Ready to hike some trails that our group hasn’t hiked before? Better bring your camera to this one. Since we’ll be in turkey season, bright attire may be advisable.
This Sunday, we’re going to hike Sonyea State Forest in Livingston County, between Dansville and Mt. Morris. The current size is just under 1000 acres. Prior to acquisition by DEC, this area had been administered by the NYS Dept. of Mental Hygiene as an epileptic colony and state mental hospital. Many remnants of the Craig Colony, the Genesee Canal and Pennsylvania Railroad will be seen on the hike.
We will meet at 2 PM at the large parking area, on the right, about 1/2 mile inside the park entrance. Since this parking area is not well defined, we will try to get to it before 1:30, so you can look for us and our purple Mazda. From exit 6 on 390, turn right (south) on SR 36. Then, take the first right onto CR 72, aka Presbyterian Rd. Follow it around, bearing right, to Union Corners Rd. Turn right here and keep going, till our meeting spot. This last road is unpaved, with lots of potholes, making for slow going so, consider this in planning your travel time. From Springwater, you can also make your way west via Liberty Pole Rd., going straight across 36 onto CR 72. From Rochester, and points north, follow above directions from 390, exit 6.
Following a brief visit to a unique cemetary near the parking lot, we will divide into 2 speed groups. Rick will lead the ones who want to go faster and Georgia and Gene will lead the slower paced group. During our April 24 prehike, many wildflowers were starting to come out, and could be in bloom, on this day. We’ll try to identify as many as we can. Nesting birds are back and singing away. Many of them were identified by their unique song and some were seen. A beautiful garter snake was also encountered.
Our hike will take us to the western side of the forest, where we will encounter the gorge along Keshequa Creek. Within the gorge, we will see remains of the Genesee Canal and a major branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, as well as rapids and falls along the creek. Total distance, for the loop, is 3.7 miles.
After the hike, we will enjoy the return of warmer days with a picnic in the parking lot. Bring a dish to pass, or make a donation. Unlike last week, this time, all we have is a clear area so, bring folding chairs, and a table, if you have one. There are no washroom facilities, not even portable ones, but lots of trees so, if drainage is required, boys to the left and girls to the right. If the day should turn out to be a rainy one, the alternate plan is the Sunrise, in Dansville.
There has been a change of plans for our Springwater Trails maintenance day on Sunday. Last week, flooding caused quite a bit of damage around Branchport and Penn Yan, including at Camp Good Days. We have decided to travel to Camp Good Days on Sunday to help the clean up in preparation for their camping season that starts May 31.
We will plan to be at Camp Good Days at 12:30 and to work until they quit for the day around 4:00. Work will involve cleaning up debris and painting and probably other tasks to repair damage. Please bring boots for the mud and gloves. A rake or shovel would be good tools to bring, but put your name on your tools. If you wish to bring a wheel barrow, that could well be useful. A sandwich and water will help sustain you through the afternoon.
After work, we will find a place to eat before the trip home – possibly Keuka Corners Pizza on Italy Hill Rd in Branchport.
Branchport is about an hour from Springwater, so car pooling is recommended. Good points to car pool would be
Springwater Town Hall – Arrive at 11:15 and plan to leave the town hall at 11:30.
Wayland Food Mart – plan to leave at 11:35.
Eastview Mall – please RSVP to email@example.com to organize a meeting place. Plan to leave at 11:15.
Melissa’s house south of Honeoye – please RSVP to treasurer@springwatertrails.
From Wayland: Take Rt 21N to Naples. Turn right on Rt 53 S (S Main St). In 1.3 miles, turn left onto Italy Valley Rd. In 5.5 miles, bear right onto Italy Hill Turnpike. At the T, (3.0 mi) turn left onto Italy Hill Rd/Prattsburg Friend Rd. Stay on Italy Hill Rd into Branchport. Turn right onto NY 54A South. Camp Good Days is on the left 0.9 miles down 54A.
