Wed Sept 2
This report was written by Jim
Rural roads in east Danby — Marsh, Deputron Hollow and Olsefsky roads
On September 02 2020, ten hikers and four dogs met at the corner of East Miller and Marsh Roads for a hike of the seasonal portion of Deputron Hollow Rd.
The weather overall was cool; the outbound leg of the hike saw steady periods of sunshine which was particularly appealing as it created alternating pools of sunlit road and stretches of relative dimness . We also saw the first fal leaves of the season.
Having grown up on the edge of one of Ithaca’s gorges, I always find hike locations that proceed along the edges of plunging gorges to be particularly appealing; this hike is one such example of that.
The past damage to the surrounding hillsides and road surface from logging operations is largely corrected or minimized from what I had observed in past summer hikes of the area. Many of the fallen trees have been cleared out, although some trees and limbs remain. The road surface is no longer the maze of churned mud and pools of water that it was at its worst
The group continued along the seasonal portion of Deputron Hollow Rd, turning around shortly after reaching the maintained paved portion of the road.
While re-ascending the hill, part of the group chose to take a side road to extend their hike time. Sporadic rainfall that was starting at around this time convinced a smaller portion of the group to make a beeline directly back to our cars .
Sat Sept 5
West Hill walk on lands belonging to the YMCA, Cornell (Coy Glen) and EcoVillage
Fantastic morning, cool, relatively dry and intensely sunny
The first half of the walk is in deep shade, starting even before you get out of the parking lot on Route 79
There’s pretty much no shade at all on the second part of the walk — miserable when it’s hot out, but perfect on a mild morning with the goldenrod blooming
Much of the walk here is on a maze of branching and forking trails, completely baffling the first few times you try to find your way
This trail is a genuine loop with no overlaps. There’s a brief last leg in the YMCA woods.
Sun Sept 6
We have two reports for this hike, because of confusion about where the group was supposed to meet up
South Danby — FLT east to the Tamarack Lean-to
Report #1, by Leigh Ann
Sixteen hikers and five dogs met up on the Finger Lakes Trail between Fisher Settlement Road and Tamarack Lean-to. Three hikers parked on Fisher Settlement Road, where a recent group hike toward the west started two weeks ago, and the rest parked on South Danby Road, where the Google pin for the hike description was. After some texting back and forth to figure out what was happening, everyone agreed to head east.
By the time we got to the lean-to, we had all met up.
Amazingly, there were people camping at the lean-to. They must have been surprised at their campsite being invaded, but they were good-natured about it. We might have woken them up, because they were stretching, but we were talking loudly enough that they would have heard us when we were several minutes away.
The morning was softly cloudy. It had rained the night before, and the temperature never rose out of the high 60s all through the hike. So, although it was humid, it was never oppressive. The trail was springy rather than muddy. Sunlight started coming in about halfway through the hike, and it cast fuzzy, leopard-print shadows on the trees and forest floor. The air looked peach-colored, but this may have been because I was craving a peach.
Here’s report #2, written by Jim
On Sunday September 6th three members of the Ithaca Hikers met on Fisher Settlement Rd where the FLT crosses.
The group had recently hiked West on the FLT from this road crossing, and I’ve wanted to get a good hike in an Easterly direction while we have good fall weather.
It had rained the previous evening, and hikers found that temps were cool but enjoyable once we got moving.
This section of the FLT, to South Danby Rd and beyond is notable for the distance of pine forest that the trail traverses. The damp ground and pine needles combined with the modest terrain elevation changes over the length of the route made for a pleasant hike today; the recent rain and changes in sunlight and shadows really caused the colors of the undergrowth to visually “pop” as we progressed through the forest.
The trail traversed through some interesting sections of both open areas and green tunnel effect.
Our small group crossed South Danby Rd and continued on the FLT, eventually catching up to the larger group of Ithaca Hikers who had set out from the South Danby Rd FLT crossing. That group was already on its way back from the shelter the group normally uses as a turn-around point. The return trip to the cars was uneventful.
More photos by Cian