Wed Aug 5
This report was written by Leigh Ann V
Potato Hill SF, Caroline — Level Green Road east to Blackman Hill Road and beyond
Six hikers met this morning at the junction of Level Green Road and the FLT to hike east to Blackman Hill and back. Just to the east of Level Green Road is a section of woods that the DEC has been working on, so there are a lot of trees down – but not in an especially unattractive way. It opens up some view. This section of the trail has been rerouted since the last time I was on it, and it is noticeably less steep. It also has a new, CCC-quality set of stone steps right on the western side of Blackman Hill Road.
Most of Hurricane Isaias passed to the east of us yesterday, and the area around the hike felt washed clean. The air was cooler at this time of day than it has been in months, and the trail, woods, and field were surprisingly not muddy. Fair-weather cumulus clouds became more numerous as the hike went on. Most of this hike is in forest, and when a cloud passed over the sun, the woods became dark and delightfully moody. East of Blackman Hill Road, the trail comes out in a field that used to have a sun dial at the top. On a clear enough day, you can see to Pennsylvania from there. We could. It was a “Hills are Alive,” Sound-of-Music experience to walk along the well-mowed trail through tall, August-blonde grass. We made it to a logging road somewhere east of the field and turned around, so we got all of this awesomeness twice.
Sat Aug 8
This report was written by Leigh Ann
Bald Hill Road to The Pinnacles look-out, Danby SF
This morning, thirteen hikers and six dogs met up at the corner of Station Road and Bald Hill Road for a hike up to Thatcher’s Pinnacles on the Abbot Loop. We hiked south on Bald Hill Road until we got to the northern crossing point of the Abbot Loop, then turned east on the Abbot Loop. This part of the trail ascends fairly steeply to the Pinnacles, and today the climb was nice.
The weather changed a lot through the hike, but it was always cool and humid. At the start of the hike, the woods were slightly foggy with lighter patches here and there as the sun started to come through. The Pinnacles and woods around it looked like a temperate rain forest. All of the leaves were wet and silvery with overcast sunlight. About 45 minutes into the hike, the sun broke through and the silvery leaves on the trees and ferns turned bright, saturated green. Compared to earlier in the hike, everything took on a golden color. Sun fell in spotlights on the forest floor, and it was so humid that my glasses stayed foggy.
As usual, we spread way out on this well-known trail. By the time we reached the southern crossing point of the Abbot Loop on Bald Hill Road, we were everywhere. Some of us walked back the way we came, and others went back on the road. This was a great choice of trail for the day.
Sun Aug 9
This report was written by Jim
Circuit around Lake Treman, Upper Buttermilk Falls SP
The group met on Yaple Rd and set off on the FLT spur into Buttermilk Falls State Park. Once on the circuit trail around the lake the group split into two distinct groups of about equal size. Even within my subset of the group there was a good amount of social distancing going on.
It was a beautiful sunny day for a hike, with moderate temps, slight breezes at appropriate intervals, good humidity and not too many other people or dogs on the trail.
Hikers proceeded to the dam crossing and once up the hill on the opposite bank hit the spur trail to La Tourelle. After reaching the terminus of that spur we re-traced our steps to the lake trail and continued on that. The groups pace was fairly quick, so before we knew it we were back at the cars. Three of us opted to continue on the FLT spur to round out our two hour time , with Leigh Ann continuing on solo even beyond that as it was such a nice day to hike.