Report to Hikers March 13 – March 19

Wednesday March 15

Smith Woods and Habitat Nature Preserve, Trumansburg

Hike report by Jim

This was an unusual hike location and arrangement that combined two hike locations, each with relatively short trail sections, at opposite ends of Trumansburg village. In anticipation of the predicted storm, I’d planned this hike with two things in mind: trailhead accessibility and an easy hike, given that both locations are relatively flat.

Eleven hikers and a single dog met at Smith Woods. The snowfall of the previous day and evening had dissipated, but when I arrived at our meeting place, the wind moaning through the trees convinced me to wear thicker layers of clothing on the hike. The sun was out, however, and I warmed up quickly once we started to walk.

I’d hiked here once previously, with the CTC about two years ago. I did not prehike the location before Wednesday’s hike. Problems developed fairly quickly after today’s hike began.

On this morning, the trail surface was mostly fresh, unbroken snow, with only the footprints of a single dog walker to guide our way. The trail system displayed on Smith Woods’ downloadable map shows three distinct, color-coded trails. During the hike, we came across an old sign showing a former layout that was quite different from the map I’d brought. The sign displayed more trails than my map, and they had different blazing. The blazing on two of the three current trails (yellow and blue) is not intuitive and can actually send you off on a wild goose chase; there are, for instance, random trees in the woods with yellow spray paint on them that have nothing to do with trail markings.

The group ultimately did two laps around the Smith Woods trails, trying to figure out the legitimate trail routes, which was impossible with snow covering the trails.

We then returned to our cars and drove to the Habitat Trails at the other end of the village. We parked at the Farmers Market and walked along Salo Drive to the trailhead.

In the Habitat Nature Preserve, a short feeder trail plunges into the woods from Salo Drive and leads to a figure-8 trail that winds through the preserve. A hiker who lives nearby offered suggestions on which direction to take within the trail system. The trail route was fairly easy to figure out, thanks to some very worn blazing, chainsawed sections of fallen trees along the route, etc.

Several hikers indicated that they’re interested in trying out this hike again in the summer. Perhaps it will be easier to find our way through the Smith Woods trail system then.

In addition, hikers suggested that next time we could walk from one trail to the other through Trumansburg (instead of driving between sites), possibly with a stop in the village afterwards for refreshment.

Photo by Jim
Photo by Dave R.
Here Jim tries to reconcile the differences between the new and old trail maps in Smith Woods.
Entrance to the Habitat Nature Preserve. Photos by Nancy H.

Smith Woods is one of the few remaining old-growth forests in central New York.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

A Note on This Weekend’s Hikes

From Jim:

This weekend we did two hikes under some very different and sometimes difficult conditions. I appreciate everyone who showed up for one or both of these hikes.

Recently, Casey told me that he’d been asked by someone outside of our group if he was looking forward to the beginning of hiking season. A lot of people, hikers and nonhikers alike, think of hiking as something that’s done two, maybe three seasons at best.

In hiking three times a week for all 52 weeks of the year, we really do manage to pull off some interesting hikes under conditions that many people would hesitate to deal with. This weekend’s hikes exemplify that.

Saturday March 18

Shindagin Hollow State Forest, Brooktondale

Saturday’s hike was a repeat hike of the Shindagin Rim and bicycle trails. We’d originally done this hike in February on a day when half a dozen well-dressed hikers braved some seriously cold single-digit temperatures. This is one of my favorite hikes, and I wanted to hold another hike here sooner rather than later so that more hikers could enjoy the location. So on Saturday 32 hikers and five dogs met at the end of the maintained portion of Shindagin Hollow Road.

Temperatures were warm at the start of the hike, and although the skies were overcast it was a pleasant hiking day. There were several inches of crunchy snow on the seasonal portion of the road, and the group moved quickly to the turn-off for the trail that leads to the gorge rim.

Because we were a large group, we’d arranged to have faster and slower groups before we set out, and it didn’t take long for the hikers to stretch out along the footpath.

Views along the gorge edge were great, and while the snow wasn’t extremely fresh, it still retained enough of its pristine appearance to make an excellent contrast to the waterways, trees, and cliff faces that surround the trail.

Very few hikers had preceded us on the trail. Leigh Ann, who was leading the fast group, reported having to break trail through the snow for much of the route.

