3/5/14 Volunteers Needed in Letchworth Park
This appeal is from Dave Wright and Bob Lasher:
Hello Friends of Victor Trails,
We have a special request from a VHT member who is helping NYS with a environmental problem. His name is Robert Lasher and the problem is an insect invasion that is killing Hemlock trees in our area.
Bob has volunteered to spend the weekend of March 22-23 at Letchworth Park hiking through the woods looking for evidence of this insect.
Here is what Bob told us:
> I'm helping the NYS Parks department in a time sensitive project. I went to a meeting led by Bob O'Brien, Invasive Species Control-Field Director which was to enlist volunteer groups to aide in identifying infestations of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), a very pervasive non-native insect to North America that has been destroying thousands of acres of Hemlock trees. It's been making it's way into New York and has been recently found in Letchworth Park.
>Basically, individuals and groups have been asked to "adopt" quadrangles in the park and follow the protocol for identifying Hemlock trees that show signs of the insect and documenting it. As I mentioned this is a time sensitive project. The initial survey of the parks Hemlock trees needs to be done by 4/1/14. The reason for this is the HWA eggs are on the twigs through the winter and begin to emerge in early April. A project like this I might tackle on my own, but with the short time line I NEED HELP. I'm looking for help with this project. I'm identifying 2 quadrangles of the park to adopt and am hoping to find volunteers who would like to help.
>It would involve hiking (on trail and maybe off trail), education on the HWA insect, Hemlock trees, and how to identify and document.
>This is the first year of a long term project. The first survey is prior to April and a second one will be done in July prior to the laying of next generation eggs. When I "adopt" my quadrangles, they are my responsibility as long as I can continue doing it.
>With all of that said, I was wondering if anyone at VHT would be interested in helping with this project. I'm looking at the weekend of 3/22 to work on this project. I'm looking into renting a cabin there to use to work out of, stay overnight when working on the project which might be a good for anyone who wants to participate.
>Thanks in advance, Bob Lasher
I (Dave Wright) will be going down on Saturday, 3/22/14, after my morning hike at Fishers Park. I hope to leave around 10:00 a.m. and arrive at Letchworth around 11:00 a.m. I also plan to be there Sunday, possibly camping overnight.
If you can help on either Saturday or Sunday, please contact Dave at Chair@VictorHikingTrails.Org (or use the "Contact Us" button on the left near the top) for further details.
3/3/14 VCS Safe Routes To School Project Update
The goal of the Safe Routes to School project is to create safe pedestrian linkages from the residential neighborhoods to school facilities that serve K-8 students. The Town received a grant from the Federal Highway Administration / New York State Department of Transportation in the amount of $389,815 for the construction of a series of sidewalks and provide educational opportunities on the importance of walking and biking. This is a similar funding mechanism that we tapped for the Auburn Trail and Lehigh Valley Trail projects. The local project advisory team consists of Supervisor Marren, Gloria Dunton (Town Fiscal Manager), Mark Years (Highway Superintendant), Chris Marshall (VCSD Director of Buildings and Grounds) and Brian Emelson (Parks and Recreation) as the Project Administrator. We hired Fisher Associates in the fall to act as the consultant engineer on the project.
Once we have determined the preferred location of the sidewalks and sought public input on the project, we will be required to receive Design Approval from the FHWA / NYSDOT. The project will also need to travel through the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes. We anticipate receiving Design Approval this spring, which would have us going out to bid for construction of the sidewalks in June / July. We are currently looking at constructing sidewalks in the following areas:
- High Street to the Jr. / Sr. High School along the West Entrance of VCSD - this will link up with the sidewalks that are slated to be constructed on High Street as part of the High Street Capital Project.
- Lane Road from Sagamore Way to the Lane Road Entrance to the VCSD Campus.
- Along the Campus Drive to the Intermediate School adjacent to the athletic fields.
- Latchmere Drive to the Intermediate School
For more information, contact Brian Emelson at (585) 742-0141 or email@example.com
Map & Display (PDF).
