HIKES — ADK Heart Lake Campground — 8/24-26/19

ADK members enjoyed ideal weekend hiking weather of high 60 degree temps and sunny skies. On Saturday after camp was set up members stretched their legs with an easy hike to Rocky Falls.

On Sunday two hikes were available. One group went up to Marcy Dam and the other to Hurricane Mountain. August marked the Centennial Celebration of the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower.

After the fire tower it was lunch and a slice of award winning pie at the Noonmark Diner. Upon heading back to camp a stop was made at an art show at Marcy Field. On Monday another fire tower was notched with a short, steep, strenuous climb up Azure Mountain.

— Submitted by Mike Lex

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BIKE — Clarence Country Roads — 8/11/19

Clarence and Newstead. Riders traveled along Keller Rd. to Utley Rd. returning via the bike path. The 15 mile ride went past bucolic farms, fields and corn as high as a cyclist eye.

—Submitted by Mike Lex

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HIKE — Rim Trail to Little Rock City — 8/10/19

The Rim Trail to Little Rock City is really a combination of several trails put together to make a 7 mile loop in the forests behind Ellicottville. About 4.5 miles in, the trail intersects with the Finger Lakes Trail which meanders through the most spectacular of the rocks of ‘Little Rock City’. A special shout out to the volunteers from the Foothills Trail Club who spent several days exploring the area in order to mark the trail through the best of the rocks! The 6 of us who participated in the hike were thoroughly impressed with this area. We did not climb the rocks but instead gushed our appreciation with “oooo”’s and “ahhhh”’s.

We had perfect conditions for hiking that day: some sunshine, some clouds, not too hot, no humidity and, best of all, practically no bugs! There is a huge variety of plant life in the forest understory which, thankfully, has not been destroyed by deer. Yet. We made a promise to visit the trail again in spring when the wildflowers will be in abundance. In addition we came across a sunny section with an abundance of milkweed and monarch butterflies, even finding a good sized caterpillar almost ready to go into his chrysalis.

Best of all was the time spent with new and old friends. It seemed to this writer that there were very interesting conversations happening amongst us all!

— Submitted by Cheryl Peluso

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BIKE — Clarence Country Roads — 7/28/19

Cyclists enjoyed a morning spin along four different bike paths in the Town of Clarence. Riders traveled through subdivisions and rural areas on a pleasant 17 mile excursion. Along one path a coyote loped across the path into a corn field while on another trail a deer gracefully bounded along.

—Submitted by Mike Lex

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BIKE – Around Grand Island – 7/13/19

Tom Burkman hosted another wonderful NFC event even though he is recovering from knee surgery.  The Schraven’s lead the bike outing after a delicious breakfast and visit. We all enjoyed the beautiful wilderness setting of his backyard, sitting under the wisteria, tiger lilies around the perimeter of the wetlands and song birds in the air.  The day was warm but not oppressive and the wind cooled us along.  The 25 miles around the Island, a combination of roads and the newly paved West River Road Trail went by quickly and enjoyably.  Beaver Island State Park was lovely but we made the mistake of traveling through the woods from the old homestead to Ferry Road kayak launch instead of sticking to the paved roads.  The group was good spirited about it and only a few mosquitos were satiated. Having the river be our constant companion on the outing made it all worthwhile.

– Submitted by Mary Schraven

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BIKE – Meadowlakes Town Park to Akron Falls Park – 6.30.19

ADK cyclists enjoyed a cool beautiful bicycling day. The cyclists traveled bike paths from Clarence to Akron. Upon arrival at the lower section of the county park, a short hike was taken to the falls.

Riders returned via the upper section of the park to complete a twenty mile excursion.

— Submitted by Mike Lex

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HIKE — Niagara Whirlpool & Devil’s Hole — 6.23.19

Victoria (Rowley) and Micah (Lovejoy) led a beautiful hike at Devil’s Hole and Whirlpool State Park with good turnout. We began hiking down the devil’s hole steps and enjoyed the beauty of the water and green trees. The humidity was low, and the temperature was comfortable. It was so nice to finally hear some birds along the way and feel the sunshine.

