Hemlock Lake – Eastern Shoreline

Last Sunday we broke our chain of rainy hikes, and with a wonderful fall hike along the shoreline of Hemlock Lake.

There were six naturalist who hiked along the north boatlaunch trail and the adjoining shoreline.  Gene indicated he did not find any mushrooms, however they found witch hazel and identified different kinds of trees.  I found a giant puffball but following DEC rules and regulations for state forest did not pick it.  I also found what I thought were shaggy manes, so I was pleased when Gene confirmed the identification.

It was impossible to miss the incredible amount of crunchy zebra mussels exposed along about 2-3 feet of shoreline.

According to the City of Rochester, the lake level is low due to a lack of rain this summer.  It will be interesting to see if it helps with killing off the zebra mussells.  It would also be interesting to know if there has been an increase in Kodak usage or demands for watering lawns in Rochester, or a new policy to ultimately lower the levels of the lakes.

13 hikers  walked entire shoreline, north boat launch to south boat launch, a distance of about  6 miles which was completed in slightly less than 3 hours.

When the climbers reached the south boat launch, the lack of water was clear all across the inlet.

Chuck met the hikers with the red Sugarbus and crammed all hikers and dogs for a return trip back to the cars at the North Boat Launch.

Three lonely touristy women grazed the shoreline and north boat launch trail for a about a 4 miles hike.  We photographed the lake, felt a strong wind pick up and were concerned for those that might be in the middle of the lake in kayaks or canoes. We stood where we haven’t been before because of the water level, searched for artifacts,  and hiked to the cliffs where I speculate the Legend of Onnolee (about 1350) took place on Bald Hill.  We talked about the poet W. S. Hosmer’s legend of Onnolee and read the lyrics of a song written by Joe Crookston at the point where we suspect Onnolee jumped from a crag overlooking the lake.  Since there is no crags on Canadice Lake that we know of (maybe there were  more 760 years ago) and since the water level on Hemlock Lake beneath the cliffs isn’t very deep, we are almost sure Onnolee met her death on Hemlock Lake, although the Legend notes Canadice Lake.  Look for the Full Moon this month, when the spirit of Onnolee is predicted to hover over the lake.

Lastly 17 hikers joined for a social at the Hemlock Grill.  The hamburg was the best I have ever had.  Thanks to Todd Emerson and his sister Melissa, we were well taken care of.

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