Thanksgiving Vacation – No hike November 30.

Thank you for checking the Springwater Trails website. Generally Springwater Trails leads a two hour hike starting at 2:00PM on Sunday,  (during the months of June, July and August, we start at 4:00) and this spot provides details about the hike.  We are taking this week off to enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend.

You can keep up with our planning for the Winter Season of Springwater Trails hikes.  Check on the preliminary schedule.  If you want to help plan a hike this winter please contact our Winter Hike Coordinator at [email protected].

Springwater Trails is building a public hiking trail around the town of Springwater.  We are setting up a committee chaired by our Trail Master, Rick Henchen, to plan the details of this trail and to work with the DEC, and with other landowners in Springwater to continue the work on this trail.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact us at [email protected].

Finally, please check back here next week for information about our hike at Stony Brook Park.

Trail Building – Schribner Rd (42.605,-77.541513) – November 23 @ 2:00PM

This Sunday is a trail building date for Springwater Trails.  We will continue the work done from Schribner to Giles in September when rain and the threat of more rain caused the climbing crew to retreat from the far hill.


SchribnerJPGMost of this trail goes through forest, which means that clearing of fallen branches is a constant part of trail maintenance.  Bring loppers for small trees and branches, and gloves for hauling branches off of the trail.  Check the weather for appropriate foot wear but expect to complete a three mile hike with a climb of 260ft up and back down.

IMG_0708WWe will split into two groups to hike the trail from each end.  The climbers will start from the house, walk the beautiful new trail that was cut into the hill in September, then across the creek and up the hill.  The new trail begins where the orange tags leave the logging road half-way up the hill.  At the top of the hill, the trail crosses through the hardwood forest until it heads back down to the stream and out to the road.

The tourist group will carpool up Giles Rd to the other end of the trail.  After a stroll down to the creek, this group will start clearing trail while headed up to the top of the hill.  This will be the most challenging part of the hike, as the group looks for, and critiques the switch backs that Rick and Mark laid out.

Both groups will appoint a recorder and will carry yellow caution tape to be used to mark parts of the trail needing summer work to improve the experience.

IMG_0531When the two groups meet, they will be able to choose a central route back to the house, or they may continue to inspect the work of the other group on the main trail.  During the social at the house, the groups will report on their suggestions for the trail.  Please bring a dish to pass and your own beverage.  Coffee and tea will also be available.

Check the website for updates prior to the hike, so you will know the status of Schribner Rd and the snow.

Directions: During the winter, please approach from Tabors Corners, since the west ends of Giles Rd and Schribner Rd are both closed in the winter.  Good directions are available here. You may park on the road near the Giles/Schribner intersection or in the driveway, depending on the amount of snow we have this week.




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.





Help wanted

Are you looking for a working vacation with lots of time outdoors?  Katherine sent out the help wanted add below.  Take a look, this may be just what you want for the week before Thanksgiving.

  • Strong
  • Healthy
  • Reliable
individuals who like to work outside on a tree farm, including the ability to
  • Carry
  • Bale
  • Load
Christmas trees for 5 days

Nov. 20 (Th), 21 (F), 24 (M), 25 (Tu), 26 (W)

(585) 669-2659
All Western Evergreen Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm
6840 Liberty Pole Road – County Road 38
Springwater, NY 14560


Katherine explains:

We work 8 to 5 and come in for lunch for an hour 12 to 1.  Ahead of time, everyone comes for an interview and we find out their background, have them fill in the required papers if they indicate interest.  Our wages are minimum, but our routine is not hard, and once they work here, they come back.

The work is hard, cold, heavy, and dangerous if people don’t work together lifting the big trees.  We need to be careful not to break any tree tops.  We can’t drag trees in the mud; obvious, but not so easy to do when there is mud all around.  We never know what the weather will be.  One year we even had to use brooms to sweep the snow off the trees and the snow was so deep the tree would not fall down even when it was cut!  Trees full of snow are very heavy and hard to move.  We work in all kinds of weather and pray a lot.
We work like this:  1 person has the list of trees for a particular order and where they are located (Lot, row #, tree #) and spots them, a couple of people stand by the marked trees until the person with the chain saw cuts the tree (trees are cut with a chain saw by a person that knows all about sawing down trees).  Then the folks standing by the tree, hold it while it is being cut, then they drag the tree to the lanes where a person driving the truck with the baler comes down through, the tree string baler is used to bundle the trees, and the baled trees are laid back down in piles neatly along the lanes until after the wagon on the back of the tractor comes down through, and the baled trees are loaded on the basket wagons, standing up so as to fit more trees on the wagon and to have people stand on the wagon floor they are more secure.  Every so often a rope or chain is put across from side to side to keep the trees standing up and not sliding down.  In this scenario, 2 people stand on the ground and pick up a tree and hand it to 2 people on the wagon who stack them standing up, and the fifth person is driving the tractor.  This is why we need a minimum of 5 people working at a time.  Jerrianne is generally the tractor driver, my son-in-law Stephen the truck driver, Mark Kiester is the chain saw person, my brother Laurent from Iowa is the “go for” person.  The person putting the tree into the baler cone is the counter (The person we had doing this 10 or so years moved to Mississippi this year and is not coming back.)  The counter has to come out the same as what the load should be out of each lot for a particular order, and then the counter for loading the trees on the wagon, so when the trees are again counted as they are loaded out onto the customers trucks, everything jives!  We cannot make any mistakes on the numbers or on the particular trees that have been selected by the customer weeks ago with me.  The counter is a very important person and has to be good at numbers, and keeping accurate count.  The baler has a counter on it.  We also have counters you hold in you hand and click for every one.  Over the years, I have done all the jobs, except chain sawing and loading, driving tractor with wagon or truck with baler.  Since 2000, Jerrianne has not let me work outside in the fields any more, so I stay inside and make lunch and take care of set-up and clean-up and this will fall to Isabel when I am gone, so I making sure she knows how to do these things around the house.  I have done the grocery shopping, the laundry and the housekeeping and enjoy it.  In between, I work on decorating wreaths, making garland, kissing balls, or centerpieces.  These items, too, Isabel is learning.  Cutting greens is a never ending business at this time of year.