Report to Hikers — week of Sept 6 – Sept 12

Hello Hikers!

Wed Sept 8

Hike report by Jim

Comfort Road toward Bruce Hill Road on the FLT, Danby

Six hikers met on Comfort Rd for a hike of the FLT from Comfort Rd towards Bruce Hill Rd. This hike continues the month-long September focus of hiking area trails that we will lose access to once hunting season begins in October.
Our group, to my understanding, has not hiked this section of the FLT since around 2006.

The day was cool, with little in the way of swarming bugs to distract hikers.
There was a short section of trail immediately off Comfort Rd bordering a near-by field that was relatively muddy, but the group quickly got through that area and onto firmer ground.

On the outbound leg the trail was largely a gentle downward sloping footpath that wandered through some nice stands of pine trees alternating with hardwoods. 

A few streambed crossings were relatively easy due to the low water levels, but I assume that some of those would be much more challenging if this hike was being attempted during  the spring thaw. One crossing in particular was more difficult than the others due to the trail dropping down into the streambed, but hikers navigated the crossing safely.

Eventually the trail arrives at the first of several small fields and meadows. We hiked along the edge of the first meadow, after which the trail plunges back into the woods.

There are a series of old logging roads or grown-up farm lanes that the footpath crosses in this part of the Trail. Unfortunately the surrounding area is entirely posted for no trespassing, so we were unable to explore any near-by paths or woods beyond the trail footpath. There is one three way split in the trail at which hikers will need to pay attention to blazes so as to not unwittingly stray from the Trail.

Soon we arrived at a series of larger meadows, which we quickly crossed in rapid succession. By now the sun was out, and temperatures and humidity were rising. Birds screeched at the group from the cover of near-by brush and trees. There was enough wind to keep the hike pleasant despite the rising temperatures.

Once the group returned to the woods beyond the meadows I estimated that it was time to turn around. In fact we had gone too far on our out-bound leg, as the return portion of the hike by comparison was almost all uphill and slower going. The group ended up arriving back at our cars a full 30 minutes past our normal hike time.


Sat Sept 11

Hike report by Jim.

Lake Road east into Cortland County on the FLT, Dryden

18 hikers and 2 dogs met on Lake Rd at the crossing of the Jim Schug Trail in the Town of Dryden for a hike of the FLT towards Cortland County

While I had intended to have the entire group do the FLT route, most of the group opted to hike the Jim Schug Trail as an alternative to climbing Havington Hill.. I can’t provide a hike report for that group.

The hike route my subset of the group hiked is on AllTrails at the following link, for those who may want to do this route on their own:

As with most of our hikes in September, this route will be unavailable to the group over the winter due to hunting season-related trail  closures.

The weather was sunny and warm, but with a decent breeze that made the hike tolerable.

The group walked up Lake Rd from the Schug Trail, turning into the field that leads to the bottom of the mountain that always looks so impressive when viewed from Lake Road.

Five people chose to take the FLT route; that group climbed Havington Hill with relative ease and descended the other side of the mountain to where it opens up with abroad vista overlooking the valley and surrounding farmlands. This is always one of the favorite parts of this hike for me.

The group followed the FLT to where it continued in a broad arc that brought us out to another observation point for the same vista.

After reaching the second overlook area the group turned around and re-traced our steps up the mountain and back to the vehicles without incident.


Photos by Tiger

At this point, the trail entered the very dark woods. Too dark for Tiger’s camera


A former infant hiker returns to the trail nine years later

It’s very rare for us to get a hiker with an infant strapped on her back — with one notable exception. In 2012 two Canadian professors were working at Cornell and they hiked a number of times carrying their infant son Sydney. It seemed pretty exhausting to me but they would take turns carrying, and they always managed to keep up. Sydney ended up seeing a lot of our trail system.

Here they were in Kennedy SF, a very vigorous hike thas’s tricky to handle even without a kid on your back.

I was sorry to see them head back to Toronto because I liked the novelty of having such a junior hiker. Then I got a note saying they were back for another visit at Cornell.

Leah and Gerald w/Sydney


Cian’s photos

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Sept 12

Hike report by Jim

Spur trail from upper Lick Brook to upper Buttermilk Falls SP, Danby

Sixteen hikers and three dogs met on Townline Rd for a hike of the Sweedler Preserve red and blue trails as well as the FLT spur trail to Buttermilk Falls State Park.Two additional hikers and four dogs arrived late and did their own hike route in the same general area.

