Report To Hikers September 14th – September 18th

Wednesday September 14th

Black Diamond Trail from Kraft Rd

Report by Jim

On a somewhat overcast morning 14 hikers met on Kraft Rd for a southerly hike of the Black Diamond Trail. Finger Lakes Weather claimed that we would be rain-free until the afternoon, and in fact the weather improved throughout the hike.

The group set off and soon found ourselves sharing the trail with a considerable number of other trail users throughout our hike; a constant stream of bicyclists and runners were passing us throughout the morning.

Water was flowing in the streams we crossed over, and while the brush and trees along the sides of the trail blocked most views, there were still some enjoyable glimpses of countryside through breaks in the vegetation.

The group continued along the trail, quickly breaking up into a couple of distinct bubbles of hikers spread out over a good distance.

The group got as far as the bison farm before re-consolidating and resuming the hike back to our vehicles.

The return leg of the trip was marked by improving weather; the sun came out, and the skies turned blue with large white clouds. Otherwise the return leg of the hike was uneventful.

Welcome to Frankie and Jim on their first hike with the group!

Photo by Mary Jo

Saturday September 17th

Monkey Run north side

Report by Jim

For todays hike of the north side of Monkey Run we had a great day; somewhat cloudy in the morning, with the sun coming out mid-hike.

The group consisted of 25 hikers, including some later arrivals, and 2 dogs.

We shared the trail with a small combination of other day hikers, trail runners and dog walkers but had the bulk of the trail to ourselves.

There was a small amount of water in the smaller streams and trail conditions were dry.

The hike consisted mainly of a combination of red and orange blazed trails that kept us out of the sun for much of the hike duration. Thankfully the trail around the edges of the open fields proved to be mostly in the shadows of the near-by trees

Welcome to Teddy and Nines on their first hike with the group!

Photo by Jim

Photos by Leigh Ann

Album by Leigh Ann

Photos by Cian

Sunday September 18th

Shindagin Hollow Loop

Report by Jim

Thirteen hikers and two dogs met on the seasonal part of Shindagin Hollow Rd for a loop route stitched together from parts of several of our other regular hikes. An additional three hikers with another three dogs arrived late and ended up doing their own hike of the area trails.

The main group set out of the parking lot located about half way down the seasonal part of Shindagin Hollow Rd. We quickly jumped into the Jeep Trail, passing by the yellow metal gate and then onto an overgrown old logging road. This flatter route led us directly to the FLT, which we followed down the hill to a lower point on Shindagin Hollow Rd.

Reaching the seasonal road, the group turned north, by-passing the FLT as it continued towards the lean-to; the group hiked to Gulf Creek Rd to reach our next trail section.

It was only a short road walk on Gulf Creek Rd until the group reached green blazed bike trail #3 which travels north as it follows the streambed.

This trail again put the group under the forest canopy and away from the relentless sun.

The group walked to the opposite end of Trail G3, which brought us back to our parking area.

A couple of hikers decided to leave the hike early at this point, but the majority of the group opted to continue hiking.

The remaining hikers walked to the Shindagin Rim Trail, which comes out onto Shindagin Hollow Rd near the parking area. This trail took us along the precipice on some very nicely cushioned treadway. and gave us many interesting views across the state forest on a nice clear warm day. This route is among some of my most favorite in the county.

Reaching the other end of the Rim Trail we road-walked back to our cars, ending the hike about ten minutes past our regular hike time ( as had been expected ).

Warm welcome to Michelle on her first hike with the group!

Photo by Jim

Photos by Cian

Photos by Leigh Ann

Album by Leigh Ann

Report To Hikers September 7th – September 11th

Wednesday September 07th

Finger Lakes Trail, west from junction of Durfee Hill Rd with 96B

Report by Jim

Seven hikers met on a wet morning that alternated between moderate rain and light mist, for a hike of the FLT westerly from State Rte. 96B in the Town of Danby.

From the parking area on Durfee Hill Rd we crossed a field thick with mature golden rod, the unkempt grass under our feet wet from the days rain.

Crossing 96B the group plunged into the shadowed woods on the other side. The ground was thick with old pine needles, the path appearing almost illuminated by the vibrant green ferns and moss that populated the trail shoulders in that section.

Soon enough the trail turns uphill, following the property line in a nearly straight ascent for a good stretch. There is the temporary relief of a couple of flat spots and a short length of level trail that follows an old logging road, but otherwise it’s a climb until nearly reaching the Tamarack Lean-To

After pausing at the lean-to for a few minutes the group continued onwards. The FLT began to pass through much more level terrain with much improved access to sunlight from overhead.

