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Letchworth Branch, Access H to G

This hike WILL OCCUR as scheduled on Sunday, March 17th at 2:00

Sorry everyone. I copied this description from last month when we cancelled because of high wind.  Then I forgot to remove “Canceled” from the title. Please tell your friends and come join us.

Come celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a hike in our Letchworth Branch series followed by a social at the Letchworth Pines in Portageville. All weekend they will feature Corned Beef and cabbage along with Reuben’s and Shepard’s pie.

Pleasant weather is predicted for Sunday, with highs of 33° and mostly cloudy. I am hoping we can avoid the water and mud, but we will adjust our hike to match conditions.

All hikes will start at Access Pt H at the corner of Dygert Rd and River Rd on the east side of Letchworth State Park. We are planning three routes for this hike, depending on who comes and the conditions. The Climbers will follow the main trail from Access H to G for a 3.6 mile hike. The Tourists will use park trails (old roads) at the start and end of the hike to reduce the length to about 2.7 miles. Finally, the Naturalists will follow the Park trail, then explore the main trail as time and interest permit, or will do a road walk, returning to the cars they way they went in.  This hike would vary between 1 and 2 miles. 

This is a one way hike for the Climbers and Tourists so we will need to stage cars at the end. We are looking for volunteers who can arrive 20 minutes early to position the cars. If you arrive by 1:40, please meet at the intersection of Oakland Rd and River Rd (Access G). We will carpool from there to the trailhead, leaving some Climber’s cars at the end of the hike to transport us back to the start. If you find you are later than 1:40, please go directly to Dygert and River Rd (Access H). See directions below.

Hike details

All hikers will start from Access H. The Climbers will follow the blue blazes for less than a half mile to the main yellow blazes. We will turn right and scramble up a steep, but short, hill. The blazes here are new and easily followed, even if there is still snow cover. In 0.4 miles, we will cross Park trail #9. We left an orange tape on a tree at this intersection for reference. You may notice some orange blazes and some older yellow blazes with the number 9 marking this part trail. We will stay with the newer and brighter yellow blazes. The trail turns slightly going up stream to find a crossing point, then loops down the other side of the stream. Watch for the double blaze indicating a right turn – if you go straight you will go downhill on the park trail #9. In another 1.2 miles, we will cross park trail #12. We also marked this trail with orange tape. The Climbers will continue on the main trail crossing two more streams that will require some bushwhacking to find a way down to a safe crossing. At the junction with the blue access trail, we will turn right and hike out to awaiting cars.

From Access H, about 100 feet down the blue trail, the Naturalists and Tourists will turn right at the orange arrow and follow park trail #9 down a slight grade to the main trail. At the main trail the Tourists will turn right and follow the main trail for 1.4 miles. After crossing the first stream, there is a sharp right turn that you don’t want to miss.  If you miss the turn, you will end up at the river on Park trail #9. The turn is easy to see – just watch for the double blazes on the left side of the trail. When you come to Park trail #12 (There is an orange tape on the main trail and a couple more on trail #12), turn right and follow the trail out to River Rd. Turn left on River Rd for a half mile walk to the awaiting cars.

The Naturalists who followed the Tourists from Access H and down park trail #9, should do some exploring when they reach the main trail. If they turn left and follow the main trail, it is fairly level until a steep downhill that connects to the blue access trail.  Turn around at the top of the steep downhill or at 3:00 and return the way you came. If there is deep snow, the Naturalists may prefer to hike River Rd.

Following the hike, all hikers are invited to meet at the Letchworth Pines for some food and conversation. If interested, bowling and video games are also available.


From Springwater: Take NY-15 north from the light. In 1.5 miles, turn left onto Liberty Pole Rd (CR 38). Continue straight for 8.1 miles to Groveland. Turn left  onto NY-63 S and then right (in 1/4 mile) on NY-258. At the tee, turn right onto NY 36. Go past the Correctional Facility and take the second left onto Dutch Street Rd. In 1.3 miles, turn right onto Ridge Rd and follow it to the end. Turn left on River Rd and continue for 4.2 miles to Oakland Rd which branches off at a slight left. If you are earlier that 1:40, please wait here for the car pool. Otherwise, go left onto Oakland Rd, take the first right onto Dygert Rd to get to Access H.

From Wayland: Follow NY-63 to Dansville. In Dansville turn left on Ossian St (NY-36 N) (don’t turn on 36 south!). Stay straight on Ossian St which becomes NY-436. Continue on NY-436 for 15 miles through Nunda. Turn right on Oakland Rd. If you are earlier that 1:40, stay on Oakland Rd to the end at River Rd. Otherwise, take the first left after the stop sign at Short Track on Dygert Rd to get to Access H.

From Rochester, Geneseo and Mt Morris: From Rochester, take I-390 south to Exit 7 (Mt Morris, NY-408). Turn left onto NY-408S. From Geneseo, take NY-63S and turn right onto NY-408S. At Main St in Mt Morris, turn left and then right to stay on NY-408. Stay on NY-408 for 2.6 miles past the Visitor Center Rd. Bear right onto River Rd.  In 6.3 miles, Oakland Rd will bear to the left. If you are earlier than 1:40, please wait here for the car pool. Otherwise, go left onto Oakland Rd, take the first right onto Dygert Rd to get to Access H.