As with many of our September hikes, portions of this route will become unavailable to the group from October to January due to hunting season related trail closures.

The entirety of the locale for this hike may be viewed at the following All Trails link, for those who may want to attempt all or portions of our route on their own:

The group left Townline Road a couple of minutes late due to the later arrival of a couple of hikers.

Taking the red blazed trail we followed the stream until it turned away from the water to climb the hill back towards Sandbank Rd.

From there the trail follows the ridgeline towards West King Rd, popping out into a field before returning to the woods.

Arriving at a utility pole right of way the trail make a final turn towards West King Rd.

After arriving at West King Rd the FLT jogs slightly on the road before the spur trail returns to the woods in the general direction of Yaple Road.

There were a couple of good field crossings en route to Yaple Road; the goldenrod was higher than I anticipated and there were portions of the trail where the footpath was almost consumed by the undergrowth around it.

Arriving at Yaple Rd I decided that the remaining time did not warrant having the group continue on the spur trail to BFSP; instead we turned around and re-traced our steps towards West King Rd and beyond.

Reaching the blue blazed trail within the Sweedler Preserve we took that route to the waterway, where we had one of the easiest water crossings I can recall at that location due to the greatly diminished levels of water in the streambed.

The group took the blue blazed Toms Trail back to Townline Rd; from there we still had around twenty minutes of hike time remaining, so we took a short in and out into the Lick Brook gorge area to end the hike at the proper time.


Photos by Tiger/shesse


Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s full photo album here

Report to Hikers — week of Aug 30 – Sept 5

Hello Hikers!

Tues Aug 31

Hike report by Jim

Connecticut Hill Rd and Cabin Rd, Town of Newfield

Seven hikers and four dogs met at the junction of Connecticut Hill Rd and Cabin Rd in the Town of Newfield. The FLT crosses Connecticut Hill Rd a short distance away, but the parking area at the trail crossing can only accommodate a couple of vehicles; it was easier to meet at Cabin Rd and walk the short distance to the FLT.

The weather was perfect for hiking, with little in the way of humidity, some decent temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

As the FLT leaves Connecticut Hill Rd and heads West towards the Schuyler County line, hikers found themselves to be walking through one of the stands of CCC pine tree plantations that we often find on state forest land. This particular stretch of trail is pleasant to hike on, and is a gradual descent down the Southwest corner of Connecticut Hill.

Eventually the Trail takes a turn to the South and hikers found ourselves walking in a gentle arc through a section of hardwood trees. There were some short stretches of mud in this part of the hike, but nothing too bad.

Finally, just before reaching Todd Rd, the Trail comes out into a small open field that was bursting with goldenrod on the day of our hike.

Crossing Todd Rd, it’s a short jog to the North to pick up the continuation of the FLT. Passing through some fairly significantly sized boulders, hikers soon found ourselves at a split in the trail between the FLT and the Easterly end of the Van Lone Loop Trail.

Hikers jumped onto the Van Lone Trail, gradually descending towards the flowing stream below us.

Eventually the Van Lone travels along the streambed; before reaching Todd Rd again, there is an unofficial side trail that crosses the stream and comes out onto a small bivouac area identified by the stone benches and fire pit found there.

The group stopped at the bivouac area and then took a short trail back to Todd Rd.

I had intended to walk Todd Rd back to the FLT crossing, but Randy and Nancy were on the hike and volunteered to show the group some of their unofficial trails they hike in the area that lead back towards Connecticut Hill Rd. Taking them up on the offer we found ourselves following old rutted wagon trails as we climbed Connecticut Hill Rd back towards our cars. The group stopped periodically to examine various fungi and mushrooms, of which there were multiple examples.

Stopping at a small homestead cemetery we examined the worn engravings and then continued on towards Connecticut Hill Rd and our vehicles.

The group seemed to enjoy this new ( to the group ) section of the FLT, and I think that I will be adding it to our roster of regular hike locations


Wed Sept 1

Hike report by Jim

Mulholland Wildflower Preserve toward Potter’s Falls, north side of Six Mile Creek

Nine hikers and 3 dogs met in the parking lot of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve in the city of Ithaca. Parking was somewhat constricted because of the heavy equipment associated with an unfinished construction project that is underway ( but not actively being worked on ) in the Preserve area.