2/18/14 Hike Mendon Ponds Park 3/8 with the Victor Hiking Trails group
On Saturday March 8th, Victor Hiking Trails will lead a hike at Mendon Ponds Park. If there is snow, bring your cross-country skis or snowshoes. The hike will be about 2 hours on 4 to 5 miles of gently rolling hills. Meet at Victor Town Hall rear parking lot, 85 East Main Street at 9:00 a.m. or at the 100 Acre Pond Beach area parking lot next to Stewart Lodge on Douglas Road at 9:30 a.m. Bring a snack and something to drink. Dress for the weather.
Additional details can be found by calling 585-234-8226.
2/13/14 Woods Walk & Trail Run at Pfeiffer Nature Center
The 8th annual Woods Walk & Trail Run at the beautiful Eshelman Property of the Pfeiffer Nature Center in Portville NY (near Olean) will be Saturday June 14, 14. There will be these events: 5K Run AND Walk, 10K Run, 10Mile Run, and 10K Walk. Information is at http://www.woodswalk.net/index.html.
Note: This is a great "park" with very nice trails. Well worth an afternoon or more.
12/21/13 The Winter 2013 VHT Pathfinder Newsletter is now available.
The newest Newsletter is available. It and past issues are available from the link in the left hand column.
- An active Fall season for VHT
- Hikes for 2014
- Past Hikes
- Oct. 12- Finger Lakes Trail, Prattsburgh section.
- Nov. 9- Dryer Road Park, Fort Hill and Ganondagan State Historic Site.
- Dec. 14- El Camino Trail and Genesee Riverway Trail
- The 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show "ART-iculture!"
- Photos of past hikes, work parties, and "What a difference a week makes in Rochester, NY"
- Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing
- VHT Sponsors
11/9/13 History hike at GanondaganBy David Wright
On Saturday November 9th, 12 outdoor enthusiasts enjoyed a special hike hosted by Victor Hiking Trails and led by Peter Jemison, Site Manager at the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor. Peter met the group at the top of Fort Hill and told them about the early history of the Seneca Nation and their relationship with the British, French and Dutch. The group hiked over to the "long house" at Ganondagan where Peter told the hikers about the new Visitors Center that will be build over the next 14 months. This was followed by a hike on the trails at Ganondagan, back to Fort Hill and then on the trails at Dryer Road Park. Additional educational hikes are planned for the 2014 season.
(Note that in the pictures, Peter is wearing the baseball cap.)
11/3/13 Trails Effects on Property Values
While there have been many studies of the effect on property values near trails through out the US -- nearly all showing a positive effect --, and an informal study of ads saying something like "Near Trail!" vs "Not Near Any Trail!" (a lot to zero), an October '11 study of home prices in Hamilton County, Ohio by the University of Cincinnati gives some very precise data.
"The current study focused on 1,762 residential properties located within 10,000 feet of the trail." The trail in this case was a 12-mile section of Ohio's Little Miami Scenic Trail, a multi-use trail like our Auburn and Lehigh Trails. "The research used street network distances between residential properties and the closest trail entrance." The homes "average 2,203 square feet of living space. The average price was $263,517."
The take away numbers are "housing prices went up by nine dollars for every foot closer to the trail entrance. Ultimately, the study concluded that for the average home, homeowners were willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be located one thousand feet closer to the trail."
9/18/13 Auburn Trail Extension Open on Woolston Rd to Powder Mills Park
The Auburn Trail Extension to Powder Mills Park along widened shoulders on both sides along Woolston Rd has been constructed. While there is still work to be done, it is usable.
The picture is from near the main Auburn Trail, looking east to the entrance of Powder Mills Park, with a parking lot on the far right side. It was a beautiful mid-September day as the final striping was completed and users were already using it.
Note: Bikes may be used on the roads but are not permitted on the trails within Powder Mills Park.
The full Auburn Trail Extension Project from Fishers to the Pittsford town line and Powder Mills Park still has more work to add various amenities and signs. This should be completed next year.
6/2/13 National Trails Day: (Surprise!) A Big Success!
The day threatened with thunder storms, but we didn't see any rain at all. Nearly 100 people participated in the hike along the Auburn Trail from Farmington's Mertensia Park across Victor to Powder Mills Park. 40 of them doing the full route. We welcome the new VHT members who earned membership by doing the full length. (From 6-years-old up!)
