Erin's son Alden is 4 months old already. Unfortunately, he is currently going through that phase of screaming in furious despair when riding in the car, that full on tomato-head, gasping and wheezing bawl that I remember so well from Frankie's babyhood. It's the kind of thing that makes you want to avoid going anywhere that isn't absolutely necessary. Still... fresh air is good for everyone, babies included. To reduce the length of the potential torture session for both of them, I suggested we hike somewhere on their side of town. Great Bear fit the bill and since Frankie and I hadn't been there since last fall, it rose to the top of the list under consideration.
The land is protected under a patchwork of ownership as the source of drinking water for the nearby City of Fulton. We grew up calling the area "Great Bear Farms" and I have many fond memories of childhood adventures there: hiking, digging for treasure, picnicking, and reading C.S. Lewis aloud along the riverbank. Apparently, the area is now formally known as Great Bear Springs or Great Bear Recreation Area. Anyway, it remains much as I remember it, a mix of woods roads and narrow foot trails winding over rolling hills down toward the river, passing through deep forests and overgrown fields, crossing narrow creeks, and passing the occasional decaying structure from times past.
|Erin and Alden at the Canal River Landing|
|The Oswego River|
|Frankie at the Canal River Landing|
|Looking northwest along the Oswego River from the Canal River Landing|
|Pig Will enjoys the river|
|Frankie got his hiking boots a bit wet|
|Doling out a snack (pretzels)|
|Erin and Alden|
|Looking out from inside the old pumphouse|
|Inside the old pumphouse|
|Hiking along the Pumphouse Trail|
|The Pumphouse Trail|
|Trolley Tracks Trail|
|Map courtesy of Friends of Great Bear|