The Best Hiking Trails Around Campus!

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

One of the few gems that I have come across after coming to the States is the nature trails situated in every part of the city. These trails are perfect for biking or if you just want to go for a run amidst the natural beauty. 

Rochester, NY has some great options when it comes to taking an outdoor adventure. Here is a list of some notable places that are not too far from the RIT campus.

RIT Nature Trails

This 2.12-mile walkway is the nature trail behind Grace Watson and SLC on RIT’s campus. It is beautiful and definitely worth your time. Well groomed. Check out this page to find out about the routes and particular information for each trail here: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/criw/documents/Trails%20Pamphlet%202011.pdf

Linear Park Cascades Trail

Linear Park Cascades Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rochester, New York that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

The Town of Penfield hosts this 19-acre community park along an exciting stretch of Irondequoit Creek, where it drops over 90 feet in the course of one mile. The relatively steep drop in an otherwise flat region leads to some interesting rapids along its path towards Irondequoit Bay and eventually Lake Ontario. The community of Penfield has always had a use for this stretch of the creek. The power presented by the creek created a large community of mills that fueled the earliest industries in the valley. Although the course of the creek has changed over time, and all of the mills that once utilized it have been razed, evidence of this period can still be found in the crumbling foundations of a few of these remaining structures.

Named after former Town Supervisor, Channing H. Philbrick, the park serves a variety of purposes. The open field, picnic shelter, and playground are a frequent host to parties and family gatherings throughout the summer months. Year-round, the creek is host to hikers, photographers, and fisherman who come to enjoy the sights, sounds, and the sense of peace and isolation this small sliver of nature offers in an otherwise highly-developed suburb.

Old Rifle Range Trail, Lucien Morin Park

Old Rifle Range Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Turning Point Park Trail

Located in the Charlotte neighborhood near Lake Ontario on Rochester’s northwest side, Turning Point Park covers 275 wooded acres along the banks of the Genesee River. Hiking and biking trails will help you discover the park’s distinct areas, from the wooded oak forest called “Bullock’s Woods” to the cattail-lined shores of the river. One can enjoy nature watching and beautiful Genesee river views from its trails.

Turning Point Park Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Turning Point’s boardwalk and trail won the American Public Works Associations’ “Transportation Project of the Year” Award ($2-$10 million categories) in 2008. The trail consists of 3 main parts: 1) the 2,968 ft land-based trail that utilized an old railroad bed to transition from the top of the bank to the river’s edge, 2) a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, and 3) an all-new land-based trail, 3,406 feet in length, through Turning Point Park North and adjacent to the Genesee Marina.

Fall foliage at Turning Point Park.

Fall foliage at Turning Point Park.

The park’s trail continues on to connect to the Genesee Riverway Trail. Take the trail and explore over 16 miles of Rochester by reaching Ontario Beach Park to the north or downtown to the south.

Turning Point Park also features a gorgeous Rain Garden, an eco-friendly way to use natural vegetation as sediment filters. When it rains or snows, flowing sediments and pollutants from the nearby parking lot are captured by the garden’s vegetation. The water-loving plants act as filters and clean the runoff before it reaches the river. The rain garden is stocked with a wide variety of hardy plants that aid in the process, from ostrich fern and filipendula to coneflower and New England aster.

Mental Health: A Little more Compassion

by Ami Patel, Computer Science MS student

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” – Sigmund Freud

We all have our highs and lows in life. Remember that time when you felt completely stressed out about that project, felt anxious, weird, unmotivated, disconnected, but, you came out of that. It was just momentary and you are out of it, happy and cheerful again. But for some people, it may be prolonged, they might need little extra help. Sometimes individuals don’t realize that they need one or they just don’t believe the need of it. Worse is when people notice such kind of individuals, yet, they ignore it. Why? Why shy away from talking about Mental Health? Glenn Close aptly said, “What mental health needs is: more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation about the illness that affects not only the individuals but their families as well.”

I know it’s sometimes difficult to realize an individual or your own self in stress until it embodies into a greater form. The earlier it is addressed, lesser will be the damage. We at RIT are thankful of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) to provide a wide range of services to promote personal and mental growth for overall well being of the RIT Community. It is located on the second floor of the August Center (AUG) and, you can contact them at 585-475-2261. One doesn’t need to be an individual in severe needs, one can visit them occasionally for just a little talk or distress during challenging times. They are there to listen and help you through. Even if something is bothering and you need advice, CaPS is there for you. So, if you feel like, you can visit CaPs, or you can suggest it to someone in need.

Apart from CaPs, you will find lots of De-stress events happening at RIT. So, watch out for those e-mails and make sure you bring your friends along. I would like to mention about a unique Distress event: Bow Wow Wellness. Yes, you read it right. You get to spend some time with the cute, cuddly and snuggly therapy dogs.

If you think someone is stressed, or just a little detached or unmotivated, or just a mood swing, or even if they are less cheerful than their usual self, DO take a step of care and concern. Talk to them, ask them what’s bothering, be persistent in the attempt to help because it takes them time to pour the heart out. Try to gauge the depth of their stress. Take them for a coffee, quick bite, a walk, a game, a workout session, movie, dance, Karaoke or anything that makes the person cheerful. Not everyone needs Counseling Center, sometimes it’s just a bad day or a point in time and all they need is your constant comfort, compassion, tenderness, kindness, affection, and support. They need to know that we care for them and we are right next to them.

“There’s a brand new you waiting on the other side of this madness. Stay, so that you can see what it is all for.”

Visit this extremely helpful page to learn more about the resources offered by RIT to address the concerns: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/tigerscare/. Tigers Care. <3