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Posts Tagged ‘footprint press’

It’s winter – time to plan for some fun in the snow. If you live in or near Monroe, Wayne or Ontario Counties, there are trails nearby that provide opportunities for a quick evening moonlit ski or a longer weekend outing. Here are 10 of my favoritesSnow Trails.

Monroe County
1. Mendon Ponds Park in Mendon has 20 miles of groomed trails for all levels of ability. The trails wind among the eskers, kames and kettle ponds of this glacially sculpted landscape. It’s a popular winter playground for avid skiers.
2. Powder Mills Park in Pittsford is another hilly park with 8 miles of marked, groomed trails.
3. For less hilly terrain, try Webster Park along the shore of Lake Ontario. It is the beneficiary of lake effect snows. Escape into the wilderness in the middle of suburbia on a myriad of loop trails.
4. Genesee Country Nature Center in Mumford is great for families. There’s a small entrance fee, but you’ll find 4.5 miles of easy, groomed trails, a warming hut, and restrooms. Plus you can rent skis or snowshoes on site.

Ontario County
5. Canadice Lake Trail parallels the west shore of Canadice Lake with gorgeous views for an easy 7.4 mile round trip. For more of a challenge, try the side loop trails up the steep hillside.
6. Cumming Nature Center is a week-end family favorite with amenities and equipment rentals. It offers 15 miles of groomed trails. There is a small entrance fee.
7. Skiers’ Mecca is Harriet Hollister State Memorial Recreation Area south of Honeoye Lake. This park sits at high elevation and promises snow cover when the rest of the area is barren. The 20 miles of trails are groomed by volunteers from the N.Y.S. Section V Ski League and are used for ski races. The trails wind through pristine woods and one trail offers a panoramic view north over Honeoye Lake.

Wayne County
8. Casey Park in Ontario offers a 1.8-mile round trip on a flat trail along the shore of a lake that formed in an old iron ore quarry. The more adventurous can continue around the lake on the hilly, narrow north shore trail with gorgeous views down to the lake.
9. Blue Cut Nature Center sits between Newark and Lyons. Here you’ll find 2 miles of easy trails through the woods and along a marshland. The trails are free, but don’t expect amenities.

When you head out to ski, it’s helpful to have a guide specific to winter such as the local guidebook “Snow Trails.” The guide describes which parking areas are plowed in winter, which roads remain unplowed and become part of the ski trail network. You’ll also learn how each trail is rated in terms of beginner, intermediate and expert runs, and which trails are too narrow and steep and are best left for adventurers on snowshoes.

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Take A Hike – Rochester (NEW) 3rd edition

It was a beautiful, blue sky, fall day. And, as luck would have it, the Crescent Trail Association was leading a hike. Rich and I wandered through the woods on the trail with 20 others in search of fall’s beauty.

The club was offering a shuttle back to our car, but we wanted to walk, so we headed back down the trail. This time we walked in silence, just the two of us. The temperature had dropped and big snowflakes began to fall. It fell in blankets that stuck to our hair and soaked into our clothing.

Rich and I made mistakes that many people make when heading out for a hike. We didn’t prepare for a change in weather. We were wearing blue jeans and we didn’t have gloves or hats. We had gone on a guided hike and didn’t have a map or compass with us. In fact, we had nothing with us.

We plodded through the deepening snow. The trail and the blazes became hard to see. Then it happened. We passed a landmark along the trail for the second time! We had gone in a circle and didn’t even realize it. We’d read about people getting lost and going in circles. But we were two intelligent human beings. How could it happen to us?

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes

So, we were lost and getting progressively wetter and colder. We knew major roads formed boundaries for the land we were on. We guessed at the direction and headed to the road noise. When we reached the road we discovered we were back at the farthest road, not the road with our car. Without a compass we had guessed wrong. We had embarrassed ourselves enough for one day, so we decided to follow the roads and walk about 3 miles back to our car in the dark, arriving exhausted, cold, and soaked to the skin.

