Report to Hikers Week of May 9 – May 15

Wednesday May 11

Loop on the Eastern Branch of Carter Creek

Hike report by Nancy L.

Sixteen hikers met at the junction of Lloyd Stark and Boylan roads on a clear, sunny morning. We walked about a quarter mile up Boylan, crossing the east branch of Carter Creek to where we took a trail cut into the woods. The trail followed along the creek on the uphill side, quite high above the creek in a pleasant pine forest. 

Hiking slightly uphill, we reached the  remains of an old wagon road that took us gradually downhill. There was a nice view of the surrounding hills through the trees since the leaves were still sparse. 

Upon reaching Carter Creek Rd., we decided to cross the creek to visit the remains of a “grand estate” on the other side. After a fun crossing of the major Carter Creek, we followed what appeared to be the old carriage road up to the ruin.  Near the ruin the track was lined by big old trees and a line of old stumps, which were often used as fencing . The large foundation was in a field of vincas.  Off a little ways to the south there was a considerable amount of rusted hardware. 

We returned to the creek and walked upstream until we reached another creek crossing , which took us back across the road to a trail up the other side of the east branch.  After a trek through the pine woods along the hillside above the creek, we finally reached a beautiful pond surrounded by red pines. We successfully avoided the marshes as we took a trail around a second pond to Lloyd Stark Rd.for a short walk back to our cars.

Ruined foundation surrounded by vinca. Photo by Nancy H.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Nancy L & Randy’s photo album

View Leigh Ann’s photo album

Saturday May 14

Dabes Diversion Loop, Kennedy SF, Cortland County

Hike report by Jim

Thirteen hikers and 7 dogs met in Cortland County at the Dabes Diversion Loop trailhead to try out a partially new route for the group.

Overall it was a great hiking day, with warm temps, a lot of sun for our area, relatively few bugs and little humidity, with intermittent breezes.

The group set off on the Diversion Loop as we have done in the past; the loop is an enjoyable mix of flat and hilly areas, largely traversing pine woods. The needles underfoot always make an enjoyable hiking surface for me.

For the most part, there was very little mud on todays hike, which always makes for a nicer hike.

Soon enough we reached the overlook area where the FLT meets the Dabes Diversion Loop. We paused for a few quick photos, then turned southwest on the FLT. This is a new direction for our group hikes, as we normally turn east.

Soon we passed the Foxfire lean-to;  a hiker was clearly in residence there, so we opted to leave the lean-to alone.

This section of the trail passes along several open fields such as the one at the Dabes trail junction, so it’s nice to look off to the side at the fields as you’re hiking along. There were no great hilly sections, but there were a couple of short, stream-fed muddy sections that some of our dogs found and wallowed in to great effect.

The original plan had been to hike at least part of the Lithuanian or Irish loop, but the group took almost exactly an hour to reach the junction of the Lithuanian Loop with the FLT. We will have to schedule this particular hike as  a future longer summer Tuesday hike where we will check out those loops in more detail.

On this hike, after we reached the loop junction, we turned around and retraced our steps. This was an interesting experience as well for the group, as we’ve always experienced the Dabes Diversion Loop as part of the outbound part of a hike, and never as a return section of a hike. As with so many other trails, things look different in a reverse direction.

This hike counted as 4.53 FLT miles for those attempting to earn the FLT60 patch this year.

Photos by Leigh Ann

Photos by Randy S.

View Cian’s photo album

View Leigh Ann’s photo album

Sunday May 15

Jeep Trail & Trillium Walk, Shindagin Hollow SF, Caroline

Hike report by Jim

Sunday’s figure-8 trillium hike in Shindagin came into being by joining together parts of other Shindagin area hikes, with the intention of being able to check out the trilliums in bloom without dedicating an entire hike to a road walk in order to view the flowers along only a short distance of roadside.

When I first arrived on Shindagin before the hike, I drove the seasonal portion of the road down to the flatlands and found that the only remaining blooming trilliums were on hillsides along the lower parts of the valley, and mostly nowhere else along the road. I realized that the original route I had planned would result in the group seeing almost no blooming trilliums,  so I modified the planned hike route.

