Boughton Park Revisited

IMG_1562On Sunday, January 4, we returned to Boughton Park in East Bloomfield to take advantage of a pleasantly warm day to start our winter season of hikes.

This hike had two groups, with one group staying to the more level trails including some views of the ponds. The other group hiked out of the park on the Seneca trail, as far as Cherry street. Due to the warm weather, we had no snow on the trails, and lots of mud. There were some large puddles to cross, and some slippery slopes. We had at least one hiker slip and fall in the mud, but no injuries.

Boughton park 1As we returned to the park, we met John who had arrived late and followed a different route to get ahead of us. We continued around the east pond, and this trail had several long muddy sections, so this portion took a little longer than expected, but the boardwalk across the wetlands was nice, and my dog Newton went for a swim in the creek after we crossed the bridge.

Boughton park 2Due to the slow progress, our group returned to the parking area by way of the gravel road between the ponds. We arrived back at the parking area a little late, but everyone was there.

IMG_1561I am a member of the Rochester Academy of Science, so we went to our observatory in Ionia for our social, with a large classroom, and lots of tables and chairs. I explained a little history of the site, and the group, and after eating, some of us went out to one of the roll-of buildings to see the 16-inch Newtonian reflecting telescope. Due to the wind, we could not open the building to do any observing, I just showed how we can roll the roof back to expose the telescope. Hopefully we can plan a visit in better weather, to include some observing through a telescope, and meet some of the other RAS members.

Winter at Boughton Park – January 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM – 42.937466, -77.441708

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This week we will return to Boughton Park in East Bloomfield for our third hike around the two ponds the are the old Fairport reservoirs.  If you haven’t been to Boughton Park, some history will enhance your experience. Please check the description of our November 2013 hike, and the Victor or East Bloomfield website descriptions for the history and current uses of this park.

We will meet at the Stirne Rd parking area.  Three hikes are planned.

The Climbers will loop around the north end of the first pond and then will follow the Seneca Trail out of the park to Cherry St.  After returning to the park, the climbers will follow the East and West Pond Trails around the park to return to the parking area (about 4.5 miles total). The trail is nice with a narrow bridge over the stream and views of the valley that was not flooded for the reservoir. We will walk along the edge of a plowed field, with several vistas to see the Apple Farm to the north on SR 444.

The Tourists will loop down the West Pond Trail and up the East Pond trail for a complete loop of the park in the opposite direction (about 3.0 miles).  The trails go through spruce forest with lots of small valleys so it is up and down. There are some boardwalks across some wetlands and across the streams that were dammed to make the reservoirs. We will cross the two dams, and have views of the ponds, with lots of geese lately.

And the Naturalists (and any skiers if there is snow) will follow the climbers north of the first pond but then will turn south to follow the driveway to the Boughton Rd parking area.  From there, skiers will explore additional trails depending on conditions, and the tourists will return back north on the driveway (thereby avoiding most hills) or will continue around the pond on West Pond Trail, enjoying the small hills in that area for a total hike of 2.5 miles.

Following the hike, Douglas has arranged for our social at the Marian and Max Farash Center for Observational Astronomy. We will have lots of room, and can microwave anything that needs heating, and there is a restroom. Douglas can show members one of the large telescopes, and if the weather cooperates, we can view some planets, and possibly the moon, which rises just before 5pm, but will clear the trees closer to 6pm.  Please bring a dish to pass and your own beverage.

Directions to the Observatory: From the parking area, turn left on Stirnie Rd for 0.8 mi. Turn right onto Boughton Rd and an immediate slight right onto Co Rd 39.  After 1.4 mi, turn right onto NY-64 N. Take the 1st left (after 0.6 mi) onto Co Rd 14.  Cross CR 39 and the observatory is on the left almost directly across street from the Ionia Fire Station, just a little to the west.


Since we only have ten parking permits at the park, some hikers may want to car pool.  Recommended locations to meet for unsupervised carpools are the Springwater Town Hall and Sandy Bottom Park at the north end of Honeoye Lake.

Springwater Town Hall: Please be at the Springwater Town Hall at 12:50PM to carpool to Boughton Park.  Click here for directions to the town hall.  Remember, this is an unsupervised carpool and drivers will be leaving promptly at 1:00PM.  If you are late, you will need to drive alone.

Sandy Bottom: If Honeoye is more convenient, please meet at Sandy Bottom at 1:05PM to carpool.  Do not go to both locations, since there isn’t enough time in these schedules. Drivers should leave promptly at 1:15PM.