Soon hikers were turning from the rim trail onto the bicycle trail that leads down to the streambed. We were so spread out by this time that the lead hikers were already crossing the stream by the time the sweep (me) was starting the descent down the slope from the top of the ravine. The first stream crossing presented fast-flowing water that challenged hikers. In fact, a few hikers decided at that point to return to Shindagin Hollow Road walk along it rather than try to cross the stream.

The section of the hike through the bicycle trails to Gulf Hill Road went fairly quickly. The sun came out during this part of the hike, shining its brilliance over the white snow around us.

By the time we came out onto the lower end of Shindagin Hollow Rd., the sun was turning the snow on the road into an increasingly slushy mess. Hikers in the faster group who’d trekked up the hill to the lower parking area near the Jeep trail opted to go back into the woods and return to the cars by retracing their path along the rim trail. I chose to remain on the seasonal road, and by the time I met the hikers coming out of the upper end of the rim trail, the road surface was very slushy and slippery going indeed.

A warm welcome to Jed, who joined us for his first hike of the area. Jed was visiting Ithaca from NYC, and I’ve heard from other hikers that he thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to rural Tompkins County.

NOTE: After the hike, Mary asked that I relay to hikers that the Town of Caroline enforces parking restrictions in snowplow turnarounds. Those turnarounds, like the one on Shindagin Hollow Rd., are covered under a town law that allows for the ticketing and towing of cars parked there. I didn’t think it would be an issue on Saturday because it was a weekend and no active plowing was taking place, but Mary is right that hikers should be forewarned about this issue for future reference.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Photos by Cian

View Cian’s photo album.

Sunday March 19

Finger Lakes Trail to Woodchuck Hollow Lean-to, Cortland County

Hike report by Jim

This hike was intended to be an FLT hike from Carson Road to the Woodchuck Hollow Lean-to and beyond. However, we arrived at Carson Road to find a bone-chilling wind that cut through clothes and encouraged hikers to don additional clothing.

I had not prehiked this hike location, and while Ithaca and Freeville had barely a dusting of snow, this section of the FLT was buried under several inches of unbroken, crusty snow.

Nineteen hikers set off, with Casey breaking trail, as the wind chased us up the hill. I had hoped that the wind would be less of an issue once we crested the hill and descended into the hollow. Even in the hollow, however, the wind whipping high up through the trees was our constant companion.

The original plan for the hike was to visit the lean-to, and then continue to the blue-blazed trail that leads back to the FLT for the return leg of the hike. Because of the slow going, Casey ultimately opted to leave the FLT and hike to Pipeline Road on the blue-blazed trail before returning to the FLT for the return leg of the hike. This plan fit our two-hour window perfectly, and the lean-to will have to wait for our return to this section of trail in the summer.

For those tracking their FLT miles for this year’s FLT50 patch, I believe that today’s hike easily counts as three FLT miles.

Despite the issues we encountered on this hike, the group rose to the occasion. Multiple hikers told me they enjoyed this challenging winter hike.

That said, this experience has prompted me to revisit the issue of polling our regulars to see who owns snowshoes. I’ve been saying all winter that I would schedule some Tuesday snowshoe hikes if we ever got enough snowpack, and today’s hike would have qualified!

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Report to Hikers March 6 – March 12

Wednesday March 8

Chestnut Lean-to, Danby State Forest

Hike report by Jim

This was not an organized hike but a volunteer work party. Eight hikers met in Danby and hiked into the Chestnut Lean-to for a work detail to gather, cut, and stack wood in preparation for Saturday’s upcoming winter cookout.

Saturday March 11

Hike and Annual Winter Cookout, Danby SF

Hike report by Jim

Saturday morning dawned after some very wintry weather the previous day and night. When I arrived at the corner of Bald Hill and Comfort roads, the surrounding forest was covered in a fresh layer of new snow. Occasional breezes caused a fine mist of snow to spray to the ground. Stronger wind gusts resulted in what I called “snow bombs” – clumps of snow that fell from trees onto hikers throughout the day.

Approximately 18 hikers came for the hike, the picnic, or both.

