“Bluebird hike” at MFBBH & Monkey Run Trails in Victor

An educational Hike with Springwater Trails and Victor Hiking Trails with impetus and designed to identify and view BLUEBIRDS, … and more, held at MaryFrances Bluebird Haven (MFBBH).

Starting at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 will be a joint hike of Springwater Trails (ST) and Victor Hiking Trails (VHT).  For ST this is our regular Sunday weekly hike.  For VHT this is a special hike outside of the monthly guided hike held on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

This is a special educational hike event at MaryFrances Bluebird Haven (MFBBH), located at 235 County Rd 9 in Victor, NY.   – – MFBBH entrance driveway, leading to the parking lot, is located on the east side of County Rd 9 (aka Victor-Egypt Rd) just south of intersect with Valentown Rd (which intersects from the west).

HIKING GROUPS, TRAIL ROUTING, (and map hyperlinks):

The hike, will have two separate sub-groups.  Routing will be be slow and easy on mostly flat terrain for the Naturalists/birdwatchers group covering ~1 mile (the whole of the perimeter trail) within the MFBBH park, Gene as Hike Leader.  The second routing will be fast paced for the Climbers/Tourists group covering ~3 miles within MFBBH park & on adjacent Monkey Run Trails, Dave as Hike Leader. (Climbers/Tourists routing will include MFBBH perimeter trail (~1mile) & MR three loop trails ~2miles of woodland walk, all mostly flat terrain.)   MFBBH map  //  Monkey Run Trails map


We will have multiple hike leaders who are knowledgeable about birds, so bring your binoculars and camera (and telephoto lens if you have one).  Also, wear good hiking boots as there may be some muddy spots.  Possiblity that TDs (Traction Devices) may be helpful, but certainly not required. Hats with a visor and sunglasses may also be useful.

– Some ST hikers seized the opportunity to attend a presentation program “All About Bluebirds” held at the Geneseo Riviera Theater on Friday March 10th, 2017, one impetus that spurred this 5/7/2017 hike. Tickets for “All About Bluebirds” presentation were essentially “sold out” well prior to show day. Those ST hikers who attended will be looking to put newfound knowledge to use on this 5/7/2017 Bluebird hike. (Some other ST hikers were tending to matters as result of the 80+MPH windstorm of Wednesday 3/8/3017 on that Friday.) –

Hikers will have opportunity to learn about the impetus and history of MaryFrances Bluebird Haven.

Please note: Dogs are NOT allowed on this hike.  Alcohol, smoking, and weapons are not allowed per park regulations.  Oh, … and leave your saddle and mount at home, because horses are not allowed in this park, thus you’ll need to choose another mode of transportation to this hike.


There will be an optional after-hike social dinner at the Butler Cottage located in MFBBH park beginning at 4:00 pm ; bring a dish to pass or make a donation (suggested $5) to the social fund to help defray expenses, and bring your beverage of choice (no alcohol please), if you would like to meet your fellow hikers.  You may bring your own tableware if you’d like, albeit disposable plates and plastic utensils will be on hand.


MFBBH parking lot will accommodate ~ 20 cars. Additional parking can be had along the entrance driveway, with judiciousness & thoughtfulness in mind.



Carpooling in name of efficiency is encouraged due to distance from Springwater and also in light that this is a joint hike with VHT.

Additional information: can be gained from checking the VHT website, Facebook, Meetup or the VHT voice message line, as well as checking the ST website for updates.


An additional Article on “Birding” on the ST website, in anticipation of this Bluebird hike, for those who wish to learn a bit more about “Birding” in Springtime.


Subnote: (reference to a future hike)

Hikers may wish to take note of Valentown Rd (nearly opposite MFBBH entrance driveway), as a future ST hike will in part refer to historic “Valentown” which is situated at the western end of Valentown Rd & High St (in the Town of Victor), about two blocks away from present day Eastview Mall.

