For our June 23 event hike we will revisit Onanda Park, on the west shore of Canandaigua Lake (4965 County Road 16), for the summer solstice experience – hikes in the woods and in the streambed, with a West Lake Road cycling option and an optional side trip to the nearby Quiet Meadows wildlife and meditation sanctuary.
Meet at the parking lot on the west (Uplands) side of County Road 16 (a.k.a West Lake Road) at 3:45. We will divide into three groups: Cyclists, Naturalists/Meditators, and Wet Feet Hikers. Cyclists and Naturalists/Meditators may time their activities so that they get in some wet feet hiking during the second half of the event.
Cyclists will head north on West Lake Road for approximately 5.25 miles to the Yacht Club, then return, for a total of 10.5 miles, or choose a longer route if they wish. West Lake Road is a good cycling route, with paved shoulders averaging 4′ and a 35 MPH speed limit. There are two moderate climbs each way, but much of the route is at lake level. After returning to the starting point, Cyclists may cool off with a hike up the creekbed and back (bring a change of shoes).
Naturalists/Meditators will car pool about 1.1 miles to The Quiet Meadows, at 5787 Barnes Road. The Quiet Meadows is a Certified Wildlife Habitat and a private outdoor sanctuary for meditation. It is not a recreation site, but is intended for quiet contemplation and appreciation of nature. The 5 acre property includes a grass labrynth and a network of mowed grass paths and bridges through shrubs, grasslands and wetlands. As the owners explain at their web site, “visitors are encouraged to walk the paths and the labrynth, sit on the benches for quiet repose, prayer and reflection and take away with you some of the stillness of the hills.” This is a particularly beautiful time of year in the meadows, with many wildflowers and flowering shrubs in bloom. You may want to revisit this site many times for its outstanding sense of peace. See https://www.quietmeadows.org/about.html for more about Quiet Meadows and the tradition of the labrynth. After the session at the Quiet Meadows, the Naturalists/Meditators will return to Onanda Park to cool down with a short hike up the creekbed (bring a change of shoes).
Climbers, a.k.a. Wet Feet Hikers, will explore a different section of Onanda Park from the trails we saw in the snow last March. We will start off on the South Rim Trail (about .75 miles), then head up the creekbed of Barnes Gully and back, passing through the culvert under West Lake Road and down to the mouth of the creek at the lake for some stone skipping. The creek hike is not a town-sanctioned trail, but walking in it is not prohibited, and there are well traveled paths along one side or the other across most of the length. Getting between them requires going through the stream, so expect to get your feet wet. Water sandals or old sneakers with good treads are recommended. The water level will be up to ankle height in most places. We will encounter a series of waterfalls of increasing difficulty, and will keep going until we reach the chicken-out point. Estimated creekbed hiking distance, including the trip to the lakeshore and back, is about 2.5 miles.
Social – Please join us for a dish-to-pass social in a lakeview pavilion close to the parking area.
Directions: from Springwater: Take Route 15 south to Wayland and Route 21 east/north to Naples. Continue through Naples and Woodville. 2.75 north of Woodville, take a right to follow Route 21 north where it splits with 64. Go another 4.9 miles, then make a right on County Road 16 (a.k.a West Lake Road). Enjoy the panoramic view of the lake. In 2 miles you will be down near the lake shore. Make a left into the “Uplands Trail Access” entrance to Onanda Park. Park in upper lot. This is free parking and access, unlike the lot on the lake side.
From Rochester and points north/west/east: Head to Routes 5 and 20 via Bloomfield or Canandaigua. About a mile west of the City of Canandaigua, turn south on Route NYS Route 21S. Go 4.3 miles, through the hamlet of Cheshire. At the south end of Cheshire, just over the hill, take a left on Deuel Road. In 2.2 miles, Deuel Road will end at County Rd 16 (West Lake Road). Make a right and go down the hill for .5 miles. The Onanda Park “Uplands Trail Access” entrance will be on your right. Park in upper lot. This is free parking and access, unlike the lot on the lake side.