Posts filed under ‘Snowshoeing’

Make tracks to Blue Cut Nature Center

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Blue Cut Nature Center’s name originates from the construction of the railroad in the 1840s. They cut  into Blue Vernon Shale.  The  40 acres of land  have several trails winding through red pine, mixed hardwoods and wetlands.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 4.25.20 PMBlue Cut Nature Center offers trail has three self-guided trails. There is a small teaching shelter, picnic tables and restroom facilities. The “Nature Center” would be better called a preserve as there is no center on the property or elsewhere.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 4.24.31 PMI followed a trail that winds up and around a drumlin on the east side of the property, past a lovely warning sign for a neighboring firing range.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 4.25.12 PMTrain tracks run right through the nature center. If you love train-watching, you can watch up close while still on the trail. While I was hiking along the wetlands I was able to see the train pass close by the woods trail, then stop for quite a while at a location across the pond.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 4.25.47 PMThe water was frozen while I was hiking, creating another nice trail through the wetlands. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed as snow permits. Biking is not allowed. This is a perfect picnic spot and nice for young kids as the trails are not too long.

Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk.

Buildings: Small lean-to and an outhouse (bathroom)

Picnic Area: 5 Tables for picnics and 3 charcoal grills available

Blue Cut Nature Center is located on State Route 31 in the Town of Newark in Wayne County.

April 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

Skiing at Highland Forest

GroomedTrails_Highland ForestAt the furthest eastern side of the Finger Lakes is a little slice of the Adirondacks. The oldest county park, Highland Forest is a mini mountain, featuring 20 miles of trails, 11 of which are groomed and track set daily, offering a variety of challenges for many different levels of skiing ability.

Skyline_Lodge_Highland_ForestPark maps are available at Skyline Lodge. During ski season the Adirondack-Style Skyline Lodge serves food and drink on weekends. Trail Map

Ski lessons are available, weather permitting, Saturdays & Sundays, mid December – mid March and daily during school breaks.

SnowField_HighlandForest

What else can you do at Highland Forest?

Snow Shoe
Highland Forest trails offers all levels of snowshoers a chance to enjoy the forest on 5 trails; a 1 mile loop, 2 mile loop, 3.6 mile loop, 7.75 and a 9 mile loop.

Mountain Biking
In the summer there is no better place to get  a great workout than Highland Forest’s mix of country road, mountain trail and backwoods trails. Mountain Biking trails are open May 1 – October 31.

Visit the Pioneer Museum
One of the park’s most famous attractions is the Pioneer Museum. The museum is run by the Fabius Historical Society and focuses on the historic Skaneateles Turnpike, a tollroad that once brought travelers and settlers from Plainville, in the east near the Cherry Valley Turnpike to Skaneateles.

TrailMap_Highland ForestOpen Daily
April – November: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
December – March: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
(closed Christmas Day)

January 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

The History of Corbett’s Glen

This is usually where the salmon run out of gas.

This is usually where the salmon run out of gas.

An early snowfall with a twenty degree drop in temperature. I hear shovels and snowblowers at work. Time to layer up, grab my skis and enjoy Corbett’s Glen.

At the end of my street is a spur trail that takes me into a lovely park called Corbett’s Glen. When Mr Corbett lived here, in the fifties, he mowed a ball field for my sister and brothers to play on. Now it’s a Brighton town park with two miles of paths. The skiing here is some of the best in the county. Although the trails are not groomed like Mendon Ponds, the snow is often here for a week or two longer than any other park.

As you travel through the park you may hear three or four trains pass. Take notice as this is the famous New York Central Line. These tracks are where Abraham Lincoln’s body travelled  as it was transported from Washington DC to Springfield Ill for burial. The train passed through the glen area most likely in the night of the 26th of April of 1865,  as it left Albany April 25,  at 10pm, and arrived in Buffalo, April 27, at 7 a.m., traveling at 20 MPH. Lincoln’s funeral train was the first national commemoration of a president’s death by rail.

Railroad tracks underpass holds the creek and a road.

Railroad tracks underpass holds the creek and a road.

The north-west side of the glen has a Parking lot facing Penfield Road for easy access. The southern side can only be accessed by parking on Glen Road, off 441, and walking under the railroad trestle bridge. Two miles of Trails loop in a circle around both sections of the glen.

My Mom told me years ago that the part of the glen nearest Penfield Rd would never be developed because the Tobin Meat packing plant had used it as a dump during the war. She was convinced the ground was contaminated. My family’s first home was built on Dale Road (formerly an orchard) as soon as construction began after the war. I’ve never read this information anywhere else to verify.

The paths wind through the woods, full of Bittersweet in the fall,  and the prehistoric looking Pileated WoodPecker. There are some unusual geological features:  eskers, and moraines. (eskers are what give the park trails their dramatic pitch and slope. Rivers on the ice sheet would sometimes bore a hole and flow under the ice in a winding tunnel. When the glacier and water were gone these stream beds looked like low snaking ridges of rubble.)

