Wed Dec 23
This report was written by Jim
Ridgeway Road to White Church Road, Caroline
12 people and a single dog met on Ridgeway Rd for a hike of that section of the FLT, towards White Church RD
It had been a couple of days since the last significant snowfall, and I have considered that stretch of the trail to be a popular one that I thought would have seen some use in the intervening time since snow fell.
While someone had clearly plowed the trail surface down from the original snow depth, we found that the trail from its Ridgeway Rd junction had been used by at most a couple of skiers, one or two walkers, and a few animals. As a result, the walk was a slow slog through several inches of deep snow; not enough to call it true posthole hiking, but as someone in the group described it, it was like walking through dry sand. Not a pleasant hike for me, and while many members of the group put on good faces about the experience, I can only assume that others shared my sentiments about the hike.
When the group reached the turn to cross the fields towards White Church Rd, we found that the FLT was entirely untouched snowpack.
I made the decision to turn around and upon reaching Ridgeway Rd to finish out our remaining hike time with a road walk. The group accomplished this, walking towards White Church Rd on Ridgeway RD before returning to our cars.
Sat Dec 26
Hike cancelled — icy conditions
Sun Dec 27
This report was written by Jim
Ekroos Road (aka State Land Road), just across the Tioga County line in Candor
Hikers met on Ekroos Rd, just over the line into Tioga County.
Ekroos Rd runs off of Honeypot Rd, which is what South RD in the Town of Caroline turns into after crossing the county line.
The parking area was about 2 /10s of a mile from Honeypot Rd, and while the plows hadn’t entirely cleaned out the parking area, there was enough space that everyone’s cars could be accommodated for the most part.
The group started out a few minutes later than normal, as this was the first time the group had hiked this location and several members of the group had difficulty getting to the meeting location. After the group set off, a couple more hikers arrived and met the group further down the road.
The group passed a snowmobile trail that appeared to have been entirely unused despite it having been a few days since the last snow fell. This is something I have noticed this winter season; snowmobile use appears to be very minimal this year compared to previous winters.
Ekroos Road is maintained to a seasonal dead end due to a couple of residences about 2 ½ miles from Honeypot Rd. This resulted in a fairly long stretch of plowed roads ( easily hiked ) with minimal vehicular traffic, although we did encounter a couple of cars travelling up or down the road. The outbound leg of the hike is a gradual descent through tall pines on state land; towards the end the surrounding land transitions to privately held properties.
After a few turns and a mile or so of walking, the trees on the Southerly side of the road gave way to open fields and views down the valley. While there were some atmospherics that did slightly obscure our view of some things in the far distance, it was not to a degree that prevented us from being able to see quite a bit of the surrounding area.
Along the way we passed over several small streams that cross or follow the roadway. The ice formations along the roadway on some areas of the walk were quite enjoyable as well.
Reaching the residences at the end of the maintained portion of road, some members of the group opted to turn around immediately. Beyond the end of the maintained roadway the road takes a sudden sharp descent; the road surface appearing to be benefitting from some amount of privately maintained plowing of the roadbed in this area. Some members of the group opted to walk a few minutes further through this section. While the road there passes along a very nice small gorge area, we soon found that the road surface itself was extremely hazardous due to ice covering the entirety of the roadbed, and so we turned around and started back towards our cars.
Once we reached our cars, some members of the group opted to fill out remaining hike time by over-shooting the parking area and walking to Honeypot RD and then turning around to return to our cars. This brought us up to the two hour hike time almost perfectly.
There was some interest among some of the hikers today to re-do this hike during the summer or fall when the leaves are out, so we’ll probably be seeing this hike location again.