Wed Jan 27
This hike report was written by Jim
Six Mile Creek, south side trails from Crescent Place toward Burns Road
9 hikers met on Crescent Place on South Hill for a hike of the South Hill Rec Way and the foot trails that run between the Rec Way and Second Dam. Norm, long absent from the group these many months, was able to join us again for this particular hike.
There was not an excessive amount of snow or ice on the hike route, which made the hike more enjoyable for everyone
As is our normal practice, the group started Easterly on the Rec Way before soon detouring over the blue blazed trails that lead to the hills above Second Dam. The group turned away from Second Dam and followed the ridgeline above the small lake that formed behind the dam, continuing to work our way Easterly along the foot trails.
Eventually the group came out on the Rec Way again. After a quick survey of hikers preferences about half the group opted to return to their cars via the direct Rec Way route, while the other half retraced our steps back along the foot paths.
Sat Jan 30
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian
Monkey Run Natural Area, south side of Fall Creek (Varna)
14 hikers and 3 dogs met on Monkey Run Rd on the southern side of Fall Creek. There was a slow but steady snowfall that would accompany us throughout the hike.
Hikers left the parking area, quickly climbing and descending through the surrounding hills of the Monkey Run Natural Area on the orange blazed trails.
Soon we were crossing open fields, which gave us the most difficulty of the hike as far as snow accumulation and a discomforting wind.
We quickly found our way back under the cover of trees on the red blazed trails and walking along the creek, which was a deep emerald green and flowing with quite a bit of force. Later in the hike along a slower section of the creek, the creek had frozen over, its ice a similar hue of green and the uneven surface appearing as if the waves had frozen in place as the water flowed.
The air was clear, and the vistas from some of the higher elevation promontories was quite beautiful.
For most of the hike the trail surface was quite manageable, with just a few well-trodden inches of compacted snow and very little ice underfoot. Some hikers commented that some foot traction was good on the steeper parts of trails
Towards the end of the hike we entered a patch of evergreens that had a similar coating of snow as I had observed on other recent hikes. That combined with the stillness that always seems to accompany walking through stands of pines are always attractive to me.
Soon enough it was time to turn around and re-trace our steps to the side trail leading to the parking lot. We arrived there with a Hesse degree of punctuality, to find that the street was lined with probably double the number of cars we ad arrived in. Clearly that locale was a popular destination this day, although we’d only encountered a couple of trail runners or hikers during our own hike.
You can see Cian’s complete album here
Sun Jan 31
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian
Marsh Road to Coddington Road on Deputron Hollow Road, Danby
Six hikers and two dogs initially met on Marsh Rd on what was a cold but not uncomfortable morning
The hikers set off down Marsh RD towards Deputron Hollow Rd.
Upon reaching Deputron Hollow Rd the hikers found that the plowed portion of the road ended, but that a tractor recently passing through on Deputron Hollow Rd has broken up the snow pack enough for the hikers to be able to hike comfortably in a single file.
The hikers were soon met by a seventh hiker who had hiked up from Coddington RD to join the group.
The group continued down Deputron Hollow Rd at a steady pace, admiring the wintery scenery around us.
Soon afterwards we were joined by an eighth hiker who had arrived on Marsh Rd a few minutes late.
The group continued on Deputron Hollow as it followed the gorge.
Upon reaching the maintained lower portion of Deputron Hollow RD, the group opted to walk a few minutes longer and go all the way to Coddington Rd before turning around for the uphill trek back to our vehicles. This was motivated in part by the fact that the side road we often explore for a few minutes of the return leg of the hike was entirely snowed in.
The return trip was uneventful.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Looks like a great winter hiking season so far ….
When I joined this group in 2004, after living in NYC for many years, I found that I liked hiking in winter better than in other seasons. You can see the lively post-glacial terrain really clearly — you get a sense of openness and spaciousness which I prefer to the closed-in sense when the leaves are out — it’s fun to go up and down the hills on a layer of snow — and I personally love the bleak, stark quality of the woods in winter; you can really only get the full effect when you’re out in the midst of the scenery. Also, you don’t get hot and there are no bugs, no mud and no puddles. And it’s probably the best way to get aerobic exercise outdoors short of vigorous X-country skiing or speed skating or ice hockey.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get out onto the trail myself much in the past month. I have a rare nerve disorder that began to affect my balance some years ago. Then, in 2018, I fell down onto my head on a hike and got a bad concussion. I still haven’t fully recovered from that, and I’ve been having even worse balance problems recently — temporary, I hope. So for now I have to follow along online like almost everyone else in the group. But I’m extremely eager to get back out there ASAP.