The Eagle and the Ring – In Search of the Old Growth Forest – Hemlock Lake – August 10, 2014

2014-08-10 16.46.59 (1)Five hikers believe they have found the old growth forest in the Hemlock/Canadice State Forest at the south end of Hemlock Lake. Although there still doesn’t seem to be an agreement on what constitutes the description, there is definately a diversity of tall trees, including hemlocks, maples, and oaks, some appearing to be between 150 and 300 years old in a section of very steep terrain on the west side of Hemlock Lake, across from the south boat launch heading south. The area also encompasses the original nesting site of the bald eagles. If you attended one of the Finger Lakes Museum’s talks a few years ago called “Back from the Brink”, you would truly appreciate the work that was done by the DEC to reestablish the bald eagle population in New York State, and it all started in Springwater.   One can understand, after hiking through this steep dense forest, the reason behind why the Sierra Club protected this area against logging over 10 years ago. Maybe Springwater Trails can provide this program on the bald eagles in our area, so others can value this historical wildlife project. Thanks to Hugh Mitchell, past president of the Sierra Club, for providing information on an area of environmental concern.

P1110908While the hikers were bushwacking their way traversing through the Hemlock/Canadice State Forest, six other members and two dogs of Springwater Trails leisurely kayaked the west shore line of Hemlock Lake in search of Pati’s secret spot. It was a beautiful warm and calm day on the lake and Mac,Duff, and Mark enjoyed bathing in the sun while Linda paddled their tandem kayak. Finding the stone love chair, the kayakers rested to begin their trip back, making calls to the hikers coming down from someplace in the forest above.P1110897 (1)
P1110895 (1)Thanks to Todd, “Fresh Air Kid” Christopher and son Max for providing a motorboat and others that towed extra kayaks to the pick up point to transport the hikers back across the lake. Thanks to Marty for saving Ellen from going around in circles in a high performance white water kayak that wanted to turn sharply at each stroke!
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Dropping from about 1700′ elevation to 900′, Ellen Folts, owner of Amanda’s Garden, identified several plants along the way through the forest, mostly as we approached a lower elevation area: witch hazel shrubs, jack-in-the-pulpit, mayapples with almost ripe green fruit (but poisonous til turns yellow) white baneberry, crinkleleaf sedge, silver sedge, christmas and maidenhair ferns, hepatica leaves, and of course as we came closer to the swamp area many invasives such as multi-flora rose and lots of poison ivy.
Many mushrooms were found along the way,including jack-o-lantern which we now know is poisonous.  Unfortunately our mushroom experts, Georgia and Gene, weren’t with us to identify. It was a good thing many of us had long pants on and sturdy hiking boots to handle the steep slopes! Once we reached the swamp area along the Springwater Creek we traveled faster following well defined deer paths.

After hike social was hosted by Nanette and Steve Smith.  Nanette prepared pulled pork, and many other delicious salads, cornbread, and fresh local blueberries and homegrown vegetables provided a wonderful meal.  Thanks to the Smiths for graciously offering.  We won’t tell where Pam found her lost keys.  It must be a B12 deficiency.

So why did I name this article the Eagle and the Ring? It could become a legend as there is something mystical about this area. A silver ring made out of an antique spoon was lost on the hike when we came upon an unexpected restricted area where the original eagle nesting site was located. The ring silently disappeared right off the finger as if an invisable eagle flew down and snatched it. It was nowhere to be found. Maybe the ring is in her nest or hidden somewhere in the forest for others to find. Anyone want to create the legend? Send your comments in!

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Ontario Pathways Rail Trail Sunday August 17

Are you ready for something new and different this Sunday? Dust off your bike and prepare to explore a section of the Ontario Pathways Trail. Hikers can enjoy the same path as riders at a slower pace.