It was a cool but sunny day, with rain predicted for later in the day after the hike. Weather during the hike was pretty much perfect, however.

The group set off down the trail; Six Mile Creek was flowing well as we walked along its bank.

The group moved at a pretty good pace and soon we found ourselves turning off onto the blue blazed side trail that climbs the bank to the graveled road that serves as an access road to Second Dam.

After a short break the group continued onwards; arriving at the Second Dam Jack V led part of the group out onto a promontory overlooking the dam area.

The group continued on to the open field area that overlooks the southern end of the Second Dam reservoir. There we climbed the hill to the memorial bench that oversees the Second Dam area, and then turned around.

The group re-traced our steps to the parking lot, then crossed Giles Street and took the access path to the “ Businessman’s Lunch” nature area around Wells Falls. As always that area was impressive for being in the heart of the city of Ithaca. The trash situation around the falls had some of us discussing taking a morning to go into the Falls area with trash bags to do a clean-up.

There was  a fair amount of other hikers/ dog walkers on the trails today; not unexpected, given the trails location within the City of Ithaca.


Thu Sept 3

Hike report and photos by shesse

Farm country road walk — N Shuler Road, Schuyler County
Fantastic way to kick off what I hope will be a much cooler month than last. 59 when we shaped up, quite breezy — we all wore jackets. Gorgeous setting of rolling hills and sweeping fields
Amazing cloud formations and sun & shade effects
This walk is full of great long views — very few houses, almost no traffic
The buildings in the background look picturesque and peaceful, but when you get up close it smells pretty awful — seems to be a pig farm.
A wonderful mix of atmospherics and scenery
Early apples. Much too sour for me
One hiker arrived late and didn’t know which way we’d gone. She walked on another road and had a great time. We were happy to meet up near the end of the walk.

Official head count: 6H, three D


Sat Sept 4

Hike report by shesse. Photos by Tiger

Lindsay Parsons Preserve, West Danby
This place used to be a paradise of color and fragrance in early September. The entire main field area of the preserve would be thickly covered with goldenrods in bloom, and the sight and smell was intoxicating.
Then, some years back, we’d arrive on the right day and find the fields had been freshly cropped down to a two-inch height. I used to be really bummed out, but Tiger now theorizes the goal was to increase the diversity of the area, and avoid overwhelming dominance by one plant that some people view as just an annoying weed.
This time we actually saw the mower at work in the distance. One benefit of the scalping is that it created a nice visual pattern.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining too much — this is always a great place for a walk.
Look at how beautiful the scene was Saturday, even without much goldenrod.
Luckily, a few years back we discovered a small side trail where the goldenrod doesn’t get chopped down every year, and we’re now able to do a short but very satisfying swing through this.
But it is a dead-end loop and we have to come back to the parking lot to start the main walk.
Here we are at the viewing area over the lake. Lovely spot, but we never have time to linger because of the demands of our schedule.
Almost back to the final stretch through the big fields again. Tiger and I were both feeling very overheated and sweaty as we climbed up the last hills, and complaining about how oppressive it was. Then, after we’d been in the car for a few minutes on the way home, the car thermometer settled at 71. Weird that we found the final stretch so overheated.

Official head count: 21H, five D


Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Sept 5

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

The Pinnacles look-out from Bald Hill Road

18 hikers and 3 dogs ( including late arrivals ) met at the junction of Station Road and Bald Hill Rd, for a hike of part of the Abbott Loop in Danby State Forest.

Weather was intermittent rain and a general overcast gloom during the hike. Despite the weather very little of the hike involved walking through areas of mud as is sometimes the case.

Hikers set off down the seasonal portion of Bald Hill Rd; making the initial climb from the flats, he group quickly  encountered the  Abbott Loop turn to the West that leads to the Pinnacles. That climb was steady but enjoyable; the group soon dispersed on the upwards climb, some members of the group never catching up with the main body again. Soon the group found itself at the Pinnacles. Visibility was not too good, so after a brief pause for  a partial group photo we were soon pressing onward and down the other side of the mountain.

Reaching the more Southerly crossing point of the Abbott Loop on Bald Hill Rd, the group split into two elements, with half choosing to turn around and re-trace their route back to the cars via the Pinnacles. I took the second group and set off North on Bald Hill Rd, intending to take the Abbott Loop to the East when we reached that more Northerly loop crossing.