We made our way to the large flat rocks at the Niagara River Whirlpool where we sat by the water enjoying snacks, conversation, and exploration. It was lovely to sit on the rocks, feel the breeze, and hear the rushing blue/green waters.

We then finished and hiked our way back to the whirlpool steps and then along the gorge back to our parking lot.

A perfect Sunday June morning had by all!

— Submitted by Victoria Rowley

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HIKE — FOREST LAWN in Buffalo — 6/15/19

A delightful balance of Nature, Art and History set the stage for a wonderful 4-mile hike throughout Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery on this cool spring day. The rolling hills, valleys and spring-fed ponds that comprise this urban burial ground were originally farmland located over 2 miles from the City of Buffalo. Following the 1849 land purchase, trees were planted to provide shade for future grave sites, thus creating a Forest on the Lawn. The water, trees and ground-cover provide a welcoming landscape for numerous deer that live here (photo).

Forest Lawn has over 3500 trees comprising at least 100 species that support over 200 types of migrating birds. We observed spectacular tulip tree blossoms at their blooming peak (photo), in addition to unusual trees like Bald Cypress, Fern-leaved Beech, and Weeping Beech.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Blue Sky Mausoleum, beautifully situated on the rising bank of the sublime Jubilee Spring. The iconic spring-fed Mirror Lake provides a gorgeous setting for two sculptures, Three Graces Fountain (photo) and The Little Girl on the Little Island. This is a favorite destination for photographers and birders.

We ventured to Serenity Falls, an aptly named cascade waterfall within Scajaquada Creek. Extensive cleanup of the creek and a new Wetland Sanctuary with attractive arched bridges are wonderful improvements.

We enjoyed visiting famous residents including Flag Day pioneer Sara Hinson, Seneca Chief Red Jacket, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, North Pole explorer Frederick Cook, U.S. Weather Bureau founder Albert Myer, R&B musician Rick James, and numerous other historic Buffalo figures. It was a joy for our group (photo) to visit this urban gem and savor the natural beauty, artistry and impressive Buffalo history that Forest Lawn offers.

 

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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PADDLE — Niagara River — Memorial Day 5/27/19

On a beautiful spring day, 7 paddlers met at Grand Island’s East River Marsh for a fun paddle on the Niagara River. After crossing over to Pirate’s Island (Motor Island Wildlife Management Area), we paddled upstream to observe the aviary with nesting herons, egrets, and cormorants. Continuing upstream through the new Strawberry Island Archipelago (man-made islands), we entered the Strawberry Is. lagoon to observe the active bald eagle nest. A great day on the water

– Submitted by Bob Van Hise

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HIKE — Franklin Gulf in Eden — 5/19/19

We enjoyed a delightful Spring hike in Eden’s Franklin Gulf County Park, one of Western New York’s wilderness gems. The hike start was delayed a few minutes by a fast-passing thunderstorm, but after this dramatic beginning we had perfect weather. Our knowledgeable trip leader Kim Newland took us on an unmarked trail on the other side of a familiar ravine. Views there offered a whole new perspective of the forest and revealed several new waterfalls. Along the hike we encountered about a dozen bright orange wiggly eft salamanders, the juvenile stage for the Red-spotted Newt (photo).

 

We explored some wooded snowmobile trails and eventually crossed the creek to the familiar light blue trail for our return trip. We were treated to a smorgasbord of wildflowers including the sublime pink lady’s slipper orchid (photo), along with white baneberry, trilliums, violets, elderberry blossoms and a mayapple flower.

Altogether we hiked over 3 miles with nearly 800 feet in elevation gain for a delightful Sunday outing that was a feast for the senses. Thanks to Kim for leading a wonderful excursion.

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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