Our journey will begin at he parking area on County Road 23 in the Hamlet of Orleans, approximately 4 miles north of Flint. Bikers and hikers will head south on the Pathway traversing fields and forests, following Flint Creek. The trail is flat with a surface of cinder, dirt, and grass. There are numerous “speed bumps” created by gnarly roots poking through the surface. Mountain bikes are recommended due to the rough surface, but hybrid bikes will do as well.  For safety sake, please wear a helmet.  Bikers will ride 7 miles to the Stanley terminus and return on the same route for a total of about 14 miles. Hikers will walk southward as far as time allows, then return to the parking area via the same trail. For more information and a map of the trail, visit their website www.ontariopathways.org.

Ontario Pathways Orleans RoadsDirections: From Canandaigua head north on Route 21. North of the city bear right on Route 488, heading east. Follow this route for 6.3 miles to the point where Route 488 turns to the left to head north.  Turn right at the cross roads  (Waddell Rd and Railroad Rd). The gravel parking area is on the left before the intersection with CR 23. You will see an old wooden mill to the north of the parking area.

Social: After the bike/hike let’s gather at the Wegman’s Market Café on Route 5/20 in Canandaigua. So many yummy choices and tons of seating. From the trail head, head west on CR23.  Turn left on CR 20.  Take the first right on CR4.  After 6.5 miles, turn left onto CR10.  Then right on US-20.  Wegmans is on the left after a half mile.

In Search of the Old Growth Forest – Hemlock Lake – South Boat Launch – August 10, 2014 4:00 Hike/Kayak/Canoe

IMG_0091WIt must be a secret….the old growth forest and or trees that everyone has been looking for on the southwest side of Hemlock Lake. Recalling background knowledge a few years back of it’s location, the Sierra Club’s and Hemlock/Canadice Coaliton protection of the area when logging was discussed years ago, and secret maps, Marty, Pam and Ellen scanned the ravine areas across from the south boat launch. At first we kayaked across the lake, found a ravine and climbed half way up the 800′ steep Marrowback Hill. Much to Pam, Gene, and Georgias disappointment we found a cluster of yellow/orange mushrooms which proved to be Jack-a-Lantern, a poisonous mushroom. However with the recent rains, I’m sure expert mushroom finders will make other good finds. Another exploration of the area took us down to the lake from Marrowback Road, through what looked like an old road, through large trees and a steep slippery ravine using Ellen’s Smart Phone GPS coordinates to the south boat launch. We “think” we have found the forest and trees, but will have to look deeper into the meaning of an old growth forest. Apparently there are different definitions and some even say there is no old growth forest on Hemlock Lake.

KayakerThis is a kayak/canoe/hike. We will all meet at the South Boat Launch on Hemlock lake at 3:45. Kayaks/canoes may want to arrive earlier to prepare their boats. After a short presentation, climbers and tourists. lead by Ellen and Pam, will carpool to a designated location off Marrowback Road on the other side of the lake, about 10 minutes away. From the road they will traverse through the DEC Hemlock/Canadice State Forest to the lake. Be prepared with poles, good soles, as the trek is steep and slippery and a some of the hike will take in a ravine area. After reaching the lake, they will be picked up by boat and transported across the lake, back to their cars.ll

Kayakers and Canoes will be led by Pati and Dena. They will cross the lake and paddle the west side of Hemlock Lake. Those that would like to hike/paddle can park their boats at the designated ravine to explore up the hill and to join the hikers coming down. Lifejackets are a must for all boaters!

IMG_0137wNaturalists and those that cannot do a downward steep hike will hike along the south boat launch road on the east side of the lake. The area is flat, and little side trips can be explored on the lake. If extra boats are available they can be transported to the west side and hike slightly into the forest area. It is very dense and there is little shoreline due to the extreme rains. This area has not been explored by Springwater Trails due to limited accessibility.

Social will be at Nanette Smith’s house 6:30 at 7099 Cokendall Road, about 10 minutes north of the south boat launch. Pulled Pork with Maple Q sauce and Cornbread will be provided. Bring a dish to pass and your own drink.

Directions

Schribner and Giles Rd – Summer Directions

GilesRoadSignSchribner and Giles Roads are open from both ends during the summer.  The following directions use Giles Rd when  comng from the north and west.  If you use your GPS, please avoid Schribner Rd from Strutt St.  Take Giles instead.