Eighteen hikers and three dogs met at the trailhead; a 19th hiker arrived later and joined the group mid-hike.

We started by walking the Jeep trail in from Shindagin Hollow Rd. for a few hundred yards to where the FLT crosses the Jeep Trail; here the group turned onto the FLT and walked downhill to Shindagin Hollow Rd.

Trail conditions were dry, and hiking conditions were warm. Outside of the roadwalk portions of the hike, the bug situation was not  a problem.

Once we were back on Shindagin Hollow Rd., the group walked up the road back to our cars, in the process passing a broad swath of  trilliums that extended up the hillside as far as could be seen.

Back at our cars, we jumped onto the Shindagin Rim Trail, walking that to its opposite end higher up Shindagin Hollow Rd.

We then walked back down Shindagin Hollow Rd. to our cars, ending the hike with an almost perfect two hour duration.

There was quite a few other people enjoying the area, mainly bicyclists and dog walkers along the roadway.

After the hike, many members of the group met again at Brookton’s Market in downtown Brooktondale and enjoyed good food and more good conversation.

For those hikers attempting to earn their FLT60 patch this year, todays hike represents 1.2 FLT miles.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Cian’s photo album

View Leigh Ann’s photo album

Report to Hikers Week of May 2 – May 8

Wednesday May 4

Eastman Hill Rd. at the Tioga/Tompkins County Line

Hike report by Jim

Eight hikers met at the end of the maintained portion of Eastman Hill Rd. to hike the FLT. Light rain had started to fall as I was driving to the trailhead; this was sufficient to deter a few people from hiking, based on reports of arriving hikers who were not carpooling with anyone that day.

Based on the rain, I opted to alter our normal loop hike and omit the downhill abandoned section of Eastman Hill, which features a lot of loose shale and rock scree that I felt would be unsafe. Instead, the hike would feature two out-and-back sections of the FLT on either side of Eastman Hill Rd.

The initial short section of Eastman Hill from the parking area is usually an uneventful section that’s enough to get your pulse rate up but is an otherwise unremarkable stroll through land that is DEC property on one side and heavily posted private property on the other.

Cresting the short incline we met the FLT crossing and headed east. This short FLT section is always muddy, and today was no exception, with several short muddy bogs before the grade changes and we start an uphill stretch that takes us away from the mud.

As it happened, at this point we ran into a small contingent of CTC hike leaders who were pre-hiking their next section of the cross-county hike series. A convenient excuse to stop and catch up with each other as we don’t often see each other’s groups on trail.

Pressing on, we crested Eastman Hill and started down the opposite side. Here we encountered a heavy fog that obscured the valley below and created a very atmospheric effect on this section of trail.

We continued downhill through the various twists and turns until we reached the steep downhill leg that would have taken us to the abandoned portion of Eastman Hill Rd. that I had opted to avoid, so we turned around and retraced our steps back up the hill to the FLT road crossing we’d first turned on. Crossing Eastman Hill Rd., we continued west toward Heisey Rd. This segment is very overgrown when we hike it in the summer months, and it was nice to not contend with that overgrowth.

The trees were starting to leaf out and flowers were visible across the forest floor, along with a few more boggy muddy portions we encountered along the way.

After reaching Heisey Rd. we stopped and turned around, preferring a forest walk to the road walk alternative back to the cars.

Along the way on the last leg of the hike we checked out a small assortment of farm foundations that I’d never looked at on previous hikes here…Randy always has an eye for such things, and he said this was his first hike of this stretch of the trail.

By this time, the rain had stopped and the skies had visibly brightened.

We got back to the cars a few minutes past our normal hike duration.

This hike counts as four FLT miles for those who are trying to get their FLT60 patch.

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Photo by Nancy H.
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Photos by Nancy L. and Randy O.

