Posts Tagged ‘snow trails’

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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The Friends of the Chemung River Watershed have a new and improved website. The group teamed up with the Chemung Basin River Trail Partnership to showcase all that Southern Tier Rivers have to offer.

Visitors to the site can see the best places to hike and bike along the waterways, find out the best times to canoe and learn information about the rivers. It also lists upcoming events and links to other local attractions.

To check out the newly expanded site, visit www.chemungriverfriends.org.

For additional details on exploring the southern tier, refer to the guidebooks:
Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks
Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region
Take Your Bike – Family Rides in New York’s Finger Lakes Region
Peak Experiences – Hiking the Highest Summits in New York, County by County
Snow Trails – Cross-country Ski & Snowshoe in Central & Western New York

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dogBy Sue Freeman

Wind, rain, snow, hail, sun … most dogs don’t care. They love to go for a walk. It’s good exercise for both of you. So, take your dog for a walk – just do it responsibly. Whether walking around your neighborhood or on a public trail, it’s important to practice responsible ownership so your dog stays safe and doesn’t disturb others.

A critical step in dog walking is choosing where to go. Your immediate neighborhood may be the most convenient option, but isn’t always the most pleasant. In winter, sidewalks, if they exist at all, may not get regularly plowed, and walking in the narrowed streets may pose a danger. A community trail may be a much more pleasant option. If you’ve never walked a trail in winter, you’re in for a treat. Bare tree branches form intricate artwork against the snow and you can see the sculpture of the terrain that‘s obscured by leaves the rest of the year.

You’d be surprised at how many area trails allow dog walking. Local guidebooks from Footprint Press such as “Snow Trails,” “Take A Hike,” “Take Your Bike,” “Take A Paddle,” and “200 Waterfalls” each describe where dogs are, and more importantly, are not welcome, so you can choose where to walk your dog responsibly. They also describe for each trail, if dogs are required to be on leash or can run free.

Regardless, when dog walking, always carry a leash, so you can quickly clip your dog in when encountering these scenarios:
-if your dog gets out of control and becomes vicious or otherwise dangerous
-while passing through any “must-be-on-leash” marked areas
-at the start or end of a walk, through parked cars or at access points
-when crossing a road
-when passing through picnic, playground, or other populated areas
-upon a reasonable request from another person
-if your dog is prone to chasing wildlife

If your dog likes to follow smells, it’s tempting to go from one smell to another and by the time he raises his head to see where he is, he’s clueless. In this case, it’s safer to keep your dog clipped in. Also, remember that not all people are familiar or comfortable with dogs. It’s often polite to clip your dog in when passing others. Keep your dog on the leash if he or she isn’t under voice or other signal control. Dogs understand whistles, voice patterns, intonations and body language better than specific words. Be consistent and firm in your commands, but not abusive. As insurance against loosing your pet, have your dog wear an ID tag with your current phone number.

Carry a “poop bag” and always clean up after your pet. Others, be they neighbors or trail users, will appreciate this courtesy. Dogs are territorial so it’s common for them to squirt trees, bushes and posts as they pass. Try to steer them away from others’ personal property.

Bundle up and head outside for a walk with your dog. You’ll both be better off for the experience.

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