The towns of Aurora, Holland and Wales are all celebrating their 200th anniversaries in 2018, with a full calendar of festivities including parades, beard and bonnet contests, historic building tours, and many other events. Two of these towns, Holland and Wales, are home to about 30 miles of the Conservation Trail, a 182-mile branch trail of the FLT that extends from Niagara Falls to the Pennsylvania border. The Foothills Trail Club is joining the bicentennial celebrations by offering a free hike series through Wales and Holland, sections that are among the most popular and scenic parts of the Conservation Trail. The Foothills Trail Club hopes that these hikes will introduce more people to this beautiful, ravine-rich section of Western New York. The trail is mostly on private land with the cooperation of landowners. Foothills Trail Club volunteers monitor the trails, keeping them clear of fallen branches and other debris, and making and installing wooden steps on the deepest ravines and boardwalks in wet areas.
Three of the hikes are also on the Passport Series, a family-friendly introduction to hiking that is a joint venture of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (Foothills Trail Club is part of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference) and Wegman’s. Each of the Passport series hikes ends at a marker with a plaque where one may take a rubbing in a Passport booklet; hikers who complete four Passport hikes earn a patch. Bicentennial Series hikers will receive Passport booklets.
For new and experienced hikers, these Saturday hikes will provide healthy outdoor exercise and increased awareness and appreciation of the beauty of our region. The hikes, on Saturdays from May 5 to Aug.11, range from 3.6 to 5 miles and will be led by experienced leaders. The other dates are May 19, June 9, June 23, July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11.
Dogs will not be permitted on any of the hikes in this series. For more information, email FoothillsTrailClub@yahoo.com.