FL Land Trust acquires part of Bare Hill

Julie Sherwood Messenger Post
Julie Bertram took this photo of forested land at the summit of Bare Hill in Middlesex that was recently acquired by the Finger Lakes Land Trust for preservation.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced Tuesday that it has acquired a forested parcel near the summit of Bare Hill — a landmark well known in the area as the scenic ridge that rises 865 feet above Canandaigua Lake’s eastern shore just north of Vine Valley.

The Land Trust identified the five-acre parcel as prime land for protection due to its location near the summit of the hill and because it is adjacent to other conserved lands, according to Land Protection Specialist Elizabeth Newbold. The property was previously owned by Canandaigua residents Chris and Jill Glattly, who owned the property for 25 years as a recreational retreat.

“Chris and Jill were a pleasure to work with on this project,” stated Newbold in a release. “The Glattlys expressed their joy in working with the Land Trust because it meant that their land would be ‘returned to Bare Hill.’ We’re grateful to them for their commitment to the land. The protection of this property is particularly significant given the natural and historical importance of the area.”

The Land Trust plans to eventually sell the property to New York state as an addition to Bare Hill Unique Area when funds are available.

The property is just off Van Epps Road in the town of Middlesex, Yates County, close to the entrance to New York State’s Bare Hill Unique Area. The land is entirely forested with a mix of oak and hickory trees.   

Old photos show that the area was indeed “bare” in the past, but today it is largely forested, except for its summit, which is covered with a mix of meadows and shrub lands. One Seneca legend has it that the writhing of a great serpent swept the hill of its trees and bushes until it was bare. Whatever the cause, Bare Hill is notable for its shallow soils that are susceptible to drought stress most summers, according to the Land Trust.

A membership supported, not-for-profit land conservation organization, the The Land Trust was able to use an internal loan from its revolving land protection fund to acquire the former Glattly property. This is the fourth project the Land Trust has completed at Bare Hill. In 2013, the organization acquired two parcels there, including a rare stretch of undeveloped shoreline on Canandaigua Lake.

The Land Trust today owns and manages a network of 32 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds more than 100 conservation easements on lands that remain in private ownership and on the tax rolls.

For more information, visit www.fllt.org or call 607-275-9487.