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Finger Lakes Trail - Bristol Hills Branch

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  • Finger Lakes Trail - Bristol Hills Branch


    I was looking for a backpacking trip a little closer to home (just south of Rochester) and was wondering if anyone had information on or experience with the Bristol Hills Branch of the FLT. I'm familiar with the Hi-Tor area, but unfamiliar with the trail north of that. I see that there's a new lean-to at Camp #2 (the one with the view of the lake) - are there rules that apply to camping there?

    I know that there are guidebooks, I just haven't had a chance to purchase any yet.

    Thanks much.

  • #2
    Jareth, I have hiked the BHB several times from the North Terminus to Prattsburgh vicinity and then from the Southern terminus to Mitchellsville and backpacked several sections of it in the past.

    I beleive I stayed at Camp 2 (in Hi Tor) about 10 years ago for NY's Eve, there is a road that leads right up to it, if I recall. Groups are allowed the key to the gate and can drive in. All others have to BP in. If it was the way it used to be, then first come first serve, unless a group reserves the site - You should call the Ranger to check it out. I can't remember the Rangers name, but he used to live on the South side of Hi Tor, right on the edge of the property, on an old road off Italy Valley Road

    Anyways, there is a BHB trail guide available at either EMS, or right at the Finger lakes trail website

    I recall there is only about 12 miles of Trail N of Hi Tor, After you go through Naples, past Bob & Ruth's, you follow the road uphill and then step off into a steep uphill trail. You will go over Cleveland Hill, I think there is a boy scout camp there if I recall correctly and then cut through a valley and take a long uphill to the Yates County park (the Jumpoff is a nice overlook) where the trail ends.
    I'd get the guide out, but we are packing for a move and I am not sure where it is.
    Good luck
    The measure of your ignorance is your belief in tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the universe, the master calls the butterfly...


    • #3
      Thanks Rick.

      I'm not sure when we would do this, if we even get to it this year. I may stop into the FLT Conference HQ in Mt. Morris (not far from home) one of these days for more info. and to buy a guidebook or two.

      Thanks again. Good luck with your move.



      • #4
        Hi jareth6,
        We Just backpacked on some of the Bristol branch of the FLT.

        I bought the map sheets for the Bristol sections at:
        “The Map Shop” Northfield Common 50 State Street Pittsford, NY 14534
        (The EMS store at Marketplace no longer sells the sheets).

        We had a great time, there was a camping area just south of Ontario County park. It was a little before you crossed the road onto the "Camp Cutler" Boy Scout area.

        Then we camped just south east of Naples, on this private property that has been turned into a quazy XC ski Park / camping area. It was very nice.

        I would have liked to have a NYS or DEC HiTor map that had their mowed trails marked on it. All the ponds that the state / DEC made are not on my topo maps either.

        We looked at the state lean-to, very nice & great view you can see Canandaigua lake. It seemed like you had to be a large organization and request a permit to use it?

        We did not meet a single person except at the Ontario County park and when walking through Naples. :-)

        We stopped and turned around at Parish Hill road.

        On our hike we did a few Geocaches as well.

        Good Luck,


        • #5
          JJW,Thanks for info - I said "Yates" County Park and I meant "Ontario" County Park. The ranger that used to take care of Hi Tor lived off of Parish Hill Road (I couldn't remember the name, but thanks for mentioning it JJW).
          I agree the maps of the area have never been very good, I rely on the FLTC map, but I can look around and see if I have another map via another source from about 10-12 years ago. If so I might be able to scan and forward.
          The measure of your ignorance is your belief in tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the universe, the master calls the butterfly...


          • #6
            Just FYI, I know Memory-Map used to sell maps of the Finger Lakes Trail system (in conjunction with the FLTC). They are digital topo maps (standard USGS maps) with the trail overlay information. The software that comes with it will work on a PC and on a Pocket PC (so you can take the maps along). You can also send the information to a Magellan or Garmin GPS (along with a few others) or just print it out. I would email them if you want more information (if they still have them in stock).


            • #7
              Thanks for all the info. You've definitely piqued my interest in backpacking that area.

              Isn't it funny how you can live somewhere all your life and not be completely familiar with recreational opportunities in your own backyard? Yet, alot of us could rattle off minute details about trails and name mountains in the 'Dacks in a heartbeat.

              Anybody ever backpack the Letchworth Branch? Is there camping available?

              Thanks again.



              • #8
                There is a shelter (around coord. 42.37.29N, 77.58.37W) and several camping areas in the park.