View Nancy & Randy’s photo album

Saturday May 7

Hoxie Gorge, Cortland County

Hike report by Jim

Eight hikers and three dogs set out from the parking lot at the dead end of  Hoxie Gorge Rd. for a hike of the FLT through Hoxie Gorge. While we were walking to the trailhead, two additional hikers arrived late and said they’d catch up to the main group but never did.

While on the trail we ran into  another hiker who started his hike from a different parking location.

This was the second hike our group has done at this location, and none of today’s hikers were here last year when this was one of our “farther away” Tuesday summer hikes. This resulted in some hikers arriving later than normal.

It was an overcast morning at the beginning of the hike. We entered the blue-blazed access trail from Hoxie Gorge Rd., and almost immediately we started finding blowdowns and trail damage from uprooted trees, which slowed our progress. According to signs at the trailhead, this section of trail was previously a section of the FLT until the FLT was rerouted  at some point.

The blue-blazed trail wound its way along the stream, making for some enjoyable scenery. It was a cool morning, but temperatures warmed up quickly as we made our way down the trail. Soon, people were shedding layers.

The blue-blazed trail intermingled with portions of the yellow-blazed SUNY Cortland McDermott Nature Trail (Trail Guide – SUNY Cortland); the colors prompted hikers to dub the trail “the Ukraine Trail.” Eventually the conjoined SUNY and blue-blazed trails met the current FLT footpath, and the group turned south.

Unlike our previous hike at this location, the undergrowth has not yet become overgrown, and the trail is extremely pleasing as it winds its way across several streams and through stands of tall hemlocks. Elevation changes are minimal, and water levels at the various stream crossings did not present a problem to the group.

Eventually the trail reached Hoxie Gorge Freetown Rd. We crossed the road and continue on the FLT for another 10 minutes.

We returned to Hoxie Gorge Freetown Rd. and retraced our steps, returning to the fork in the trail. From there we continued north, eventually locating our wayward solitary hiker along the way. We continued on for a few minutes more, then returned to the McDermott Nature Trail and took that directly back to the parking lot and our cars.

For the hikers attempting to earn their FLT60 patch, today counted for 4 FLT miles.

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Photo by Jim
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Photos by Casey

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album

Sunday May 8

Upper Buttermilk State Park

Hike report by Jim

By my best estimate, this hike had 22 hikers and seven dogs. However, there were cars still showing up past the hike start time.

Sunday’s hike was a little odd, as my originally planned route around Lake Treman at Upper Buttermilk had to be altered on the fly a couple of times due to closed or damaged trails/ infrastructure.

I knew that the bridge at the top of the lake was damaged, but found on my check of the lake before the hike was that there was no good alternate way to cross the stream there.

My second plan was to cross at the dam and do things somewhat in reverse. The trail across the dam was still closed, despite all park trails being listed as open on the Buttermilk Falls webpage.

The group ended up hiking from Yaple Rd. along Treman Lake; from there we took the Bear Trail to the upper park entrance, jumped across West King Rd. The group took the gorge trail to the bridge at mid-stream, crossed over and climbed the Rim Trail back to West King Rd.

From there we retraced our route back to Yaple Rd and the cars.

Despite the morning starting out with low temps and frost on the fields on my way to the hike, by hike’s end the temps had risen significantly and the sun was out.

Welcome to Randy S., Janet, Sam, and Sam’s K9 friend, Sparkles, on their first hike with the group!

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Photo by Nancy H.
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Photo by Randy S.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s album

Report to Hikers Week of Apr 25 – May 1

Wednesday April 27

Lindsay Parsons Preserve to the Pinnacles

Hike report by Casey

Assault on the Pinnacles:

Jim had originally scheduled a different hike for this day, but he was generous enough to agree to change it to this hike. This particular hike is best when done with a little bit of snow on the ground or in early spring before the leaves are out, due to its bushwhacking nature. And it seemed that this was going to be the last opportunity to get at it before the leaves.