And a big Thank You to the all the Volunteers who led the hike, did the food service, provided rides back for those needing to doing part way, and for maintaining the trails in such great shape. (And arranging the weather.)
As always, the trail was being used by lots of other people, too. Walkers, runners, bikers, dogs (on leashes); in ones, twos, larger groups and families.
5/28/13 Seneca Trail Completion!
Victor Hiking Trails' Seneca Trail is now complete! From the connection with the Crescent Trail System at the Perinton Town / Monroe County line (Lasalle Parkway) all the way south into East Bloomfield and through Boughton Park. (Boughton Road). It is approximately 14-miles long. Click for Detail Map of the Seneca Trail.
The last link, through an open meadow, under the high power lines across NY 96 from Eastview Mall, from Turk Hill Rd to the top of High Point, was mowed and blazed by VHT Volunteers on Memorial Day. This section has only been mowed once so it will still be rough, but it is most definitely open and usable. And, it has some great views, too, thanks to the power line corridor.
Thank You Volunteers! Thank you land owners for giving us permission to use your land. Also Thank You VHT Members for the funding for the equipment, repairs (one of the Billy Goat mowers did stop working during this project), and fuel.
The Turk Hill Rd. crossing is at the signal light. Be very careful there: Drivers are not used to seeing pedestrians at that intersection. There is not yet any special pedestrian traffic signals or controls. (And as of May '13, the crosswalk lines on the pavement have been worn to near non-visibility.)
This follows the great work our Volunteers did on the section from Turk Hill Rd. to the town line earlier this season.
Note: Parts of the Seneca Trail are closed during hunting seasons. Spring Turkey season lasts through May. The southern section of the Seneca Trail remains closed until June 1. That section also has had no mowing yet, either.
Still needed on the Seneca are two bridges. One is currently a ford, just south of Valentown, the other is a temporary narrow low board bridge just north of Boughton Park. These will be constructed as funds become available.
This section will be part of the 0 SPF Trail 1/2 Marathon Trail Run on July 20th. from Valentown through the Crescent Trail and back. And also the VHT 3rd Annual Challenge Hike: The full length of the Seneca Trail on September 29th.
5/20/13 Seneca Trail
On Saturday, a crew of volunteers from trailsRoc was out cleaning up the trash along the newest section of the Seneca Trail: From Turk Hill Rd. to La Salle Parkway and the Crescent Trail system. They took out 14 large bags of trash! Thank you from all users of the trail.
Here is a 7-minute video of a walk through this new section. There is considerable traffic noise at each end, but also continuous birdsong. Video. Thank you Ron Heerkens Jr.
trailsRoc will be using the Seneca Trail, from Valentown and the Crescent Trail System for their 1/2 Marathon Trail Run on July 20th, with a portion of the proceedings going to VHT.
5/19/13 Great Day on the Trails
For those of us unable to go to the Adirondacks for VHT's spring weekend, it was a wonderful day on our local trails. I took a short ride on the Auburn Trail to check out the newest section to Powder Mills Park. The trail was being used by bikers, hikers, and runners. Individuals, couples, and families. From youngsters to oldsters as myself. Some I talked with are very familiar with the VHT trails, others were on it for the very first time.
The most common question: "When will it be extended into Pittsford?" The only answer is that that lies with the Pittsford government.
One 7-year old was riding with her mother. They live near Powder Mills Park. They were on their way to Papa Jack's for ice cream. They are regular users of the Auburn Trail. Shows trails are a good business investment, too.
I was also able to pick up a couple bags of trash from the new construction zone. The rest of the trail was looking very good. You too can help by taking a trash bag when you use the trails. It is an important way of volunteering to make Victor' trails -- the trails you use -- the very best.
Also this beautiful weekend, volunteers were out installing 5 picnic tables near trails; were working on the new Seneca Trail near Perinton; widening some trails in parks to allow larger mowers to take over from smaller ones so the smaller ones can do better on the narrow trails; and of course the normal mowing and trimming work that goes on all season. It takes thousands of volunteer hours to make and keep the trails we all use. You can contact our Volunteer Coordinator to help.
Welcome to the Victor Hiking Trails, Inc. official
Your contribution will help maintain and extend a network of hiking trails in the town of Victor.