My group soon reached the Northerly crossing of the Abbott Loop across Bald Hill Rd. Turning East we were soon hiking downwards along the streambed. Crossing over the waterway the group climbed the hill on the opposite side. We soon reached the junction of the Abbott Loop with the Dove Trail. Jumping onto the Dove Trail we took that to its terminus on Bald Hill Rd near where we parked our cars. A few minutes later the Pinnacles group arrived at the cars, another hike successfully completed.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here

Report to Hikers — week of Aug 22 – Aug 29

Hello Hikers!

Tues Aug 23

Hike report and photos by Jim

Oakley Corners State Forest, Tioga County

Five hikers and one dog met in Tioga County for a hike of some of the trails in Oakley Corners State Forest

Let me start out this report by stating that unless you know the trail system there well, consider it to be something along the lines of the Hammond Hill trail system. This was my first time on these trails, and the only person in the group who had any  previous experience with this trail system was Norm.

We ended the day thinking that we had the system worked out, but who knows.

The DEC map I linked to in the hike announcement was barely helpful in that the trails are numbered, and that numbering system wasn’t reflected on the DEC map.

Norm later sent me these links

Oakley Corners State Forest, Owego Mountain Biking Trails | Trailforks

Oakley Corners State Forest (

Thanks for the links, Norm

Those linked maps do show the trail numbering system.

Overall this was an enjoyable hike; temperatures were pleasant under the forest canopy, and bugs while present were not intolerable. The group stayed with the more Southerly trail loops, as my primary sightseeing interest were the several ponds in that part of the forest. Its my understanding that if you want hikes with elevation gain, you should go with the more Northerly trail loops.

Being a weekday there were minimal numbers of other trail users; I’ve been told that on weekends this trail system sees a lot of use; for those who are concerned about possible covid exposures, plan your trip accordingly.

Much of the trail system we saw replicates many of the other trails we hike often; much In the way of stands of pines, some nicely flowing streams. Water levels were adequate. There were some stretches of muddy trail but nothing out of the ordinary. Lots and lots and lots of roots. This was a very root-y hike. Also, if you’re into ants, a tremendous number of ant mounds along the trails.

We stopped to check out the various small ponds that the southerly trail system circles. The largest of these was by far the most attractive ( and appeared to be the cleanest ). Norm stopped at a few to collect samples, which we dutifully documented for posterity.

We ended up running over the normal hike time, but that was as much caused by our unfamiliarity with the trails as anything else. All of the hikers agreed that it was a hike location worth returning to.

Addendum: The more southerly parking area on Hullsville Rd is not well-marked. The Google link I sent out in the original hike announcement is accurate, but unless you are actively looking for the parking lot, you’ll drive right by it as a couple of drivers in my group did ( myself included )


Wed Aug 24

Hike report by Jim

Bike trails, Shindagin Hiollow SF

Four people hiked the bike trails in Shindagin Hollow as well as a road walk to and from those bike trails.

This hike was supposed to be primarily a hike of the Shindagin Rim trail system

The weather was hot and humid, with many swarms of bugs to accompany the group. I think that this deterred many potential hikers from the Wednesday hike.

A road detour due to a bridge replacement along Central Chapel Rd the usual route to the trailhead confused some of the attending hikers, and the group waited several extra minutes in case there were late arrivals due to the detour

Walking down Shindagin Hollow RD, I missed the turn-off into the woods for the trail, and by the time we realized that the group was so far past the turn that we opted to walk to the other end of the trail and walk back from there.

Reaching the small parking area at the end of the rim trail, the group decided to take the side trail for the mountain bike trail rather than walk the Rim trail back to our cars.

The descent to the stream area went well, and a decent amount of water was flowing. Nothing so significant as to make crossing hazardous. The bike trail area was more pleasant than what i expected the Rim trail to be , probably due to its proximity to the stream. The bugs were much less of a problem as well.

The replacement gold shoe on the stump along this trail was still where we’d placed it a number of months ago.

Reaching the end of the trail we returned to Shindagin Hollow Rd and walked up the road back to our cars. Passing the parking lot at the end of the Rim trail the group opted to stay on the road and expedite our return to our cars. The missed turn onto the trail was observed and found to be overgrown; unless you were standing right next to it, it was easy to miss. Between the bugs and humidity and sun in the open areas of the road walk  it was less of an enjoyable hike than what we normally have on this particular hike.