In hindsight, we were fortunate. We knew the roads surrounding the woods and the area was small. Making a similar mistake in unknown territory farther from roads could have been fatal. And we learned a valuable lesson. We now go out prepared, even if it’s a short, guided hike. We put together a survival kit in a zip lock bag that is kept in our daypack and taken on every hike. We make sure we always have a map of the trails with us, and we each carry a bottle of water. We no longer wear cotton (except on short summer hikes) and we put clothes in our daypack for one level of wet or cold below what it is when we head out.

We’ve fine-tuned our route finding abilities over the years as we’ve explored the hundreds of trails throughout Western and Central New York. I can happily report that in the ten years since this incident we haven’t been lost once.

Survival Kit
compass
pocket knife with scissors
small flashlight
waterproof matches
small emergency space blanket
iodine tablets (to purify water)
small roll of toilet paper
sun screen
lip balm
band aids
mole skin
bug repellant
bandana

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By Amy Moritz, Buffalo News, link to original post

So you participated in the Ride for Roswell and decided you wanted to make cycling a regular part of your summer routine. Perhaps you were inspired by friends or family who did the annual Tour de Cure or maybe you’re intrigued by the sport as the Tour de France gears up for the month of July.

Where do you begin? Here’s a look at some of the key elements of getting into cycling or in kicking up your current fitness routine into a more competitive environment.
The basics: A bike and helmet

The first step in buying a bike — think about what it is you want to do. Are you looking for simple recreational cycling? Do you have some performance goals or want to try and go fast? Are you thinking of going off-road and mountain biking? There are bikes in all price ranges in various categories, but be sure to know what it is you want to use your bike for.

“You need to pick the type of bike to match your goals,” said Peter Cummings, head coach with Plan2Peak Endurance Sport Coaching. “The biggest mistake is that people buy the wrong bike. They get a mountain bike and want to ride on the road with their friends. Or they buy a bike online and don’t understand the fitting process.” Yes, the fitting process. Much like women’s dress sizes, bicycle manufacturers have different systems when describing the size of their bikes. Why is a good fit important? It keeps you comfortable and from getting injured. If you feel good on the bike, you’ll continue to get on it, which is good for your fitness, your learning curve in the sport and your investment of time and money.

The best way to start with a good fit is to go to a local bike shop. Most places will work with you to match you to a bike that meets your cycling goals, your price range goals and fits our body.

And really, don’t even think about riding without a helmet. It’s part and parcel of the cycling package whether you’re riding a paved bike path, city roads or outdoor trails.
Bells, whistles and other gear

While a bike and helmet are the only requirements for cycling of any kind, there are things which can make the experience more enjoyable — starting with nutrition and hydration. Carry water or sports drink either in a water bottle in a cage mounted on your frame or a camelback system (think water bottle backpack). It’s also nice to stash a nutrition or granola bar — something small to eat — in your pocket, just in case.

It’s also wise to carry the necessary tools to fix a flat. A basic cycling multi-tool and a spare tube can help save the day. So of course, can knowing how to use them. Many local bike shops offer clinics on how to change a flat and perform simple bike maintenance. And if they don’t, chances are someone there will help teach you.

If you’re a numbers person or just curious about what you’re doing, a bike computer which mounts to your handle bars can give you basic information (how far and how fast you’re going) up to more detailed info (cadence and heart rate). Those interested in fitness and training can also invest in a heart rate monitor.

The first “upgrade” most people make is to cycling apparel. Shorts, gloves and a jersey can make the ride more comfortable. And if you want to move from beginner into intermediate or enthusiast level, cycling shoes and pedals (often called “clipless” pedals) are the next step. The system connects you to the bike, allowing more efficient pedaling and more control over the bike.
Off the beaten path

It’s no surprise, if you’re interested in hitting the trails instead of the pavement, the most important thing is a good mountain bike.

“The first thing is to get an appropriate bike which typically is not a department store bike,” said Wil Couch, an active mountain biker who works locally for Felt Bicycles. “You need to get something durable enough to handle mountain biking. If you have the wrong equipment, you won’t enjoy it from the start.”

Other keys include going out with some experienced friends and starting on a trail that suits your ability. Hunter’s Creek, for instance, is a popular place for local mountain bikers, but not necessarily a good spot for your first time on a trail.
What to expect on the trails?

