Archive for September, 2011

Sitts Bluffs, Lake Ontario

Finger lakes Summer

Looking east from top of Sitts Bluffs, towards Sterling Nature Center.

One amazing advantage of living in the Finger Lakes region is that the northern border of the region is Lake Ontario. One of the most amazing geological formations along Lake Ontario are the natural clay bluffs rising over 100’ above the lake’s edge.

Finger Lakes Summer

Trail along the bluff

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Knife edge

The bluffs are the eroding end of a “wave truncated drumlin field.” Erosion proceeds at up to 3’ per year, with mini-deltas formed at the base of each gully, leaving the skinny cliffs with grassy knolls atop jutting out until they succumb to next fall.

Finger Lakes Summer

Beach of Sterling Nature Center, McIntyre Bluff in the distance.

I was hiking the Sterling Nature Center. The Nature Center is well worth a day’s visit as its volunteers have laid out over 15 miles worth of trails through the varied terrain of 1400 acres. The Nature Center also boasts nearly two miles of Lake Ontario beach to explore and hosts a series of programs throughout the summer and fall at its lakeside year around headquarters facility. Walking the beach, I noticed McIntyre Bluff at the western edge of the Sterling Nature Center. From there you can catch a view of more cliffs westward, much larger and longer. Walk further west along the beach to find Sitt’s Bluffs.

Finger Lakes Summer

View along the top of the bluffs

There are easy-to-follow trails taking you up and along the cliff edge, providing spectacular views west towards Fairhaven, and Little Sodus Bay. Sitts Bluffs can also be accessed by heading east from Fairhaven State Park. Walking the wide beach is easy with spectacular driftwood and irresistibly beautiful rocks. Sterling Nature Center is on the same road as the Sterling Renaissance Fair. Continue past the fair to Jenzvolt Rd.

September 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

Finger Lakes Summer Says Don’t Miss Greentopia Festival

The Greentopia Festival is a two-day “World’s Fair” of environmental education, arts, music, activism and inspiration taking place in Rochester New York, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18.

Join us at Rochester’s sustainability celebration to explore green living, Rochester style. It’s a two-day “World’s Fair” of inspiration through art, music, ideas and activism.

Speakers like Author and Activist Ed Begley Jr and Author, Educator, Environmentalist Bill McKibben. There will be workshops, how tos and films  Learn how you can think greens and how to apply it creatively in everyday life. There will be unusual family activities, community recycled art installations, mouthwatering organic and local food and beverages, and all kinds of live music.

There will even be an opportunity to “Bike the Bridges.” This ride allows Rochesterians and their families a highly accessible way to view and experience the bridges and falls of Rochester up close with other cyclists in a fun and celebratory way.

Some Local Environmental Groups appearing at Greentopia that I am exceptionally fond of: Will be showcased Saturday, 12:30 – 1:20 pm @ The Atrium in Max at High Falls

Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy
Protecting Hemlock & Canadice Lakes – Rochester’s Drinking Water

Gay Mills, Genesee Land Trust
Connecting to Nature in the City and other Projects of Genesee Land Trust

June Summers, Genesee Valley Audobon Society
Native and Invasive Plants

You can help keep Lake Ontario beautiful

Paul Sawyko, Water Education Collaborative & H2O Hero
Lake Ontario Needs Heros

ALSO:  Sunday, 11:00 – 11:30 @ Seneca Room in Max at High Falls. Sarah Meyer, Finger Lakes Institute & Paul Sawyko are doing a demonstration on Rain Barrels & Rain Gardens.

The Driftwood Sailors

Sunday at 12:30 there will be music by The Driftwood Sailors, who I just heard on the Sunday night Shakedown with Frank DeBlaise. Lead singer Amanda Lee Peers haas a lovely voice reminiscent of Amy Winehouse.

Greentopia will provide incentives for participants using greener modes of transportation. Everything that can be recycled at the festival will be recycled. Every plate, fork, spoon, knife, cup, bowl, napkin, coffee stirrer and sample cup will be 100% compostable. And all food scraps will be collected and composted. All Greentopia collateral will be made with recycled and/or earth-friendly materials. Every event sign will be designed with reuse in mind. Each piece will be made from environmentally friendly materials.