Sat Aug 28

Hike report and photos by shesse. Additional photos by Cian

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home
Very grey and humid, mid 70s — I liked the atmospherics quite a bit — got two nasty mosquito bites. Six hikers didn’t make it into the group photo.
The group stayed together for about five minutes — by that point we’d formed into a super-fast group and a larger main group — the main group had falled behind just enough that they missed a turn-off
We all reunited about a half-hour later, up in the big Cornell horse fields
We were all happy to see each other
From the fields, we set out to cross Freese Road and check on the condition of the dramatic Varna cliffs — had they collapsed any more from the recent excess rains?
Forget that plan — the path in to the cliffs was completely overgrown — crawling with ticks and bees — so we turned back
We checked out the horse barns and paddocks and then headed back down the hill to the flood plain
The trail along Fall Creek
Spent the last half hour in the arboretum

Official head count: 17H, three D


Cian’s photos

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Aug 29

Hike report by Jim

Bock Harvey Forest Preserve and Riemen Woods, Enfield

Fifteen hikers and five dogs met for a hike of the Bock Harvey Preserve in Enfield

In comparison to recent days the weather was cool, with occasional breezes that helped make the hike more enjoyable

Hikers left the parking area, climbing the hill through fields of goldenrod and towards the shelter.

The path itself was slightly overgrown but not enough to cause a problem.

After pausing at the shelter for the group to consolidate, we pushed forward up the blue blazed trail towards the FLT.

Reaching the FLT we turned and hiked Westerly. Once at Porter Hill Rd we crossed the pavement and entered into the Rieman Woods. Quickly completing the short circuit of the FLT within Rieman Woods the group returned to Porter Hill Rd, at which time we walked up the road to meet the FLT again.

Re-entering the woods the group traveled Easterly along the FLT, through woods over streambeds and across fields, until we reached Rockwell Rd. It wasn’t until this very last stretch of trail that we encountered any mud, but as this stretch o0f trail is historically muddy, this was no surprise to me. Some people chose to call an early end to their hike here, while others walked Easterly on Rockwell to re-enter the woods and continue Easterly on the FLT until rehang Hines Rd before turning around.

The group encountered only a small number of other hikers and dogs along todays route.

It was an uneventful return trip to the cars.

Photos by shesse

Entrance to the lean-to grove
Arriving at Porter Hill Road on the outbound leg
Back onto Porter Hill Road after walking through Riemen Woods
Waiting for the others to catch up at Rockwell Road

Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here

Report to Hikers — week of Aug 16 – Aug 22

Hello Hikers!

Wed Aug 18

Rained out


Sat Aug 21

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

Comfort Road to Hill Road, Danby SF

13 hikers and 6 dogs met in the parking lit at the corner of Comfort and Bald Hill Roads, for  a hike of the FLT

Rain fell steadily before the hike started, but eased up as the group proceeded down the trail.

It was an overcast day, with a noticeable amount of humidity.

Stream crossings were obviously a little interesting today due to the quantity of recent rainfall. I personally got to a point where I simply decided that my feet were going to get wet no matter what I did, and so just proceeded across streams without regard to any effort to rock hop.

Other than some issues with slippery rocks and roots on the trail the trail surface was mostly enjoyable for me. Not as much mud as a person might expect given recent rains, and the bed of pine needles made for some comfortable mileage on my feet.

The group emerged from the trail at Michigan Hollow Rd and walked to Hill Rd to walk off the remaining hike time prior to turning around. Hill Rd turned out to have an uncomfortable level of washed out surfaces, including one part that is so damaged as to be impassible to vehicles.

After turning around the group hopped onto the FLT where it crosses Hill Rd and returned to Michigan Hollow Rd, without incident.

AS we made our way back up the trail the rain, which had diminished as we made our outbound leg of the hike, picked up in intensity until we were back near the lean-to area of the Trail.

Esps were out on the trail by the dozen, and at Diane’s Crossing the group had an encounter with a decently sized snake that made its escape before we could photograph it.

All things considered and despite the rain, I believe that the group had an enjoyable hike today.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Aug 22

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

Kennedy SF, Virgil

13 hikers and 5 dogs met for a hike of Kennedy State Forest in Cortland County

The weather was a good improvement from Saturdays hike, being warm and only a small but noticed amount of humidity as the hike progressed.

It should be noted that the logging of the past several months in this portion of the forest is done, and the parking are and the road beyond it have been left a ( for now ) well graveled and flat surface. A far cry from the muddy mess that just a few hikes ago at this location left a hikers car buried to the axle in mud.

