Wed Aug 26
This report was written by Jim
Snowmobile and ski trails, Yellow Barn SF, Dryden
8 hikers and 1 dog met on Signal Tower Rd for a walk through the Yellow Barn Forest area.
The walk through the seasonal road/ snowmobile trail part of the walk was uneventful. Conditions have been so dry for such an extended time that water levels and muddy conditions normally encountered on this area of the hike were greatly reduced or non-existent.
Evidence of yesterdays recent wind and storm activity, in the form of freshly broken tree limbs, were often encountered.
Hikers entered the equestrian fields we normally cross on this hike and found the grass to be around ankle height.
Weather conditions were sunny with a slight breeze throughout most of the open field portion of the hike.
By the time hikers reached the cross country ski loop on the southerly end of the equestrian fields, about half the group decided to turn around and head for their cars. The remainder chose to forge ahead, completing a circuit of the ski trail and getting back to their cars only a few minutes later than normal.
Sat Aug 29
Hike cancelled because of predicted rain and thunderstorms
Sun Aug 30
This report was written by Jim
Roy H Park Preserve into Hammond Hill SF, Dryden
Nine hikers and six dogs met at the North parking lot of the Roy park preserve. A tenth hiker arrived later.
Upon arrival at the trailhead the first hikers were met with darkening skies and cooler temperatures than in recent days,
As the remainder of the group arrived, winds pushed the dark clouds from overhead, bringing with them bluer skies and the promise of good hiking weather.
The group set off across the wooden boardwalk; within minutes of entering the forest we were feeling the first misty drops of water falling from the skies through the forest canopy. As we climbed the hills towards Hammond Hill Rd, the level of precipitation grew, never to a level of great discomfort or inundation thanks in part to the overhead leafy cover.
The usual muddy spots on the climb were found to be bone dry today, although the roots and rocks on the trail were increasingly slick from rain.
The group, which had splintered during the quick thirty minute climb, reconvened on Hammond Hill Rd to assess our next steps. The Hammond Hill parking lot was found to be about half full, and the group could see a mix of equestrians, bicyclists and hikers flowing from the Hammond Hill multi-use trailhead. Our small group of hikers opted to risk running into more trail users and began the climb up the Hammond Hill yellow trail system. Luck held with us and we did not encounter a single user of the trail not associated with our group.
Notable for this section of trail were the many recent felled trees, so freshly fallen that they still bore their full compliment of green leaves. Some of these trees had fallen across the trail and been pushed back. None appeared to have been cleared through normal trail maintenance efforts. I can only assume that these were fatalities of high winds in the last day or two.
Hikers turned around at the first trail intersection and began our descent back towards the Hammond Hill parking lot. As we were running ahead of schedule, we opted to explore a side trail the group normally doesn’t take. That trail led us to the area opposite Camp Earth Connections. Returning to the parking area via the seasonal portion of Hammond Hill RD, Ithaca Hikers began a quick descent and return to the Roy Park Preserve North parking lot.
…. Three more of our super-regulars were out on the Abbott Loop in Danby as part of another event. This hike was organized by the Finger Lakes Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino for people interested in the Camino de Santiago to get together.. One of our regulars, Jana, was simultaneously training for an upcoming FLT hike. Some Ithaca Hikers will be repeating this hike next week to help Jana prepare for her September hike. (Info provided by Nancy H)