Monday, May 21, 2018

Hiking Grand Lake Reserve

Grand Lake Reserve
1000islands #1000islands

I'm not sure what we were expecting when we did our first hike at one of the Grand Lake Reserve Trails. But whatever it was, this series of trails which are part of the Indian River Lake Conservancy (IRLC) fare exceeded them. There are about 10 miles of trails passing through an incredible variety of habitats. At this writing, we have hiked almost of their trails except for the 2.5 mile trail located on Grass Island. We previously wrote about the Redwood Hill Preserve. All of the Grand Lake Reserve Trails are on the opposite side of Butterfield Lake. While they are accessed from Cottage Hill in Redwood, the land is actually located in Theresa. Even the drive to the trails was beautiful though we do suggest carefully following the directions. Directions:  http://indianriverlakes.org/wp-content/uploads/Directions-to-GLR.pdf

For first-time visitors the Grass Lake Overlook Trail is a must! As the name states you will arrive at a spectacular view of Grass Lake from a bluff on the trail. One can take a quick side trip by an old abandoned sugar shack on the way back, or proceed to the North Ridge trail which takes you down to the shore of Grass Lake.  


If you are up for what they consider their most challenging trail, you can head across the street for the trailhead to the Butterfield Lake Landing Trail and look for the trailhead to the Eagle Marsh Trail. This trail, while not long (a 1.3 mile side trip) will take you on some exciting inclines (some even with ropes to help you navigate up or down).



You will ultimately end up at two different breathtaking views of Eagle Marsh and Butterfield Lake before bringing you back to the main trail.


The trail is fairly well marked but we had to pay attention more than on other trails with obvious well worn paths. But definitely worth the trip! If that sounds a little too dramatic for an easy hike, just stay on Butterfield Lake Landing and you will end up at the shore of the lake from this old farm lane trail. Maybe we’ll see you there!




Be sure to see:
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Reserve Trail.


Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hiking Redwood Hill Preserve



Redwood Hill Preserve
1000 Islands #1000islands

It was only last summer that Bob and I happened upon the hiking trails of the Indian River Lake Conservancy (IRLC). That is probably because several are relatively new. But if you are new to the area, or new to hiking the area, we could not possibly give a higher recommendation for the 51-acre Redwood Hill Preserve located at 44010 Stine Road in Redwood. The main trail is a little over a mile loop (the Seven Oaks Trail). There is  also a shorter Overlook Trail and an accessible trail to their beautiful trailside classroom.


The Overlook Trail takes you to a stunning of Butterfield Lake from the hillside bluff at the edge of the trail. There is a place to sit and just take in the beauty (or a sandwich) before heading on down the Seven Oaks Trail which is most definitely worth the hike. You will wander by several of the most magnificent and majestic old oak trees we have ever seen (better bring a camera). 


The trail follows along the ridge for a while then through the dense woods of hardwoods and white pines. It brings you back to where you started at the octagon-shaped classroom which was completed in 2016. It is used for education and public recreational programs but is open to the public when not in use. When we stopped in, there was also some beautiful photography on display. Though, the building itself is pretty photogenic. 

In our next blog we will take you to the sister property of the IRLC which is a series of trails just across the lake.


Be sure to see: 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Reserve Trail.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hiking Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail



Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail
1000 Islands #1000islands

The Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail is one of the newest additions to the Thousand Islands Land Trust hiking trails. It was opened to the public last summer so we were among some of the first of the general public to experience it.  It is about a mile long loop. Depending which direction you go, you either start out on an old farm path and then head into the woods, or the other way around.

 

It is a lovely and peaceful hike in the woods on a not-too-well-worn, but well parked path. There are some minor hills to navigate once you get off the straight upper path.  And of course one of the trademark TILT footbridges.  

The trail is part of the Chippewa Bay Preserve which is a sixty-plus acre property that runs along Chippewa Creek.  The TILT page describes it as an “important wetland habitat, protecting lands for wildlife and wildlife movements. Part of a wildlife corridor, that extends from the Adirondack mountains northward across the St. Lawrence and into Algonquin Park, the Preserve helps to provide safe passage as well as excellent habitat for breeding, nesting and feeding wildlife.”

Part of the initial adventure for us was finding the trailhead. We ended up contacting TILT and they gave us detailed instructions which got us right there.  From Rte 12, you can either turn into Chippewa Bay on Church Street or on Rte 6, the Hammond/Chippewa Bay Road. Church Street intersects Rte 6 and then becomes New Road (take a left from Rte 6). You’ll see the Chippewa Bay Preserve sign at the corner.  Drive all the way to the end of the Road.

You will come to the River Bay Adventure Inn. Drive on past and up the slight hill straight ahead.  Just a little farther up the road you will see a parking area on the left and the trailhead straight ahead.  We hope you'll enjoy this lovely walk in the woods as much as we did.

Link to Chippewa Bay Preserve:

Be sure to see:
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Reserve Trail.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve.