Fairchild Walking Tours of Mendon Ponds Park
Mendon Ponds Park outside Rochester, New York is one of the country’s most unique parks exhibiting defining features of glacial recession from over 10,000 years ago. Herman LeRoy Fairchild, Professor Emeritus in the Geology Department at the University of Rochester and Founding Member of the Geological Society of America first advocated in 1926 that New York State or Monroe County make the “Mendon Kames” area into a park. Two years later, in 1928, Monroe County began the first of what would become many land purchases to ultimately create the glacial topographic wonder we today call Mendon Ponds Park. The Fairchild Walking Tours are named in his honor.
Given the 2,700 acre expanse of the Park, trying to cover all of its unique features and history could take weeks. Rather than covering the whole Park, Fairchild Walking Tours explores smaller sections intended to take one to one-and-a-half (1 to 1 ½) hours. Each tour will cover the history of the Park and its development, its glacial formation and geological feature such as kettles, kames and eskers, and include identification of flora and fauna within the Park. The first Tour is named “Hidden In Plain Sight” and will start on Hopkins Point Road. Varying degrees of physical fitness may be required depending on the terrain and distance to be covered during any specific Tour.
Respecting the tranquility of the Park and its popularity, tours will seek a maximum group size of 10 to 15 people. No voice amplification will be used. A pre-registration process will be completed through the Town of Pittsford Recreation. No fee is charged for the Fairchild Walking Tours. Gratuities will be accepted but are not required. Tours will begin on weekends Spring/Summer 2021 through Fall, and weekdays by appointment. Please visit the Pittsford Recreation Department at www.TownOfPitsford.com
Your guide/docent, Jack Butler, has been researching and collecting information about Mendon Ponds Park for over ten (10) years. Semi-retired now and in great health, he shares his knowledge with the public as a volunteer within the Town of Pittsford Recreation Department.
Hidden in Plain Sight
BSA/Youth Camping Area
“Hidden in Plain Sight” is a relatively flat, 2 mile Tour that covers the history of the park, its glacial formations and geological features such as kettles, kames and eskers, and includes an unusual geological feature hidden in the woods.
Lower Devil’s Bathtub
The Mero-What!? Tour is a physically more aggressive walk which includes steep, rocky inclines. It also covers formation of the Park, its glacial features including a visit to Devil’s Bathtub and a walk along the West Esker.
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Hours of Operation
Hidden in Plain Sight – Youth Camping Area – Hopkins Point Rd
Mero-What!? – Upper Devil’s Bathtub Parking Lot – Pond Rd
“IC!” – Curve in Canfield Rd before Pitts-Mend Ctr Rd – East of X-Country skiing area
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Don’t be shy. Let us know if you have any questions!