Report to Hikers — week of Feb 17-Feb 23

Hello Hikers!

Wed Feb 19

Snowmobile trail, Fisher Settlement Road east to Travor Road, South Danby

Travor Road
The ladies were demonstrating the snow depth right off the road

Official head count: 13H


Sat Feb 22

Connecticut Hill WMA — Carter Creek Road

Official head count: 20H, three D

More photos:

Jack V


Sun Feb 23

Connecticut Hill WMA — road walk and snowmobile trail walk

I advertised this hike as a snowmobile trail hike, but, as you can see, we spent time on the road too. This was not my idea and I was unhappy with our route. But I’m taking responsibility because I failed to pay attention to the pre-hike discussions while we were waiting to start. I was wandering around taking photos, and I didn’t realize a group of regulars planned out a loop hike that was different from my original plan. I got word of this new plan at the last second as we stepped off — but I don’t know the area and I didn’t understand what was involved. I took the new plan at face value.

Official head count: 23H, four D

More photos:

Jack V


My 20 favorite hike photos from 2018 and 2019

On Thursday I posted a link to an online album of my 20 favorite hike photos from 2018-2019  —  but then I deleted the link on Saturday.  I’m posting it again now in case someone was intending to check the shots out, but couldn’t find the previous link.

A couple of people who have a very strong background in art commented that they really like the photos  —  this made me realize something I hadn’t put into words, that many of the 20 shots are a bit arty.  I’m sure some of you prefer plain straightforward documentary photography, so you very well may not like the shots Tiger and I took, which are only minimally documentary in many cases.  They tend more to look like this shot from the album:

Slaterville Springs snowmobile trail

In any case, if you’re curious, the album is here..

Report to Hikers — week of Feb 10-Feb 16

Hello Hikers!

Wed Feb 12

Snowmobile trail, Yellow Barn SF, Dryden

I always look forward to the view when you turn the corner off Route 13 onto Irish Settlement Road and start up the hill to Yellow Barn

It’s nothing super-picturesque or dramatic, but I really like the way it rises gently across the rolling fields up to the strip of dark woods at the top — I get a sense of deep countryside, and adventure ….

….. I especially like this slowly decaying farm on the drive up the hill — it has a melancholy feeling of passing time

The snow was pretty deep and exhausting, so we stuck to the snowmobile trail, which was nicely packed down. This trail’s a bit monotonous in winter if you’re looking for lively scenery, but it’s a good way to get some exercise and schmooze.

The mood of the walk changes abruptly about half way in, when you come to a vast field. The sun was shining brightly by this point, and with the glare and the bounced light, it was like being on the beach

The procedure is to walk to the far end, wander back into the scrubby woods for a little while, then turn around

Official head count: 16H

This is the view driving back down Irish Settlement Road toward Route 13 — I think this is a really interesting panorama, and I love it


Sat Feb 15

Shindagin Hollow SF — snowmobile trail

This is another hike where the last part of the drive to the trail head, south on Central Chapel Road, creates a great rural atmosphere. I really like the scenery all along the way, including this cluster of farm buildings, which I think has a very pleasing architectural massing

It was quite cold at the trail head — five above when we arrived, just 15 when we headed home — but the actual hike didn’t seem cold at all — there was very little wind, and the sun was bouncing brightly off the fresh snow

The snowmobile trail had actually been groomed and it was extremely easy walking. At one point a small group of riders roared by — a couple of us joked about catching a ride back to the cars — even though the trail surface was nice, it was still getting exhausting in the snow.

The scenery was fantastic

Official head count: 16H

More photos:

Jack V


Sun Feb 16

Road walk in Schuyler County — Hosenfeld Road and Carley Road, Odessa

Official head count: 21H, one D

More photos:

Jack V


Report to Hikers — week of Feb 3-Feb 9

Hello Hikers!

Wed Feb 5

Six Mile Creek, rim trail along the south side

I’m going to try out a different type of photo for a while and see how it goes  —  since I started posting photos here in the fall of 2013, I’ve tried to document every hike in some detail so you can get an idea of what it looked like, to see if it seems like it was fun and if you might want to join us.  But now I’m concerned that I’m starting to repeat myself with some shots.  So I’ll see if I can come up with something else.

