Hiking along the Genesee: Hemlock Lake – Old East Lake Road – 3.6 miles round trip

Hemlock Lake – Old East Lake Road – 3.6 miles round trip

About 1 mile south of Hemlock village on State Route 15A turn west onto Rix Hill Road. Immediately turn south onto Old East Lake Road, passing the Hemlock Water Filtration Plant on your right. After about 1 mile, you will come to the boat launch and an ample parking area. The trail is gravel and dirt, well- maintained and has no steep sections. You will have to cross small streams coming down the gullies to the east, but these are easy to step across in normal weather and may be dry in the summer. The end of the trail is marked by a larger gully and a stone bench just beyond.

In addition to wildlife, flowers and lake views, keep an eye out for old cottage basements. At one time, there were over 200 cottages and five hotels lining the lake. Seeking clean water to solve outbreaks of disease, in 1876 the City of Rochester built a pipeline connecting Hemlock Lake to the city system. Later, the City purchased the land surrounding both Hemlock and Canadice Lakes and, in 1895, began tearing down all these structures. In 2010 the City sold this property to the New York State Department of Conservation which has pledged to keep the lakes forever wild. Today they look much as they did in the 1790’s when white settlers first arrived. Regulations that limit boats to 17 feet and motors to 10hp help maintain a sense of solitude. For period photos, maps and histories; as well as additional trail descriptions go to: www.HemlockandCanadiceLakes.com

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