The Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, NY covers a decent piece of land complete with a longhouse, visitors, center, fields of crops and nature trails. After the girls and I walked through the longhouse during the Native American Dance & Music Festival, we came out the other side to find a canopy set up with chairs and tables. At one of the those tables they were selling ice cold bottles of water and I thought that was a strange location for that.
Girls walking toward the longhouse.
Standing by longhouse entrance.
Inside the longhouse.
We walked away from the longhouse toward more of the educational plaques around the property and Jordan pointed out that there was the beginning of a hiking trail nearby. She said “let’s go on the trail!” and I said sure. I figured it was a trail that looped back around at some point and came out at a different location near the longhouse. So off we went!
Sign explaining the trail.
The trail was quite lovey and well-shaded with tall trees. Some parts of it were a bit too steep for Jaycie to navigate alone so I held her hand whenever she needed help.
We’d been walking for 10-15 minutes when I began to doubt my assumption that the trail looped back around. We just kept heading further and further out. All the groups of people ahead of us gave up and turned back but we kept on, certain that the trail had to end back at Ganondagon. I really should have known better because I have a horrible sense of direction and propensity for becoming lost.
Girls reading one of the signs explaining the nearby plants.
Jaycie and I continued to follow Jordan as she blazed the trail ahead. I had to periodically ask her to stop as Jaycie couldn’t go that fast. We kept coming across wooden plank paths over muddier parts of the trail where I’d go first and Jaycie would follow, holding both my hands as I stretched them behind me for her to use as balance aids. By 25 minutes in, I was getting a little grumbly at Jordan for leading us on this adventure and Jaycie was tired and hot.
Jordan leading the way on the trail.
After 40 minutes of walking with no sign of the civilization, I finally pulled out my phone and opened up my maps program to see where we were. I was rather dismayed to see that we were a fair distance from the Ganondagon site and continuing to head further away. I now doubted the path ever looped around so Jaycie and I took a seat on a log bench while Jordan went a little further while remaining in sight. She didn’t find anything that looked like an ending so after a brief rest, we headed back the way we had come.
On our way back across the wooden planks.
By this point we were all hot, tired and sweaty as the temperature and humidity had risen even among the shady trees. I asked Jordan to help her sister on the way back so I could lead the way and make sure we were going the right way with my GPS. We eventually found ourselves back at the trail we’d first started on and I suddenly understood the reason for that table selling ice cold water bottles. I bought one for each of us and we gulped them down as we walked back into the longhouse to enjoy the shade and breeze inside it.
Jordan grumbled a bit about the fact that Jaycie and I will never let her live that little adventure down but in reality, it was good for all of us. We got some exercise, learned about native plants and trees and had ample quality time together. I hadn’t planned on going hiking and getting that disheveled and sweaty but you only get one go round in this life so it’s best to stuff it with as many experiences as possible. Jordan was just leading us exactly where we were supposed to go, on the path of destiny!
Hawk in the sky beyond the longhouse before we headed off. A sign I was heading the right way 😉