Allens Creek runs through the park

Allen Creek runs through the park

Today the trails are busy all day with dog walkers, families, fishermen, photographers, runners and in the winter, snowshoers and skiers. Allen Creek winds through the southern edge of the park with lovely waterfalls. There are board walks to traverse the swampy areas, a picnic table and benches and boulders along the trails for resting.

December 20, 2013 at 3:50 am 2 comments

Lucien Morin Park — Guided Hikes Unlock the Secrets of the Trail

It’s nice to take a hike, even nicer when you have an experienced guide to share everything you would ever want to know about the plants and the history of the area.

I took a hike with the Penfield Trails Committee to learn more about Lucien Morin Park, aka the Ellison Park Wetland aka The Rifle Range Trail. The Rifle Range Trail is so named because it passes what remains of a rifle range and pistol range formerly used by the National Guard and State Police, during WWII.

Continue Reading October 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

View from Hemlock Lake

At normal water levels both Hemlock and Canadice have limited shoreline. Left alone, the forest grows right to the water’s edge. However, after a long dry summer, the lake level drops, creating a generous shore with some startling views.

Continue Reading October 1, 2012 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

Ithaca — Come Visit in the Winter

Finger Lakes Summer

Taughannock Falls, higher than Niagara Falls, just outside of Ithaca

Great article in the Albany Times Union about winter fun in the Ithaca area

Ithaca may be best known as the home of both Cornell  University and Ithaca  College, but the city offers a cornucopia of attractions for  outdoors enthusiasts.

Situated in a valley on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, about a three-hour  drive from Albany, the city’s streets slope steeply toward the water. There are  more than 100 waterfalls and gorges within 10 miles of Ithaca, leading to the  local slogan, “Ithaca is Gorges.”

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/living/article/A-gorges-place-for-winter-visit-2751638.php#ixzz1kxDK56Jv

Besides great food, beer and gorges sites, Ithaca has a great music scene.

January 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm 2 comments

Webster: Trail all over town

My idea of a GREAT day is to be able to run two hours of solid trail. That’s not always so easy to find in the suburbs, but Webster New York, is definitely Trail Town. A joint effort between Friends of Webster Trails, The Town of Webster, The Genesee Land Trust, and the Monroe County Parks has created a huge network of connected trails and my perfect run

Continue Reading January 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

Rob’s Trail joins Canadice and Hemlock

Finger Lakes Summer

View from Rob's Trail towards Canadice Lake

Two of my favorite spots in the Finger Lakes are Canadice lake and Hemlock  Lake. Hemlock and Canadice are the only Finger Lakes with undeveloped shorelines.

Finger Lakes Summer

Icey shoreline of Canadice Lake

The City of Rochester spent over 100 years acquiring all lakeshore properties to prevent development of the watershed and to safeguard its primary source of drinking water. When you hike, bike or ski along these shorelines you feel like you are in total wilderness.

Finger Lakes Summer

View looking west on Rob's Trail

When I saw that there was a trail connecting Hemlock Lake to Canadice Lake, I had to check it out. Rob’s Trail starts just off 15A, on the southern end of Hemlock. The trail is part of the newly designated Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.

Who is Rob? Rob van der Stricht was an avid naturalist, especially fond of the Finger Lakes. The Nature Conservancy officially dedicated this trail to his memory. Thanks Rob, this is an awesome piece of land.

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Map of Rob's Trail and spur to Canadice

The 1.75 mile circular trail takes you up over the ridge between the two lakes. Despite the altitude,  this is a very wet area. Fortunately it was cold enough to keep the ground hard, but I noticed a lot of board walks for navigating the muddy trails.

Finger Lakes Summer

Hiking the winding and sometimes steep spur trail to Canadice

As the trail starts to head east, over the top of the ridge and into the woods, there is a spur trail .75 mi. long, that winds down to the Canadice Lake trail.

I was on the look out for black bears, eagles, deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, weasels, but all I saw was some Chickadees and Juncos. However, on the drive back into Hemlock, A gorgeous pheasant sauntered across the road.

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Ice sculpture, au natural

I was most impressed by the variety of ice formations in the hundreds of little creeks that wind down the hill to the lake.

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I recommend if you hike during cold weather that you wear good hiking shoes or Yak Tracks. The trail can get very steep in parts.

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View of 15A from entrance to parking lot

To find Rob’s Trail:  15A south, and through the Village of Hemlock. Continue to top of hill above Hemlock Lake, veering left onto South Old Bald Hill Road. Parking on left.

Other great posts on this topic:  New York Outdoors Blog.

December 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm 1 comment

Enjoy Dramatic Relief at Mendon Ponds Park

Growing up in Rochester, one of my favorite places to explore with my family, was Mendon Ponds Park. At over 2500 acres, it is the largest park in Monroe County. In 1967 it was designated a national natural landmark in recognition of it’s unique glacial features.

Continue Reading December 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm 2 comments

Letchworth State Park: Grand Canyon of the East

Letchworth State Park, renowned as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the Finger lakes Region. The park comprises 14,350 acres, along 17 miles of the Genesee River, 35 miles South of Rochester, New York and 55 miles East of Buffalo, New York.

Continue Reading November 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment

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