The group continued on until reaching an area that would have required passing through more overgrown grassy portions of trail. Believing that this was as good a turn-around point as any other, I reversed course for the group and we began the downhill descent back to our parking area. The return leg of the hike was uneventful other than for its relative ease in comparison to the earlier uphill climb.

Welcome to Peter on his first hike with the group!

Photo By Jim

Saturday September 10th

Kennedy State Forest

Report by Jim

This hike was a last minute location change from the Dabes Diversion Loop, due to a well-attended foot race event that included the Dabes Loop and the FLT that I was advised of only a few days ahead of the hike.

Seventeen hikers and two dogs met on Daisy Hollow Rd in Cortland county for  a hike of the English Loop.

It was a decent hiking day, with cooler temps; while the sun was out the breezes and temps proved to make for an enjoyable hike.

Setting off from Daisy Hollow Rd the group made its way up the nearly dry creek bed, following the yellow and blue blazed trails as they see sawed their way up the hillside

Reaching the near-crest of the hill and after a quick pause for a trail journal entry, we followed the blue, red and orange trails up to and over the crest of the hillside until we reached the Spanish Loop trail. This trail we followed until our turn-around point, a small vernal pond that proved to be nearly empty after the long dry summer.

Returning to the Spanish Loop we made our way back to the English Loop trails, taking a different route back down the hillside.

Having hiked this location only a couple of times, I still don’t have our hike pace down exactly to come up with a proper hike distance for the two hour hike duration, and so we found ourselves back at the cars a full thirty minutes early. The group opted to use up the remaining hike time by walking to the near-by FLT and hiking westerly, a direction on the trail that few in the group had ever hiked ( mainly due to the barrier of the stream during high water months ). The group crossed the mostly dry streambed and hiked up the hill on the other side until we reached  a time to turn around. The return trip to our cars was uneventful.

Photos by Jim

Photos By Leigh Ann

Album By Leigh Ann

Photos by Cian

Sunday September 11th

Hammond Hill State Forest, from Star Stanton Rd

Report By Jim

Twenty hikers and two dogs met for a hike of the FLT from Star Stanton Rd

The weather report for Sunday had forecast rain throughout the day, and I was less than optimistic when I woke up to continuing rainfall. By the time I arrived at the trailhead the rain had stopped, and the outbound leg of the hike was rain-free, although the skies were overcast

I had the group try something new by parking further up Star Stanton, beyond the end of the asphalt where we normally park. My goal was to eliminate some of the road walk at both ends of the hike and give the group a longer trail hike. This proved to be popular with many in the group.

The outbound leg of the hike had much less “uphill” than on our past hikes here, and soon we were turning from the seasonal road the FLT follows from the paved road onto the FLT footpath. This portion of the Trail is always among my favorite Trail sections in the winter, and while this day was much more atmospheric than what I would have preferred, it was still a good day to walk in the woods.

Soon enough the trail turns and climbs up to a Hammond Hill multi-use trail where hikers share the Trail with horses, skiers and other recreationalists. Other than some motocross bikers at the beginning of our hike we saw no other people on the trail this hike day

The Trail is a steady upward climb in this section, before the Hammond Hill trails part way with the FLT near the radio tower. The group continued on the FLT until reaching a turn-around point. Pausing for a group picture or two, we were soon on our way again.

The return leg of the hike proved to be somewhat wetter than the outbound eg; although the rain proved to be sporadic enough that not much of it made its way through the forest canopy to the ground.

Welcome to Gloria and Tatia on their first hike with the group

I would like to take  a minute and observe that the group has just passed the one year anniversary since Nancy H created the Ithaca Hikers Meetup page ( Ithaca Hikers (Ithaca, NY) | Meetup ) in an effort to attract new hikers to the group. Nancy’s on-going work in posting multiple hikes to the Meetup site every week has proven to be a success; many new  people have joined our hikes through Meetup over the past year, with many  becoming regular members of the Ithaca Hiker family. Thank you Nancy for what you do to improve the groups hikes!

Report From Spain

By Nancy Holzer


Wet morning here, too. I walked for at least a couple of hours in the rain. Made things very atmospheric!


I walked for a few hours with a German, Jörg, who’d started in Valencia and had been walking for more than 50 days. He spoke good English, and it was nice to have a conversation. However, it was pretty amazing to walk through that landscape on my own.


Friday afternoon I walked into Santiago after hiking ~70 miles over five days. Most of the time I didn’t see another soul until I arrived in a town for the evening. On day four I met three Spanish women who were walking and thought, “Wow, this route is getting really crowded!” 😂


I’m back in Madrid, where I’ll meet my friend Kathy tomorrow morning and we’ll make our way to the starting point for Camino #2. The forecast is predicting a lot more rain than I’ve seen on this trip so far.


Report To Hikers

Tuesday August 30th

Spruce Pond to Jones Hill, Tinker Falls area, Onondaga County

Hike cancelled due to weather.