Hikers set off down the trail from the parking area. My main concern for this section of trail is always the large number of roots; wet weather usually leaves them a slippery hazard, and today was no exception. Careful navigation around the many roots slows the hike down but is preferred to face planting.

The trail scenically proceeds along Rowland Creek for a short stretch, before starting to cross the Creek a couple of times. Neither crossing was particularly worrisome in terms of water flow or crossing difficulty. After those minor water crossings we arrived   to the first color coded fork in the trail; here the groups hike route diverges from the FLT and jumps onto the blue blazed Swedish Loop trail. There are no significant elevation gains or losses anywhere along this route, which is unusual for our hikes.

The walk through the hemlocks was enjoyable, with diffused light filtering down to the footpath except for a few short stretches where direct sunlight was observable off to the side of the Trail but not directly on the trail.

The Trail crosses over one of two of the recently created logging roads within the forest; time will eventually soften the mechanically created dirt roads.

Soon the hikers met the yellow-blazed Stockholm Cutoff Trail, which brings the group back to the FLT. Turning Westerly the group passed through the Two Creek bivouac site before crossing the earlier fork in the trail with the Swedish Loop.

The return trip to the cars was uneventful other than a quick encounter with other day hikers/ dog walkers.

The fast pace of this hike found the group arriving back at our cars at only 90 minutes; we previously extended this abbreviated  hike time by road-walking down Daisey Hollow Rd to where the FLT continues Westerly, but the Trail in that direction quickly comes to a significant water crossing that’s not well depicted on the FLT map that stops the groups progress on anything but a dry period where water levels have dropped. I will need to walk the FLT and Swedish Loops ahead of  our next hike of this area  to find an acceptable route that brings us closer to a normal two hour hike duration.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here

Report to Hikers — Week of Aug 9 – Aug 15

Hello Hikers!

Tues Aug 10

Hike report by Jim

Eastman Hill, Caroline

Eight hikers met to walk a parcel of property that will eventually be a re-routed section of the FLT in the area of Eastman Hill, Town of Caroline. A ninth hiker arrived late and met the group as we were returning to our cars.

The weather was cooler than in recent days, with a touch of mugginess. Some small amount of rain sprinkle had accompanied us to the meeting location, but over the course of the hike there was no rain at all. Some sections of the Trail known to be consistently muddy lived up to their reputation on this hike.

The property is an acquisition of the Land Trust; the area we parked in might possibly eventually be a parking area for the parcel and act as an access point for the FLT as it passes through the area.

Leaving our vehicles on Coddington Rd, the group passed through some high weeds before starting up a long section of logging road. While not a particularly steep grade, the duration of the climb requires periodic pauses to rest. By comparison to some of the hill climbs on the current Eastman Hill FLT sections, this stretch of trail wasn’t too bad. The parcels previous owners had installed small benches periodically along the route; while I didn’t get a chance to test them out today, the benches appeared to be inviting. The previous owners of the parcel also named the various logging roads on the property and utilized a color coded route marking system that still remains.

Reaching the top of the hill the topography flattens out for a while before the future trail route leaves the logging road and plunges into the woodline. This results in a short period of bushwhacking that proved to be no problem

Eventually the route connects into the current FLT, and the group passed over the seasonal portion of Eastman Hill before arriving at Heisey Rd.

From there we did a short lollipop circle before returning along the route we had originally taken.

The benefit to hikers in the long run will be that a long section of the FLT will be preserved from loss, as sometimes happens with parts of the Trail that pass through private lands. I will miss some of the trail sections that this re-route will replace, but that is outweighed by the long term preservation of the Trail footpath. Some of the replaced sections of Trail might still be accessible to day hikers, with continued permission of the property owners. Only time will tell.

Photos by Cian

“I got the time wrong and showed up when everyone was returning – so only one picture with hikers , but I did the newly blazed trail until it intersected the old trail.”

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Wed Aug 11

Hike report by Jim

Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve

8 hikers met on Ellis Hollow Creek Rd for a hike of the Nature Preserve trails there. The skies had been growing darker after I arrived at the Preserve parking lot, and I was concerned that we’d be rained out of the hike entirely. The last weather reports I’d seen before leaving home indicated only a small chance of rain before Noon.

