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Hike and Paddle at Hemlock Lake

It was a glorious day to be outdoors, on the final day of June.  An even dozen gathered at Hemlock Lake to enjoy the cool, sunny weather and were rewarded.  We had our usual hiking groups.  Four hardy hikers walked the length of the lakeshore then climbed through the woodlands on Rob’s Trail, for an impressive 4.25 miles.  Another four motored up to Rob’s Trail trailhead and worked their way back to the boat launch.  In this group we welcomed two new hikers, who appeared to enjoy the outing and the easy going group of Tourists.  Two folks took the Naturalist. route along the DEC trail, out and back to the boat launch, which was a hefty 3.5 miles.  From the bench at the terminus of this trail, they spotted and waved at the paddlers out on the lake.  Only 2 kayakers ventured out on Hemlock Lake for 4 + miles of paddling.  At they headed across the lake, an eagle appeared, swooping along the western shore.  That was a good omen.  The breeze pushed them swiftly down the lake, yet was not too much of a hindrance on the crossover or the upwind part of the loop.  It was a decent workout.

A delicious picnic supper, awaited the group as they returned to Hemlock Park.  It was a perfect evening, weather wise.  Everyone remarked or the variety and quality of the culinary offerings.  (Nutritious and delicious!)  It was a top notch day at Hemlock Lake.  Thank you to all who participated.

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Fairport Canal Paddle, Hike, or Bike

This week Springwater Trails will return to the Erie Canal for a walking, biking, or kayaking tour of the Erie Canal through Fairport, NY. The Town of Perinton was established by the New York Legislature in 1812. When the Erie Canal opened in 1823 the hamlet of Perrinsville grew steadily around the “fair port” on the canal that marked the east side of the crossing of the Irondequoit Creek. The hamlet was incorporated as Fairport in 1867.

All hikers, bikers and boaters will meet at the boat launch on Ayrault  Road. Please arrive early to allow time to unload boats and bikes and to park your cars in the boat launch lot. We will start the hike promptly at 4:00. Following the hike, you are invited to join us at Mulconry’s Irish Pub and Grill at 17 Liftbridge Ln E in Fairport for dinner and socializing.

In order to free up parking spaces for boaters at the boat launch, Hikers will carpool to the Fairport end of the trail. (see directions below). This hike will be an out and back, so please keep track of time. From the parking lot, head west on the Canal. Hikers will go under the lift bridge (note that the bridge is higher on one end – I think it is the only lift bridge that isn’t level). Next you will pass Erie Boat Rentals where you can rent kayaks and bikes for $21 for 2 hours. A mile down the trail is Perinton Park with swings and benches to rest. Continuing under Fairport Rd (NY 31F), the Fairport Crew Club docks will be on your left. Continue on toward Ayrault Rd until about 5:20, at which point hikers should turn around and head back to the cars and the social.

Boaters will put in at the boat launch and head north toward Fairport. In a half mile, you will see an oxbow to the right – a couple of islands with the original creek bed around them. Enjoy exploring this little harbor. Another mile ahead, you will pass under Fairport Rd (31F). The Fairport Crew Docks are on the left before the bridge, and Perinton Park is also on the left just after the bridge. The total distance to Main St in Fairport is 2.5 miles, a pleasant trip that can be completed out and back in 2 hours. However, all boaters should turn around shortly after 5:00, planning to arrive back at the boat launch at 6:00.

Bikers will ride both directions on the canal path. Leaving from the boat launch, turn right on Ayrault Rd to cross the canal. About 200 ft past the bridge, turn right on the access trail, then right on the canal path toward Bushnell’s Basin. Its about 5 miles to the Great Embankment Park on the right. From that park, turn around and ride past Bushnell’s Basin past Ayrault and continue on toward Fairport. If you turn around at the lift bridge on Main St, you will have about a 10 mile ride. Or continue on through the village to Lyndon Rd (large ramp up to the road level) means a 14 mile ride.

Directions to the meeting point at the Ayrault Rd boat launch.

From Springwater: From the flashing light in Springwater, head north on NY 15A for 13 miles. You will pass through Hemlock. When US-20A bears to the left, and 15A continues straight, you should turn right on Richmond Mills Rd (CR-41). In 4 miles, turn left onto CR-37. In West Bloomfield continue straight onto NY-65. In 0.7 miles, when NY-65 curves to the left, continue straight onto CR-35 (W. Bloomfield Rd). In 9.8 miles turn right on Thornell Rd. At the T, turn right onto NY-96. In the hamlet of Bushnell’s Basin, turn left onto Kreag Rd. Continue through the light at NY-31. At the T turn left onto Ayrault Rd.  The boat launch will be on the right before the canal.

From Naples: Head north on NY-21. In about 7 miles continue straight onto NY-64 (NY-21 takes a right). Continue on NY-64 past Bristol Mountain. After 13.3 miles on NY-64, at the stop light, turn left onto US-20. In 1.3 miles turn right onto NY-444. It is 6.8 miles to Victor. Turn left onto NY-96. Stay on 96 for 2.9 miles. Take the I-490W entrance to the right. Take exit 26 for NY-31 – turn left on NY-31. At the light (0.2 mi) turn left onto Ayrault Rd. In a mile, the boat launch is on the left, just past the canal.

Directions from the boat launch to Fairport and the social at Mulconry’s: From the boat launch turn left onto Ayrault Rd. At the stop light, turn left onto NY-250. Continue through Fairport and cross the canal. Take the first right after the canal (before the railroad tracks) on Liftbridge Ln. You can park in the lot on the right between Liftbridge Ln and the Canal.  Mulconry’s is across Liftbridge Ln.

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