This Sunday we will hike the Middlesex Valley Rail Trail, which runs northeast from Naples, passing through the lowlands of the Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area. The 7.2 mile rail trail is parallel to and north of Route 245, and follows alongside of sections of the West River. We will hike the section between Parrish Road and Cayward Cross Road, placing cars at several different parking areas along the way to allow for several distances of hiking. The trail is level and wide and slightly downhill, easy walking in grass, which has not yet been mowed, so long pants tucked into socks are recommended, along with insect spray.
The Middlesex Valley Railroad began service in 1892 between Naples and Stanley, with connections to Geneva, Canandaigua and Wayne County. In 1895 it became part of the Lehigh Valley Railroad system, and continued running until 1970. Now part of the State-owned Hi Tor area, most of the trail is a raised path with wetlands on either side – some shrubby and some forested. Along the way are waterfowl nesting boxes, and about a mile from the north end is a heron rookery. Hi Tor has been designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society, so we may see some herons and other interesting birds.
We will meet at 2 PM at the parking lot on the north side of Parrish Road, which runs across the valley from Route 21 (near Monica’s Pies) to Route 245 (near the base of Conklin Gully). We will leave enough cars there to accommodate the return trip for all the Climbers, and we will leave enough cars to accommodate the Tourists at the Sunnyside parking lot, along the way to our hike starting point. Everyone will begin the hike heading south from the Cayward Cross Road parking area. Naturalists will hike down the trail as far as the rookery, then return to their cars, a total of 2 to 2.5 miles. The Tourists will hike through the rookery and on to Sunnyside, a total distance of about 3 miles. The Climbers will hike past Sunnyside and on to Parrish Road, for a total distance of about 6 miles. The southernmost 1.2 miles of the trail, extending from Parrish Road to Naples, is currently closed due to a bridge outage.
Following the hike, please join us for an optional dish-to-pass social at the DEC West River Boat Launch, off of Route 245 about .5 mile south of the Sunnyside intersection. There is a porta-potty there, but no tables and chairs, so bring your own lawn chair and a card table or folding table if you have one. Alternative rain location for the social is the Naples Community Park, about 2.5 miles south of the Boat Launch on Route 45, just north of the DEC building, near the Village of Naples. The Park has a covered pavilion with picnic tables.
DIRECTIONS: From Springwater/Dansville/Wayland: Take Rt 21N into Naples. Turn left onto Main St for 1.5 miles. Turn right on Rt#245 (across from Bob and Ruth’s). Continue 1.5 miles, make a left on Parrish Rd., just after the intersection with Parrish Hill Road on the right. There is no street sign for Parrish Road, but there is a yellow house at the corner. Parking area is on the right, in about 0.2 miles.
From Honeoye: Take Rte.#36 south into Naples, left on Main St for approximately 1.25 miles. Right on Rte. #245 (Across from Bob and Ruth’s). Continue 1.5 miles then left on Parrish Rd., just after the intersection with Parrish Hill Road on the right. There is no street sign for Parrish Road, but there is a yellow house at the corner. Parking area is on the right, in about 0.2 miles.
From Canandaigua: Take Rt#21S to Woodville. Keep straight toward Naples. Turn left on Parrish Road about 1.5 miles past Woodville, just after you pass Monica’s Pies. The parking area will be on your left, in about 0.4 miles.