it is closed in the winter as my not 4-wheeled drive car spun and wound it’s way up to the top of what seemed to be much larger than a “hill.”

I drove right past the Wesley Hill Rd entrance, as it was not very noticeable. I was looking for a parking lot and the image below is what I decided was an entrance once I turned onto Gulick Rd. The sign mentioned the Finger Lakes Land Trust and emphasized “no biking.”

Guilick Rd Entrance to Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Just enough room for 2 cars to pull off the road.

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Pond view on a sunny September day.

I entered via the red trail which headed south into the preserve. The first major landmark I passed was this pond, and it allowed me to orient myself on the trail map. As I continued to hike I was able to hit every color of trail and circled most of the property. Much of the property is mature forest, which sometimes had grass growing between the trees, allowing a comfortable place to sit down.

Upper Briggs Gully, Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Top of Briggs Gully?

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Iridescent rocks in the stream bed

The next landmark was the top section of Briggs Gully. Only part of this stunning landmark is in the nature preserve, the rest of the stream including several waterfalls, are on private property. The stream that flowed through the preserve had the most beautiful rocks. The trail that passed over the creek bed was well marked and even had a rope to assist in the steepest parts.

After I crossed the stream, I saw a cabin and soon after a nice clearing with an overlook into the downhill part of Wesley Hill, and most likely more of Briggs Gully. Looking out over the hills I realized that there were only 2 things I could hear:  the wind blowing through the trees, and the sounds of birdsong, chickadees, blue jays, and goldfinches.

After passing through a meadow area filled with berry bushes and a wonderful pile of lichen-covered rocks, I headed back into the woods where I  saw several toppled trees (orange trail), which I’m calling the “Sculpture Garden” because they were so varied and beautiful.

Wesley Hill Nature Presserve, Finger Lakes

One of the exhibits in the Sculpture Garden

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Another masterpiece in the garden.

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Aspiring telephone pole

It took me an hour and a half to hike around most of the trails. There was more I could have explored had I more time. I fell in love with the rock piles and old natural stone piled walls that wound along next to a small stream in the north section of the property.

Visit Wesley Hill Nature preserve in late September,  or early October. The leaves will be beautiful.

The property has been purchased and protected by the The Finger Lakes Land Trust, which first started acquiring this land in 1999, and continued to annex additional parcels over the next several years.

Map compliments of the Finger lakes Land Trust.


Wesley Hill nature Preserve

Trail Map


Entry filed under: Activities, Finger Lakes Land Trust, Hiking, Honeoye lake, New York. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Windows in the woods | New Adventures  |  July 7, 2012 at 3:16 am

    […] Wesley Hill Nature Preserve is owned by the Finger Lakes Land Trust.   For another commentary on the hiking trails when the weather is a bit more normal, check out this blog entry at Finger Lakes Summer. […]


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