Greentopia is being produced by the The GardenAerial.

The GardenAerial is a 501(c)3 non-profit grassroots organization advocating for the conversion of pre-existing structures and trails along the Genesee Gorge at High Falls into a multi-use, extraordinary public green space.

It is their vision to transform the perimeter of the Genesee Gorge,  including the Ponte de Rennes bridge, into a magical hanging outdoor arboretum – becoming a real and lasting symbol of the “Flower City”.

September 14, 2011 at 2:39 am Leave a comment

Cayuga-Seneca Canal Kayak

Finger Lakes Summer

View from Cayuga-Seneca Canal looking towards Seneca Falls

Late in the afternoon on a hot and lazy Saturday I drop my kayak into the Cayuga-Seneca Canal right outside of Waterloo. The water is surprisingly clear and there is little current making it ideal for self-propelled paddlers.

There are lots of river dwellers to observe — heron, kingfishers, sunfish, ducks, and painted turtles. They are used to the boat traffic, but not used to me when I tried to sneak up close for a picture.

Finger Lakes Summer

Great Blue Heron posing

The Cayuga-Seneca Canal is a 16 mile section of the Seneca River, which flows 61.6 miles from west to east, starting at Seneca Lake flowing east through the Montezuma Marsh, at the north end of Cayuga Lake to Three-Rivers (Onondaga County) where it combines with the Oneida and Oswego Rivers, with the Oswego River then emptying into Lake Ontario.

Between Seneca Lake and Seneca Falls, the canal flows parallel to routes 5 and 20, making it much easier to drop in a kayak. This section of the river gets a lot of motorboat traffic (Limit 6 mph) many of whom are fisherman.

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Turtles are camera shy

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Pretty detour off of the canal

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Chasing Kingfishers

Where can you drop your kayak into the water? Here is a list of marinas:

Cayuga Marina, 6721 River Road Route 90, Cayuga, NY 13034, (315) 252-5754

Seneca Falls Harbor, 60 State Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148, (315) 568-2703

Waterloo Harbor & Campground, 1278 Waterloo-Geneva Rd., Waterloo, NY 13165, (315) 539-8848

Hidden Harbor Marina, 1076 Waterloo-Geneva Rd., Waterloo, NY 13165, (315) 539-8034

A & B Marinem, 634 Waterloo-Geneva Rd., Waterloo, NY 13165, (315) 781-1755

Inland Harbor Marina, 608 Waterloo-Geneva Rd., Waterloo, NY 13165, (315) 789-7255

Barrett Marine Inc., 485 W. River Rd., Waterloo, NY 13165, (315) 789-6605

Montour Falls Marina, Marina Drive, Montour Falls, NY 14865, (607) 535-9397

Stiver’s Seneca Marine, 401 Boody’s Hill Road, Waterloo, NY 13165, (315) 789-5520

Finger Lakes Summer

Cayuga-Seneca Canal

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Showing the entire path of the Seneca River

Other places to launch a kayak along the Seneca River :

Cayuga Co. In the Town of Aurelius along Lock Rd. just off Rt. 90 in the Hamlet of Mud Lock. Concrete ramp. Parking for 10 vehicle. Restrooms.
Cayuga Co. At the bridge on Bonta Bridge Rd. 2 mi./3.2 km. east of the Village of Weedsport. Hand launching. Parking for 10 vehicles.

Cayuga Co. Mosquito Point. On Rt. 38, 3 mi./4.8 km. north of the Village of Port Byron just north of a large trestle bridge. Hard surface launching ramp. Non-motorized boats only. Parking for 15 vehicles and trailers.

Cayuga Co. Howland Island. Off Rt. 38 3.5 mi./5.6 km. north of the Village of Port Byron. Hard surface launching ramp. Parking for 23 vehicles.

Town of Tyre. At the Barge Canal in the Montzuma Wildlife Refuge, off Rt. 20. Hard surface launching ramp. Parking for 25 vehicles.

Wayne Co. Town of Savannah. Where Railroad Rd. meets the river. Car-top launch. Parking for 3 vehicles.

Wayne Co. Howland Island. At the end of Carncross Rd. Car-top launch. Parking for 5 vehicles.

September 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm 1 comment


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