Take A Hike – Where Hunter’s Aren’tby Sue Freeman
The leaves are falling from the trees, scattering their bright colors on the ground to form a crunchy carpet. Walking a forest trail this time of year is a special treat. With each step the crunch resounds through the forest, your nostrils fill with the unique smell of fall leaves, and with leaves off the trees a whole new panorama opens before your eyes. Now you can see the terrain; the roll of the hills and carved out gullies. The air is cool, making it a special time for hiking, before the ground gets blanketed in white snow.
However, this is also hunting season where humans prowl the woods armed with bows and arrows, and guns. Even with the most careful hunters, accidents can occur and you don’t want to become a hunting statistic. Some trails are on lands that allow hunting. This is particularly true of lands owned by DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) and privately owned lands. Let the hunters have these trails for the fall season.
Just, don’t let hunting deter you from taking a fall hike. Simply stick to the trails the hunters are not allowed on for the months of November and December. These include the trails in county and town parks, and area nature center trails.
Now is a perfect time to visit Corbett’s Glen Nature Park in Brighton. Walk under the arched railroad tunnel along Glen Road and listen for the echo of a waterfall in Allens Creek. Within the glen you can stay on fairly level trails along Allens Creek and search out the two waterfalls or continue uphill on the glacially sculpted hills. Surrounded by suburbia, this is an oasis of nature where leaves and water join together to create a fall playground for hikers but not for hunters.
Another fall favorite is the Helmer Nature Center trails off Pinegrove Avenue in Irondequoit. This is another oasis hidden in suburbia where the terraces of old vineyards can still be seen on the hillsides.
Forget about dodging hunters simply by proper selection of trails to hike this time of year. Enjoy a rare view of the terrain surrounding the trails, visible only this time of year when leaves are off the trees and snow has yet to fly. Pull on your favorite old sweater and take a hike this fall.
To enjoy these safe fall walks, order these guidebooks (available at www.footprintpresas.com or call 1-800-431-1579):
• “Take A Hike – Family Walks in the Rochester Area”
• “Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region”
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