I decided to take the day off completely from photographing for this hike.  We had to walk part of the time on the South Hill Rec Way, and this was a treacherous sheet of ice.  Many of the hikers were wearing spikes, but even they had to be careful  —  those without had to creep along the extreme edge of the rec way where the ice had not been packed down.  It wasn’t bad once we got off the Rec Way and into the woods, but a number of the hikers turned back early anyway.  Otherwise it was a very good hike, not really cold and very pretty in a bleak way.

Official head count: 18H, two D


Sat Feb 8

Snowmobile and road walk, Fisher Settlement Road, So Danby

A lot of our hikers were still snowed in by the big storm, but a small group of people managed to get to the hike. They walked on the snowmobile trail that runs through Danby SF for a while until they reached a stream they couldn’t cross. Then they walked on the road for a while. Tiger and I skipped the hike because we were concerned the walking surface might be icy.

Here are some shots from Leigh Ann

As you can see, there were six hikers


Sun Feb 9

Road walk: Hill Road, Travor Road and Curtis Road, So Danby

Official head count: 19H

More photos:

Jack V


Report to Hikers — week of Jan 27-Feb 2

Hello Hikers!

Wed Jan 29

Treman SP on the FLT west from Route 13

Here’s who hiked today

Those of you who followed our group back in 2012 will remember a feature I put into the weekly hike report called “Here’s who hiked” — I’d take and post a mug shot of everyone who showed up that morning — my theory was that it made the group seem more friendly by showcasing each individual — then the turnout got too heavy and I just didn’t have time to process everyone who showed up, especially those who arrived at the last minute — anyway, we have a one-time return of the feature for this hike — because I didn’t feel like taking the usual documentary photos this time, and this was a way to give you at least something to look at

It was a very nice morning, cloudy with fresh snow.

Official head count: 19H — 16 in the photo array, two who didn’t want to be photographed, and then there was me

More photos:

Jack V

I remind everyone that we have an official photo ID page that shows the regular hikers with their names, so you can know who’s who — here. The page is slow to load — the first half will pop up fairly quickly, the lower half is very slow. Be patient.


Sat Feb 1

SE of Dryden, on the FLT and the Jim Schug rail trail

We did have two separate walks, as I proposed. This is the group that went up over the hill into Cortland County on the FLT.
This is the hill we cross over. It’s quite a steep climb, and challenging in snow
You can just make out Hammond Hill SF in the deep background of this shot
We turned back early so we could walk for a bit on the Jim Schug Trail and visit with the hikers who chose to do that walk
I just got a new camera with a lens that depicts a broader view of the scenery. That’s Dryden Lake on the right and the swamp that runs along the trail on the left.
Back at the cars, killing time until Hopshire Brewery opened

Official head count: 24H, four D

More photos:

Jack V



Sun Feb 2

Woodard Road NW to Hines Road and beyond on the FLT, Enfield

I love this trail, but the older I get, the more challenging I find it. I’m happy now to make the return trip on the road, which is delightfully easy, and very picturesque in a low-key way

Official head count: 22H, four D

More photos:

Jack V


Report to Hikers — week of Jan 20-Jan 26

Hello Hikers!

Mon Jan 20

Special MLKing Day hike to make up for the hike that I cancelled the previous Saturday.

South Danby Road west on the FLT to Curtis Road, Danby SF

Pretty morning, with fresh snow and lovely pale sunshine. But it was cold, and the snow was a bit deep, and quite tiring to walk through
This is Curtis Road, our turn-around point
This three-board mini-bridge is a bit tricky for most of our people
Nice walk, but my ass was dragging from the effort of handling the hills here in slippery snow

Official head count: 9H


Wed Jan 22

Marsh Road and Deputron Hollow Road, Danby

Another cold morning (6 degrees at 8 am), more new snow ….
This is the southern end of Marsh Road — there are a couple of houses; otherwise, it’s undeveloped
Marsh ends abruptly, and Deputron Hollow begins equally abruptly, running at 90 degrees. I’m sure there was something of interest in the past that led people to create this road crossing, but it sure is deserted now
Deputron Hollow Road has a wonderful rural feeling — it’s hilly, and hemmed in by heavy tree growth on both sides. For some of the way a dramatic and deep gorge runs along the south side.
This is the far end of Deputron Hollow Road, which ends at Coddington Road. There are a handful of houses scattered along the end, but it’s still very countryish
With the hills and the deepish snow, this was another fatiguing walk

Official head count: 12H


Sat Jan 25

No hike — heavy rain


Sun Jan 26

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Cornell golf course and Cornell stables, Forest Home

Official head count: 24H, two D

More photos:

Jack V