This week we will hike a portion of High Tor – Clark Gully – beginning from the Sunnyside Road parking lot. Known for its several intense waterfalls, Clark Gully runs from South Hill Road down to Sunnyside. While the best time to view the waterfalls is Spring, which is not now, the area also encompasses lovely forest overlooking breathtaking, scenic vistas of the surrounding hills and two large fields of autumn wildflowers. While scouting out the area during May and June, we were at the mercy of knats and mosquitos, which will not be the case now. Low-level water, currently, in the gully, makes it ideal for creek walking. For those of you who attended the Stid Hill Hike two weeks ago, this climb is shorter and somewhat less intense. We will all meet at the second Sunnyside Road parking lot, after turning onto Sunnyside from Rte 245. Based on interest and skill level of those who show up we will either divide into two groups – Climbers/Tourists and Naturalists – or there will just be one group, the Climbers/Tourists. From Sunnyside the climb is uphill, about 40 minutes worth, then a very short descent to the gully. After this, Climbers/Tourists will continue on to do some creek walking to explore the gully, which winds around and around, viewing a few trickling falls and some mega boulders. Due to low water level, it is easier to walk the gully and explore much more of it than it was in the spring. We will then walk back, through the gully, to what I call the Flintstone’s living room – a grouping of stone seats encircling a campfire pit. Actually very comfortable – just the right slant on the backs to really relax. There is also a stone chair in the water but it’s a tad too chilly to sit there now. Our social, weather permitting, (extended forecast is currently calling for 80 degrees with 0% chance of rain) will be held here – bring what you would like to nosh on in your backpack – sandwich, salad, night-before’s leftovers, etc., and beverage of choice. The theme here is keep it simple – no dishes to pass, no donations, no cooking, no heavy tub. Campfire would add to the ambiance so I will bring matches and newspaper and we certainly can find some sticks nearby. There is a small parking area on South Hill Road where those who choose the Naturalist hike can park and have a short walk down to the gully in order to join us for the social – there is a short, steep climb back up from the gully, however. If weather is uncooperative we will meet at Middletown Tavern on Rte 21/Main Street & CR 36 in Naples for the social after the hike. Climbers/Tourists will walk up to South Hill and carpool back to their cars – we will decide how to arrange this before we begin the hike. Poles are recommended as are solid, treaded shoes – rocks in the gully can be slippery. Dogs are welcome on this hike. Naturalists will have several options – they can explore the lower gully and flat portion of the woods or if they desire a longer walk, the Middlesex rail trail, which runs parallel to the West River, is nearby at the first parking area on Sunnyside.
NOTE: Amy points out that the Naples Grape Festival is this weekend. You are encouraged to visit Naples Saturday or Sunday prior to the hike. However, if the weather is good, expect heavy traffic in Naples on your way to the hike. Due to the location of Naples, avoiding this traffic may not be possible. (A detour south of Hi Tor will add 35 minutes to the trip from Wayland. The directions from Canandaigua avoid the center of Naples by taking Parrish Rd. This may avoid some of the traffic). Please leave extra time to get to the hike. Please refer to my comment below for alternate directions. D
From Naples, take Rte 21 N to Rte 245, make right onto 245, go 3.9 miles, then left onto Sunnyside Road. Parking lot is on right-hand side.
From Wayland and Springwater, take Rte 15A south to Rte 21N, make left onto 21N, then follow directions from Naples.
From Honeoye, take CR36/West Lake Road south to Rte 21, make a left onto Rte 21/Main Street and follow directions for Naples.
From Canandaigua, take Rte 21S past Woodville, left onto Parrish Road (just past Monica’s Pies), left onto Rte 245, left onto Sunnyside.
From Rochester, take 490E to last Victor exit (right before Thruway). Take Rte 96 through village of Victor. Make right onto Maple Avenue/Rte 444. Take left onto Rtes 5/20, right onto Rte 64S. Follow 64 to left as it winds around, right after Bristol Springs, then dumps into Rte 21S. Continue on 21S through Woodville them make left onto Parrish Road, left onto Rte 245 and left onto Sunnyside.