We set it up so there would be two different groups on this hike. One would most likely be led by Jim and just do the regular Lindsey Parsons hike possibly in the opposite direction of how it is normally done. The other group would start with the normal hike, but we would bypass the extra little trip to the scenic pond and instead would leave the trail at a certain point and head up the hill for a bushwhack up to the Pinnacles.

We had 12 people and three eager dogs. Or was that 12 eager people and three dogs? As we split into our two groups it quickly became apparent that we had only one group and they were all ready to do the bushwhack version.

We crossed the tracks on the normal trail and went up the short, steep hill on the other side. From there you can take a slightly longer route to the right, but we had a mission with a destination so we went straight on the shorter version. At some point we got to where the bushwhack starts, but at first I didn’t recognize the exact spot because the flags that used to be there were missing. We walked just a little farther on the regular trail and then came back to where I thought the beginning of the bushwhack should be. And it started to show up as soon as I started to move in the right direction.

Now comes the fun part. The way up the hill starts to get very obvious once you get started and it is a fairly steep climb. Once you get to the top and try to catch your breath, you quickly realize that you are just at the first of many plateaus. You see a steep hill in front of you so you think you are close, but after climbing that one, you realize you are just at the next plateau with more to come. I think there were three or four plateaus. After a while, they sort of all just keep happening and you lose count as you struggle to climb and breathe.

Eventually you get to the Abbott’s Loop trail, only to realize you still have just a little more climbing to do to actually get the view from the Pinnacles. But we did indeed get there and catch the wonderful view along with the exceptional feeling of accomplishment having just climbed up so many hills that each showed another one to go.

Coming back down the series of hills and plateaus, our fearless leader (me) somehow completely missed the last plateau with its sharp left turn that would have taken us down the last steep hill. Eventually I figured out that I missed the turn and we circled around and took a much less steep path to get back to where we had left the regular trail. We might even try that way back up next time because although it was a little longer it certainly was much less of a severe climb.

It took us one hour and ten minutes to reach the Pinnacles from the parking lot and the whole trip was 4.56 miles that felt more like 8 miles.

It was a fun and challenging hike, and 12 less eager and somewhat worn out people and all three dogs made it safely back to the cars.

Photo by Casey

Saturday April 30

FLT from Lake Road Southeast of Dryden

Hike report by Jim

Twelve hikers and three dogs met on Lake Rd at the end of the Jim Schug Trail, for a walk of the Finger Lakes Trail into Cortland County.

The fields immediately off Lake Rd., as always, were a soggy mess. The day started out a little cool, but the group was soon warmed up and was removing layers as we approached the summit.

Once over the hilltop we encountered something that seemed to recur for the remainder of the hike; there were enough small blowdowns and missing blazes along the way that without having some familiarity of the hike route, we might have had some issues staying on the correct footpath.

Everyone enjoyed the initial views out over the valley that are the hallmark of this section. After a quick pause at the field, we moved back into the woods and hiked to the blue-blazed observation area that gives another view of the valley from a slightly different perspective.

Turning around, we retraced our steps back to Lake Rd., along the way running into a couple of cross-county hikers who were completing this section of the FLT before the  May hunting closure.

This hike counts as 3.8 FLT miles for those trying to earn their FLT60 patch.

Leigh Ann’s photo album

Sunday May 1

Hammond Hill State Forest from Canaan Rd.

Hike report by Jim

Fourteen hikers and three dogs met on Canaan Rd. in the town of Caroline for a figure-eight hike of the Hammond Hill trail system.

It was a beautiful day, probably the best hiking day we’ve had in some time. Light breezes, sunny, and the temperatures were at that perfect range where you are comfortable while hiking without getting overheated.

Trail conditions were also perfect, with no real mud encountered, even the predictable lower-lying areas of the route or portions of the Blue 1 trail, which almost always seem to be muddy.

Hikers walked the seasonal portion of Canaan Rd. to the bottom of the Rabbit Run snowmobile trail. Climbing the snowmobile trail, we quickly reached the B1 trail at the top of the hill. Making a figure 8 of our route, we hiked to the upper portions of Canaan Rd via the Y6 trail, which has a nice stretch of evergreens that rank among my favorite part of this particular forest.

