While the ice fishermen are now out on the northern sections of Honeoye and Conesus Lakes, hikers continue to explore the trails around the partially frozen deeper waters of Canadice and Hemlock Lake. The Canadice Outlet creek is low, snow covered, and the ice can be thin due to the almost invisible flowing waters beneath. In addition the steep gullies can also be slippery with 2 inches of light fluffy snow covering leaves. Although the scene is a winter wonderland, hikers should exercise caution when traveling in this area this time of year.
With 5 degree weather, 16 hikers were prepared with warm clothing, poles, and ice clamps to drop into the snow covered gully and explore the state forest and creek. The Hemlock trees were outstanding and many animal tracks were identified, including fox and coyote. We first visited the remains of the old Adam mill and pondered upon the natural oxbow, once upon log dam, and hand built raceway that powered the sawmill in the 1800’s. Proceeding north along the ridge of the creek, some hikers stopped a few times to drop down (or slide down) into the creek bed area, being careful to watch their footing as the up and down climbs were somewhat slippery.
At one point 4 brave soles attempted to cross the creek in a somewhat shallow area with thin ice. Using their poles to tap the ice, as well as dog scouts, all but one hiker managed to cross the creek without going through the ice. Luckily the “hole” was only a few inches deep and no one had to be rescued, just one wet boot. During the rest of the year, there are known locations on the creek that can be as much as 5 ft deep. The creek can also be difficult to identify as it is snow covered.
Everyone warmed themselves by the wood stove with the cute little kittens for the after hike social. Bean soup, homemade applesauce, vegetable casserole, and a winter vegetable/sausage penne, as well as desserts were enjoyed by all. Thanks to Tadd for helping to prepare the delicious meal and joining us with his girlfriend Jenn, and a warm welcome to our new hikers from Bristol. Farewell to Marty as he leaves for Mexico, Pati to Arizona, and other hikers that just can’t take our cold climate anymore! For those that stay in this single digit frigid weather, keep the fires burning, make new soups, cuddle up, or go skiing. One has to wonder if New Yorkers are beginning to live like those in Alaska?