Clark's Gully Sacred Site in Naples, New York

Clark’s Gully Phoenix Rising Hi Tor (Naples), NY - Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area

This article was originally written by Madis Senner and speaks of Clark's Gully as being a sacred site going back to ancient times before Europeans set foot here. A place that's being 'brought back to life' with renewed interest in spirituality and "pre-colonial" history. 

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

Clark's Gully, in Naples, NY and 15 miles south of Canandaigua, at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake, has been a sacred site for a very long time. At the base of the gully one can find the visible remains (stones and rock formations) and the still glowing spiritual embers of several ancient civilizations. Clark's Gully provides the pilgrim with a unique opportunity to experience and add to the spirit of a variety of peoples that have prayed there before. It is also a testament to my belief that people are drawn to pray at the same place over and over again and that in doing so we add to the foundation of love and spirit placed there before.

Where the Seneca People Where Born

Clark's Gully lies at the base of South Hill, or Nundawao, where the Seneca people were born. According to legend it is at Nundawao that the earth divided and the Seneca people emerged. The Seneca’s refer to themselves as "Onodowaga," or "People of the Great Hill." The Senecas say that they were born at "Kanandague," or the chosen spot. This is from where Canandaigua Lake gets its name.

Clark's Gully is part of the NY DEC’s Hi Tor Fish and Wildlife Management Area. There are some other trails away from the gully. The gully itself is a very challenging climb with steep rock (shale) faces and covered with fallen trees. While the climb up South Hill along the ridge of the gully is challenging it is doable.

Spirit Keepers—Following the herd path along the creek, about a 100 yards up you will come upon several flat stones circled with round stones on your right--before the campfire area. I placed the stones to mark the sacred site. It sits on a stacked field of consciousness. As I have consistently stated the Spirit Keepers had an incredible knowledge of the earth, fields of consciousness and other earth phenomena and knew how to work with it all. They were extremely accurate in placing prayer/ceremonial sites on the most auspicious places, often on places of consciousness. This is also the case at Clark's Gully. The large manitou stone (East/right of the flat stones) was situated by them on a place of consciousness. Between the flat stones and large manitou stone there is a sacred circle surrounded by many of the original stones whose center is sunken.

Spend some time in meditation on the manitou stone, or other any other place in this field. This would be a great place to go if you are trying to sense consciousness.

Haudenosaunee—Right next to the spirit keepers site you will find two distinct wide and elongated piles of stones and a third one a little above the other two. They look like an extremely wide stone wall that has fallen down, they are not more than 6-12 inches high but are over 10 feet wide plus. They are in fact the remains of three long houses.

I have spoken to a few experts about this and they tell me that it is very rare and unusual to find a long house with a large stone component. This could have to do with the age and the special significance of Clark's Gully to the Seneca people. My dowsing rods traced out the spiritual embers (energy lines--prayer can attract energy and leave dowse able energy lines) of the long houses. You can find the remains of another long house just to the east at the top of the ridge, about 50 feet up.

Within the lodges there are the spiritual embers of several altars and sacred fires. Look for the larger stones. The greater part of both lodges are contained within the field of consciousness. If you don’t have dowsing rods look for larger flat stones to be possible altars. They would be a good place to do ceremony or meditate.

The large stone next to the spirit keepers site appears to have been a spirit keepers place and also located in the long house. Spend some time there or on one of the other larger stones.

Stone Circles—Just east of the long houses before the foot of the ridge you will see several groups of large (1-3 feet in height) stones. If you look closely you will notice that some of the stones appear to be grouped together in circles.

A dowsing of the stones, tracing out the energy lines, showed that they were in fact aligned in circles. There appears to be a total of 10 small circles there.

I could not determine the significance of why the stones were located there and not some place else other than the proximity to the Spirit Keepers Site and the stacked field of consciousness. I believe that the civilization that aligned the stones was pre-Haudenosaunee and post Spirit Keepers.

Stone Circles--There are several other sacred circles we have re-constructed using flat stones to replicate what was there previously. Do not be swayed by the campfires that can look like circles. Since we first posted Clark's Gully someone has created a small monument--no doubt influenced by the air of the place.

East of the recently constructed stone monument you will find the stone remains of a third long house. At the southern tip of the remains you will find an intact ceremonial circle.

Continuing up the mini ravine east of the third long house you will see a 2 ½ ft. high by 3 ft. in diameter stone that is part of a ceremonial circle. Continue walking up, you will shortly cross a herd path and you will see a large 2 ft. X 2 ft. stone that is 1 ft. high. It sits on a single field of consciousness.

Upper Clark's Gully--South Hill

There is a ridge above the creek bed that contains numerous sacred sites. You can either walk up the steep ridge next to stone circles or take the old dirt road that begins by intersection of Sunnyside and West Roads near the bridge. To read about those sites go to: Upper Clark's Gully-South Hill

More To Be Revealed

It is apparent that there is a lot more to Clark's Gully. My experience is that it takes time to know a place and that bits and pieces are revealed over time.

We found no distinct identity to the place. This may have to do with the smorgasboard of civilizations that have prayed at Clark's Gully and the spiritual neglect of several hundred years. The very strongly positive geographic samskara surrounding the stones is a testament to what went on there before. There is a very strong foundation of spirituality that we can build upon.

Finding Clark's Gully

To get to Clark's Gully take Route 364 south from Canandaigua. At Middlesex, you will turn right onto Route 245 going south, take a right on to Sunnyside, about 4.5 miles down 245. Just before you cross West End Avenue you will see a Hi Tor parking area—park there. You can continue for another 100 yards and cross West Avenue and park at the three un-marked parking areas just after West Avenue. You should be aware that the driveway-like parking areas are on private property. Clark's Gully is accessed near the intersection of Sunnyside Rd and West Ave in the town of Naples.

When we surveyed Clark's Gully on Labor Day weekend in 2007 it was bone dry.

Related Links:

http://hi-torstone.blogspot.com/

http://nyfalls.com/waterfalls/lower-clarks-gully/ - Read the section titled, "History" to view their take on the sacred site legend.

https://web.archive.org/web/20091021151114/http://geocities.com/falzguy.geo/clark-gully.html

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