Directions to the Letchworth Pines: Take Oakland Rd south to the stop sign at  Short Tract. Turn right on Short Tract Rd, then right onto NY-436W. In Portageville, turn right onto Hamilton St, to stay on NY436. NY-436 ends at NY-19A. Turn left and go 0.2 miles. The Letchworth Pines is on the left with a good size parking lot in front.

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NordicFest at Cumming Nature Center

2-16-19 UPDATE ON TRAIL CONDITIONS:  As of Saturday, the trails are snow covered and suitable for regular snow hiking, cross-country skiing or snow shoeing. There are some grainy and icy patches. Trails are individually designated by condition for hikers/snowshoes or for skiers. Trails #9 through #12  are designated for hiking/snowshoes – these go both north (Pioneer, Blue Bird and Haudenosaunee Trails) and south (Helen Gordon Trail) from the Visitors Center, and total about 3 miles. Trails #1 through #8 are groomed for skiing only – these total about 8 miles and include the Beaver and Conservation Trails, the logging road, and Observation Towers and others.  Maps will be available.  We will split into groups and enjoy a nice trek with multiple options for length.  Ski Patrol members will be monitoring the trails throughout the afternoon, so no one will get lost.   The social will be before the hike, beginning at 12:30 – see below.


On Feb 17 we will visit Cumming Nature Center in the hills above Naples NY on Day 2 of their Annual NordicFest Weekend for hiking/skiing/snowshoeing, depending on conditions.  The festival is a fund raiser for the Genesee Valley Nordic Ski Patrol, and includes a host of activities with winter sports, winter wear, food, and Scandinavian culture – see:

If conditions permit, skis and snowshoes will be available for rental ($15), or bring your own. If you have extras, bring them to share. Whatever your mode of travel, dress warmly with good traction footwear, poles, layers and water. 

Cumming is a branch of Rochester Museum and Science Center. If you are not a member of RMSC, there is a small fee for access to the Center.  Group fees have been paid by SWT, so just identify yourself, at the desk, as part of Springwater Trails Hiking Group.

Our treks will begin at 2 PM. You also may want to sign up for the Ski Orienteering program offered from 12:00 to 2:00 by Rochester Orienteering Club – see    This costs $9 for a single person, or $5 per person for a group. The program will proceed on skis or on foot.

Social – Our social gathering will be in the Nature Center Building beginning at 12:30 in the lower level dining area (with fireplace). We encourage members to patronize the food services offered by the Ski Patrol, who will be selling locally-sourced chili (vegan/vegetarian options available), cornbread, cider and baked goods on site for $10 between 11:00 and 2:30, or you can bring your own food and beverages. Afterwards we will gather back at the fireplace between 4 and 5 for warm-up and an exchange of desserts (bring a dessert-to-pass).


From Rochester and points North: Take 390 South to Routes 5 & 20,   Proceed to Rt15A in Lima. Head South on Rt15A to Route 20A in Hemlock,   Head East on 20A to East lake Road in Honeoye. Proceed South on East Lake Road to County Road 33, (there are signs pointing the way from the junction of East Lake Road and County Road 33). Turn East on County Road 33, then Southwest on Pinewood Hill Road. This becomes Gulick Road.  After 4.7 miles the CNC entrance will be on the right

From Springwater: Go North on Rt 15A to Route 20A in Hemlock,   Head East on Rt 20A to East Lake Road in Honeoye. Proceed South on East Lake Road to County Road 33 (Signs point the way from the junction of East Lake Road and County Road 33). Turn East on County Road 33, then Southeast on Pinewood Hill Road.  This becomes Gulick Road.  After 4.7 miles the CNC entrance will be on the Right.

From Wayland, Naples, and points South: Follow NY 21 East from Wayland,thru N.Cohocton to Naples (11.4miles). Turn Left onto Clark Street (County Hwy36), heading North (Next to Middletown Tavern). Take first Right onto  Gulick Road. Follow Gulick Road for 6.6 miles.   CNC will be on the Left.


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All Western Evergreen Tree Farms

Come join Springwater Trails hikers at 2 PM, Sunday, Feb 10, 2019. Please plan to arrive at 6840 Liberty Pole Road by a quarter to 2 and park on the loading pad out behind the farm house across from the metal Morton Building. We will convene at the well head.

No snow is expected before hike time, but if temperatures stay below freezing, we should be able to walk throughout the farm, enjoying views across the valley and close up within the forests. We will take some time to explore through the Christmas trees, walk around the pond and generally enjoy the outdoors.

Naturalists will be ferried up to the Swartz Road entrance to the farm to walk on level fields into the Cathedral Pines. Tourists and Climbers will trek up through the woods and split at the top of Tree Lot Z. The Tourists will go to the left (south) and the Climbers will go to the right (north). From there the hike leaders will be leading the two groups on their separate ways.

Hiking the perimeter of the 250 acre farm is 4-5 miles, as it is approximately 1 mile from east to west and 1 mile north to south. The evergreen tree species include Japanese Vietch fir, Grand fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, Concolor fir, Nordmann fir, Korean fir, Turkish fir, Canaan fir, Dawn redwood, Sequoia, Eastern White pine, Southwestern Border pine, Austrian pine, Red pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Englemann spruce, Norway spruce, White spruce, Western redcedar, Alaska Yellow cedar, and holly.

The social will be at the farm house after the hikes and all are invited to bring a dish-to-pass or to put a $5 bill in the kitty to help offset the cost of the place settings. You may also bring your own dish to pass.

Directions: You can find directions here.