Wednesday August 31st

Finger Lakes Trail from Connecticut Hill Rd

Hike report by Jim

Sixteen hikers and one dog met on Connecticut Hill Rd near Lloyd Stark Rd for an intended out and back hike of the FLT.

As Dave B was in the group for this hike that original plan changed, and I relied on Dave’s knowledge of the CT Hill area to craft a loop through the woods.

The group stayed on the FLT until nearing Boylan Rd, at which time Dave led the group along some interesting winding country trails through the woods.

The group arrived back at the cars at the allotted time, another enjoyable hike successfully completed.

Saturday September 3rd

Roy Park Preserve

Hike report by Jim

Sixteen hikers met for a hike of the more northerly Roy Park Preserve boardwalk and trail towards Hammond Hill State Forest

Two additional hikers and five dogs arrived later and joined the main group on the trail.

The group had to share the trail with many other families and individual dog walkers.

Weather conditions were perfect; sunny, warm, and with a slight breeze. Light cloud cover did little to block the sun or the view of the blue sky overhead.

The footpath was dry but I did notice that the trail had a good number of blowdowns blocking the trail compared to our past hikes here

The hike to Hammond Hill Rd went quicker than expected, in part due to the dry trail conditions I think.

The group entered the Hammond Hill State Forest from the parking lot at the dead end of Hammond Hil Rd,  intending to do  one of our routine out and back hikes on the  yellow and blue trails to burn up hiking time. At the last minute I opted to take the group down the access trail to Camp Earth Connections which is located on the seasonal portion of Hammond Hill Rd; we had only recently hiked the blue blazed trails, and the last several hikes we’ve done in Hammond Hill State Forest have all run over time by a significant length of time, so I was concerned with ending on time today.

Reaching the seasonal portion of Hammond Hill Rd we turned to the south and did a road walk until it was time to turn around and return to the trail back to the Roy Park Preserve

The group reached the Park Preserve several minutes early, and many in the group ended up standing around in conversation with other hikers.

All things considered, a good hike.

Photos by Jim and Leigh Ann

Photos by Cian

Photo Album by Cian

Sunday September 4th

Lindsay Parsons Preserve

Hike report by Jim

Welcome to Annie and Danielle for their first hike with the group.

Twenty one hikers and two dogs met for a very sunny and humid hike of the Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity Preserve property.

I’d scheduled this hike hoping that the goldenrod in the fields would be as of yet untouched; the larger fields turned out to be mowed, but the smaller Coleman Lake observation loop and some of the smaller fields along the hike route proved to be standing tall with goldenrod.

The group first completed the small lake observation loop at the south end of the parking lot, then quickly jumped onto the main blue yellow and red trails.

The sun was fairly intense as the group crossed the open fields, so I cut out as much of the field walking as I could to speed the group into the shade of the forest canopy. A quick photo by Coleman Lake and the group was on its way

Trail conditions were good, with dry footpath throughout the Preserve.

After crossing the railroad tracks the group splintered into around four subsets of hikers, with the lead elements completing the orange and purple loops and getting back to the cars before the other hiking subgroups.

Everyone came out of the trails safe and reported having a good hike.

After the hike many of the group reconvened at hiker Hanks house for an enjoyable afternoon of grilling and summer picnic fare.

Photos by Cian

Photo Album by Cian

Report from Spain

Hike report by Nancy Holzner

I walked the first segment of my Camino today, from Ourense to Cea. Just over 13.5 miles. I had the trail to myself almost the whole time. I saw four cyclists and one hiker. Galicia is green and hilly, reminds me a bit of Ithaca.

First hour today was like walking up Buffalo St for three miles!

Edit: Missing Ithaca Hiker found


Ben’s parents have updated me and advise that Ben has been found in Pennsylvania and is receiving care there. No further information available at this time. Thanks!

Ben Bleier, who has been hiking with the Ithaca Hikers and is also a member of the Ithaca Outdoor Adventure Club on Meetup, has been unaccounted for since he was last seen in Ithaca on Tuesday.

Ben lives in Ithaca with his parents, who I have spoken to on the phone this morning.

The missing persons case is being investigated by the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office

At this point Ben’s parents are asking that hikers be on the lookout for Ben while they are  hiking; if he is seen on the trail or around trailheads please contact the county dispatch center at 607-272-2444 and refer to case S22-11107.

Ben drives a white 2017 Subaru Forester, NY reg HWZ2017

Thanks for any assistance you might be able to give

Report To Hikers August 23 – August 28th

Hike Report Tuesday August 23

Hike report by Jim

For this weeks Tuesday “further away” hike two hikers drove to the Keuka Rail Trail for a hike of part of that trail system. Inclement weather during the commute time seems to have scared away more hikers, but by the time we arrived at the trailhead the weather had cleared and we had no further issues for the remainder of the morning.