From Rochester: Take NYS Thruway to Exit 44 (Canandaigua) and proceed south on Route 332. Go through the City of Canandaigua and proceed east (left) on Routes 5 & 20 for about 8 miles. Make a right on to County Rd. 5 (there is a small green sign that will point you to Penn Yan). Continue on County Rd. 5 to Route 14A. Take Route 14A south to Penn Yan and bear right at Route 54A. Take Route 54A straight ahead to the village of Branchport. Make a left at the light in Branchport. Look for the Camp Good Days sign approximately ½ mile down the road on the left.
Alternate route according to Google and AAA: From Canandaigua, go east on Routes 5&20 for 3.3 miles. Turn right onto NY 247 for 11.1mi. Turn left ony NY 364E for 1 mi, then right onto Friend Rd. Stay on Friend Rd for 4.2 miles. Turn left onto Friend Hill Rd for 0.5 miles, then right onto Guyanogo Rd to Branchport. Continue straight ahead onto Route 54A. Look for the Camp Good Days sign approximately ½ mile down the road on the left.
Please join us on June 1, 2014 for a combo special event hike in the Town of Mount Morris and Letchworth State Park. Springwater Trails is pleased to extend an invitation to members of the Olean Area Hiking Group, the Victor Hiking Trails hikers, Crescent Trail Association hikers, and Ontario Pathways hikers to join us for the afternoon.
There are three main components to the combo special event: 1) A ranger led walking tour of the Mt Morris Dam, 2) three concurrent hikes along the Letchworth Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail, 3) an after-hike pot-luck social at the picnic shelter at the Dam Visitor Center. You and your family are invited to attend one, two or all three components of the combo hike. You may also wish to take advantage of the many other opportunities in the Mt Morris area. Check both the Mount Morris and Mt Morris websites for additional information.
S/T characteristically plans three hikes to meet the varied levels of ability and interest of hikers, including 1) an easy hike, approx up to 2 miles with no taxing hills, with a pace aimed at looking at scenery, nature, identifying plants, etc , 2) a moderate hike, approx 3-4 miles, 3) a lengthier hike, approx 5-6 miles with no bones about inclusion of very substantial hills. All groups take rest stops as assessed as needed. S/T targets hiking time duration to be in the neighborhood of 2 hours.
Hikers should meet at the Mt Morris Dam Visitor Center at 12:15 (look for the Springwater Trails hike sandwich-board sign). Hikers must complete & sign a brief waiver form as required by dam personnel before the 12:30 Dam Tour start time. At 2:00, following the dam tour, we will form three groups to hike the Finger Lakes Trail heading south from the parking lot. Since the hikes will be one-way hikes, we will arrange for car pickups back to the parking area prior to the hike. After the hikes, at about 4:00, a pot luck social will be held at a picnic shelter near the parking area. Bring a dish to pass (pot luck) or make a donation (suggested $5) to the social fund to help defray expenses, and bring a beverage of your choice. The dam tour and hike are free and are open to anyone interested, and there is no admittance fee to this part of Letchworth State Park . You do not need to be a member of Springwater Trails or any other hiking group – all are invited to attend. Although there is no requirement of advance notice to join us for this combo special event hike, we encourage an e-mail reply to assist us in planning. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to stay for the social.
To assist in planning, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the hike.
Click for Directions
This week’s hike will be on the East Ridge in Dansville and will include a hike through Whiteman Gully on Little Mill Creek. The highlight will be a beautiful waterfall on Little Mill Creek. Please plan to be there at 3:45pm so cars can be relocated for the Naturalists. More details below. NOTE: Hike starts at 4pm this week!
There will be a social event after the hike at the Rounsville’s. Jerri will prepare lasagna. Either bring a dish to pass or make a donation (suggested $5) to the social fund to help defray expenses, and bring a beverage of your choice.
