Portage Trail Tree - Cobbs Hill Park, Rochester, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member sagefemme
N 43° 08.292 W 077° 34.647
18T E 290383 N 4779386
Quick Description: I've often wondered how this tree came to have such a distinctive branch structure, and when I learned about the native practice of creating "trail trees" by bending the branches rather than by blazing them, I really wondered...
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 6/15/2012 9:30:12 AM
Waymark Code: WMEMPR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Neos2
Views: 9

Long Description:
From the AMERICAN GUIDE SERIES ROCHESTER and MONROE COUNTY, Federal Writer's Project (part of the Works Progress Administration), published in 1937:

"An attractive scenic hike follows the course of the Portage Trail, famous in Indian history as the carry between the Genesee River above the falls and Lake Ontario. This trail begins at Genesee Valley Park near Elmwood Ave. bridge, crosses the lower part of Mount Hope Cemetery and the crest of Pinnacle Ridge, and skirts the grounds of the Hillside Home for Children to the terminus of the Monroe Ave. car line. From there the actual line of the trail leads across country to Indian Landing, more accessible, however, by way of Highland Ave. and Penfield Rd. to Landing Rd., to Indian Landing, the "back door" of Ellison Park. "

The location of this tree fits the description of "skirts the grounds of Hillside Home for Children" (which is still there as Hillside Children's Center!) "to the terminus of the Monroe Ave. care line." Just east of this location, you can find a plaque on a rock placed in 1912 as part of the Rochester Centenial (Portage Trail "Signs of History waymark : (visit link) that identifies it as part of the Portage Trail leading to Indian Landing.

Neither of these is definitive proof that this was a trail tree, but given the age/maturity of the tree (it appears large enough to be 200 years old), and its unnatural limb shape for a maple tree, (I've uploaded a picture of a nearby tree of similar age/maturity with a much more typical limb shape and canopy) it certainly points toward it being a trail tree.
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denben visited Portage Trail Tree - Cobbs Hill Park, Rochester, NY 11/10/2012 denben visited it