Crossing Canaan Rd., we iwent on to hike Y5 Y4, Y8, and Y7. This route covers part of the FLT, so today’s hike counts as .5 FLT miles for those seeking their FLT60 patch.

In addition to the section through the evergreens, I particularly enjoy the Y7 trail at this time of year, as the undergrowth has not yet sprung up high enough to block the view of the hills below as the trail follows  along a section of the forest with some great views of the valley floor below.

We arrived back at Canaan Rd. about 10 minutes over our normal hike duration, but I don’t think anyone minded the few extra minutes.

Leigh Ann’s photo album

Report to Hikers Week of Apr 18 -Apr 24

Wednesday April 20

Finger Lakes Trail from Woodard Rd into Robert Treman State Park

Hike report by Jim

Sixteen hikers and one dog met on Woodard R.d for a hike of the FLT into upper Robert Treman State Park. All but three people hiked the FLT into the park, while those three hikers opted to meet the group later while initially hiking in from another direction.

It was a warm sunny day, a great hiking day after the recent colder and overcast days we’ve been having. Various flowers and new undergrowth were visibly springing to life along the trail.

The main group set off toward Fishkill Creek, taking the short grassy downhill footpath and passing the CCC trail that we would later emerge from toward the end of the hike.

After crossing Fishkill Creek via the footbridge, the group took Butternut Creek Rd. towards Van Ostrand Rd. Van Ostrand Rd. was having some minor re-gravelling done by the town, which didn’t affect our passage at all.

As we turned onto Thomas Rd., a cool breeze was blowing across the fields. The views in the distance across the open fields and through the far trees was a great visual. Some minor shoulder work on Thomas Rd. hints at possible future development, so we may be losing another part of the rural feel to this hike that we’ve already lost by the recent residential development on Van Ostrand Rd.

Rather than continue to the end of Thomas Rd as we usually have done, I opted to return the group to the seasonal end of Butternut Creek Rd., where we caught the FLT where it enters the woodline. We followed that back to the end of the maintained portion of Thomas Rd. where it enters the park via a service road. I had the group try this route for both the visual aspects along the edge of the ravine here and recalling that we always end up back at the cars early, I wanted to see if this would extend our hike time. It did not, but I think that the visuals along the ravine make this slight modification to the hike worth the change in route.

The group reached the Rim Trail via the Thomas Rd. service road, and it was here at the first overlook that we reunited with our three independent hikers.

The group continued on the Rim Trail to the main Lucifer Falls overlook, paused for a quick photo, and then returned on the Rim Trail to the Upper Treman parking area.

The CCC trail was quickly navigated and the group soon found ourselves back at our cars on Thomas Rd. a full 30 minutes early. We opted to cross the road and continue towards Hines Rd on a quick out-and-back on that portion of the FLT to complete the two-hour hike time .

Hikers attempting to earn their FLT60 patch should consider todays hike to include 2.5 miles of the FLT.

Photo by Jim

Saturday April 23

Connecticut Hill/South Carter Creek Rd.

Hike report by Randy

Sixteen hikers and three dogs met on South Carter Creek Road near the closed bridge for a hike with a lot of bells and whistles.

It was a bright, sunny day…not too cold, not too hot.  One intrepid hiker even wore shorts! (Guess who.) It was excellent hiking weather, and even with the recent rains the trails were mostly dry.

We set off a little after 9:30 due to some late arrivals, and walked up the road, crossed the closed bridge, and shortly thereafter began the uphill climb. We soon had to peel off layers of clothes. When we got to the top, we took a straw vote and elected to spend 10 minutes checking out the ruins of an old homesite, complete with foundations and maybe a well. We then headed north on a section of trail that is dry, flat and new. Crossing a small creek, we then proceeded east on another section of the loop which is also quite new…and wet in a few places. We crossed Cabin Road and followed a steep gorge down to Carter Creek, using a rope to steady ourselves on a particularly steep section at the bottom. Crossing the creek was slow, but everyone was able to navigate it in their own way. After checking out the waterfalls, we sped down the east side of Carter Creek. Once back on the road we made two brief stops to check out another former homesite and the remnants of an impressive stone dam.  

