Friday, July 15, 2011

Tryon Park, a Green Sanctuary in the Urban Forest

A fantastic place to go for a great hike in nature can be found in Irondequoit and is literally a forest in the city. The area is not developed, but instead left to its natural roots. There are some actual trails or you can just make your own, that's what this okapi likes to do.

This park has a bunch of bike trails and even a bike bridge, none of these are paved. The trails are ranked "difficult", so you want to make sure you're already a biking bad-ass before you check these out. This nature half pipe (pictured below) has roots sticking up and the angle is definitely steep, so biker beware.

In fact, this is one of only two parks in Monroe County where off road cycling is allowed and that's a temporary situation. It's part of a program to see the effects of off road cycling on the park environments, so if you're a cycling enthusiast keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't hurt the forest.

One of the best parts of this park is that it's raw nature. No one is coming through here maintaining it, so you get a real country feel just minutes from the highway. Also, since the place is hidden pretty well, it's never really crowded.

Since I was the only one around on a weekday afternoon I could let my mastiff, Stella, choose our paths. She loves going for nature walks-especially without a leash! She's awesome at hopping over fallen trees and running down steep embankments, so she is quite the tour guide.

One of my least favorite parts of the park is the graffiti, broken glass, and abandoned trash. This is the flip side of having such a hidden, un-maintained park; there are entire cars abandoned here and a ton of broken glass. Fortunately, this aspect is dwarfed by the sheer size and beauty of this 82 acre wild land.


This flower was one of the few splashes of color in the green and brown world of the forest. 

Tryon Park is located on a street by the same name which is a dead end off of Winton Road. *There is no park sign that you can see from Winton Road, just a dead end sign.* It's a little odd to get to as you can see it from 590, but have to go around the block to access it (Browncroft Blvd, Merchants Rd, Winton Rd, and finally Tryon Pk). 

If you live in Monroe County and haven't gone to Tryon Park, shame on you.

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