Bare Hill Unique Area Trails

Canandaigua, New York 14424

Bare Hill Unique Area Trails

Bare Hill Unique Area Trails Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Bare Hill rises 865 feet above Canandaigua Lake and provides aweinspiring views of the lake and valley. It also lives up to its name. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) mows around the trees on the summit, keeping this hilltop bare. You will walk land where the Genundowa Festival of Lights originated. Genundowa was the name of a Seneca village near Bare Hill.

Each year in early September, the Seneca Elders and the tribes Keepers would light a large fire on top of Bare Hill as part of the Seneca Autumn Ceremony of Thanksgiving for a successful harvest. This fire was followed by smaller fires along the lake, resulting in a ring of light as a gesture of Indian unity. Surface: Mowed field and gravel trail"

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Five-Star Trails: Finger Lakes & Central New York (Menasha Ridge Press)
Timothy Starmer
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"In a region of forested hills, the aptly named Bare Hill is wrought with rumors about the origin of its unique character. Regardless of the veracity of the legends surrounding the hill, the trail here offers pleasant out-in-the-open hiking, as well as some scenic vistas of Canandaigua Lake."

Bare Hill Unique Area Trails Trip Reports

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Raw area. Basically a tractor trail and brush-hogged/mowed area. Some mowed side trails. The view of Canandaigua Lake is very nice from the NW side of the park. Nice quiet area for hiking. Wear decent footwear, take water, no facilities.
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The trail starts out wide and appears to be mowed on a fairly regular basis. The path then goes through the forest and it was not clear to me whether I was even on the path or not. It was disappointing when I got to Council Rock as the "commanding view of the Canandaigua Lake" was completely blocked by tree growth. I'm wondering how long ago the description was written, but it would appear it has certainly been not in the past 10 years given the tree growth. The wild flowers along the sides of the trail however were beautiful and in the early part of the trail you had a partial view of the lake in various places. This led to the anticipation of a "commanding view" at the top which was clearly not there.
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The "trail" is a road, with several side trails to ponds (2). It is uphill all the way, but not strenuous, maybe a mile one way. This is the site of the signal fire for the traditional native american harvest fest. At the signal, Canadaigua Lake residents light flares on their docks, and the Lake becomes a "ring of fire". The Lake views are great, and this is a wonderful place to view the sunset.

Bare Hill Unique Area Trails Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
1.75 hours
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Local Contacts

Trail Log