Report to Hikers — week of Nov 9 – Nov 15

Wed Nov 11

This report was written by Jim

A rainy morning hike

This was a bit of an odd hike in many ways.

The original hike location was supposed  to be at Taughannock Falls State Park.

The day started out as a rainy day; I have previously decided to stop cancelling hikes solely because of rain, due to the number of rainy hike days that seemed to clear up as soon as I cancelled a hike.

I arrived at the lower parking area of Taughannock Falls State Park  to find a couple dozen or more  NYS Department of Corrections personnel and their vehicles entirely filling the parking lot we normally park in.  It was reported to me that a prisoner had escaped, and the DOCS personnel could not advise that it was safe to visit the park that day.

I waited at the park entrance for any hikers and decided to relocate to Allan Treman State Marina as an alternate hike location.

Four hikers convened at the Treman marina; we walked around the perimeter pathway along the lake. This path has been paved since I last visited the area, and I’m not entirely sure if its an improvement or not. We left the path at one point and walked the shoreline until terrain prevented further forward progress, at which time we returned to the paved path. It was interesting to see some of the effects of tides and wave actions on the terrain along the shoreline, and entirely unfortunate that the area was ruined by a sizeable amount of trash that had been deposited along the shoreline. One of these days, if the weather cooperates, I may go down there with a trash bag or two….

We continued along the pathway, returning to the area of the parking lot. We walked to the area of the inlet and continued our hike there, leaving Treman Marina property and entering Cass Park and the area along the inlet. We walked  as far as the Children’s Garden and walked through that, something I hadn’t previously done.

The group then re-traced our steps and returned to our vehicles at Treman Marina.

An unusual hike, not entirely unenjoyable due to the rain.

Thanks to those who came out despite the weather.


Sat Nov 14

This report was written by Jim

Dabes Diversion Loop, Virgil

14 hikers and 5 dogs met in Cortland County at the corner of Bleck and Hauck Hill RD for a hike of the Dabes Diversion Loop, part of the FLT and the Kuzia Cut-Off.

Weather at the start of the hike was definitely “brisk”, with a  cold wind that cut through a person if they stood around too much.

The hike warmed people up pretty quickly as we climbed through the hills away from our cars.

The trail overall was in decent shape, and the single water crossing once we reached it had a lot more water flowing through it than the last couple of times we’ve done this hike.

The view from the overlook area at the junction of the Diversion Loop and the FLT was excellent, with no haze limiting the view of the further reaches of the valley in front of us.

A few hikers wandered down the FLT to the West to check out the Foxfire Lean-To. By the time they came back the last members of the hiking group had caught up to the main body, and so the group continued Easterly on the FLT.

After crossing Bleck Rd the group jumped onto the Kuzia Cut-off. As has been noted in previous hike reports of this area, a good portion of the Southerly end of the cut-off was recently logged, so the group was walking through a wide swath of forest destruction where felled trees were just left where they fell or piled up after being cut. On this hike I am always happy to get beyond that area of logging activity and reach more intact portions of the trail.

Ultimately the group reached the northerly end of the Cut-off, and followed the seasonal part of Hauck Hill Rd back to our cars.

We reached the cars a full thirty minutes early, as our pace on the hike had been fairly quick. To round out the hike time I chose to take a few willing people down a near-by snowmobile trail in an effort to determine if we can combine that trail with a part of the FLT to create another loop trail for future hikes.

More photos:



Sun Nov 15

Texas Hollow SF, Bennettsburg
Great dark and atmospheric morning — chilly and extremely gusty winds
Tiger and I set out ahead of the main group so we’d be in position to catch them as they came out of the initial wooded stretch into the big field
If you like gloomy scenery and subtle grey skies, this was a wonderful example
The wind out in the open was so strong I almost got knocked over at one point, thanks to my very poor balance
A lot of this walk consists of scrubby woods — it’s fun in a way but not really spectacular
Cian with his pole-mounted panoramic camera. This section of the trail, the blue-colored loop, makes up for the scrubby parts — it’s an extremely attractive stretch with dramatic pine trees and a sharply rolling terrain.
Tiger and I turned back early because of concern about the high winds. The weather loggers at Game Farm Road and the airport recorded maximum gusts of 38-39 mph during our hike time.

The main group of hikers chose to do a major uphill climb by heading up the FLT at a very good pace. If you look at the topo map below you can see the dramatic elevation change as the red-colored FLT goes south. You can also see it in the cross section view below the topo map.

The group made it up to the third old logging road, if you’re familiar with the trail.

Meanwhile, one hiker, Leigh Ann, arrived at the trail head a few minutes late. Here is her report:

“I figured I might be doing a solo hike when I got there late. I saw everyone on the other side of the field where the lake was.  When I got up into the woods, I had a 50/50 chance of taking the same trail everyone else did. I chose wrong, so I hiked the FLT up to Newtown Road and back (about 5.75 miles, 1200 feet of elevation change). While I was hiking, I came up with this haiku:

Under a slate sky,

Trees roar and snap in the wind.

I climb a steep slope.

I didn’t see any trees snap, but another hiker I encountered did.

I figured I’d see everyone back at the cars, and I did – we had a good laugh about how we had been on the same trail for a while, but not ever at the same place!

Best wishes,

Leigh Ann”

Official head count: 8H, two D

More photos: