Sunday, November 2, 2014
Franklin Gulf Park, once known as Larkin Woods, is on the border between the towns of Eden and North Collins. It is an Erie County Conservation Park, most of the land of which was acquired from the Larkin family who used it as a retreat. You should review the information about the park and the trails at WNYTrails.com:
If you have a gps, send me an email and I’ll email you the gpx file for all the trails and my past bushwhacks.
The map at this link shows all my tracks in the park. Red, orange, and green are marked trails. White is for the snowmobile trail. Purple is an unmarked old horse trail (horses are not allowed in the Park now). My bushwhacks are shown in blue.
The map at this link shows just the trails proposed for this hike. Click on the points for a description.
There is no development in the Park other than a parking lot, hiking trails, and a snowmobile trail over an old dirt access road (with an bridge over the Gulf.) You will, however, find the remains of the old Larkin cabin (just the foundation and chimney.)
A parking area is located on Larkin Rd, just before the Town of North Collins border sign. If the lot is full, the town of Eden allows parking on the road side (be sure you stay north of the town line sign) as long as cars park only on one side of the road.
The park has three main trails (red, orange, green blazed). The red trail is 1.25 miles long from the parking lot to the point where it rejoins the orange trail, near the snowmobile trail. The orange trail is 1.75 miles from the parking lot to the point where it joins the red trail, near the snowmobile trail. Thus, hiking one in and the other out will be a total of about 3 miles. Hiking the additional .75 miles along the snowmobile trail to the north western edge of the park and back to the Red-Orange trail junction will add 1.5 miles for a total of 4.5 miles.
The green trail, done as a loop to the edge of the creek then returning to the parking lot, is 1.5 miles total. It passes through some wet areas and is not as nice a hike as the orange-red-snowmobile trail. I have used it as a return trail on bushwhacks to the north eastern section of the park
There are a few spur trails and the park is great for bushwhacking around its untrailed areas, but bring a map because a few people have become lost in the park in the past few years.
This hike is designed to take you from the parking lot along the red and orange trail, then the orange trail to the top of a hill, then to the snowmobile trail. Follow the snowmobile trail to the junction with the red trail.
At this point the group can either follow the red trail back to the parking lot, or take the snowmobile down to and across the gulf, then back up a small hill and east to the north western edge of the park (there is a no trespassing – private property sign at that point.)
Please respect adjoining land owner’s rights. Do not wander onto private property unless you have obtained permission to do so from the landowner. While there may be some interesting things to see on the private property, our curiosity does not trump the rights of the private property owners.
Distance: 4.5 miles