Maintaining the Bristol Trail, Tuesday, August 4, 8 AM

Did you enjoy the neat hike on the Bristol Trail on July 19?  Did you notice the work that’s needed to make it into a real neat trail, friendly not only for hikers, but also for the Twisted Branch mega marathon runners on August 29, many of whom will be entering this part of the trail in the dark?

So, grab your work gloves, loppers, weed eaters, bowsaws, etc. and join us on Tuesday, August 4 or, if it’s raining, the following day.  We’re starting at 8 AM, so we can get done before it gets too hot.  We’re meeting at the picnic tables outside Bob and Ruth’s in Naples, to plan our workday.  You can get a cup of joe, or anything else you’d like, from their fine breakfast menu.  Most important, you can use their plumbing facilities, to start out with an empty storage tank.  Donna Noteware is meeting us there, to get us access to the middle of the trail, through Longsdorf Rd.  This is where those omnipresent multiflora roses are constantly encroaching on the trail

Hope to see you there.  Let’s show how nice our organization can make this trail for our hikers and runners.

Hike review, May 10, 2015

On this Mother’s Day date, we went to a new location for our group.  Mossy Bank Park is located on a hill south of Bath.  Randy Weidner, and his wife, Cathy, a retired physician and amateur naturalist and one of the park’s directors, were our hosts.  The day was partly cloudy and in 80s.

After a few minutes to tour the nature center, we began our hike on the overlook road.  When we arrived at the shed overlooking the Cohocton River and Village of Bath, Randy explained what we were able to see.  From there, we proceeded to what is now, the park’s big attraction.

In the valley west of the park, for the past 7 years, a pair of bald eagles have built a nest in a tall oak tree. Eagles primarily eat fish and can apparently get plenty from the nearby Cohocton River.  From an overlook ledge, visitors can view the nest from above.  Randy set up a spotting scope, to give us a close up view.  On this day, 2 chicks had recently hatched and were still in the fuzzy downy stage.  One of them raised his head up.  One of the parents was nearby, with dark body and white head and tail, giving us a good view that our national emblem is recovering and doing well.

After this, Randy led the main group along some of the new trails for a steep and lengthy hike.  I led a few on the established trails to the northeast corner, and back to the nature center.  Many dead branches were observed on some of the hemlock trees, probably due to infestation of invasive woolly adelgids, which were discovered earlier.  The diagnostic white ovisacs are not visible this time of the year.  Our after hike social was held inside the nature center.

I know all of you join me in expressing our gratitude to Randy and Cathy for their gracious hospitality.  We’ll probably see Randy again on September 6, at Katherine’s tree farm, where we will do a combination hike and mushroom hunt, and Randy will identify the mushrooms that we find.

Mossy Bank Park is open between May and October.  In the comment section below, express your thoughts about this park and hike and let us know if you think we should plan a return hike there on a future date.  If you couldn’t go to this hike and would like to go and see the eagles, of if you did, and would like to go again to see the chicks develop, you can let me know and, if I can, I’ll go with you.

Please note that there are still 4 open dates on the summer hike schedule, in July and August.  If you’re not listed to lead a hike, and would like to take us to one of your favorite hiking trails, we would love to go with you.  Remember that, if we don’t get a hike leader, no hike will be held on that date.

Erie Canal towpath, Sunday, March 22

081Following a successful pancake day at Stony Ridge Maple Farm, that helped raise usful funds for our organization, 8 hikers and 2 dogs assembled at nearby West Wayne Plaza at the east end of Macedon, for our Sunday afternoon hike, this day on the towpath that was constructed alongside the Erie Canal for mules to tow the merchandise laden barges.  Temp was in the cool 20s, sky was clear, and a moderate wind was blowing from the west.  There was a couple of inches of fresh snow that had fallen that morning.  Previous snow had melted, on most of the path that we hiked.

082Crossing SR 31, hikers reached the towpath, on the south side of the canal.  A 4 mile hike was planned, going east, toward Palmyra, and back.  Georgia drove her car to the parking lot at the Yellow Mill Restaurant, and walked west to join the group, so that hikers, who didn’t want to do all 4 miles, would have the option of hiking a little over half. The first mile was fairly open.  Then we encountered some low shrubbery including roses, raspberries and invasive swallowort.  After crossing Yellow Mill Rd., we encountered areas of deep snow, that hadn’t previously melted.  Our destination was our first canal lock, and the park next to it.  Several signs were present, relating some of the history of the Erie Canal.  The group was favorable to the idea of scheduling a towpath hike during the summer, where biking and kayaking options could be offered, concluding the day utilizing the picnic table pavilion and restrooms, in the park.

083We turned back west.  3 hikers ended at Yellow Mill Rd., and rode back to the start. The other 5 hiked back there, making a 4 mile hike.  4 of us went to the Macedon Hills Family Restaurant for dinner.

Hike, snowshoe or ski Ontario Pathways, Sunday, February 8, 2 PM

This Sunday, we will be hiking the west end of the Ontario Pathways Rail Trail, in Canandaigua.  An invitation was issued to OP members to join us on this hike.  If this flat, old railroad bed, trail is snow covered this Sunday, (if the little varmint saw his shadow, last Monday) it will make a great XC ski mid winter hike.  It can also be done on snowshoes or waterproof hiking boots with traction devices attached.

We will meet at 2 PM at the parking lot on Ontario St., at the west end of the trail.  Going north on Main St. in Canandaigua, turn right on Ontario, till you reach the parking lot, on your left, right after the railroad crossing.  I will check the Springwater Town Hall parking lot at 1, to see if anyone would like to carpool.  If you do, get there before 1.

From the meeting area, we will form carpools to the starting points.  There will be a long hike, about 4 miles, from Freshour Rd., and a short hike, about 2 miles, from the Ontario County Fairgrounds, on CR 10.  All hikes will end at 4, at the meeting place.

For those who believe that a good hike should be followed by a good beer, the optional after hike social will be at the Beehive Tavern on Niagara St., 1 block south of Ontario.  We’ve been there before and enjoyed a selection from their wide assortment of tasty brews and good food menu.

Couple of other events, this month:

Saturday, Feb. 7, 5 PM, Castle at Highland Park, Rochester.  RAMA (Rochester Mushroom Club) dinner.  We’ve enjoyed some joint ventures with this club and learned allot about mushrooms.  Members will prepare dishes using wild mushrooms collected last summer and frozen or dried (including Georgia’s black trumpet pate).  Bring a dish to pass (doesn’t have to be mushroom), and slippers to wear, inside.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 10 AM, Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Ave.  Celebrate Valentine’s Day by bringing your hiking valentine to the Hiker’s Jamboree.  It’s an assemblage of hiking groups, in the Rochester area, and we should be there too, with our literature and schedule.

Anyone interested in arranging carpools to these, contact me at