Norm and I did our own respective hikes, with Norm hiking his own hike and looking for fossils, mosses and other natural stuff along the trail.

There was some demolition of one of the cascade viewing areas going on very near our trailhead. There was some other use of the multi-use trail going on while we were there, including bicyclists, day hikers and joggers.

My own experience was more of  a casual stroll along the route. As this was my first visit to this particular trail I stopped often to read the various signs and look at the vestiges of the trails time as  an active rail route.

Hike Report Wednesday August 24

Hike report by Jim

Fifteen hikers met for a hike of the Cayuga Nature center trails and a portion of the Black Diamond Trail. We normally reserve this hike for hunting season, but I thought that it would be a good hike for the end of summer.

It was a sunny day and it was a relief to be under the forest canopy after initially hiking across the open fields from the parking lot in the morning heat.

We stopped briefly at the animal enclosures at the Nature Center before walking to the near-by trailheads. The summer youth programs were still in full swing, with dozens of kids running around the grounds. My first exposure to the Nature Center was during my own youth, and its nice to see a new generation still taking part in the programs they offer.

Most of the trails here are enjoyable, although the blazing along much of the loops of trails need to be touched up. Portions of some trails get more use than others; the less travelled trails require a bit of bushwhacking this time of year as you make your way across the forest floor. One of the water crossing bridges is also wildly askew and unsafe to cross, so the group always resorts to a direct stream crossing there.

The group completed the trail loops and stopped at the treehouse a short while before moving on to the Black Diamond Trail for a short out-and-back hike to bring the hike to a full two hours

After the hike several hikers reconvened at a hikers near-by residence for a swim in the lake.

Hike Report Saturday August 27

Hike report by Jim

Eighteen hikers and one dog met on Comfort Rd in the Town of Danby for an out and back hike on the FLT.

This section of the trail is often quite muddy in spots, but on this hike day the footpath was largely dry, even with the recent rains we’ve had in the area.

From Comfort Rd the trail gradually and almost imperceptibly winds downwards, something you really don’t notice until its time to walk back to the cars for the return leg of the hike.

The recent rains really seemed to “green up” the ferns and other ground cover along the trail, the colors seeming to pop out at you as you walked along the trail.

There are a few stream crossings along the route, but all were dry.

One crossing in particular has been slightly re-routed a few feet up the stream, something I was happy to see, as the previous crossing involved a more or less straight vertical drop of several feet as it crossed the stream. Other recent trail maintenance such as fresh blazing and tree cutting were visible; thanks to the volunteers who maintain the trails to our benefit!

The trail at one point emerges briefly out onto an open field; here we paused briefly for a group picture before hiking onwards. Other than that one field and the fields at the turn-around point, this entire hike is walked in the “green tunnel”.

The group reached the open field I use as a turn-around point for this hike; the return leg of the hike with its gradual uphill climb was uneventful, and we arrived back at our cars at the two hour mark with no unusual events to report.

Photo from Jim
Photo from Judith Pena Shaff

Album from Leigh Ann

Hike Report Sunday August 28

Hike report by Jim

First, welcome to new hikers Doug and Mike for their first hike with the group!

Eighteen hikers and one dog met for this hike; most meeting on Townline Rd, with one walking from their house to meet the group on the trail.

Eighteen hikers and one dog met for this hike; most meeting on Townline Rd, with one walking from their house to meet the group on the trail.

The main group set off from our cars on the red-blazed trails of the Thayer Preserve. It was a warm sunny day, and trail conditions were good. Before long we were out of the woods in the fields behind the South Hill Cidery; here we had a surprise, as there are several unexpected and very occupied “glamping” tent platforms set up along the Woodline facing the field. We moved quickly through that area and returned to the woods and the trail as it snaked towards the utility line right-of-way near West King Rd.

Pausing there for a few group photos we moved on to West King Rd, crossing over and continuing on the FLT spur trail towards Yaple Rd. This section of trail is often quite muddy, but we had no such problems on this hike.

The open fields near Yaple Rd were full of tall goldenrod and other plant life, but the main trail had been mowed somewhat recently and was easily navigated.

Reaching Yaple Rd the group paused a moment before starting the return trip.

The return leg of the hike was uneventful Once past the glamping area we diverted to the blue blazed Toms Trail that crossed the now-dry streambed and snaked its way along the opposite side of the streambed.

Arriving back at Townline Rd a few minutes early, the group went our separate ways; some of us reconvened for a planned gathering at the South Hill Cidery. This was my first visit there and a nice end to an excellent hiking day.

Photo from Leigh Ann

Album from Leigh Ann