Several cars in the parking area were not from our group. After hiking to the Chestnut Lean-to, we found the site occupied by several Ithaca-area Boy Scouts who had spent the night there and were waiting for another contingent of scouts to hike in from the Tamarack Lean-to as training for an upcoming hike. The scouts were kind enough to share the lean-to with us.

A handful of Ithaca Hikers stayed at the lean-to for bonfire and food prep, while Casey led most of the hikers on an out-and-back hike of the FLT to Diane’s Crossing and beyond.

When those hikers returned to the lean-to, the food came out of bags and was passed around, to everyone’s satisfaction. After eating, our group started to dwindle as hikers began to find their way home. We left some food and the remaining firewood for the scouts to use that evening.

Thanks to Mary for her overall planning of the event! Thanks also to Wednesday’s volunteers for donating their time and work to help make Saturday a success!

Photos by Jim

Photos by Dave R.

Photos by Norm
Photo by Mary W.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday March 12

Ekroos Road, Tioga County

Hike report by Jim

I’m not normally a fan of road walks, but Ekroos Road is rural enough, with some good views along the way, that I make an exception for times when we need a route that is reliably clear of snow on winter hike days.

There were several inches of fresh powder, and when I arrived at our meetup point I found that road crews had not plowed the parking area we normally use. But our group of eight hikers was small enough that we could park single-file on the shoulder along the banks of plowed-up snow

We set off from our cars and quickly spread out as the faster hikers set a lively pace that took them far ahead of the trailing hikers.

On the outbound leg, the road is a gradually descending, winding route that takes us through varying surroundings such as hemlocks that crowd the road so densely that you can’t see beyond the first couple ranks of trees – what we sometimes call “atmospheric” – to open fields that offer sun-drenched views of distant peaks across the valley.

At several points along the route some active brooks cross the road, the water flowing noisily along either side, the streambed dark against the layer of freshly fallen white snow. Cuts into the banks along the roadway offered shadowed havens for a series of icicles at one point along the route.

There is one house under construction midway along the road and another near the end of the maintained portion of roadway. We had the road to ourselves for the duration of the hike, without even a sign of snowmobilers using the snowmobile trail that crosses Ekroos Road.

After passing the sole occupied home, Ekroos Road (which carries another name in Tompkins County) turns into a seasonal road that makes a sharp descent while running along a nice ravine.

At the bottom of the hill, the area surrounding the road opens up into fields, and a couple of homes that are notable mainly for the dogs that let the world know about our group on every hike at this location.

At the end of the road, the lead hikers turned around and climbed the steep hill, collecting the slower hikers along the way and retracing our route back to the cars. Several hikers arrived at the cars early and walked to the intersection with Honeypot Road and back to fill up the two hours.

Photos by Cian

View Cian’s photo album.

Photos by Leigh Ann

Report to Hikers February 27 – March 5

Wednesday March 1

Robinson Hollow State Forest

Hike report by Jim

Eleven hikers met on Harford Slaterville Rd. for a hike south into Robinson Hollow State Forest.

I was surprised at the snow depth we found on this hike. While not particularly deep, the snow was still deeper than various hikers reported at their homes.

The FLT leaves Harford Slaterville Rd., crosses over the beaver dam (no beavers visible today!), and weaves through lower elevations, gradually making its way up the hillside before leveling out. Here, the trail skirts the edge of the state forest, and many trees by the trail are festooned with posted signs. Distant fields and hillsides were visible through the leafless trees along the trail.

At the crest of the hill, the trail passes through some nice sections of woods, crosses over the natural gas pipeline right-of-way, and continues south through the forest. When the trail starts to go downhill, the hikers who’d gone that far turned around and made their way back.

Due to the snowy conditions, we didn’t get as far as we get on this hike in summer months, but it was still a good hike through beautiful snow-covered woods.

Photos by Nancy H.

Saturday March 4

Groton Village Trails

Hike report by Jim

Twelve hikers and one dog met on Spring Street Extension for a hike of the Groton Village trail system. Weather conditions were overcast with intermittent winds, although nothing like the winds that had been blowing in the area the previous evening

Once in the woods, the trail winds through the trees in the form of an old logging road that crosses a couple of small waterways before arriving at the first fork. We took the lower fork and gradually worked our way down the hillside toward Sovocool Hill Rd. Despite being fairly close to Groton Village, most of this section of trail gives the impression of being deeper in the woods than you actually are.

