"Yeah, we should do that sometime."
"How about Monday?"
That's how it started, roughly. One of the nice things about both of us being retired now is the flexibility to do something at the drop of a hat, most anytime. And as Karen gets more adventurous with her fatbike, I'm right there "supporting her " (AKA egging her on!) So it was that SHE initiated the move to go camping and biking at Ontario County Park.
Full disclosure: I have never gone mountain biking at "OCP". Wanted to for years, and not sure why it's never happened. I've known that our local off-road gang (GROC) has done a ton of work on the trails there and even had BIG gatherings and I'm guilty for having never joined in. Maybe the last six years of road touring has been too much of a distraction. I think that shows in how rusty my single-track skills appeared to be. In any case, we packed up the fatties and camping gear and headed up.
Yeah, up. OCP is sitting on top Gannet Hill (2264') just north of Naples, and is famous among local roadies as the summit of the infamous Bopple Hill / Gannet Hill double whammy of a climb. Most of our visits involve a short break for air at the "jump off" before heading down the long stretch to Naples. But the 17 miles of established trails at the park might be a far tougher challenge.
The trails are a mix of Green, Blue and Black (easy, medium, difficult) rated trails and we played it conservative by starting out "Green", but as the day wore on, we stepped up to Blue trails without significant issues and inadvertently connected on a Black trail for a distance before finding a way to bail out back to a green.
Karen did great handling it all without damage, but I can't say the same. Fortunately, my mishap only involved bodily damage, and not my bike.
Calling it a day, we retired to our campsite for some quiet time before showers and dinner …
… and after a little exploratory hike around the park, we pulled together a little campfire for some evening ambiance.
The next morning, we awoke to a dense fog blanketing the park. Spooky! After breakfast, we hit the road for H.H. Spencer Park … only a couple mountain ridges to the west … to check out some trails over there. It's been years since I've mountain biked there, and Karen has only XC-skied there. With a mix of wide XC trails and a bunch of winding single-tracks, we vacillated between gentle cruising and rocky rooted swoopies. There are plenty of options there, but we ran out of gas before we could get in barely half of what's available there. Another time.
Of course, no visit to H.H.Spencer is complete w/o a stop for a photo at the overlook. Perhaps one of the most iconic views in the Finger Lakes.