“Very varied terrain where you’ll experience rocks and go over tree roots,” Couch said. “There may be steep climbs or descents and turns. It’s common to find mud and often you’re quite secluded. You’re typically not riding with a ton of people. It’s very peaceful and secluded. Make sure you’re within your abilities. If you come across an obstacle you’re unsure about, there’s nothing wrong with getting off and walking a section or going to inspect a section before attempting to ride over it. Safety is a huge aspect of mountain biking because it is a dangerous sport.”
Where to ride

Bike paths can take cyclists away from vehicle traffic, but watch out for runners, walkers and other recreation users. Online resources including sites like mapmyride.com allow users to create their own routes or search ones that others have created. Additionally, the Niagara Frontier Bicycling Club  allows members to purchase map packets, which include elevation profiles and route difficulty ratings. Footprint Press offers guidebooks to area biking trails. If you’re joining a group for a ride, know your Western New York geography. A ride based out of Chestnut Ridge Park, for instance, is going to include hills. A ride in Clarence, on the other hand, will likely be flat, country roads.

For mountain biking, popular local spots include Sprague Brook, good for all skill levels, as is Holiday Valley. If you’ve honed your skills, advance on to Hunter’s Creek. Plenty of maps and trail ideas are available through the Western New York Mountain Biking Association.

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Getting competitive

So you’ve been riding and want to kick it up a notch? Or just need some competition to keep your motivation? Cycling races are available across the region in different disciplines and for all levels. The best places to start looking for competitions are through the Buffalo Bicycling Club and the Western New York Mountain Biking Association.

Roadies have three types of local events to choose from — time trials (individuals race a course against the clock), road races (cyclists ride a road course in a pack with the first to cross the line winner) and the criterium (tightly bunched riders doing laps on a short course with tight turns).

“If you’re just starting, I’d say begin with a time trial,” Cummings said. “There’s no drafting, no pack skills needed. It’s real easy to enter and when you’re done you can compare your speed to the speed of other riders and it gives you a good way to measure what you’d be up against in other races.”

As for mountain biking, Couch said there are new racers in nearly every event and that most competitions have a beginner or novice division.

“Honestly, the best way to get into racing is to go do it,” Couch said. “You don’t have to be worried about going out there and getting killed by everyone. Pretty much every race I’ve been too, there have been at least a handful of people doing their very first race. You won’t be alone. And it’s a really fun atmosphere. It’s still competitive in nature, but it’s a really fun event.”
Etiquette: Rules of the road and trail

As with any sport, there is an etiquette system and general rules of riding, especially when riding with a group. The best bet — ask. Different groups have different courtesies and a group of racers out for a training ride will have different rules of the road than a casual group of riders. Often touring or recreational riders will announce themselves with an “on your left” when passing another rider — and always pass on the left. Other communication sayings you may hear include “car up” (a car is approaching from the front of the group) or “car back” (a car is approaching from the back of the group). The other basic — ride with traffic, not against traffic.

On trails, cyclists should yield to hikers, trail runners and horseback riders. Slower riders should allow for faster riders to pass them and faster riders should ask to pass.

Preserving the integrity of the trail is important. Avoid riding in poor conditions as riding in mud can cause damage to the trails. If you come across muddy sections or standing water, though, it is best to ride through it rather than around it.

In the same vein, it’s important to ride only on the trail. Most trails in state and national parks are created with permission. Riding off trail can damage the park and lead to restricted use in the future. So can littering, so take out what you bring in.

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Click here to read all the details about Tuesday Night Fun Rides at RV&E Bike and Skate in Fairport, NY.

Take Your Bike - Rochester

While you’re there, stop inside the store for all your biking equipment needs and pick up a Footprint Press recreation guidebook or two.

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By Sue Freeman

As the snow piles dwindle and snowdrops push through the remaining whiteness, our thoughts drift toward spring and rebirth. It’s time to burst forth from our homes, free our boats from their winter storage, and explore some of the local waterways that can only be paddled in springtime. (Just wait a bit for the floodwaters to recede!)

