Wed Sept 23
This report was written by Jim
Spur trail from upper Lick Brook to upper Buttermilk Falls SP
The Ithaca Hikers met at the parking area on the corner of Sandbank and Townline Rds
We changed up the initial entry point we usually take for entering the Thayer Preserve, choosing to enter in on the blue trail that we normally end the hike on.
This gave us a slightly different perspective on the area we were initially walking through.
After crossing the dry streambed ( first time that I can recall it being this dry), the group resumed the normal hike route we usually take.
Coming out of the overhead cover of the woods into the open fields at various points on the hike was an example of a contrast of colors; the transition to fall foliage was clearly underway and visible on this hike, and the bright, stark nature of the sunlight in the open fields really made the various fall hues and shades really stand out.
Hikers crossed over West King Rd and continued on the FLT Spur Trail to Upper Buttermilk.
Upon reaching Yaple Rd some of the group chose to break from the main body and explore a near-by bridge reconstruction project that was very audibly underway. Others of us chose to take the short walk up Yaple Rd and continue on the spur trail to round out our hiking time.
The return trip to the cars was uneventful, with the group taking the route back to the cars that we normally start the hike with.
I enjoyed the alternate route enough that I am thinking about making it the normal route we take on this hike.
I’m going to ask hikers who may have some favorite hikes that we haven’t done recently to reach out to me and offer your suggestions. With hunting season upon us, some hike locations may be unavailable for a while, but if there are some favorite hikes you like that we haven’t done recently, please let me know so we can do them before winter weather sets in.
Thanks very much!
Sat Sept 26
This report was written by Jim
South side of Six Mile Creek from Crescent Place east toward Burns Road
14 hikers and 6 dogs, including a couple of late arrivals, met on Crescent Place and hiked the various blue and white blazed trails that run between the South Hill Rec Way and Second Dam.
Conditions were warm and sunny
The Rec Way was seeing moderate use by other Ithacans, but other than short stretches on it at the beginning and end of the hike the group found ourselves alone on the hiking trails
Hikers found only one water crossing with any water flowing at all.
Ground conditions were extremely dry, and more than one hiker commented that the dry soil in conjunction with the gravel mixture underfoot seemed to be making hiking conditions especially hazardous. This was particularly true on some of the narrower and steeper portions of the trail. One hiker had a spill early-on, without any resulting injury.
Sun Sept 27
This report was written by Leigh Ann
Connecticut Hill Cemetery to Carter Creek
Fourteen hikers and six dogs met up at the Connecticut Hill Cemetery, which is at the western junction of Boylan Road and Connecticut Hill Road. (Connecticut Hill Road bows to the north and Boylan Road is like the string of the bow.)
Nancy Lorr led this hike down to Carter Creek, past tall, squared-off chimney cairns in the dry creek bed, up to a gravel quarry with a great view, and back to the cars. Any hike with “lost” in the name is likely to be exciting, and this one did not disappoint.
Smoke from West Coast fires clung to blue sky all morning. The sun looked like a red ball when it was a fist’s width or two above the horizon at about 8:00 a.m. As it rose, it lit up the air to be fiery orange on hemlocks until well after 10:00 a.m., then salmon-tinged, and then still lightly peach by the end of the hike. These colors of sunlight made the forest look very northern European, and they played off the colors of the trees, which had exploded into barn reds and road-sign yellows over the past few days. The air was humid, but the woods were very dry. Carter Creek braids a lot along this hike, and the wide, southern branches had no water at all. The northernmost branch had a trickle.
There were two bee stings during the hike, both to hiker dogs. Vivian got stung on her side, and Carey Grant got stung on his front paw and had to be carried for a while. He was walking by the end of the hike, though. These stings happened when we were on our way back uphill after we had left the creek beds.
At the end of the hike, several hikers explored the Connecticut Hill Cemetery, which someone had decked out for Halloween. There was a ghost sheet hanging from one tree and a glow-in-the dark skeleton hanging from another.
Coming tomorrow — Special report
A stressful weekend on the hiking trail