Sunday Hike May 28 at Swain

The scenic Robinson Loops Trail awaits us this week.  This area is a privately owned wildlife sanctuary and is connected to the Finger Lakes Trail.  Prepare to be dazzled by ravines, streams, young forests, old growth trees, and panoramic views from open fields.   Our meeting place will be at the parking area at the end of Mill St. in Swain NY.  Please follow this link for information and a map of the area .

For those of you who would like to carpool, please meet at the Springwater Town Hall at 1:00 PM on Sunday.

As usual, We  will divide into three groups.  Volunteers are needed to lead the Tourist and Naturalist groups.

Naturalists will enjoy a leisurely stroll along Caneseraga Creek on the Main Trail and the Yellow Loop.  There should be some wildldflowers and various trees to identify.  The rock ledges are quite extraordinary. It is a pleasant jaunt of 2.3 miles.

Tourists  will be taking the “high road”, climbing gradually up the Blue Loop to the open fields that offer lovely views of the area.  The elevation gain on this hike is 504 feet.  Total mileage is 3.4.

Climbers will head for the woods on the Orange Loop, exploring a stream and ravine, looking for some old growth trees.  If time permits they can take in some of the views from the Blue Loop.  The trail is steep in places, with an elevation gain of 539 ft. Total miles about 4.5.

Directions:  From Springwater, follow Rte 15 South to Wayland, then Rte 63 South to Dansville.  Pick up Rte. 36 South in Dansville and follow to Junction of Rte 70.  Turn right on 70, travel through Canaseraga, until left turn into Swain.

After Hike Social will be at the Sierra Inn in Swain.



The Finger Lakes Trail in Naples

The plan for this hike has changed!

Now we will meet at 1:30 p.m. at the house of Gideon Hanggi at 7976 Route 21 in Naples. The house is black with red shutters; it is at the north end of Naples, opposite the Hanggi Christmas Tree Farm.

There is a meadow to the south side of the house – that’s the left as you look at the house. At the southern end of the meadow there is a dirt driveway – drive up as far as the tree line and park.

This Sunday is a trail-making and trail maintenance hike on the section of the Finger Lakes Trail in Naples that the club is responsible for. Mr. Hangii has built a magnificent new bridge over a deep gulley carrying a stream, a short distance downhill from the existing route. We will re-route the Bristol Hills Branch (BHB) of the Finger Lakes Trail to take advantage of this bridge, allowing hikers to avoid the present awkward crossing, and also to take in the superb setting of the bridge – it is sited below a lovely little waterfall, and above a larger one.

In order to get all the work done, we plan to get everyone to the work site with as much time as possible given to trail making. We’ll get there via Mr. Hanggi land rather than the one-hour hike to the site from either direction on the BHB. For those who can’t manage the steep climb to the top of the hill, Mr. Hanggi has offered to ferry people there in his 4-wheel drive vehicle – and back again of course for those who would like a ride! The site itself is on a slope, but it is manageable for all our hikers. The new route will follow the stream on both banks, which is also worth a good many photographs.

Please bring some tools with you to help trim back any brush that has grown into the pathway – loppers to trim brambles and roses are usually the most useful. Work gloves are also very necessary – roses can be sharp and mean! We’ll also clear away any fallen branches that we can manage. If heavier work is needed, such as mowing and tree removal then we’ll note what needs to be done and get it organized separately. It’s still early in the year, so we are not expecting any heavy encroachment of the undergrowth as yet. If anyone can bring a weed whacker, we’d like to get a crew of 2 people to walk up the trail from the cemetery in Naples and whack down some undergrowth about half way to the work site. This crew doesn’t have to walk all the way to the top of the hill if they don’t want to – the trail is clear for most of the way.

This hike is usually a dry hike, with good views at the higher elevations near Seman Road. The trail down to Naples follows a beautiful shale stream, with plenty of deep gullies and waterfalls – and there’s lots of water in the stream at the moment.

Climbers, Tourists and Naturalists:We’ll all stay together on this hike. Mr. Hanggi will transport anyone who needs help getting up and down the hill.
The social following the hike will take place at Bob and Ruth’s in Naples, where we are meeting.
Directions: From downtown Naples, follow Rt. 21 north past the junction of Rt. 245. Hanggi’s Tree Farm is marked by a large brown barn on the east side (that’s on the right as you drive north towards Canandaigua), a couple of hundred yards after the Rt. 245 junction, and Mr. Hanggi’s house is opposite. If you are coming from the south then you have already passed the meadow driveway, so take it slowly after Rt. 245.

“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).