From Springwater: Head south on Rt 15A from the light in Springwater.  Take the first left on Marvin Hill Rd. Bear right at the Y onto Strutt St.  Continue straight onto Quanz Rd when Strutt St bears right.  Quanz Rd is a dirt road. Stay on Quanz Road past Fox Rd.  Take the first left turn after Fox Rd onto Giles Rd. (0.7 miles from Strutt St).  Follow Giles Rd to the intersection with Schribner Rd. The driveway is on the right about 10 feet past the intersection with Schribner Rd.

From Wayland: From Rt 15, head east on Rt 21 toward North Cohocton for 3 miles. Turn left on Tabors Corners Rd (Steuben Co Rd 37).  The large sign on Rt 21 says Bowles Corners.After 2 miles, turn left on Schribner Rd (the second left).  The driveway is the 2nd driveway on the left one mile up Schribner Rd and about 10 feet before the intersection with Giles Rd.

From Honeoye: From Rt 20A, head south on Ontario Co Rd 37.  At Canadice, turn right to stay on Co Rd 37. Bear left to stay on County Rd 37.  Turn left at the stop sign at Canadice Lake Road.    Follow Canadice Lake Rd for 2.7 miles to the third stop sign.  Turn left onto Marvin Hill Rd. Bear right at the Y onto Strutt St  Continue straight onto Quanz Rd when Strutt St bears right.  Quanz Rd is a dirt road. Stay on Quanz Road past Fox Rd.  Take the first left turn after Fox Rd onto Giles Rd. (0.7 miles from Strutt St).  Follow Giles Rd to the intersection with Schribner Rd. The driveway is on the right about 10 feet past the intersection with Giles Rd.

From the East Lake Rd in Honeoye or From Naples: Rather than traveling north to reach 20A or Co Rd 37, hikers from east of Honeoye Lake may go south to Ontario Co Rd 36 and follow Co Rd 36 to Naples. Turn right on Rt 21 south.  Turn right to stay on Rt 21  for 4.5 miles to N Cohocton.  Turn right to stay on Rt 21 towards Wayland.  After 3.8 miles turn right on Tabors Corners Rd (Steuben Co Rd 37). The large sign on Rt 21 says Bowles Corners.  After 2 miles, turn left on Schribner Rd (the second left).  The driveway is the 2nd driveway on the left one mile up Schribner Rd and about 10 feet before the intersection with Giles Rd. Bear right at the intersection and park.

From Rochester: You may take your choice by going to Wayland, Springwater or Naples and following the directions from there.  Rt 15A from South Ave in Rochester to Springwater is very easy, as is I-390 South to Wayland (Turn left when you get off I-390 and follow Rt 21 to Wayland).

From Fairport and Pittsford, we go through W. Bloomfield, picking up Co Rd 37 south of Rt 5 & 20  At Canadice, turn right to stay on Co Rd 37. Bear left to stay on County Rd 37.  Turn left at the stop sign at Canadice Lake Road.    Follow Canadice Rd for 2.7 miles to the third stop sign.  Turn left onto Marvin Hill Rd. Bear right at the Y onto Strutt St  Continue straight onto Quanz Rd when Strutt St bears right.  Quanz Rd is a dirt road. Stay on Quanz Road past Fox Rd.  Take the first left turn after Fox Rd onto Giles Rd. ().7 miles from Strutt St).  Follow Giles Rd to the intersection with Schribner Rd. The driveway is on the right about 10 feet past the intersection with Giles Rd.

Finally, for hikers who enjoy maps, it isn’t clear whether Tabors Corners has one or two s’s and if only one where it goes.  Google Maps calls the road Tabors Corners Rd in Steuben Co and Tabors Corner Rd in Livingston Co.  Bing maps calls it Tabor Corners Rd. everywhere.  The Springwater town assessor’s rolls contains all three spellings.

You also may see Schribner Rd spelled without the h.  I believe the h is missing on the road sign at the Strutt St end.  The 1872 county atlas shows P. Scribner living just north of the intersection with Giles Rd. (Of course it is J Guile who lives on Giles Rd)