Paddling in western New York is a three season affair, spanning spring, summer and fall. But not all waterways can be paddled in all seasons. Some of the smaller creeks need the flush of spring rains and snowmelt to boost their flow to paddleable levels. Others become torrents in spring and you must wait for the waters to subside before its safe to paddle. It’s more important in springtime than in any other season to pick the right place to paddle.

Take A Paddle - Western NY

The springtime paddler must be flexible. There’s a fine balance between the amount of rainfall, the speed of snow melt, and the achievement of comfortable air temperatures that results in good paddling. I have loaded the car and headed to a waterway expecting to enjoy a day of paddling, only to face a raging torrent of water. Fast, high, cold water is a powerful force you don’t want to recon with. You have to be willing to judge the conditions from streamside and turn back if it looks too dangerous. Here again, picking the right place is paramount.

If you select carefully, there’s nothing like paddling and drifting down a small stream on a warm spring day. It makes you feel like a pioneer in the wilderness, released from the grip of winter. Buds are bursting from branches along the streamside and wildlife is active; enjoying spring warmth along with you.

One of my favorites for this feeling is Oswayo Creek from Shinglehouse, PA to Toll Gate, NY. Your paddling partners are likely to be deer, ducks, kingfishers and eagles. Another that fits this bill is Great Valley Creek between Ashford and Ellicottville. Then of course, there’s the classic run on the Genesee River from Belmont to Portageville. The key to each of these is that they’re small streams that have enough water to paddle only during spring high water conditions.

For a different experience, launch into Honeoye Lake and follow Honeoye Inlet at the

Take A Paddle - Finger Lakes

south end, where you can paddle through a rare silver maple and ash wetland. Or launch into Port Bay and head south on the winding cattail stream at its south end called Wolcott Creek. This is a spawning ground for lots of fish.

Enjoy spring paddling. Just be sure to wear your life jacket. Spring waters are cold and accidents can occur at any time. Have fun, but play it safe.

Take A Paddle – Western New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks and Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks from Footprint Press available to lead you on many fun adventures.

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If you’re wondering what to get mom for Mother’s Day (which is May 8, just in case you forgot) and she’s into the outdoors, don’t worry. There are plenty of great gifts that will make her days on the water and in the field more enjoyable.

All moms need a good pair of polarized sunglasses when they’re outdoors. Ono’s Trading Company has three new models designed for women, who typically have smaller facial features than men.

The Tuscadero model, which has pink frames and gray or amber lenses, is especially stylish for mom. Its rubberized nose pad and arm stems keep them from slipping on a steamy day. For those who need them, Ono’s are available with bifocal magnifiers for reading and tying on fishing lures.

The new Ono’s cost $89.99 ($99.99 with blue or green mirrored lenses) and are sold in stores, catalogs and online. Visit onostradingcompany.com.

Moms into hiking and camping will adore the Joby GorillaTorch Switchback, one light that can be used as a headlamp or a lantern. Wear the headlamp as darkness descends on your campsite, then place it inside the lantern and turn it on to light up your tent.

The Switchback has five LEDs, including a flood light and red lights for night vision, and the brightness can be adjusted. The lantern has a hook for hanging in your tent and adjustable legs that can be clamped to a tree branch. Cost is $59.95. It’s available at several online sites. Visit joby.com/gorillatorch/switchback.

A pair of SmartWool’s new PhD Outdoor Light Crew socks will make mom’s hiking more pleasurable. Designed for women’s feet, the socks are made of Merino wool. My tester found them comfortable and cushy, and said they gave her feet more bounce on her neighborhood walks and runs, although they were a little warm for this time of year. The socks cost $19.95 at online retailers. Visit smartwool.com.

Finally, give mom a treasure trove of ideas of where to go to have fun hiking, biking, paddling, bird watching, backpacking, or finding waterfalls with a guidebook. Footprintpress.com offers guides for most of NY State and a variety of activities.

(adapted from article by Steve Waters in SunSentinel.com, link to original article)

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This video is meant as a thank you to purchasers of Google Adwords (such as my companies Footprint Press, Inc. and DisplayStands4You.com), however it’s funny and everyone can use a good laugh.  click here for some fun.

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