Erie Railroad

Springwater from Livingston county atlas 1872Over 25 hikers attended the Springwater Trails hike on the old railroad bed between Becker Road and Depot Road in the southwest corner of Springwater.  This hike was followed by our Holiday Social at All Western Evergreen Farm.

The Rochester Branch of the Erie Railroad ran from Corning to Rochester, through Wayland, Springwater, Livonia and Avon. The map above is from Atlas of Livingston Co. New York published by F. W. Beers & Co., 1872, and shows the route of the railroad through Springwater. You can click on the map to see a higher resolution image.

IMG_1139 We started on Becker Rd and hiked through section 187 on the map and the north end of Lawrence Gull.  The old railroad bed is on private property, and Rick was able to get permission from the various land owners, making this a very special hike.

The railroad bed runs along the side of the hill between Lawrence Gull and Harpers Ferry Roads.  The bed is on a level route about 1400ft above sea level, but the land is much more interesting, with gullys filled in for the railroad and cuts through the hill.  With no leaves on the trees, the forests were open for us to see.

IMG_1137This rail bed would definitely make a wonderful part of the Springwater Trail.  This hike has encouraged us to pursue this possibility. Any landowners interested in allowing Springwater Trails, Inc. to mark a trail open to the public, please contact us for more information.

The Climbers started hiking at the McTighe pond, and climbed out of the valley to the rail bed. The McTighes have graciously allowed our group to hike on the rail bed in the past, and they remember freight trains passing through Springwater. After hiking to the northern-most point of the hike, the climbers turned around and met the Tourists.  The dogs were excited to say hello.

IMG_1140 GroupJoin us next Sunday at Harriet Hollister Spencer Recreation Area. Days are getting longer already, so next Sunday sunset is 4 minutes later than this past hike (note that the day is only 1 minute longer, because sunrise is also later).


Finger Lakes Trail – Letchworth Branch

IMG_1124 (Medium)Thanks to John’s hike planning and his influence with the weather, we enjoyed a great hike along the  top of the Letchworth Gorge and in the forest and gulleys above the gorge.

The hikes were mostly on well maintained dry trail, which was newly blazed and marked with mile markers.  Near the end of the tourist’s hike, we did run into some wet mud, which Duffy thought was great.

The Climbers carpooled from the Mt Morris Dam parking area to Access Pt D on River Rd.  From there, they hiked about 5 miles back to the Dam.

IMG_1845The Tourists carpooled to Hog’s Back Overlook, and hiked south to Access Pt D.  At the halfway point, we met the climbers and got the keys to their cars, for the ride back.  The Tourists started with a good view of the gorge at Hog’s Back, and then went by four more vantage points, with each view getting more interesting. Duffy was very good about not chasing any animals over the edge of the gorge, because Pati said she wasn’t going down to rescue him.

IMG_1134 (Medium)Meanwhile, the Naturalists left from the Dam and hiked out past Hog’s Back and then turned around and returned to the cars.

IMG_1135 (Medium)This was definitely a winter hike, with no undergrowth or leaves blocking our views.  We all enjoyed the various trees that we passed, including this old man’s face taken by Char. Be sure to look at Tony’s pictures posted in the Springwater Trails group on Facebook..

Following the hike, ten hikers met at the Charred American Grill in Mt Morris for burgers and beer – including a delicious Black Bean Burger that Pati enjoyed.