Posts tagged ‘Cross-country skiing’
At the highest spot between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes is a patchwork of 16,212 acres, known as the Finger Lakes National Forest. This area was all farm land 100 years ago and was then bought back by the government early in the 20th century, who returned it into forests and pasture land.
Hemlock-Canadice State Forest — 6,684 acres, many of them covered with creeks flowing down into our water supply.
Hiking creek beds to get the best possible view of several nice waterfalls off the beaten path.
I hiked the Johnson Hill Trail, accessed via Johnson Hill Rd, off Bald hill Rd, just off Rt 15A, at the southern end of Hemlock Lake.
There are parking lots on 15A, which lead into Reynolds Gully and another one on Johnson Hill Road with a nice 1.5m trail.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was most impressed by the variety of ice formations in the hundreds of little creeks that wind down the hill to the lake.
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.
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.
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.
Bear Swamp State Forest is located on two state forests of 3,316 acres in Cayuga County. This area is known for the large wetland and creek that bisects the forest. I should have realized that the word “swamp” might be a warning, but I had driven the roads earlier in the summer and thought they would be perfect for a fall bike ride — after the biting bugs died.
If you want to bike around a Finger Lake but wonder if a typical Finger Lakes 50+ mile jaunt, with glacier-cut hills that will humble you, sounds more like torture than fun, try riding around Conesus Lake.
The less than 25-mile ride offers a nice variety of road surfaces, great views of the lake, parks for stopping and some great eating spots.