Cows and Trains

Rush_Reserve_Trailmap_DraftLROn Sunday, April 19, 2015, we visited a new hike location in Rush.  Well, not really new, since the woods and river have obviously been explored by many people over the years.  But, the town of Rush recently obtained this land for a new town park, and this was the first visit by Springwater Trails.

IMG_0937The area is partly pasture land and partly forest along the Genesee River.  The most distinguishing feature is the railroad line currently operated by the Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad Corporation. The Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum is housed at the southern end of the area on Rt 251 in the old Industry train depot. The New York Museum of Transportation is located at the northeast corner of the area on East River Road.  Connecting the two museums is an electrified track built by the volunteers from both museums, with rides between the museums provided during the summer months.

IMG_0936The hike began with a visit to the Museum of Transportation and a slide show exploring The Interurban Era presenting slides of the Interurban route from Rochester to Canandaigua and Geneva.  Pictures from the early 1930’s brought the ride to life for us.

IMG_0922Following a much too brief view of the trolley cars at the museum, our hike left from the parking area and followed a path toward the river.  Our first stop was an old water pump house and storage tanks.  We crossed the railroad tracks to get to the river edge where the path turned south along the river bank.

IMG_0929When the train cars housed at the Railroad Museum came into view, we decided that a short side trip would be interesting, and we were rewarded with a close-up view of the silver New York Central passenger cars and updated information from a volunteer who was working on spring cleaning at the museum. Of interest is a May 9 train ride planned from Lakeville to Henrietta.  Check it out!

IMG_0933Heading back north along the river, we saw the remains of an agility course built “last century”.  At the top of a steep scramble where we all followed John, our fearless leader, we saw a lean-to that had leaned too far. It was still early spring and the trees had no leaves so we were able to see everything through the woods.  The many acorns on the ground gave evidence of the many Oaks in the forest.  We also recognized Beach trees.

IMG_0935Next we went under the railroad tracks and visited an old log cabin – no resemblance to Pati and Jim’s home- The hike ended with a visit to the cows grazing on the hill, and a good view north to downtown Rochester.

In summary, a beautiful spring day at a great new location for hikes – we all agreed we should return for a winter hike.

Mendon Ponds Park – Dec 2, 2012 at 1:00

This Sunday, December 2, 2012  at 1:00 (note time change) we will explore Mendon Ponds, one of Monroe County’s largest parks.  Mendon Ponds was designated a National Registry of Natural landmarks in 1969 due to its dramatic geological glacial formations including kettles, kames and eskers.  The 2,500 acre park offers many types of recreational opportunities including 30 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, boating, fishing, sledding, cross country skiing, lodges, a nature center, an injured raptor bird center called Wild Wings and a sensory garden for the disabled.

NOTE: The hike this week will start at 1:00PM rather than 2:00 to allow access to the Nature Center and Wild Wings at Mendon Ponds Park.  We will meet at the Masterson House on Junction Rd at 1:00 and then car pool to the Nature Center.  Dogs (on leashes) will only be allowed on the Climbers hike which will avoid the birds at the Nature Center. Continue reading