Posts tagged ‘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.
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.
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.
At sunrise I took in the northern end of the lake and parked my car near the entrance to the boat launch road. It was easy to hop on Route 15A and head south. There was not too much traffic, just lots of trucks, with enough shoulder to be off the road. The road was entirely in shade, which would be great during a summer ride. Even with wool gloves, my hands felt like chunks of ice until I was well up the western side of the lake.
Which Finger Lakes are really the Finger Lakes? I have not been able to get anyone to agree on that question. Are there 5 or are all the skinny lakes that run north/south across Upstate New York to be considered “Finger Lakes”? For this post I am including ALL the lakes because The City of Rochester has done a great thing and it’s worth mentioning. A press release states:
“(Thursday, July 1, 2010) – Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy and State Environmental Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today that New York State has completed the purchase of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes from the City of Rochester for $13.7 million. The transaction, which has been in the works for over two years, will preserve and protect the last two undeveloped Finger Lakes – which have supplied water to Rochester for more than 130 years.
The release also states that “Of New York’s 11 Finger Lakes, (Someone has an opinion) Hemlock Lake and Canadice Lake are the only two with undeveloped shorelines.” Rochester has been purchasing watershed property next to the lakes since 1895. They owned 7,000 acres of shoreline by 1950 that was reforested. This has also benefitted the fish and wildlife. Two pairs of bald eagles nest in the watershed.
The State of New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and The Nature Conservancy’s Central and Western New York Chapter also helped to facilitate the transaction.
The City of Rochester maintains a wonderful trail system at Hemlock and Canadice lakes and allows canoes, kayaks, and small motorboats (less than 10 horsepower) to use the lakes.
For more information about access to these lakes:
Visitor permits are required for visitors to the watershed area. Visitor permits, which help to insure protection of the area, are required of persons 16 years or older who visit City watershed property. Permit holders are welcome to bring guests, and to pursue licensed sporting activities such as fishing and hunting as well as boating, hiking, and nature study.
How to Get a Permit
Permits are free and valid for one calendar year. For your convenience, Watershed Visitor Permits can be obtained in the following ways:
- Download it
- From the Water Bureau’s headquarters: 10 Felix St., Rochester NY 14608
- From the Office of the Commissioner in the Department of Environmental Services: City Hall, Room 300B, 30 Church Street, Rochester NY 14614
- By mail: send a request along with a legal-size self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Water Conservationist, 7412 Rix Hill Road, Hemlock, NY 14466
- From a self-service booth located just outside Hemlock Park: 7412 Rix Hill Road, Hemlock, NY 14466