Sunshine and 80 degrees on a mid-October Sunday means a day for hiking in the woods, and so we did. The Town of Perinton's Crescent Trail presents a moderate short-hike challenge and a couple of spectacular hilltop views.
We forgot to grab a map from the town rec center, and so had to climb first to the top of the first hill (very steep) to snap a picture of the one posted there. Once we had our bearings we set out deeper into the woods to seek the Scenic View marked for the summit of Thayer Hill.
We continued our hike by following the blue-blaze trail, which starts out mostly level and meanders along near a small creekbed. While the sun was hot outside the treeline, in the woods we enjoyed a comfortable, shaded path.
Eventually the trail left the woods and we found ourselves at the edge of a field. We couldn't find any more blue blazes, but we did find a beautiful, secluded pond. It's not on the map, so I don't know if this pristine spot has a name. We spotted a school of small fish (minnows?) sunning themselves at the shoreline.
The trail continued largely unmarked along a pair of fields, following the edge of the woods. The sun caught us hard from the west, much stronger than usual for an October afternoon. As we ascended Thayer Hill the views opened up to the north and east, and we could see for miles across the landscape.
Our path was wide enough at that point for horseback riders, and flanked by tall grasses and rusty-red wild bushes. We laughed at the thought of finding Laura and Pa Ingalls walking here; it sure looked like a scene from Little House on the Prairie.
At the summit we found no shade at all, a bench improvised from an old set of wooden steps, and one more laminated copy of the map we had forgotten. Though the fall colors were mostly subdued, the air was crystal clear.In the distance, to the northeast, we could make out no less than four big water towers. Housing developments nestled in the valleys looked like scale models from a train layout.
Tired and feeling the effects of the sun, we finished the last of our water, ate our honey and oat bars, and followed the prairie path back to the woods, thankful to find shade again. We took a detour along the red-blaze section this time and found more of the tiny creekbed, thoughtfully bridged with planks.
The trip back to the trailhead was almost entirely downhill, which was wonderful. At the bottom we found our car waiting for us, a little hotter from sitting in the sun, but a welcome sight for our tired feet. We headed home, happy to have enjoyed a walk in the sun on a perfect Indian Summer day.
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