The Finger Lakes Land Trust has acquired 14.5 acres on Bare Hill—the iconic promontory overlooking Canandaigua Lake’s eastern shore. The property is located on North Vine Valley Road in the town of Middlesex, Yates County, in close proximity to New York State’s Bare Hill Unique Area.
The Land Trust moved quickly to secure a purchase contract on this property when it was listed for sale in January. The organization was able to make this commitment with private donations for land protection projects within the southern half of the Canandaigua Lake watershed.
With nearly 400 feet of frontage on North Vine Valley Road, the almost entirely wooded property features a mix of mature oak-hickory forest with scattered pines and maples. The portion of the property closest to the road still shows evidence of vineyard rows, but is now covered with groves of black walnut and black locust.
Bare Hill is well known in the region for its scenic views as well as its place in Seneca lore. Legend has it that a mighty serpent encircled an Indian village that once stood there – swallowing residents until it was slain by a brave young boy. In its death throes, the snake cleared the land and swept the hill bare.
“This latest acquisition helps ensure the future of one of our region’s most well-known landmarks,” says Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “Conserving this land also helps maintain the integrity of Canandaigua Lake’s watershed by securing steep slopes that are highly susceptible to erosion.”