Mendon Ponds Park – Dec 2, 2012 at 1:00

This Sunday, December 2, 2012  at 1:00 (note time change) we will explore Mendon Ponds, one of Monroe County’s largest parks.  Mendon Ponds was designated a National Registry of Natural landmarks in 1969 due to its dramatic geological glacial formations including kettles, kames and eskers.  The 2,500 acre park offers many types of recreational opportunities including 30 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, boating, fishing, sledding, cross country skiing, lodges, a nature center, an injured raptor bird center called Wild Wings and a sensory garden for the disabled.

NOTE: The hike this week will start at 1:00PM rather than 2:00 to allow access to the Nature Center and Wild Wings at Mendon Ponds Park.  We will meet at the Masterson House on Junction Rd at 1:00 and then car pool to the Nature Center.  Dogs (on leashes) will only be allowed on the Climbers hike which will avoid the birds at the Nature Center.

We will meet at 1:00 at the Masterson’s Home  (Pam’s son) and site of the Golden Acres Dog Resort at 46 Junction Road (See directions). This will be the location of our after hike social enabling food to be dropped off at 12:45.  From here we will carpool to the Nature Center at Mendon Ponds where we will divide into 4 different skill or interest level groups.

Chickadee at MendonOne of the highlights of Mendon Ponds is the Bird Song trail where you can feed the black-capped chickadees right out of your hand. Sunflower seeds to feed the chickadees will be provided along with a trail map. The Flatlanders and Naturalists will begin their hike at the Nature Center area, first touring the Wild Wings Center (donation asked)as they close at 2:00, then proceed to the Bird Song trail, (all is handicap accessible) take some time to feed the birds, and continue on trails  for a 1 -3 mile hike based on ability level on the Swamp Trail, Quaker Pond Trail, or Devil’s Bathtub to view a good example of a kettle.    The trail is primarily flat and wild life populate the area in the late fall. Cole and Riley Masterson (Pam’s teenage grandsons) will demonstrate feeding the birds and assist hikers on the nearby trails.   If time permits Flatlanders may also want to drive around the park to observation points at the Hundred Acre Pond and Round Pond observing the glacial features including eskers, kames and kettles along Douglas Rd near the Round Pond area.  The park office has some models regarding glacial formations and locations of the features.

The Tourists will follow the Grasslands Trail, the Devil’s Bathtub trail and the West Esker trail for a distance of 3-4 miles with views of a Kettle (Devil’s Bathtub), an Esker, and the  Hundred Acres Pond at Hopkins Point.  This group will return to the Nature Center, taking some time to feed the chickadees at the close of their hike on the Bird Song Trail.

The Climbers will start on the same route but will proceed across the park to the East Esker Trail and the Southern Meadow Trail for a 5 to 6 mile hike.  We will see examples of Kettles, Kames and Eskers. They will exit from the Southern Meadow trail onto Mendon Center Road where a car will provide a return trip to the Masterson’s home and their cars 1.5 miles away.  (Note: the climbers should leave their cars at the Masterson’s home and take the carpools to the Nature Center).

Our optional after hike social will be at the Masterson’s home at 46 Junction Road, Honeoye Falls at 4:30.    Please bring a hearty post thanksgiving dish to pass, your preferred drink or make a $5.00 donation. A very large turkey will be provided as the main meal.

This would be a good opportunity for you to review the geology you learned back in Earth Science and in Geology 101. For additional information see the Park brochure on the Glacial Geology of Mendon Ponds Park.

Hikers who want to car pool, may meet at the Hemlock Park at 12:05 PM.  Plan to leave the parking lot promptly at 12:15 PM.  Or add a comment to this post if you are interested in car pooling from another location.