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Celebrate The 20th Anniversary Of Wesley Hill Becoming A Nature Preserve!

Spring is here!, and it is time to get outside.  The Finger Lakes Land Trust is sponsoring a volunteer opportunity at Wesley Hill. This is an opportunity for Springwater Trails to say thank you to one of our popular hike locations.

Wesley Hill is one of FLLT’s most iconic nature preserves, and on Monday, May 20th, it will be turning 20 years old!  If you have never visited our westernmost preserve, this is your chance!  Wesley Hill is full of beautiful vistas, gorges, and old growth trees. 

Please join me on Saturday the 18th to help refresh the hiking trails and clear a short reroute, as well as conduct habitat management.  At the end of the day, we will raise a glass of something bubbly to a magnificent place that is protected forever.  Tools, work gloves, and refreshments (including N/A options), will be provided.  We will meet at 11:00am at the WESLEY RD. parking area.  Directions can be found here.

Original email from:
Jason Gorman, Nature Preserve Manager
Finger Lakes Land Trust
202 E. Court Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


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Mother’s Day Hiking, Biking and/or Bird Watching Among the Virginia Bluebells at Mertensia Park

UPDATE: Since the forecast for Sunday afternoon is cool and rainy, the after-hike dish-to-pass social will be at Gene and Georgia’s townhouse in Collett Woods, only a few miles north of Mertensia Park. See directions below.  Hiking and birding will proceed as planned (let’s hope the birds cooperate), but please dress for cooler and wet conditions.

Farmington’s Mertensia Park is one of the area’s most reliable spots for enjoying the Virginia Bluebells growing wild in the woods along Mud Creek, usually peaking around Mother’s Day. Join us, and bring along a Mom!  There are options ranging from a leisurely stroll to a longer hike or bike ride along the Auburn Trail, which abuts the Park.

Naturalists and birders will accompany Gene Binder through the woods of Mertensia Park and perhaps up along the Auburn Trail, in pursuit of spring migratory birds. Bring your binoculars for the best bird viewing.

Tourists and Climbers will explore the roughly 1.3 mile trail through the park woods, and then head west along the Auburn Trail toward Victor, turning around to return at their discretion.  The distance to the former freight depot at Maple Street is 2.6 miles;  Tourists may wish to turn back earlier. A section of about .3 miles is a detour along East Victor Road and the Break of Day Road; all sections including the road walking are well marked and level, with a well drained walking and riding surface.  Hikers also have the option of exploring the Auburn Trail going east toward Canandaigua – a new section of trail recently completed (almost) by the Town of Farmington.

If conditions permit, cyclists will also follow the Auburn Trail toward Victor, following the .3 mile detour at East Victor Road and then a 1 mile detour through the village on Avenue, School Street and Rawson Road before returning to the rail trail.  The turning point will be in 7 miles at the Thruway underpass, with its railroad-themed mural, for a total ride of 14 miles. The 1841 Cobblestone Railroad Pumphouse at Fishers is an interesting stop along the way.  There will be time to explore the bluebell trail in Mertensia Park at the end of the ride.

Social – Please join us for a dish-to-pass social at 6218 Silver Birch Drive, in the Collett Woods townhouse complex in Farmington – see below for directions from the park.

Directions to the site:

From Springwater:   Follow Route 15A north to Honeoye Falls, turning right on West Main Street just west of the Village. At the center of Honeoye Falls, turn right at the traffic light on East Street, which becomes Boughton Hill Road. Follow Boughton Hill Road 11.6 miles, passing Ganondagan. After East Victor Road, make a left on Mertensia Road. Mertensia Park is on your left, just over the hill.

From Rochester: Take Route 490 and the NYS Thruway to Exit 44, Farmington. Go 1.4 mile south on Route 332 and turn right on Route 96.  In another .4 miles turn left on Mertensia Road.  Mertensia Park entrance will be in .6 miles on your right.