We got back to the cars a little before noon, having hiked about five miles.

One hiker wants to hike this loop annually, if not more.  It’s definitely a keeper.

Nancy L’s photo album

Leigh Ann’s photo album

Sunday April 24

 Finger Lakes Trail from Level Green Rd toward Blackman Hill Rd and Beyond

Hike report by Jim

Sixteen hikers and two dogs met on Level Green Rd. for a hike of the FLT towards Blackman Hill Rd and beyond.

Weather conditions were a bit cool at the trailhead, with a light breeze. The sun hadn’t fully come out, and with temps hoovering around 60F I chose to add another wind layer for the morning’s hike before the rest of the group had even arrived.

Trail conditions at the start were a little muddy; nothing terribly surprising about that, as this section of trail is historically wet even during the driest times of the year.

The gradual climb away from Level Green Rd found us dodging numerous wet and muddy spots along the way. There were many points where the group had some great visuals across the forest floor, as the undergrowth was not obscuring views and the leaves were still more of a halo of barely visible green encompassing the trees.

A few minor blowdowns along the trail from recent wind storms gave minimal trouble to the group; en route to the trailhead, I passed multiple areas along Level Green Rd. where road crews in recent days had had to clear trees from the road, so this aspect of the trail conditions was not unexpected.

I particularly liked the stretches of trail that go through the evergreens, as the forest floor covered with layers of needles are always one of my favorite forest environments to hike through.

Reaching Blackman Hill Rd., we encountered a good number of hikers doing this stretch of the FLT for the Cross County Hike Series that’s crossing the FLT in Tompkins County this summer.

After crossing Blackman Hill Rd., we were soon in the meadows at the crest of the field located there, with excellent views in all directions. By now the day had warmed up, the skies were clear — a perfect day to be hiking! The group paused at the memorial bench at the field, posed for some pictures for Leigh Ann, and enjoyed the surroundings before pressing on.

After leaving the open fields, we soon were descending through the woods; around us were a carpet of flowers across the ground. A pretty scene, for sure. The sun was shining through the leafless trees and the forest floor was bright and inviting as we worked our way down the hill.

Since the return trip to Level Green Rd. is mostly a downhill grade, I walked the group a few minutes farther than normal for the outbound leg of the hike, especially since the area we were walking through was so attractive.

Eventually, though, we had to make the inevitable return to our cars. The downhill stretch return leg of the FLT passed quickly and without incident, and the group found itself back on Level Green Rd at exactly the two hour mark.

Today’s hike was 4.31 FLT miles for those trying to earn their FLT60 patch.

After returning to Freeville  I stopped over to Toads Too ice cream stand for some ice cream on what by now was a hot summer day and happened to encounter the trail maintainer for the stretch of trail we hiked today. I gave her a report of the conditions we found on the hike. When you run into our local trail maintainers, be sure to thank them for their efforts in keeping the FLT in the excellent conditions we find on so many of our hikes!

Welcome to Eleanor on her first hike with the group!

Photo by Casey

Leigh Ann’s photo album

Report to Hikers Week of Apr 11 – Apr 17

Wednesday April 13

FLT from Ridgeway Rd. toward White Church Rd.

Hike report by Jim

Twelve hikers and one dog set out from the FLT parking area on Ridgeway Rd. near Coddington Rd.

It was  a warm and sunny morning, with none of the rain predicted for later in the day. I definitely over-dressed for the weather, and it wasn’t long before most of the group took advantage of short pauses to shuck layers of coats and other outer clothing.

The trail initially runs close to residences and ponds located near the parking area. The gentle grades, twists and turns as the trail winds through the pine forest and grasses not yet started towards their summer growth spurt creates an enjoyable rural hike atmosphere.

