August 1, 2015

Great Bear Recreation Area

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.    

On this visit, we ended up following Great Bear Road all the way down to the river, and hanging out there for a long time before winding our way back on the Pumphouse Trail, Trolley Track Trail, and another unnamed trail.  Map My Ride put the entire hike at 2.02 miles.  The trail system is a bit confusing, with some trails unmarked and other bearing multiple markers, but there is definitely the potential to string together a longer walk.  Maybe next time...

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

1 comment:

  1. It's great to see a younger generation enjoying the spot that my children once enjoyed so much as kids!!!! :-D The only drawback to my pleasure is the wish that I could have been there, too! Nice pix, Love the baby smile and the obvious enjoyment of certain small boys!