We are a grassroots organization that began exploratory meetings in the fall of 1991. We have accomplished a lot, but we still have much work ahead of us. We currently have over 30-miles of open trails. These include well connected multi-use rails-to-trails, secluded woodland rambles, stream side walks, and longer cross-town hiking trails. Some connect various town and state parks, others exist by themselves. In addition, we are actively scouting out possible sites and negotiating with land owners and developers for permission of public access to their property. Our purpose is to develop a trail system which will preserve open space and provide an educational and recreational experience for everyone in the town of Victor.
We the People: Involved in Victor Hiking Trails are kindred spirits. People who care about the land on which they live. People who enjoy nature in all its bounty. People who want to improve their town and leave something that will add value to our lives. People like you. We welcome you among us. We meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 PM in the Victor Town Hall at 85 East Main Street. Meetings are informal and everyone is welcome. Please try to join us, you can get to know us better. We have regularly scheduled work parties for clearing and maintaining the trail system. Please see the calendar.VISION
- Create and maintain foot trails and multi-use paths in the Town of Victor.
- Promote a meaningful relationship with nature.
- Promote individual responsibility for protecting the environment.
- Provide recreational activity through walking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing.
- Provide education to the public through nature interpretation, historical information and proper use of trails.
- Promote good relationships with all people (landowners, government officials, adjacent townships, and trail users).
- Trails of various terrain, landforms, views and habitats for various plant and animal species.
- Trails in various geographic sections of the Town of Victor with access by as many residents as possible.
- Trails of various lengths and difficulties.
- Trails for foot traffic and paths for multi-use including bikes.
- Dave Wright - Chairperson
- Jeff Hennick - Vice-Chairperson & WebMaster
- Wizzy Geno - Volunteer Coordinator
- Nat Fisher - Secretary
- Chauncy Young - Treasurer
- Carol MacInnes - Trail Master
- Larry Fisher - Trail Boss
- Ralph Weber - Education
- Pete Ingalsbe - Membership
- You too can be a part of the VHT team!
- 1980's - Conservation Board initiates concept.
- Summer of 1991 - Town Board approves concept
- September 24, 1991 - First organized meeting
- May, 1992 - Incorporated in New York State
- September 18, 1993 - First trail opened
- June 16, 1994 - Tax exempt status approved by Federal Government
- September 17, 1994 - First Bridge Walk (Fund Raiser)
- See How To Develop a Foot Trail In Your Town
- Enjoy nature.
- Care about the land.
- Want to improve Victor.
- Hikes - Second Saturday each month, two weekends each year and a National Trails Day Special
- Maintenance - Usually Monday morning, Wednesday evenings, and Saturday morning each week
- Meetings - Third Thursday each month 7:30 p.m. at Victor Town Hall
- Usually on the second Saturday of each month we gather at 9:00 AM for a 2 to 3 hour hike, for local hikes; bring lunch for more distant destinations. Sometimes we follow existing trails and sometimes we bushwhack to scout out new trail locations. Each Spring and Fall we have a weekend in the Adirondacks. For the location of future hikes watch the newsletter, call one of the officers for detailed information, or see VHT's On-line Calendar. Please join us.... it's a great way to meet the members. Here is the list of past and future hike destinations. And here the map>
- We need assistance in a myriad of areas. Join us at a meeting and volunteer your services. Some of the needs (but by no means all) that we have are:
- lead hikes
- draw maps
- measure trail lengths
- make and install signs
- build trails, bridges and boardwalks
- build map boxes
- identify trees, flowers and birds (Monkey Run, example)
- take photos
- write articles for our newsletter and the Town newsletter
- collect donated items
- work on a committee
- recruit new members
- work on a fund raiser
- scout possible trail locations
- help with paperwork
- make phone calls
- We'll create more opportunities as we grow. Maybe you can provide a skill or interest we need but haven't even thought of yet. You will be surprised how skilled you are. Join us and put your talents and interests to work.
- $10.00 Supporting Membership
- $20.00 Contributing Membership
- $100 Trailblazer Membership
- $250 Path Builder Membership.
If you join or renew at the $20.00 level or above, you can sign up a friend or neighbor for free.
Donations of useful equipment are also welcomed. If you are an owner of land with trail possibilities, please contact us about a Revocable Permit for a trail.