As the group set off, a small amount of rain was heard falling through the forest canopy, but other than a few random rain drops I never felt any of it. The rain ended quickly and the rest of the hike was uneventful.

The group took a clockwise direction along our usual trail route, first onto the yellow blazed trails, which transitioned to the blue blazed trail section. The first stream crossing has a newer blowdown since my last time on that trail  that fills the streambed and blocks the former stream crossing location. The trail footpath and been re-routed slightly upstream, with a sawyer cut through the fallen timber. The crossing was uneventful. The group rain into one or two other blowdowns that probably should be eventually cleaned up, but nothing that negatively impacted our hike this day.

Water levels in the streams were minimal at every crossing. Mud was also minimal

The group ran into a total of two other hikers or dog walkers on the first circuit around the Preserve.

Navigating the hills in the red blazed section went without incident, a section that sometimes can provide some unsure footing for hikers.

Temperatures were not particularly high, but the humidity soon had many of us sweating from the effort of hiking  the trail. Despite the humidity it was still a pleasing day to hike; the overcast skies I had seen before the hike started had cleared by the time we were well into the hike.

Completing the first loop I stopped to make a quick trail journal entry.

Several of us opted at that time to call an end to our hike for the day, while several others opted to do a second loop around the trail circuit in the opposite direction.


Sat Aug 14

Hike report and photos by shesse.

Hammond Hill SF ski trails
Lovely cool, dark and damp morning — such a welcome change from the oppressive heat and humidity
Eight dogs showed up, two named Chico. They provided a good bit of comic activity
We did the original, classic version of this hike that we’ve been doing for years. Luckily we have Tiger to lead the way — for all the times I’ve done it, I still don’t know the way myself
As soon as we got into the woods, it was too dark to take photos. In the shadier spots, it actually felt like night was coming on, it was so dark
Arrival at Canaan Road
Heading back toward the cars on Star Stanton Road. This walk involves a big lollipop. The sun came out near the very end, but as you can see, it was still cloudy pretty late in the game (no shadows)

Official head count: 14H, eight D


Sun Aug 15

Hike reports by shesse and Nancy L. Photos by shesse

Connecticut Hill — south from the radio tower on the FLT

Report by shesse

Jim was planning to lead this hike but then he decided at the last minute to take the day off to try and fight off a cold. I said I’d write the hike report.

It was another gorgeous morning, sunny and in the low 60s when we met up.

Randy and Nancy (left) have been doing a lot of independent hiking on Connecticut Hill and they’re really learning these obscure and poorly marked trails quite well. But today’s trail was one of the very few up here that are clearly marked for those not familiar with the area

The lighting was terrible for taking photos — dappled sun-and-shade and tremendous bright and dark contrasts

As you can see, the woods were a mishmash of sun and shade — very pretty but basically impossible to photograph in

As some of you know, I developed a balance disorder some years back, and then I suffered nerve damage when I took a big fall three years ago, and that worsened my balance even more. But I’ve recently bounced back to the point I can keep up with the group — in most circumstances.

This was a group of super-regulars and they tend to race along at top speed. I managed to keep up for the first 40 minutes — then the trail conditions got really hairy and I had to turn back. Nancy L filled in whatr happened after Tiger and I dropped out.

Report by Nancy L

We all took off together to hike South on the Finger Lakes trail from the radio tower at the top of tower road.  The trail was easy to follow and quite pleasant, woody and shady.  It went gently downhill for most of the hike South to the hump shaped part of Connecticut Hill Road.  The trail continued in a southerly direction from the road.   We worked our way  uphill until we had hiked most of the way up Hulford Hill (from the north this time).  In an attempt to provide a circuit I turned sharply north on an alternate trail a relatively short way  north of where we would have reached Boylan.  I led a group back on a rather mucky slog down hill and across a creek.    After a bit the group had tired of the crummy trail conditions and took a blazed remnant of what use to be the FLT back to the current FLT.  They returned to the cars in a timely fashion by retracing their steps on the FLT.   Meanwhile Randy and another hiker took a different and clearer alternate route back to the car.  Their trail went north first crossing Connecticut Hill Road.  They then followed a trail on the other (west) side of Tower Rd for a bit, before intersecting Tower Road, which they took back to the cars.  Meanwhile, I and one other were looking for Randy, since there was no phone reception.  Eventually we made contact with Randy who picked us up on Boylan Rd so that no one was left behind in the woods.



Official head count: 14H, three D