Learning about birds, Sunday, May 7

On Sunday, May 7, our hike will be a joint one with Victor Hiking Trails, in Victor, closer to my new home area.  Our Mr. happiness-in-hiking is the able planner and you will shortly see more details about the hike from him.  Basically, 2 hikes will be offered.  We will offer our usual vigorous workout and, the more leisurely choice will be a nature walk in a beautiful bluebird sanctuary.  While I am listed as this group leader, I am fortunate to be joined by one or two gentlemen who have extensive experience and knowledge about local birds.  If you plan to choose this hike, bring a pair of binoculars, if you can.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to learn about birds, this is the best time of the year to do it, for the following reasons:

  1. Migratory birds are returning from their winter sites and can be seen, whether they’re in the process of courting and building nests, or passing through to breeding sites further north.
  2. The cocks have their colorful breeding plumage, to attract the hens, making it easier to see, and identify the gender.  After the breeding season, many cock’s plumage becomes more drab.
  3. The cocks are also singing, to proclaim their breeding territory, and attract hens.  Many bird songs are unique and they can be identified by their song, even if they can’t be seen.  With the leaves being back on the trees, seeing them can be more difficult.

Get Ready to Explore the Empire State Trail

If you attended the Springwater Trails Annual Meeting in March, you heard all about the plans to complete the Empire State Trail. On April 14, I received an update from the NYS Office of Parks.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to create the 750-mile Empire State Trail was approved in the 2017-18 State Budget. The state will develop 350 miles of new trail to complete the Erie Canalway and the Hudson River Valley Greenway trails to create the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. The statewide pathway for hiking and biking will help visitors and tourists explore scenic vistas and charming, historic communities. The Empire State Trail would span from the New York Harbor up through the Adirondack Mountains to the Canadian border – and from the shores of Lake Erie along the historic Erie Canal to the heart of the Capital Region.

 Read more

You can subscribe to the NYS Parks newsletter or read it on-line.

The Genesee Valley Greenway 2017 Passport Series

The Genesee Valley Greenway (GVG) Passport Hike Series for 2017 will be held on the second Saturday morning each month April through October.
The GVG is a linear state park which approximately follows the alignment of the former Genesee Valley Canal. Following closure of the canal the traverse (mostly the towpath of the canal) would subsequently become the bed of the Genesee Valley Canal Railroad which eventually became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system. In the years after the abandonment of nearly all that railroad alignment there became impetus to utilize the alignment as a multi-use trail. Through cooperative efforts among a number of groups/organizations/and individuals that impetus became reality, and eventually the GVG became a state park.

HIKE DATES AND LOCATIONS FOR 2017

Saturday, April 8th, 2017 – Hike #1. Genesee Valley Park to Scottsville Rd (Rt. 383), City of Rochester, Chili, Monroe County, 2.5 miles. Easy, gentle rolling trail with paved surface.

Saturday, May 13th, 2017 – Hike #2. Brook Rd to Black Creek, Chili, Monroe County, 3.7 miles. Easy, flat trail with cinder surface. Includes double-arched Genesee Valley Canal culvert (aka aqueduct).

Saturday, June 10th, 2017 – Hike #3. Brook Rd to Morgan Rd, Chili, Monroe County, 4.3 miles. Easy, flat trail with cinder surfacing. Includes Genesee Valley Canal Lock #2.

Saturday, July 8th, 2017 – Hike #4. Quaker Rd (Rt 251) to Lehigh Valley Trail, Wheatland, Monroe County, 3.1 miles. Easy, flat trail with a mixed surface. Includes bridge and abutments for Lehigh Valley Black Diamond Railroad trestle.

Saturday, August 12th, 2017 – Hike #5. Fowlerville Rd (northward) to Lock #5, York, Livingston County, 2.7 miles. Easy, flat trail with a mixed surface. Includes stone remaining from Genesee Valley Canal Lock #5.  (Includes unique short section of trail surface composed of very thick layer of stone dust topper, laid early ~ 2016, … unique in that is cushioning/easy on a hiker’s joints.)

Saturday, September 9th, 2017 – Hike #6. York Landing (northward) to Fowlerville Rd, York, Livingston County, 3.1 miles. Easy, flat trail with a mixed surface. Includes former canal turning basins and views of the Genesee River.

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 – Hike #7. Cuylerville to Piffard, Leicester and York, Livingston County, 3.5 miles. Includes canal-era tavern and large ponds popular with birders.

The Genesee Valley Greenway Passport

Since 2014, the Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway (FOGVG) and State Parks staff have teamed up with Wegmans’ to offer a series of Greenway hikes which a trail visitor can “register” in special passport booklets, available at Wegmans’ stores. 14 plaques set atop 4 by 4 posts are located throughout the Greenway, Hikers can make a rubbing in their passport booklet on the page for the particular hike. The posts are coordinated with maps and descriptions of the hikes listed in the passport.

Each person who uses a passport to complete at least six of the listed hikes is eligible to be entered in a drawing to receive a coupon redeemable for Wegmans’ brand products. The annual drawing is held the first Saturday in May at the FOGVG I Love My Park Day event.

Participants who complete at least ten Greenway hikes may enter an annual grand prize drawing for a free Empire Passport, provided by FOGVG. The Empire Passport enables free vehicle access to all participating NYS Parks for one year.

Hikers may enjoy the trail at any time, or may join an organized hike group. Check the Springwater Trails calendar, the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park events, and other hiking group calendars.

Ask for a GVG State Park Passport at: Wegmans’ store in Rochester, Geneseo and Hornell; Letchworth State Park Administration Building; Mount Morris Dam Visitor Center; and Livingston Chamber of Commerce Tourist Information Office.