Canandaigua Daily Messenger
Wearing her hunting season regalia this week, Rosie led the way down a country road bordering state land and West River Preserve on the south end of Canandaigua Lake in New York.
The 64-acre preserve borders High Tor Wildlife Management Area and Nundawao, the Finger Lakes Land Trust preserve named in honor of the Seneca people whose origin is central to this valley.
West River Preserve in Middlesex has no trails. But there’s a scenic overlook of the West River Valley. That is where we began our walk down Sunnyside Road.
Built in a clearing at a sharp bend in the road, the scenic spot has benches and interpretive signs about the history of the valley and its significance as an Audubon Important Bird Area.
The surrounding area is the birthplace of the Seneca people, who refer to themselves as The People of the Great Hill. One of the earliest Seneca towns sat just south of the West River.
The Finger Land Trust partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore this 64 acres of grassland bird habitat. This acreage for many years was an overgrown, abandoned vineyard.
The West River Preserve was dedicated in honor of Don and Skippy Raines and established in 2011 through a donation of land by Constellation Brands Inc. and generous support of the Raines family.
The preserve is closed to the public during the bow- and gun-hunting seasons, Oct. 1 to Dec. 21, except that hunters will not hunt within 1,000 feet of the scenic overlook, which is always open.
This column features the trail treks of Rosie the redbone hound and her companion, reporter Julie Sherwood. Contact Sherwood at email@example.com.