Hike or Bike at Keuka Bluff
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2-4 PM
Our event for Sunday Oct. 7th has hiking and bicycling options, starting and ending at Keuka Lake State Park, just east of Branchport, on the northwest fork of Keuka Lake. The park has a sandy beach area and boat launch as well as nice trails through the wooded slopes and gullies along the hillside. NOTE: Bow hunting is permitted within the park in October, so HIKERS PLEASE WEAR RED OR ORANGE OUTER GARMENTS FOR HIGH VISIBILITY.
Park Fee and Car Pooling – On weekends the park changes a vehicle fee of $7 per vehicle, regardless of age. There is no charge for people entering the park on foot or on a bicycle, and there is a scenic overlook on Route 54A, just west of Pepper Road, which is the park entry road. To minimize vehicle fees, people may rendezvous at the scenic overlook at 1:40 and hitch a short ride with others in the group. Bikers and pedestrians may leave cars there and ride or walk in, about a quarter mile.
Everyone will meet at 1:45 at the lakefront parking lot within the State Park. Turn right after the entry booth and go past the playground to the second lot. All Hikers will start out on the White Trail into the woods, stopping first at the secluded and charming Beddoe-Rose family burial plot dating from the early settlement period of Yates County (14 burials from 1815-1908). The White Trail leads to the upper park road, where camp sites are laid out in three loops. Following the road past the camp sites, hikers will take the Green Trail, Orange and Yellow Trails looping through the woods and along several small gullies, ending at the lakeside and boat launch area for a total of about 3 miles. Tourists may return to the parking area along the park road, while Climbers wanting more of a challenge can follow the Purple and Blue Trails looping back up the hill and down to the cars, for a total of about 4 miles. Naturalists can explore the White Trail and cemetery at their leisure, climbing as far as the Park Road and returning on the park road or the wooded Red or Blue Trails.
Trailheads are well marked, and trails are well maintained. Total elevation change for the full trail loop will be about 400 feet, while Naturalists and others sticking to the Red, White and Blue Trails will have about a 200 foot change. As always, keep an eye out for poison ivy along the trail sides and check yourself for ticks afterwards.
Cyclists will enjoy a lovely 14 mile circuit on rural roads down the center of Bluff Point and back up the lakeshore road on the west fork. From the park entry, we will go south on Pepper Road, east on Fingar Road, and turn south on Skyline Drive, riding along the ridge toward the center of Keuka Lake’s Y shape. At the end of the plateau, Skyline Drive turns east into the woods and provides a glimpse of the secluded Garrett Memorial Chapel, a small 1931 Norman Gothic chapel perched on the steep side of the lake bluff. (See http://www.garrettchapel.org/) Next is a scenic view of the south end of the lake, and then West Bluff Drive past the cottages of the west fork, back to the south entrance to the park and the cars. The roads are well paved, without marked shoulders but traffic is light.
Launching of canoes and kayaks is easy from the beach area, so paddling options are also available to group members if the weather is warm and calm.
Following the hike, the optional social will be at Deusy’s Restaurant at Reservoir Creek Golf Course, 8613 State Route 21, Naples, NY.
From Springwater: Follow Route 15 South to Wayland, and 21 North to Naples, turning right on Route 53 South toward Prattsburgh. After about 1.5 miles, turn left on Italy Valley Road (a.k.a Ontario County Rd. 21, then Yates County Road 18). After about 6 miles, go right on Italy Hill Turnpike (C.R. 34). When it ends, take a left on Italy Hill Road, and soon after a right as Italy Hill Road (now C.R. 32) turns to the east. This will take you down the hill into Branchport. Continue straight through the Branchport intersection, and go 1.5 miles. Pass the scenic overlook (stop for car poolers) and make a right on Pepper Road, and then the first right into the State Park.
From Honeoye/points north and west: Go east on Routes 5 and 20 to Canandaigua. Pass Wegman’s, Walmart, etc and go up the hill, about 2 miles. Take a right on Route 247. Follow Route 247 through Rushville. About 3 miles past Rushville, Route 247 will join with Route 364. Follow 364 through Potter and past some flat valleys. About 4 miles past Potter, make a right on Guyanoga Road (follow road sign for Branchport). Guyanoga Road will take you to the Branchport intersection in 7 miles. Turn left at the intersection and go 1.5 miles up the hill. Pass the scenic overlook (stop for car poolers) and make a right on Pepper Road, and then the first right into the State Park.
Directions to the Social from the Park: return to Branchport, and go straight at the intersection onto Italy Hill Road. When it ends, turn left and the right onto Italy Hill Turnpike. When this ends, take a left on Italy Valley Road, to Route 53, the Naples-Prattsburgh Road. Go right on Route 53, and left on Route 21 to Reservoir Creek Golf Course and Deusy’s.
Twenty-four people enjoyed collecting mushrooms. Even though the weather was warm and sunny, we were surprised at the number of mushrooms found. The Tree Farm has many trees that are native to the western US, so we are always on the lookout for unusual mushrooms.