John and I have been on a mission to see more of the Rochester area parks, with a goal of visiting and photographing each of them this summer. The other day, we stopped at Tryon Park. We had hiked in this park once before, so we thought we knew what to expect. We exited I-590 at Browncroft and drove toward Tryon Park, which is a little dead end street. On Tryon Park, we were surprised to find a new little parking lot. Previously, parking was available along the street, mostly along a bridge over I-590. It was nice to have a lot for parking. There are some signs that the County may be planning on developing the park more, but maybe they are just working on some drainage issues.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day. The park is really undeveloped. Tryon Park is 82 acres of woodland, crossed by a lot of hilly, rugged trails that seem to have been made by bikes and feet. Both times we visited the park, we saw bikers but no other hikers. Walking the trails was a challenge and a pleasure. The park was definitely not designed for a person with low vision, but we went slowly and I was really careful and everything was okay. Both times that we hiked here, I had a strong sense that we could easily get lost in the park. In a way, that is a nice feeling to be able to evoke in such close proximity to the city.
There were definitely signs that we were near civilization. There was broken glass scattered everywhere. It was strange to see thousands of tiny pieces of colored glass along the beginning of the trail. It was as if it had been dumped there and spread out evenly with a rake. I have heard that there is an old car half-buried in the park, but we have never run across it. You can hear street noise from the highway in the park. The street noise bothered me at first, but after a few minutes it mixed in with the sound of the wind in the trees and I did not notice it.
Signs of Autumn were prevalent. Though the trees were still full of life and green, colored leaves were scattered all along the trail. It was as if a colorful carpet had been placed along the path, just for us.
There is a depth to Tryon Park. It seems different, somehow, from other parks in the Rochester area. It is less developed and more natural but at the same time more spoiled by junk left decades ago. It stands in sharp contrast to the nearby Ellison Park. Tryon Park is kind of a mystery to me and I look forward to returning soon to dig deeper into that mystery.