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Planning Winter Hikes

Winter is a great time to hike. When wetlands are frozen, it is possible to hike places that you can’t visit in warm weather. With all of the undergrowth buried under snow, you can see new views under the trees. And, of course, there are no bugs.

It is time to plan our winter hikes. First, we looked for a hike coordinator to collect the hike plans and track them through the season.  This position earns the coordinator a full year membership in Springwater Trails, Inc. Rick Henchen has volunteered to be our Winter Coordinator.  You may contact him at [email protected].

Everyone is invited to plan a hike. There are 13 Sundays this winter.

January 18 is the date of the Mendon Ponds Winter Fest.  Don is working on plans so that Springwater Trails will have a presence at the park and Melissa will plan a hike for that same afternoon. Lots of fun winter activities so you may want to plan to go early, look around, and help Don man the Springwater Trails display.  Send Don a message if you can help out that day.

Gene has offered to plan a winter hike on the Ontario Pathway in Canandaigua. Melissa will do a similar hike/ski/shoe on the Greenway Trail in Mt Morris or in Avon on February 15th.

On March 15, we will be holding our Springwater Trails, Inc, annual meeting at the social after the hike.  The Springwater Trails, Inc. officers will plan that hike based on where we decide to have the annual meeting.

March 22 and 29th are the two weekends of New York State Maple Weekend.  We will have our regular 2:00 hikes on Sundays, even if Springwater Trails is serving a pancake breakfast for Maple Weekend.

Please note that the schedule below is still preliminary.  If you would like to plan a hike but all dates you can do are taken, please contact Rick in case he can adjust the schedule.

Date Description Planner
Jan 4, 2015 2:00PM Boughton Park  Douglas
Jan 11, 2015 2:00PM Canadice Outlet  Pam
Jan 18, 2015 2:00PM Mendon Ponds – following Winter Fest Melissa
Jan 25, 2015 2:00PM Burning Springs, Bristol Char & Linda
Feb 1, 2015 2:00PM Hike, snowshoe, ski – Ontario Pathways, Canandaigua Gene
Feb 8, 2015 2:00PM Liberty Pole Rd Katherine, Carol
Feb 15, 2015 2:00PM Hike, snowshoe, ski – Greenway Trail, Mt Morris or Avon Melissa
Feb 22, 2015 2:00PM A family hike at Letchworth winter lodge Rick
Mar 1, 2015 2:00PM  Harper’s Ferry and Devil’s Slide TBD
Mar 8, 2015 2:00PM EDT Day hike Niver Rd to Canadice Lake via Rob’s Trail Mark
Mar 15, 2015 2:00PM Springwater Center followed by ST Annual Meeting Don
Mar 22, 2015 2:00PM Erie Canal Towpath – Macedon, NY Gene
Mar 29, 2015 2:00PM Wheaten Hill Trails TBD

So, check your calendar, pick a date, select a hike and make a phone call or send an email to [email protected].  The winter hike coordinator will then put together a schedule.

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Expanding the Northeast Section of the Springwater Trail – Reynolds Gull Area Road Hike – October 26, 2014

It occurred to me this past week that Springwater Trails could expand the development of our original plan for a 32 mile continuous trail around Springwater.  While being a trail angel for a long distance hiker named Chosen, I had the opportunity to help navigate her trek through the area of Swain on the Finger Lakes Trail and Franklinville on the North Country Trail.  Due to hunting season, obstacles and closures on the trail, I followed her by car around the back roads of Allegany and Cattaraugus County, enabling her to complete a day distance trip of 22 miles on state forest trails and dirt or paved roads without carrying her full backpack.  It’s called “slackpacking,” a benefit that hikers have when they have a trail angel to provide support services.

ProposedRoute Fall 2012On the local level, this experience with a long distance hiker expanded my hike planning to taking a look at our original plan of a continuous 32 mile trail around Springwater.  The idea of the trail around Springwater was developed a few years ago by an original committee called Springwater Parks and Trails.  Using this background information, our president Mark designed a large scale map of where the trail could possibly be located. To date we have 4 trail areas in progress, 3 with landowners permission and one on state land.

FLT ConnectionsThe proposed “master plan” in the northeast  section of Springwater accesses Harriet Hollister State Park to the north in Canadice to the newly acquired  state park property on Wetmore Road, following Town Line Road westward near the Nature Conservancy areas to a dirt road called Reynolds Gull Road.  The trail  would then drop unto Canadice Lake Road, hopefully accessing some private property someday and connect with the DEC Hemlock/Canadice State Forest at Johnson Hill. Once reaching the large parking lot Rt. 15A, hikers could continue hiking the south boat launch trail to Hemlock Lake, or access  the Village of Springwater to the south to explore the western part of the town.

13 hikers this past Sunday traveled the proposed route, starting at 2000′ and dropping to 1000′.  Two cars transported 10 hikers and two dogs to the top of Reynolds Gull Road while 3 hikers leisurely enjoyed hiking the Johnson Hill Trail, crossing the top of a dry waterfall.  Long distance hikers completed 6 miles in 2 hours exactly.  They picked up speed as they walked paved and dirt roads, accessing a DEC grassy trail off Johnson Hill Road which provided scenic views of fall trees, Hemlock Lake, steep gullies and waterfalls.  Reynolds Gull Road alone is a beautiful road to walk and the waterfall on the Johnson Hill trail is spectacular most of the year, especially in the winter and spring.

After the hike we warmed ourselves by the campfire at Pati and Jim’s, where a delicious roasted ham was prepared by Jim, healthy meals by others, and even 3 desserts! Thanks go to Pati and Jim for hosting our social and to Chosen for her inspiration and education.

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Springwater needs a LOGO for the upcoming Bicentennial!

  • Open to everyone
  • Must be submitted by June 1st
  • Cash prizes and gift certificate will be awarded at GALA on June 8th
  • Should say something about our community; farming, animals, crops, lakes, hunting, fishing, eagles, and/or the beautiful countryside
  • You do not have to live here to enter the contest
  • Submit to Terri White, 8091 School Street, Springwater, NY 14560
  • No limit to the number of entries you may submit
  • All submissions become the property of the Springwater Bicentennial Committee and may be used and/or copied on Bicentennial ephemera.
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We have no hike scheduled for this Easter Sunday.  I hope that in your spare time, you will have an opportunity to take a hike with a friend or family.

Meanwhile, I have installed a new calendar with events up to the end of the spring season.  Let me know what you think!  The major change, is that all pages seem to display faster.

You may also want to read Marty’s posts from New Zealand before he returns.  And check out Pam’s post about bears.  Please give a thanks to our dedicated writers.