Before coming out onto Sovocool Hill Rd the trail forks again, and we followed a utility line up a steep slope for a short while before taking another fork, which brought us out onto an upper part of Sovocool Hill Rd. We crossed the road and then resumed hiking on the lower trail loops, which brought us out behind Groton High School.

By this time, many hikers had fallen. Although the snow wasn’t deep, it was slippery and concealed a layer of slick mud that sent several hikers slipping and sliding down the hill.

At the high school, I changed our return route. Rather then scale the steep, slippery slopes we’d just come down, we road walked through the village to another trailhead and used that flatter section of trail to return to the upper trail loops above Sovocool Hill Rd. This allowed us to climb a much gentler slope than we’d found on the lower trail loops.

As we returned to our cars, a sharp wind with strong snow flurries arrived to batter us as we crossed the fields back to the parking area.

Welcome to Arlene on her first hike with us!

Photo by Jim

Photos by Nancy H.

Photos by Norm

Sunday March 5

Texas Hollow State Forest, Hector

Hike report and photo by Jim

Fourteen hikers met at Texas Hollow for an out-and-back hike of the FLT to Newtown Rd. Snow was minimal at the trailhead and through much of the outbound leg of the hike. The snow became deeper and crustier as we got closer to Newtown Rd.

The trail overall was a decent hike as it left the parking lot and entered the woods. After passing the small pond, the trail gradually winds through the woods with some ups and downs, passing over several small streams in the process.

Finally, the trail begins a serious elevation change and goes through a series of switchbacks before arriving at Newtown Rd.

On the return leg, we took the blue-blazed loop trail, which gave us a view of the opposite side of the pond and passed through some nice stands of evergreens before returning to the FLT.

Report to Hikers February 20 – February 26

Wednesday February 22

Monkey Run Natural Area

Hike report by Jim

Fifteen hikers met at the dead-end on Monkey Run Road for a hike of the Cayuga Trail system on the south side of Fall Creek. The weather forecast was for snow, but over the course of the hike we encountered only a few stray flurries.

We set off from the parking lot, climbing the red-blazed trail. The temps were cold enough that almost all of the muddy spots we encountered on the trail were frozen over and inconsequential. Other than a handful of other day hikers, we had the trail to ourselves.

We paused at one fork in the trail for a group photo before continuing on the red-blazed trails, crossing open fields and returning to the woods to follow the trail as it passed along the stream.

Eventually the trail climbs the bluffs far above the waterway, which is always my favorite part of this hike. It isn’t long until the trail finds its way back to lower elevations, and multiple side trails offer hikers a way to cut their hike short if the need arises.

Normally we do the last bit of this hike as an out-and-back, hiking to a convenient point where we turn around and retrace our route to a side trail that takes us back to our cars. On this day, we decided to try something different, so we followed the red-blazed trail to a junction with the orange-blazed Cayuga Trail. This part of the Cayuga Trail is normally quite muddy in all but the driest months, which is why we usually avoid it. Despite the other muddy areas of trail we’d encountered on the hike being mostly frozen, this section was still quite muddy, causing a fair amount of cautious mudhole avoidance by many hikers and a resigned state of “might as well slog through it” in others. I’m not sure why this section of trail has never been properly outfitted with a boardwalk, as it’s a section of the Cayuga Trail most in need of it.

We made it through the mud and emerged onto the solid ground of the Dryden Rail Trail, which we took back to another section of the Cayuga Trail, which led to Monkey Run Road and our cars.

Photo by Jim

Photo by Nancy H.

Saturday February 25

Potato Hill State Forest, Caroline

Hike report by Jim

On a very snowy morning, seven hikers met on Level Green Road and set off on the Finger Lakes Trail through Potato Hill State Forest toward Blackman Hill Road. Casey set a quick pace through the mixed pines and hardwoods of the forest around us.

It had been around 17F at hike’s start, and despite a cold overnight period many of the small puddles we passed were only partially frozen. The minimal snow depth was not a barrier to a good hiking pace, and soon the new parking lot at Blackman Hill Road came into view.

After Blackman Hill Road, we reached in Summerland Farm Preserve. We traversed a small section of woods and then entered the open fields. Normally, on a clear day the views from this field are impressive. On this particular day, the snow and cloud cover obscured any distant views, and the winds tore at us as we passed through the open areas to the cover of the treeline on the far side of the field.