Hints: * Valentown was built in anticipation of a chartered railroad that was never built, the CNY&N RR (Central New York & Northern).  This railroad was a one-time planned northern extension of the CNY&W RR (Central New York & Western), and was akin to the CNY&W. Come August 1, 1899, the CNY&N was consolidated with its parent company the CNY&W.

** (spoiler alert!) The CNY&W was a predecessor in lineage of the PS&N RR (Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern), and August 2, 1899 the CNY&W was merged with a number of shortline railroads in Pennsylvania into the newly formed PS&N RR.  Both the CNY&W and the PS&N in successive lineage routed high above Stony Brook Glen through what is present day Stony Brook State Park.  Both respective sets of railroad high bridge abutments that remain in Stony Brook Glen were in this railroad lineage.  

(credit to the book by Paul Pietrak “The Pittsburg, Shawmut and Northern Railroad Company” for some information cited herein.)

Extending the Springwater Trail – Reynolds Gull to the south end of Hemlock Lake

Note: We will meet at the large parking lot at the entrance to the South Boat Launch, Hemlock Lake off Rt. 15A at 1:45 and carpool to the top of Reynolds Gull Road.  Social will be a tailgate at the DEC Reynolds Gull Parking lot on Rt. 15A (across from the entrance to the South Boat Launch, Hemlock Lake).  BYOB and a dish to pass.  Climbers, Tourists and Naturalists details will be organized on site.  

It’s a little difficult to plan a Spring hike since I’ve been traveling in the Southwest for 6 weeks and coming back home to our special little slice of pie in the “Little Finger Lakes” of Western New York tomorrow.   I was freezing last night at 28 degrees in a tent at Cumberland State Park, Tennessee, and had a thought of what I could organize for our hike this coming Sunday, April 9th.  I sent out a message to my friends asking them what the conditions were in our area. They said it had rained for 3 days, the ground was saturated, creeks were running, walleyes and northern pike were spawning, and there was very little sighting of my favorite early spring wildflowers that I  recently saw in Kentucky.

I thought about how Springwater Trails has been trying (going on 5 years now) to build a 32-mile trail throughout Springwater.  To some, this trail project is considered an ambitious plan, and in the past has been considered or held back by local reluctant landowners or by lack of support from local, county, and state officials.   Let me add that Springwater is an incredibly beautiful area with its hills (which I call the mountains of Livingston County) that affect 5 different watershed areas, lush valleys, many creeks, abandoned dirt roads, prime farmland, all of which touch upon the “Little Finger Lakes” of Hemlock, Canadice, Conesus and Honeoye Lakes.

This past year I have hiked portions of the Appalachian Trail (AT),  Florida Trail, Arizona Trail, Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in New Mexico, National Scenic and National Recreation trails such as the Sheltowee in Kentucky.  These and many other trails have been built across the United States of America for us hikers who appreciate and savor what nature has to offer.  I came to the conclusion that not all trails have to be in the woods, fields, deserts or mountains.  Sometimes, for short distances, a portion of a trail can be on a country road or a rural, lightly-used paved road, and can be a pleasurable hiking experience to reach our destination.  In other words, we don’t have to be purists to reach our goal of building a 32-mile trail throughout Springwater.

The northeast portion of Springwater includes a winding dirt road along the Nature Conservancy area of Reynolds Gull, views down the paved road of Johnson Hill,  the DEC Johnson Hill forest trail, with connecting creeks and cascading waterfalls which reach their climax at our beautiful pristine, undeveloped Hemlock Lake.  What a treasure! This section of the overall 32 mile continuous trail is within our grasps.

Perhaps in the future, there will be landowners, businesses, or organizations that  – assuming resolution of liability issues – will grant land access enabling the Springwater Trail to be sited entirely off-road.  But in the meantime, let’s enjoy what we have: a recreational resource largely in a natural setting – something the majority of Americans don’t have at their doorsteps.

Come hike with us Sunday! Get directions here.




Apres Ski (season) hike

This Sunday we will hike from the hills of East Springwater down into the Honeoye Valley. If the weather is good, we will enjoy some nice views of Honeoye Lake. Our thanks to the Buckley family and Hunt Hollow for permission for this hike.

Following the hike, join us for a social at Cheryl’s house on Rt 21. Bring a dish to pass and your own beverage, or contribute to the social fund. Cheryl will be making a warm stew to help us all warm up after what promises to be a damp hike.

We will have two hikes this Sunday, a through hike from Thorp Rd to the Hunt Hollow lodge, or from Thorp Rd to the top of the Ski Runs and then back to the start.

We will stage some cars at the Hunt Hollow parking lot before the hike, so it would be great to know how many hikers want to hike all the way down to the bottom of the ski runs. Please send an email (by Saturday night) to info at springwatertrails.org if you plan to hike to the lodge. Let us know how many are coming.

Also, please let us know if you can help with the carpooling by meeting us at the Hunt Hollow parking lot off of Ontario County Road 36 at 1:20 on Sunday.

We will all meet on Thorp Rd on the far east side of Springwater. We will hike up through the woods to the fields at the top. On the Thursday pre-hike, we could see the length of Honeoye Lake and all the way up to the towers in downtown Rochester.  From the fields it will be a short  walk through woods to the top of the chair lifts. The Climbers will head west along the easiest trail and follow it down the slope. The Tourists will follow the climbers to the overlook deck and then will retrace their steps back to the fields and will return to the cars on a different route around the woods.

The route starts at 1900 ft above sea level, and climbs to 2100. The Climbers will end at 1140ft,

We had about 4 inches of crusty snow for the pre-hike, but with rain and warmer temperatures predicted for Friday and Saturday, we are expecting much of the snow to be gone by Sunday. Wear waterproof boots in case it is muddy, and bring poles and cleats for stability.


First a word of warning.  Thorp Rd may not be on your map or GPS or may be labeled Monkey Run.  Thorp Rd intersects Warner Rd to the north and Dutch Hollow to the south.  Warner Rd may be labeled Garlinghouse Rd on your map or GPS.  However, Monkey Run is a private road north of Warner Rd, and Garlinghouse is a seasonal road (not plowed in the winter) east of  Thorp Rd.  Set your GPS for the intersection of Tabors Corner Rd and Pardee Hollow Rd and follow the directions below.  Avoid Monkey Run, Garlinghouse, Liddiard, and Coates, and Richards or Lanning Roads (especially in the winter).

From  the corner of Tabors Corner Rd and Pardee Hollow Rd: Go east on Pardee Hollow Rd (There is a Maple Syrup sign pointing the way).  At the stop sign turn left (north) onto Dutch Hollow Rd.  Thorp Rd is on the right 1.3 miles up Dutch Hollow Rd.  Park on the right side about a tenth of a mile down Thorp Rd.

From Springwater: From the center of Springwater, head north on Rt 15A.  Bear right (east) onto Co Rd 16 (Wheaton Hill Rd) heading toward Tabors Corners.  Continue up Wheaton Hill Rd to the end.  Turn left (north) on Wetmore Rd, then the first right (east) on Co Rd 36/Tabors Corner Rd.  After 0.4miles, bear Left (east) onto Dutch Hollow Rd. You will pass Peglow Rd on the right and Warner Rd on the left (both dirt roads). Take a sharp left turn onto Thorp Rd shortly after Warner Rd.  Park on the right (east) side about a tenth of a mile down Thorp Rd.

From Wayland:  Take NY-21 east from the light toward N Cohocton.  Go 2.9 miles and turn left onto Steuben County Rd 37 (The sign reads Boles Corners).  Stay on that road for   3.7 miles (In Livingston Co, it becomes Co Rd 36/Tabors Corners Rd). Turn Right (east) onto Pardee Hollow Rd (Note the Maple Syrup sign pointing the way).  At the stop sign turn left (north) on Dutch Hollow Rd.  Thorp Rd is on the right 1.3 miles up Dutch Hollow Rd.  Park on the right side about a tenth of a mile down Thorp Rd.

From Honeoye: Contact us about helping with staging cars at Hunt Hollow.

More directions are available here.