Soon, before the badly flooded portion of the trail that has been closed for a couple of hiking seasons, we took a short detour that pus us on the old railway right of way that runs along the creek. While the FLT officially uses a roadwalk alternative to avoid the flooded area, after we’d completed a previous hike at this location the nearby residents gave our group permission to use this route over the less preferred roadwalk.

Once on the old railbed the group made good time, quickly reaching the turn that takes the FLT north toward White Church Rd. After crossing White Church Rd., we encountered the only really flooded or muddy portion of the trail on today’s hike, a short stretch between the various fields that is almost always flooded regardless of the season. Aware of the potential for ticks, we walked atop the old rushes from last season that border the FLT treadway in order to avoided the water-logged trail surface. Some members of the group found the view here so enjoyable that they paused to occupy a bench rather than proceed further.

After crossing the fields we re-entered the woodline, crossing over a couple of footbridges and the rushing water below us.

After reaching the base of the mountain at exactly the hour mark, we turned around and retraced our steps. Other than stopping for a couple of quick group photos the return trip to Ridgeway Rd and our cars was unremarkable.

For those hikers who are attempting to earn their FLT60 patch, todays hike total was 3.2 FLT miles.

Photo by Jim R.

More images by Cian

Saturday April 16

Bob Cameron Loop, Connectivut Hill, Newfield

Hike report by Jim

Twelve hikers and two dogs met on Tower Rd. in Newfield for a hike of the Bob Cameron Loop.

Conditions were generally wet, damp, and foggy, due to the intermittent rain that had been falling through the evening and early morning.

Despite the general dampness, the trail was mostly free of mud except in the lower elevations and around stream crossings. The downhill portions I was expecting to be very muddy were mostly mud-free.

The fogginess lent some excellent atmospherics to the hike.

Before I realized it we had completed the lower loop of the hike and started to ascend the opposite side of the stream crossing. The climb up the hill through the various switchbacks was unremarkable although enjoyable.

We found ourselves back on Tower Rd. half an hour early, so we jumped across the road and took the FLT for several minutes of out-and-back to bring the hike up to the appropriate duration.

Hikers trying to get their FLT60 patch this year can consider today’s hike to be .5 FLT miles toward their goal.

Photo by Leigh Ann

Leigh Ann’s photo album

Cian’s photo album

Sunday April 17

Rim trail along Shindagin Hollow gorge, Shindagin Hollow SF

Hike report by Jim

Seventeen hikers and two dogs met on Shindagin Hollow Rd. for a hike of the Shindagin rim and bicycle trails.

Weather conditions changed throughout the hike; it was overcast with occasional sun at the start of the hike. By the time the group completed the rim trail and started down the bike trail to the stream crossing, the first snowflakes were starting to fall. For the remainder of the hike, snow flurries alternated with clear skies, with the sun making random appearances. No one complained that I heard; conditions simply added to the character of the hike.

Therim trail was very appealing. Minimal mud along the path was limited to mainly around the small stream crossings. The lack of leaves on the trees gave us unobstructed views down the embankments and through the forest. The periods of heavy snowflake activity lent a very wintery feel to the hike, and when the snow stopped and the sun shone down on the group, the contrasting shades of light and dark through the trees, combined with the dark tree trunks against the fresh white snow, made for interesting visuals.

The descent to the streambed after the rim trail was uneventful. The stream crossing gave us pause due to the water levels, but Katharine with her rubber boots was soon standing mid-stream assisting the group across the stream.

The bicycle path along the stream was, as always, very enjoyable from a hiking and visual perspective. The group paused at the golden shoe for a group photo before pressing onward.

Coming out onto the seasonal road, we walked Shindagin Hollow Rd. back to the lower parking area across from the Jeep trail; from there we jumped back onto the rim trail and took that back to our cars–a far better option than road walking the entire way back up the hill.

A warm welcome to Rebecca, Remko and Felipe, on their first hike with the group!

Cian’s photo album

Leigh Ann’s photo album