Back in the woods, we began the gradual descent that ultimately comes out at Rt. 79. The hardier hikers kept going until the turnaround time, while others were happy to simply take shelter from the wind and await their return.

The group reunited, and we began our return trip. By the time we’d crossed Blackman Hill Road again, the wind had died down and the snow had stopped falling. The rest of the return hike was made in relative – and greatly enjoyable – calm.

Photos by Jim

Photos by Nancy H.

Sunday February 26

Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca

On Sunday we tried something new, offering two options for this hike: an earlier, longer hike starting at 9:00 a.m. and a traditional hike at our regular Sunday start time of 9:40.

Four hikers met at 9:00 at lower Buttermilk, in the parking lot at the base of the falls. We hiked up the Rim Trail in about 25 minutes, meeting up with Jim’s group in plenty of time to socialize. Although the day was sunny and warming up quickly, the steep ascent up the Rim Trail was icy in spots and foot traction was helpful.

Both groups hiked together in upper Buttermilk. Then the four hikers who’d parked at the bottom of the hill made their way back to the cars, arriving at about 11:50.

In the future, we will continue to offer a longer option on some (but not all) hikes for those who would like to spend more time exercising in the woods, so if you’re interested in a longer hike, watch for details!

Three of the four hikers who took the earlier option. (I tried to get a selfie with all four of us but managed to cut off half of everyone’s face…)
Photos by Nancy H.

Hike report by Jim

Twenty-one hikers and two dogs met in the upper Buttermilk Falls State Park parking lot, for a hike of the upper park trail system. They were joined by four hikers who opted to start early from the lower park and hike up the Rim Trail, bringing the total number of hikers to 25. It was a bright and sunny day, with clear skies. The sun gleamed off the fresh snow.

We started the hike a little unsure of what trail conditions would be. Quite often the upper Buttermilk trails are so heavily used that they become an icy hazard in the winter. Some spots were a little slippery during our hike, but the trails were not dangerous. Most people wore some type of foot traction and used their poles, which were also useful in navigating the trail’s ups and downs. Although we found ourselves sharing the trails with a handful of other hikers and dog walkers, for the most part we had the trails to ourselves.

We crossed the wooden bridge at the parking lot and started up the Bear Trail. This trail is an enjoyable footpath that winds gently up and down around the hillside, sometimes coming close to the water before returning to the hill. The fresh snow, dark trees, and contrasts of shadow and light between the forest edge and the nearby open spaces all made for an extremely pleasing hike experience. Soon enough the trail emerges from the woods near the vehicle fordway; we paused there briefly for a group photo before resuming the hike.

We walked to the Treman Lake loop trail and hiked that to the stone bridge near the headwaters of Treman Lake. Finding the bridge still unrepaired, we turned around and walked to the nearby FLT spur trail and hiked that to Yaple Road. To use up some time, Casey took the main group to Comfort Road before turning around.

Back at the fordway, we found that the wooden footbridge there was in place, so we opted to hike back to our cars via the park service road, arriving a few minutes early.

Welcome to new hikers Mark and Ainsley!

Photos by Nancy H.

Photos by Casey

Photos by Jim

Photos by Norm

Report to Hikers February 13 – February 19

Wednesday February 15

The FLT in Danby State Forest from 96B to the Tamarack Lean-to

Hike report by Jim

Eleven hikers set out on the Finger Lakes Trail from the parking area on Durfee Hill Road at Rt. 96B. We were later met by two late arrivals plus one late-arriving dog.

From Durfee Hill Road, the FLT crosses some open fields before turning into some scrub trees that line the state route. When we emerged onto 96B, the group managed to vault over the guardrail, dodge oncoming traffic, and climb another guardrail to get to the other side of the road. This always makes me feel like we’re in a human-sized version of the old  1980s-era Frogger video game, where the player tries to keep the frog who’s crossing the road from being run over by traffic. This section of trail could benefit from some improvements, but I’ll skip that for today’s hike report.

Leaving Rt. 96B behind us, we walked along a waterway, the open ground underfoot still covered in some slippery but melting snow. Once the FLT went into the treeline, we enjoyed a bare footpath for the balance of the hike.