Directions to the Hike

From Honeoye and the Sandy Bottom Park –  Carpool location:

– From Sandy Bottom, head north on West Lake Rd.
– Take Rt 20A east to jct with Rt 64
– Turn left onto Rt 64 and travel to Rts 5&20
– Turn left onto Rts 5&20 and travel 2.5 miles.
– Turn right onto South Ave
– Turn left onto Main St.
– Take the first right (immediate) onto Michigan St and continue onto CR 39 for 2.4 miles
– Turn right onto Boughton Rd (CR 39 will continue to the left)
– Take the first left onto Stirnie Rd.  The parking area is 0.8 miles ahead on the right. (past a curve to the right, and a curve to the left)

From Springwater and the Town Hall – Carpool location:

– Take Rt 15A north from the flashing light in Springwater.
– Turn right onto Rt 20A toward Honeoye. After 4.0 miles
– Turn left on CR 37 go north to West Bloomfield.
– Turn right onto Rts 5&20 east at the West Bloomfield Congregational Church.
– Turn left onto Rt 64, and an immediate right onto Main St.
– Take the 2nd left onto Michigan St. and continue onto CR 39 for 2.4 miles (you will pass Church St on the right).
– Turn right onto Boughton Rd (CR 39 will continue to the left)
– Take the first left onto Stirnie Rd. (It’s a VERY VERY short travel on Boughton Rd) The parking area is 0.8 miles ahead on the right. (past a curve to the right, and a curve to the left)

 From Rochester area: 

– Take I490 East to the Victor Exit 29.
– Merge onto Rt 96 S into Victor.
– Turn right onto Maple Ave (Rt 444) (follow the sign to Bristol Mt).
– At the flashing light turn right onto Boughton Hill Rd (CR 41) (At Ganondagan)

A Public Service Announcement  There are two roads, Boughton Hill Road and Boughton Road. These are different roads with Boughton Road south of the park. We are not parking in that parking lot, thus this routing uses Boughton Hill Rd which is north of, but not touching, the park.

– Take the 1st left onto Murray Rd.
– At the T, turn right onto Town Line Rd.
– Take the 1st left onto Stirnie Rd.  The parking is on the left after 0.4 miles.

Fishers Park

We were greeted by Dave Wright of the Victor Hiking Trails group, who gave a brief description of the history and growth of Fishers Park. We filled up the parking area and discussed the only difficult section, and that all members should be able to manage in one group for the 2.8 miles with one steep hill climb.

Irondequoit Creek, Jan 2007

Irondequoit Creek, Jan 2007

Our hike started with a short walk along and across the Irondequoit Creek. followed by a boardwalk path across one of the wetland sections of the park. There are several sections of wetlands due to the many springs emerging from the ground and base of the hills. These springs are the old Genesee river returning to the surface from the gravel that the last glacier left in the river course. The former course of the Genesee came west from Rush and turned north at Fishers, carving the Irondequoit Bay on its way to the lake. After the Wisconsin glacier retreated about 12,000 years ago, the Genesee made a new course to Lake Ontario, but some of the water still flows through the glacial fill, and returns to it’s former course as the Irondequoit creek.



Gene pointed out some nightshade fruits along the boardwalk, and described them to the group. This section of the trail has reeds and cattails with some aspen growing in the swamp.

The trail led to one of the many small tributaries of the Irondequoit creek that start in the park. We meet a group with 3 Weimaraner dogs before moving on. We cross a bridge over this stream to see it’s clear fast flow over white sand, with watercress and mint growing in the stream. This stream does not freeze, and the plants stay green through the winter. There are many sections of the park that stay green due to the springwater keeping it near 40F.

Click for an interactive map of this hike.

Click for an interactive map of this hike.

The trail returns to the Irondequoit creek, to follow upstream for a short stretch. We look for salmon, but do not see any. Newton takes a plunge in the deep pool, and does not stir up any salmon either. The trail brings us to a small pond that is fed by several springs at it’s bottom, seen as deep blue holes. There are often ducks here in the winter, since this pond does not freeze, but we see none today.

Now the trail leads to a grassy meadow with some rolling hills. I describe the Nordic skiing in this section. We gather for a group photo at the iron sculpture of a heron made by artist, Wendy Rust. The trail leads to a small ridge with a bench to sit and enjoy the view over the meadow and the surrounding forest.

I show the group a large cherry tree, which contains a very active beehive, but it is too cold for bee activity today.

Now the trail leads through a mature hardwood forest with several varieties of hickory identified by Georgia. We go off the trail to look down at the wetland below. I describe this kame delta feature to the group. This is where a stream across the glacier carried a variety of sand, gravel and stones and deposited them on a delta formation on the edge of the ice sheet. When the ice sheet retreated, it left this complex of steep ridges and valleys.

We follow a gentle valley back to the wetland edge, and follow a trail to an active spring at the base of the ridge. I had to clear away the beech leaves that were hiding the spring, to reveal some red back salamanders. Char gets a close-up photo. Then we climb the steep face of the ridge. The entire group meets at the top to enjoy the view and recover from the only real challenge in the park.

The trail now leads us through some woods, which we sort of agree may be a very old apple orchard. The trail leads out to a clearing and trailhead near the tennis courts and we regroup for the final section along the creek back to out starting point. We again look for salmon, but do not see any here.