CHANGE OF VENUE: Onanda Park Stream Hike, plus optional bike ride or Quiet Meadows

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 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.

Directionsfrom 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.

Italy Valley to Italy Hill on the Finger Lakes Trail

Italy Valley to Italy Hill MAP

Note as of June 1: This is a revised hike plan to avoid rough and boggy conditions at the top section of the trail. Meeting location and Social location remain the same.

Two winters ago we did this hike in the snow coming downhill. Now we can enjoy this gentle and beautiful incline up along the east side of the lovely Italy Valley in nicer weather. The trail is a section of the Bristol Hills Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail, rising from the valley floor to the “Outback Inn” shelter and beyond, crossing one substantial gully with waterfall and passing several minor ones. This will be an out-and-back hike with different lengths for the Tourists and Climbers, and with a flatter alternative trail hugging the base of the hill for the Naturalists.  Bring poles if you use them regularly, waterproof boots and good leg protection, as the trail will be muddy in places and a section of narrow trail through tall grass as we cross the valley floor. Also bug spray.


Meet at 3:45 at the Italy Valley Road trail head, north of 1150 Italy Valley Road (42.626312, -77.281368).  Park on either road shoulder near the white barn on the east side of the road; the old parking lot across the road is no longer in use. All groups will cross the valley from here and head into the woods.  Naturalists will split off at the base of the hill for a hike of up to 1 mile north, returning the same way. Tourists will take the blazed FLT up the hill to the Outback Inn (about 2 miles) and then return.  Climbers will continue past the Outback Inn to the gully and waterfall, then return for a total of about 5 miles.

Social: Please join us for the social at Carrie’s home at 4489 W. Sherman Hollow Road, Branchport – about 9 miles from the hike start/finish point.


From Springwater, Wayland and Dansville: Take NY-15 south to Wayland. Turn left at the light onto NY 21 N.  In 6.7 miles turn left to stay on NY-21. At the stop sign in Naples, turn right on NY 53S. In 1.3 miles, turn left onto Italy Valley Rd. In 7.7 miles, past 1150 Italy Valley Road, park on the road shoulder near the trail head – the metal gates in a wood board fence on your right. There is a FLT marker sign.

From Honeoye: Take CR 36 (West Lake Rd) into Naples. Turn right on NY 21S and continue straight onto NY 53S. In 1.3 miles, turn left onto Italy Valley Rd. In 7.7 miles, past 1150 Italy Valley Road, park on the road shoulder near the trail head – the metal gates in a wood board fence on your right.

From Rochester, Canandaigua or points east: Take 5&20 to Reeds Corners (east of Canandaigua)  and Route 247 through Rushville to Potter, where it joins with Route 364.  Just past Potter, take the first right, on Friend Road. In about .5 miles, take a right on Italy Valley Road. Go south on Italy Valley Road about 6.5 miles to the trail head on your left – the metal gates in front of a white barn, with a Finger Lakes Trail marker sign.


Directions to social

From lower parking area: Go north on Italy Valley Road 6.5 miles to the intersection with Friend Road. Make a right on Friend Road, then take the first right on Bordwell Road. Go 1.8 miles. When Bordwell Road ends, your destination will be straight ahead of you at 4489 W. Sherman Hollow Rd.  Find a safe piece of road shoulder for parking at 4489 W. Sherman Hollow.

Celebrate The 20th Anniversary Of Wesley Hill Becoming A Nature Preserve!

Spring is here!, and it is time to get outside.  The Finger Lakes Land Trust is sponsoring a volunteer opportunity at Wesley Hill. This is an opportunity for Springwater Trails to say thank you to one of our popular hike locations.

Wesley Hill is one of FLLT’s most iconic nature preserves, and on Monday, May 20th, it will be turning 20 years old!  If you have never visited our westernmost preserve, this is your chance!  Wesley Hill is full of beautiful vistas, gorges, and old growth trees. 

Please join me on Saturday the 18th to help refresh the hiking trails and clear a short reroute, as well as conduct habitat management.  At the end of the day, we will raise a glass of something bubbly to a magnificent place that is protected forever.  Tools, work gloves, and refreshments (including N/A options), will be provided.  We will meet at 11:00am at the WESLEY RD. parking area.  Directions can be found here.

Original email from:
Jason Gorman, Nature Preserve Manager
Finger Lakes Land Trust
202 E. Court Street
Ithaca, NY 14850