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Houghton Land Preserve July 22, 2018

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Display Yesterday, thirteen hikers were treated to a lovely walk in the woods at the Houghton Preserve in Corning.  The Finger Lakes Land Trust has created more than 35 of these conservation areas that are open to the public for quiet enjoyment of nature.

The abundant shade and a refreshing breeze kept us all comfortable as we meandered along the well marked and maintained trails.   Three naturalists enjoyed a gentler walk along the lower trails and a peaceful meadow, although they did cover quite a bit of ground.  The bobolinks did not put in an appearance except on a smart phone.

Ten tourists/climbers traversed the upper and lower loops, listening for a cuckoo and searching for evidence of porcupine, when they had an unexpected sighting.  A black bear loped through the forest just uphill from the trail.  Thanks to Pinock ( on his first hike with our group) for his quick reflexes in alerting us, as we might never have gotten a glimpse.  Our noise and numbers frightened the little critter away too quickly for John to snap a photo.

Our after hike social at the Market Street Brewing Company was most enjoyable, despite the slow service.  Good food, good prices, good beer.

This was Springwater Trails first outing at Houghton.  Hopefully we will return to enjoy it in other seasons.  If you wish to explore on your own, this is a very user friendly area:  ample parking,  kiosk with maps and information, well blazed trails.  Keep and eye out for bears!

Check our facebook page for more photos.

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Rattlesnake Hill Hikes on July 8, 2018

On Sunday, July 8, nine hikers enjoyed a hike off of Ebert Rd in the Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area. April provided a map of the area. Please click for a larger image.

The flagged sections are no longer flagged, but you should be able to follow the trails anyway, with the exception of the trail marked 16. You can still walk the open woods if you feel comfortable doing so without a trail.

The group that hiked the north loop reported that there are some trees down that make it difficult to follow the trail in spots. Take care when using this route until the downed trees have been cleared.

You can view the GPS track and April’s hiking journal, which contains other Rattlesnake Hill hikes (and others around NY), for more details. It’s a great place to explore, and not heavily used. 

Notes for the Map

See the numbered locations on the Map.

  1. Barnyard to east, homestead artifacts west of trail
  2. Follow trail and markers on north loop
  3. Signs of homestead, old well (was filled in in 2017)
  4. Kiosk – use trail to the right of it
  5. Nice walk along bank
  6. Flag – opening in trees to next pond
  7. Look for small holes, mud – turtle eggs
  8. Trail to a parking area on Ebert
  9. Mud – hug the west side!
  10. Trail splits – note large tree. Keep to the eastern trail (straight)
  11. Hint of a trail to the left at a trail marker – stay to the right
  12. Small rock cairn where trails rejoin
  13. Trail relocated to east at massive muddy section
  14. Three Flags at start/end of trail – optional use, muddy section
  15. Jnctn of flagged route and pond trail **watch for beaver cut stumps
  16. Flagged trail through open woods
  17. NE trail end is flagged
  18. Grassy area with clump of trees
  19. Grassy trail – watch for ruts
  20. Stay to east side of grassy trail – homestead artifacts in this area
  21. Logged area – starting to recover
  22. Flagged route to horse trail – optional. Or stay on grassy trail
  23. Homestead plants in woods and field
  24. Homestead artifacts
  25. Rock cairn on logs
  26. Massive mud trail along pond – avoid
  27. Trail head (not using for this hike)
  28. West Loop – mostly unmarked
  29. East Loop – grassy trails unmarked, horse trail has red plastic discs
  30. Pond becoming bog, geese families here
  31. Vernal pond

 

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Genesee Valley Greenway

On Sunday, April 8,2018, eleven hikers enjoyed a hike on the Genesee Valley Greenway into Letchworth Park. Although we had blowing snow both when we left home and when we returned home after the hike, the hike itself was snow free, with mostly draw trail, and lots of interesting things to obverse along the route.

There were several placards providing the history of the Genesee Valley Canal and Railroad.

Starting at Oakland Road, there were two trails. We took the canal’s old towpath. The railroad bed was a few hundred feet farther up the hill at this point. And the road is right next to the old canal.

After a few locks, the trail rejoined the railroad bed. Here we all are at the top of the ramp from the canal towpath to the rail bed.

Look at the stone work in this lock. Remember, this was built between 1850 and 1862.

Sometimes it’s the natural world that catches the camera.

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Cleveland Hill – Feb 11,2018

On Sunday there were sixteen hikers who enjoyed hiking in the West Hollow valley north of Naples, NY. Three naturalists stayed down in the valley hiking toward Gannett Hill for a close up view of the Beaver Pond. The rest of the hikers carpooled to Clement Rd and hiked up Cleveland Hill on the Bristol Hills Branch orange trail.  We had beautiful views from the two lookouts which have been cleared of trees.  Here is a picture of the Climbers looking east across the southern end of Gannett Hill at Hi Tor on the east side of Canandaigua Lake.