From Honeoye or points along Routes 5&20 east or west:  Head toward Bloomfield and go north on Route 444 toward Victor. At Boughton Hill Road, go right for 2.3 miles and take a left on Mertensia Road.  Park will be on your left in .1 mile.

DIRECTIONS TO THE SOCIAL: From the Mertensia Park entrance, go left (north) on Mertensia Road, and go 1.1 miles, passing through the intersection with Route 96, and enter the Collett Woods complex on the right. Follow the entry road until it comes to a T, with the office and pool ahead of you. Park by the pool and walk to the west and then around the corner to #6218 on the left.

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Wesley Hill Preserve, from Wesley Road:  42.72766,-77.4848

This Sunday we will return to an old SWT favorite – the Finger Lakes Land Trust’s Wesley Hill Nature Preserve.  Wesley Hill is a Finger Lakes Land Trust property of 390 acres including stands of northern hardwoods, red and white pines, a woodland pond, and the northern edge of Briggs Gully, as well as the Wenrich Cabin, set in an old forest overlooking the gully, deep in the woods.  A network of trails through the preserve offers excellent hiking routes of various lengths and levels of difficulty.

Look like a beautiful day for a hike. Wesley Hill is somewhat muddy, wear good boots and poles. Also the black flies are numerous and the ticks are presents. Please take appropriate cautions. Come out and enjoy the day.

The preserve was founded in 1999 by the generous donation of 90 acres by the children of three artists – John Wenrich, James Havens and Colburn Dugan – to the Finger Lakes Land Trust. Since that time, the Land Trust has expanded Wesley Hill to over 390 acres through the purchase or donation of four additional parcels.

We will meet at 1:45 and start our hikes at 2 PM at the Wesley Road parking lot.     Click here for map:    Wesley Hill from Wesley Rd

NATURALISTS will take the yellow trail, keeping to the left at the open field.  This trail will then T at the red trail.  Turn right to the Wenrich cabin, then turn back back on the red and yellow trails and back to Wesley Road. (Estimated distance – 1.5 miles)

TOURISTS will take the yellow trail to the red trail and turn left, following the red trail to pond.  Make a right on the green trail,  then another right along the other side of the red trail, down to the stream crossing (descent rope assisted), up to the cabin, and back to Wesley Road by the red and yellow trails.  (Estimated distance – 4 miles)

CLIMBERS will take the yellow trail and go right on the blue trail at the open field, to explore the western end of the property.  From the Wenrich Cabin, follow the red trail down to cross the stream and climb back up with the rope assist. Continue on red trail, turning left on green trail, left again on the red trail to the pond, continue on the red trail to the yellow trail and back to the start at Wesley Road. (Estimated distance 4.7 miles)

Following the hike, the optional social will be at the Honeoye Boat House Grill behind Trident Marina, 5226 East Lake Rd, Honeoye.

Directions to Wesley Road Trail Head:

From Honeoye take route 20A east through Honeoye to East Lake Road (CR-33).  Turn right onto East Lake Road.  Take first left, staying on CR33, then the first right onto Pinewood Hill which becomes Gulick Road.  Travel 3.4 miles, then turn right onto Wesley Road.  Parking area is on the right side in one mile.

From Springwater Head north on Rt 15A toward Hemlock.  Just before Hemlock turn right on Rt 20A.  Follow Rt 20A to Honeoye and the follow directions above.

From Naples From the southern end of Naples, head west on Co Rd 36.  Follow Co Rd 36 for 1.2 miles to the first right turn on Gulick Road.  Follow Gulick Rd for 8.4 miles and turn left on Wesley Rd.  The parking area is on the right in one mile.

Directions to Honeoye’s Boat House Grill:

From Wesley Rd Turn left and head north on Gulick Rd for 3.3 miles.  The road bears left and becomes Pinewood Hill Road.  At the stop sign, turn left to stay on Pinewood Hill Rd (CR33).  In 0.4 miles, turn left on East Lake Road.  In 0.8 miles, turn right onto Deyo Dr at the sign for Trident Marina.  The Honeoye Boat House Grill is about 150 feet down toward the lake.