Wed Oct 7
This report was written by Jim
Lime Hollow Nature Preserve, Cortland County
Six hikers met at the Lime Hollow Nature Center parking area on Gracie RD in Cortland County. The day was generally overcast, much more so than on Tuesday when I had done an exploratory hike of the trails in anticipation of Wednesday’s hike.
Hikers started out by walking Easterly on the Lehigh Valley trail. Eventually the group met an intersecting blue trail that loops to the North; this trail is fairly new and doesn’t appear on the maps of the trail system that we had.
The trail is a bit rough in spots, particularly around one area where it skirts a solar farm that’s under construction.
We completed this loop in just under an hour.
By this time the group was getting the first threatening drops of rain accompanied by wind, but nothing that would cause too much concern.
We returned to the cars and continued Westerly across Gracie Rd to continue the hike on the other half of the Lehigh Valley Trail. Upon reaching the Fen Way loop the group took that in a southerly direction.
By the time the group reached the Fen Connector near the bottom of the loop, the rain had started to fall much more severely, The group completed the loop, returning to the Lehigh Valley Trail and from there back to the cars.
Despite the rain, it was a good hike.
Sat Oct 10
This report was written by Jim
Bock Harvey Forest Preserve and Riemen Woods, Enfield
Sixteen hikers and three dogs met at the Bock Harvey Preserve on Rockwell RD in the Town of Enfield
The day was predicted to be warm and sunny, and the weather people actually got it right this time.
There were some other users of the preserve, including a bow hunter and some overnight guests at the lean-to; these users were all leaving as the Ithaca Hikers arrived. A solitary dog walker was encountered late in the hike.
Trail conditions were about as perfect as I have seen them on this hike in the past; no mud whatsoever, no water to wade through. Freshly fallen leaves somewhat obscured the trail from time to time, but the well-maintained blazes kept the hikers on the right path.
Hikers started by quickly climbing the hill to the lean-to on the blue blazed trail; beyond that we jumped onto the FLT and headed towards Porter Hill Rd. After crossing Porter Hill Rd hikers took the broad loop that brings trail users back to Porter Hill RD. Rather than re-trace our steps back up the hill on the FLT hikers walked up Porter Hill Rd to reconnect with the trail.
Hikers took the FLT back onto Bock Harvey Preserve land, following the trails to Rockwell Rd, where the group turned around and made our way back to the blue trail via the yellow blazed trail.
Hikers found ourselves with extra time to burn, so an extra lap around the blue and yellow blazed trails brought hikers back to our cars more or less exactly on time.
One item of note on this hike was that within a short span of distance the group observed some trees well into their color shift, while only a short distance down the trail trees were encountered whose leaves were still fully green with no hint of color change whatsoever.
Sun Oct 11
Danby SF — Loop trail from Bald Hill Road to Diane’s Crossing and back
Beautiful cool morning — lovely muted sun shining through the colored leaves
Such a pleasure not to have another day of intense sunshine like we had so often all summer. We could appreciate the subtleties of the woods, rather than constantly having to squint in overly dark areas and then overly bright ones
There was a fantastic sweet smell of pine needles in the air along this first leg of the walk, down Bald Hill Road
This hike is not a super ass-breaker like some we do, but it’s definitely pretty strenuous, and definitely easier to do on a cool day
A lot of the leaves were down — makes a great carpet on the forest floor
The way we do this walk, this segment on the Abbott Loop is supposed to be heading downhill, but there’s actually a surprising number of uphills too
This is the very brushy area next to Michigan Creek, at the low point of the loop
It barely warmed up during the hike — just 51 when we got back to the cars — but it felt very balmy at Diane’s Crossing. This is a great place to just stare into the bushes — extremely satisfying.
We saw a fair number of other hikers as we came down the Abbott Loop — just a few on our way back to the cars along the FLT past the Chestnut Lean-to.
Really beautiful morning.
Official head count: 12H, six D