Genesee County Park and Forest (Outer
The poor were orphans, habitual drunkards, and paupers, including any person who was blind, lame, old, decrepit, or vagrant. Lunatics were described as persons who had understanding but by disease, grief, or other accident, had lost the use of reason. This classification also included anyone of unsound mind caused by old age, sickness, or weakness who was unable to manage his own affairs. Some of the old buildings can still be seen on the corner of Bethany Center Road and Raymond Road.
In 1882, the county purchased a wood lot to supply the cooking and heating needs of the Poor House Farm and sold wood for $0.75 a cord to cover expenses. In 1915, about 31,000 trees were planted at a cost of $225. These trees were the beginning of the establishment of the forest. More evergreens were planted in the 1920s, and 169,000 trees had been planted by 1935. The land was designated the first county forest in New York State.
Through the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the county supervisors studied and discussed plans for a park. It wasnt until 1966 that funds were finally allocated. The Genesee County Park and Forest became a reality in 1971.
Today, this park is a gem rivaled by few others. Expanses of forest are interspersed with picnic areas, toboggan hills, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, sandboxes, playgrounds, and baseball fields. Over the years, many volunteer groups have contributed to development of this park. In 1998, a group from Job Corps joined local volunteers to build a stunning nature center complete with stuffed animals and natural exhibits. Volunteers have begun offering a variety of nature programs on subjects ranging from turtles, to blue birds, to backyard composting. The nature center is open from 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM on weekdays and 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM on weekends.
The park is open daily from 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM. There is a unique Braille and large print nature trail near Raymond Road in Area A. This walking-only trail is bordered by a coated link railing so the blind can walk along the trail and read the Braille interpretive signs. Unfortunately, as is true throughout the park, some of the signs have been disturbed by vandalism. The county continually works on replacing signs in the park.
|Trail Directions (designated
by the short, dark, dashed lines on the map)
loop trail is partially in the woods and partially through wide mowed swaths that can be
warm when the sun is strong. Its challenging because of the hilly terrain and the
mowed grass trails. This trail takes you into a less heavily used area of the park.