Climbers/Tourists: The climbers and tourists will begin the hike at the Rounsville’s house. This hike will pass through Alexander’s tree farm and forest terrain with some of it following logging trails. The hike involves about a 200’-300’ descent to reach Whiteman Gully. After viewing the waterfall the hike will continue on to the old Dansville railroad bed for a flat walk, finishing with a medium, but long climb back up to Lafford’s house and finishing at the Rounsville’s.
Naturalists: This hike will begin at Whiteman Gully. After viewing the waterfall and the seasonal wild life plants the hike will continue on to the old Dansville railroad bed for a flat walk, finishing at the north end of the trail. There will transportation to bring the Naturists back up the hill to the social.
From Main St. in Dansville, heading south on 63 leaving town,turn left on Sahrle Hill Road for 1.3 miles. Turn left on Mendoleine Rd for 0.6mi to the top of the hill, then left on Sterner Rd until it turns into McNeil Hill Rd. Follow McNeil Hill Rd until you reach a fenced in pasture on your left. Turn in the first driveway at Maple Lane Farm. Follow the long driveway to the Rounsville’s home.
From Wayland: From Rt 15, take NY 63 North (compass direction is west) toward Dansville for 3.3 miles. Turn right on Whiteman Gully Rd for 0.8 miles and take the first right onto Mendoleine Rd. Turn left onto Sterner Rd on top of the hill. After 0.7mi, continue straight on McNeil Hill Rd until you reach a fenced in pasture on your left. Turn in the first driveway at Maple Lane Farm. Follow the long driveway to the Rounsville’s home.
From Rochester: Take I-390 South to exit 9. Turn left onto NY 15 toward Lakeville. After one mile continue straight onto NY 256 when 15 bears to the left. Follow 2565 for 19.1 miles past the full length of Conesus Lake. Turn left on Reeds Corners Rd. Take the first right on Depot Rd, then the first left on Vista Hill Rd (County Line Rd) for 1.2 miles. Take the first right on Kidd Rd and then right on McNeil Rd. Continue straight on McNeil Hill Rd until you reach a fenced in pasture on your left. Turn in the first driveway at Maple Lane Farm. Follow the long driveway to the Rounsville’s home.
On Sunday, our Trail Master, Rick, will lead Springwater Trails volunteers on cleaning up the Wheaton Hill trails for the summer season. Please come and take a hike around the four Wheaton Hill loops and help make the trails sparkle for visitors to Springwater.
The primary need is to mow the trails. Rick will bring a tractor mower that will clean up the parking area and the Spruce Loop trail on the north east side of Wheaton Hill Rd. He will then try to get around the Redbud Trail (south west of the road). The Pine Trail on the north west side is not passable for the tractor. If anyone has a smaller mower with a high blade able to avoid small rocks on the trail, please contact Rick as soon as possible. The mower needs to be able to mow grass and small roses and other prickers. And you need to be able to get it across a small gully across the trail (walls about 2 feet high). Or, if you can, bring a string weedwacker to help mow.
There are at least two logs across the Pine Trail about 3 inches in diameter – a small bow saw should be sufficient. There is also one large leaner across the trail which we will not try to remove.
And, clippers for the roses will be useful on all of the trails, although hard work last year means that the roses no longer get in the way of hiking these trails. You may find some that need trimming before the get out into the trail, or you may choose to attach a large bush at the side of the trail. Clippers and gloves are very important for this work – if you always keep the bush away from your arms and legs you can avoid scratches, and more importantly, poison ivy which seems to like the roses. Plan to wash your cloves and any other clothes that may have touched the poison ivy.
Directions: Wheaton Hill is the first right turn north of the intersection of Rt 15 and Rt 15A in Springwater (0.9 mile north of the intersection). The trail head is 0.5 miles up Wheaton Hill just before the road turns straight east and heads up the main hill. More details are on the directions page.
What to bring:
- If you have a trail mower, contact our Trail Master before Sunday.
- Gloves and clippers – hand clippers or long handled loppers if you want to attack a large rose bush.
- Small bow saw.
- Plastic grocery bag in case you find any litter.
- Water to keep hydrated.