There’s a section of trail here where, in the summer, the moss and other greenery seem to glow in subdued light. That section felt dormant on this hike.

Soon enough, the FLT begins a steady climb, with brief reprieves during a couple of flat sections. The trail only really levels out near the top as it approaches the Tamarack Lean-to. Hikers paused here briefly to look around and take some photos before pressing ahead.

After the lean-to, the trail levels out nicely as it traverses the crest of the hill. The trail wanders through a nice section of woods before beginning a descent toward Travor Road. Hikers reached this area and found the path to be getting very muddy, and so they turned around to begin the return journey.

The downhill section of the hike was, as expected, much more enjoyable than the uphill outbound portion! [Jim sometimes forgets that some of us like going uphill! -Ed.]

Photos by Nancy H.

Photos by Mary W.

Saturday February 18

Virgil Mountain, Cortland County

Hike report by Jim

Nineteen hikers and a dog met at the intersection of O’Dell and Baldwin Roads in Cortland Conty for a hike of the FLT to the peak of Virgil Mountain. The day was cold, and the ground was covered by a thin layer of fresh snow that had fallen overnight. Despite the cold temperatures and snowy conditions, we still encountered a fair amount of mud on the trail, mainly at stream crossings and some short trail sections that are frequently muddy.

I always seem to remember the outbound leg of this hike as primarily a steep climb, yet although the section beyond Van Donsel Road certainly meets that description, the trail up to that point is a meandering path that slowly rises and falls as it traverses dark stands of evergreens, crosses streams, and passes through some open sections of mixed soft- and hardwoods.

After crossing Van Donsel Road, hikers made a detour to the top of Greek Peak ski slopes to check out the view. Snow machines in the woods were busily – and loudly! – making snow for the ski trails, so we made our way past that equipment as fast as we could.

The group had gotten off to  a late start, and the overall hike pace had been slowed due to the snow-covered trail. As a result, some of the group opted to turn around at the hour mark, while others continued up the hill to get a look across the valley from the viewing area near the power lines. Thanks to the faster return leg of the hike, those hikers who had pressed on to the power lines returned to the cars only a few minutes later than the other hikers.

A warm welcome to Rabah on his first hike with the group!

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Photos by Norm

Sunday February 19

Cayuga Trail from Freese Road

On this hike we split into two groups. One group, led by Casey, went all the way to the end of the section of this trail that Ithaca Hikers are taking over for trail maintenance, from Freese Road to Rt 13. The other group, led by Jim, hiked the same trail but turned around after an hour to make this hike fit our typical two-hour timeframe.

The whole group (minus a few late arrivals) before we split up. Photo by Leigh Ann.
Hike report by Jim

Twenty-nine hikers and three dogs met at the Cornell Community Gardens parking lot on Freese Road for a hike of the Cayuga Trail toward Rt. 13. The day was overcast and blustery; every time our group emerged from the woods into open fields, we were greeted by buffeting winds that reminded us that it’s still winter.

Even though it was an overcast day, it was still pleasant to walk some of the lower sections of trail that follow the creek or to walk the eroding bluffs far above the water that offered a view of distant, tree-covered slopes.

The trail was generally in good condition, with none of the ice that had covered the footpath on a recent exploratory hike we had made of the same section. Most of the sections that are normally quite muddy were substantially frozen over.

My group got as far as the Cornell pavilion near Hanshaw Road before we turned around at the one-hour mark. Overall, this was a good preview hike for us to see a portion of the Cayuga Trail that we haven’t hiked in recent years – one we’ve recently adopted as trail maintainers.

Welcome to new hiker Sean!

Hike report by Casey

Seven hikers chose the faster and longer hike option all the way to Route 13 and back. It took us 2 hours and 15 minutes, but I am sure we could have made it back by the two-hour mark if that had been our objective.

We spent a little extra time sort of evaluating the trail, including trying to figure out if there’s any usable access to the trail from the Route 13 end.

It was quite an enjoyable and informative hike, and we look forward to future expeditions on that section.

And I will say that the method of doing a two-speed hike has worked very well, especially since Jim was so good at getting the two different groups properly designated and separated just prior to the beginning of the hike. Well done, Jim!

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Photos by Cian

View Cian’s photo album.