The CNY Kayakers is a club that brings people together to enhance the pleasure of flat water kayaking. They provide opportunities for all levels of experience, from novice to expert, to share, to learn and to have fun, while navigating the many waterways of Central New York. New this year are Wednesday morning paddles. Click here to learn more.
Archive for the ‘Finger Lakes’ Category
Written by Marci Diehl, Democrat & Chronicle, link to original post
Finger Lakes Land Trust acquires new properties to conserve for nature walks, birding adventuresIt’s some of the most unspoiled, spectacularly beautiful and ecologically important land in the state. And if all goes according to plan, it will be accessible to the public for low-impact uses like hiking, kayaking, fishing and bird-watching.
In the past year, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has acquired two important pieces of land overlooking Canandaigua Lake and adjacent to the West River — the lake’s principal tributary — adding to the group’s growing list of acquisitions and conservation easements. The goal is to link a crescent of land extending from Bare Hill southward through South Hill to High Tor and the highlands surrounding Naples.
This is serene land that is teeming with wildlife, forests, waterfalls and flora — and facing watershed and potential erosion problems if developed. The proposal to create a Canandaigua Lake water trail and birding trail could prevent some of these issues for generations to come.
The newest acquisition is a 68-acre property that encompasses a 390-foot cove beach on the east side of Canandaigua Lake, along with extensive woodlands on Bare Hill. Last year, the trust acquired 13 acres adjacent to the entrance to the Bare Hill State Unique Area. And in 2011, Constellation Brands donated 64 acres of an abandoned vineyard in the town of Italy at the south end of the lake — land that the National Audubon Society designated an “Important Bird Area.” Over the summer, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will cultivate native grasses to create a grassland area connecting with the state’s emergent wetlands of the West River.
The more that people can see land and experience it, the more connected they become to conserving it, says Andrew Zepp, executive director of the trust. The organization’s goal, he says, is to “work cooperatively with landowners and local communities to maintain the character of this area, while enhancing opportunities for outdoor education and recreation.”
Connecting these preserved lands to the DEC’s High Tor Wildlife Management Area is significant. High Tor’s 6,100 acres encompass habitats, wooded hills, cliffs and marshlands in the West River Valley — along with South Hill’s 1,000 acres of wooded hillsides.
And the West River contains one of the largest wetlands in the state — a popular area for kayakers and canoeists.
Bruce Lindsay has managed 700 acres on the top of South Hill for 43 years, and he sees some species actually returning to former habitats, including porcupines, black bears, coyotes, foxes and wild turkeys.
“Turkey vultures with five-foot wing spans soar above the hill,” Lindsay says. “On rare occasions, eagles are seen here. Goldfinch, blue birds, bobolinks and the rare indigo bunting fill the fields. It’s a birder’s paradise.”
The two southeastern hills of the lake are largely undeveloped. Naples resident Kevin Armstrong donated 32 acres of woodland in the area, on steep property along South Hill above the West River.
“There are many people who would see the land as something to be developed just for the views alone,” Armstrong says.
Lindsay, too, is passionate about protecting this land the Seneca people held sacred.
“In the 21st century, we still have an opportunity to ‘do no harm,’ ” he says. “There are vast areas surrounding this lake that still are pristine. The challenge is to do no harm for the future of pure water, appropriate but not unchecked development, and, yes, just space to enable natural beauty to be the essence.”
Ontario Pathways is a linear rail trail. It forms a large “V” with a leg from Canandaigua to Stanley and another leg from Stanley to Phelps. Before reaching Phelps, it passes through the town of Orleans in what’s called the Wheat Road section. The linear trail now has a side loop. Doug Daniels spearheaded a group of volunteers to build the loop tril on land owned by Ontario Pathways between the rail trail and Flint Creek. The new trail is marked by white rectangular blazes.
To find the new loop trail, head north on Ontario pathways. From the intersection where the Route 488 bypass (necessitated by the damage to the Route 488 bridge) rejoins the rail trail, look straight across to find the white blazes. The trail will lead down to and along Flint Creek, ending at a farmer’s lane, where you hike back up and rejoin the rail trail.
Source: edited from article by Tim Wilbur in the OP newsletter. Tim didn’t mention the length of the new loop trail so if anyone knows, please add it as a comment.
Both “Take Your Bike” guidebooks include Ontario Pathways.
Click here to watch a video & read “Fair Haven Beach State Park.” Then pick up a copy of “Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes” and paddle Sterling Valley Creek and end at Sterling Pond in Fair Haven Beach State Park.
Posted in Central NY, Emerald Necklace, Finger Lakes, Finger Lakes Land Trust, Hiking, Trail Building, Waterfalls, tagged Central New York Land Trust, Ripley Hill, Ripley Hill Nature Preserve, Spafford NY on July 31, 2013| Leave a Comment »
By Charley Hannagan, Syracuse.com,link to original post
The Spafford Town Board is discussing a Finger Lakes Land Trust plan to buy 205 acres from the Burns family on Route 41 to create hiking trails at the southern end of Skaneateles Lake.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust has an agreement to buy the property from Bill and Leonard Burns. “It’s the linchpin property in our goal to create a greenbelt along the south of Skaneateles Lake,” said Andy Zepp, executive director of the land trust. “There’s a lot of it rugged woodland. It includes small meadows and agricultural areas that provide wonderful lake views, and a waterfall on Randall Creek.”
The town board must make sure the plan conforms to local zoning laws enacted in 2010 and a state environmental review. The board was to discuss the plan Thursday night and a public hearing on the project will likely be held in mid-August, said town Supervisor Webb Stevens.
Zepp is hopeful the town will approve the project soon and that the trust can buy the land within two months. The Burns family will continue to farm the rest of the 600 acres they own nearby, he said.
The majority of the land is located on the west side of Route 41 near a scenic overlook. About five acres on the east side of the road will be part of a 4,000 foot-long corridor that will connect the property to the Ripley Hill Nature Preserve, a 130-acre preserve owned by the Central New York Land Trust.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust plans to demolish an abandoned house on the property, build a 12-car parking lot, build interpretive kiosks and create a 1.5 mile loop trail over the more rugged sections of the property, Zepp said. A second trail of a little more than a mile would be built to connect the property to Ripley Hill, he said.
Or, head to Finger Lakes National Forest where you’re bound to find a bountiful crop available for picking. The location of the blueberry patch can be found on the map on page 252 in the guidebook “Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.” It can also be found on page 277 in “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York.”
Go for a hike, visit some waterfalls and munch on wild blueberries. Now that’s a heavenly summer day.
Click here for a comedic look at Rick French, the fearless Leader of Pack Paddle & Ski as he and a few friends explore Conklin Gully and Parish Hill in Naples NY. As the video shows, Rick is an intrepid leader who leads groups on adventures all over the world. Check out his trips at www.packpaddleski.com.
To explore Conklin Gully, Parish Hill and many more areas on your own, pick of copies of Footprint Press guidebooks such as 200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York and Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.