hike #20

Danby State Forest:  Loop route from Bald Hill Road to Diane’s Crossing and back on the Finger Lakes Trail.

Meet-up: Dirt parking lot at the corner of Bald Hill Road and Comfort Road, Town of Danby

Click here to see the Google Maps page showing the coordinates of the meet-up.

Click here and scroll down to see a topo map showing the trail configurations and the Abbott Loop.

Paper or digital maps of the Finger Lakes Trail may be purchased from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference at:

About Finger Lakes Trail Maps and GPS data

Map sheets M17 and ” The Abbott Loop” depict portions of the hike route described below. The Dove Trail is not represented on the FLTC maps.

This is a 100% loop trail that we created by combining 2 existing separate walks that each involved walking in, turning around and walking back.  Everyone was delighted the first time we devised this loop because many of our hikers really prefer loop trails.

Here’s how it works:  From the parking area we walk south for 0.6 miles along an unpaved section of Bald Hill Road as it runs downhill through dense forest.  This stretch of road is usually pretty deserted on weekend mornings at 9:30. When we reach the junction with Station Road, we enter a fairly newly created and very picturesque trail called Dove’s Trail.  At the trail register box the Dove Trail splits, with one leg going downhill and another leg going uphill. While both ” legs” end up in the same location on the north leg of the Abbott Loop, taking the “uphill” leg of the Dove Trail at this split will avoid a section of the Abbott Loop that is often very muddy. Both legs of the Dove trail do eventually reunite on the Abbott Loop, which is another very picturesque trail  —  luckily, while parts of the Abbott Loop can be very steep, for this hike the section we use heads downhill to its terminus at Diane’s Crossing and a junction with the Finger Lakes Trail.  We head back uphill on the FLT, passing some old building foundations and the Chestnut Lean-to along the way. Depending on how much time we have left in the hike we may cross Bald Hill Rd and continue on the FLT and return to the parking area via Comfort Rd, or if time is brief we do a short roadwalk on Bald Hill Rd to our cars.

The overall hike route takes us through a large amount of very good scenery.  The best part is that we no longer have to climb up the killer north leg of the Abbott Loop. The uphill section of this hike is now on the Chestnut Lean-to section of the Finger Lakes Trail, which is much less steep.

If you’re running late, Dove’s Trail starts on the east side of Bald Hill Road just before you reach the spot when Bald Hill becomes a dirt road.  The trail is blazed in a light -colored pink (as of this current hike description update).  If you can’t spot the Dove Trail entry, walk south on Bald Hill until you reach the crossing of the Abbott Loop, and take that trail heading downhill.

Last edit: 01/2024 JFR

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