Trail conditions update, gained from 5/6/2017 Saturday’s preview hike: very wet, rubber boots suggested.  Bluebirds were observed.  For this hike & potluck after-hike social event, perhaps we can agree on “cloudy with a chance of meatballs.”  The hike is offered rain or shine.    

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), a Town of Victor park, 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, plastic utensils, etc will be on hand as at most ST potluck socials.

Butler Cottage is a totally enclosed edifice with electricity / lighting / indoor plumbing / full facilities: restroom, full kitchen (counters & cabinets, stove/oven, refrigerator, microwave, and yes the “kitchen sink” too complete with running water), etc. The main area with tables and chairs accommodates 45 people.  So, there is availability for heating up dishes best served warm, refrigeration, etc.  Some hikers may wish to avail themselves prior to the start of the hike.


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


From Springwater (and select other points south of Victor):

~45+ minutes drive from Springwater hamlet’s 4 corners, travel NY Rt 15A northbound (to just s of hamlet of Hemlock) ; turn right/eastbound onto NY Rt 20A (eventually passing through the hamlet of Honeoye, and continuing on NY Rt 20A northeasterly to just south of the hamlet of Bristol) ; turn left/northbound onto Co Rd 2 aka Oakmount Rd, pass through the hamlet of Bristol and continue straight on what will eventually become Oakmount Ave, crossing NY Rt 20 <USE FOREMOST CAUTION at this crossing!> to jct with Main St in Village of Bloomfield ; turn right/eastbound on Main St ; turn left/northbound onto NY Rt 444 (aka Elm St which becomes Victor Holcomb Rd which becomes Maple Ave) to jct with NY RT 96 aka East Main St in the Village of Victor ; turn right/eastbound onto NY Rt 96 aka East Main St ; turn left/northbound onto Church St ; Church St becomes Victor-Egypt Rd aka Co Rd 9 ; travel to 235 Victor-Egypt Rd where Mary Frances Bluebird Haven driveway is located ; turn right onto the entrance driveway to the MFBBH parking lot.

From Rochester area:  (center city, areas directly contiguous east, as well as north and west Monroe County areas) ~ a bit under 30 minutes drive from Rochester get on I-490 eastbound expressway and travel to exit 28 (for NY Rt 96 southbound, in Perinton) ; from the exit 28 ramp turn left/southbound onto NY Rt 96 south ; from NY Rt 96 south turn left/eastbound onto High St (which is opposite Eastview Mall’s southern-most entrance drive) ; from High St turn left/northeastbound onto Valentown Rd ; <take note of the Valentown Museum as you pass it on the left side of the roadway> drive Valentown Rd (to road’s end) the jct with Victor-Egypt Rd aka Co Rd 9 ; turn right/southbound onto Victor-Egypt Rd, and then a quick left/eastbound into the driveway for MFBBH.

[Alternatively, I-490 expressway to exit 26 for NY Rt 31 eastbound, to Victor Rd aka Co Rd 52 (which becomes Victor-Egypt Rd aka Co Rd 9) ; turn right onto Victor Rd and travel to 235 Victor-Egypt Rd driveway for MFBBH ; turn left/eastbound into the driveway.]


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

Named sequential carpool points (unsupervised), corresponding with directions to the hike (as written above) are: (1) <gather 12:40PM, leave at 12:50PM> Springwater Town Hall at 8022 S. Main St (aka NY Rt 15), in Springwater ; (2) <gather 1:00PM, leave at 1:10PM> Hemlock Lake Park parking lot, located at the northern end of Hemlock Lake and accessed via Rix Hill Rd immediately off NY Rt 15A (and a bit south of the jct with NY Rt 20A)  ; (3) <gather at 1:15PM, leave at 1:25PM> in the hamlet of Honeoye on south side of Main St (aka Rt 20A) in the Honeoye Commons Plaza (~ 8567 Main St) parking lot of CVS/Subway/etc, optimally you wanna park closest to Main St. The entrance drive for Honeoye Commons Plaza is the next entrance drive past the entrance drive for Shurfine/Dollar General stores. (additional reference point: Honeoye Commons Plaza is ~ opposite Honeoye Central Schools).

Please note this sequential carpooling arrangement is set up so that those from further south will make a stop at each further north sequential carpool point, and potentially take on added passengers or reconfigure.  There is an allowance of ~ 5 minutes from arrival to departure at each, to allow for loading, and not much fudge factor beyond that.  Assuming all goes well, arrival at MFBBH for the hike is calculated to be ~ 1:55PM.


Additional information: can be gained from checking the VHT website, Facebook, Meetup or the VHT voice message line [phone: (585)- 234-8226], 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.