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 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, only partially mowed, and going through a few wet, muddy areas, so waterproof boots/long pants tucked into socks are recommended, along with insect spray and rain gear in case of showers. Also, please be alert for poison ivy on the trail, as there is quite a bit.
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 open and some forested. Along the way are wildflowers, 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 interesting birds, and the frogs are likely to be croaking up a storm.
We will meet at 1:45 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 at Parrish Road to accommodate the return trip for the Climbers. Tourists and Naturalists will proceed to the Sunnyside parking lot, from which the Tourists will hike south to Parish Road and back, a total of about 3.5 miles, all in the mowed section of the trail, with only minimal poison ivy along the way. Naturalists will hike from Sunnyside south to the DEC West River Boat Launch and back, a total of about 1 mile (farther if they are so inclined). The Climbers will drive to the north end of the trail, at Cayward Cross Road, and hike south, though the unmowed (but particularly scenic) section of the trail, past Sunnyside and on to Parrish Road, for a total distance of about 6 miles. Climbers are advised to wear heavy washable boots, as footwear will be exposed to some poison ivy in the northern section of the trail. Bring rubber gloves and plastic bags for use in safely removing boots, and clean footwear thoroughly with laundry detergent to avoid getting a poison ivy rash from your footwear. See https://rainyadventures.com/remove-poison-ivy-from-shoes/
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.