My buddies Chris Clemens and Luke Myer (from the Burned Over District blog) recently shared these photos with me. Chris and Luke were on their way to Sodus on an unrelated exploration trip when they recalled stories of a nearby abandoned Girl Scout camp and decided to stop and check it out [map ].
Luke says his mother camped here when she was a little girl. In fact, many Girl Scouts earned a badge or two here over its 60+ year history. This was camp Beech-Wood and the following is an excerpt from NYfalls.com about its history…
Beech-Wood was named for the American Beech trees that grew along the lakeside bluff.
Recognizing the importance of the Maxwell Creek watershed to Lake Ontario’s health, and fearing commercial development or agricultural use of this important property, the State become interested in its acquisition. With the land already connected to utilities, and the existence of modern cabins, lodges, and recreation facilities, the state looked at the acquisition and conversion to a family park as an easy task. There was some resistance to the purchase using taxpayer funds, but with the help of the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act the state was able to buy the land in 1996 for $600,000.
Unfortunately, before the State could upgrade and open the newly acquired park, a budget crisis got in the way and no money was allocated for improvements. The park’s purpose was then shifted more towards a manageable “preserve” and it opened with no improvements in 1999.
Recently, the Town of Sodus has been given permission by the state for use of the park as they see fit. An effort by the Boy Scouts of America is underway to help recondition some structures within the park, while the Trail Works organization has spent some time mapping the existing trails.
The SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry has taken some interest in the property as of 2010, walking the grounds to take inventory for a recommended management plan. As of the writing of this article, the park has only seen a minor effort to preserve and restore the existing major buildings.
Today Beechwood State Park is a great place to hike and explore. There is a gravel parking area on Lake Road near the bridge for Maxwell Creek, which includes a canoe/kayak access point as well as fishing access. Take the well worn path to explore the main camp. There are no marked trails, but at times some paths are mowed and there are old dirt roads (now grassy roads) that can be hiked as well.
Go for a hike through Camp Beech-Wood with Ed and Scrappy.
Tags: abandoned, abandoned places, abandoned swimming pool, Beechwood State Park, camp site, Chris Clemens, Girl Scouts camp, Girl Scouts of America, Luke Myer, photography, Rochester, Rochester NY, rochester photos, Sodus, urban exploration
This entry was posted on Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 7:28 am and is filed under Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.