Report to Hikers — week of Feb 15 – Feb 21

Hello Hikers!

Wed Feb 17

This hike report is by Jim

Bald Hill Road to Michigan Hollow Road on the FLT, Danby SF

Five Ithaca Hikers met in the parking lot at the corner of Comfort and Bald Hill Rd for a hike of the area.

Because of recent trail and weather conditions I had not formulated a specific plan as to our hike route.

Upon arrival I found that the recent sleets had formed  a hard crust on the snow cover, including the near-by Finger Lakes Trail.

Hikers set off down the Trail; unless a hiker strayed off the beaten path into soft snow along the trail shoulder, the hiking was fairly pleasant. The trail showed signs of recent snowshoe activity, which made the trail surface even better to hike on. At one point along the route the previous snowshoers had left the FLT to make their own route, and after that the footpath was a little harder to walk on.

The weather was clear, and the skies mostly overcast on the outbound leg of the hike. The hike to Michigan Hollow RD was uneventful; upon crossing the bridge and coming to the roadway we had to crest a six foot high mound of hardened snow, which is an unusual thing for us at that particular trail crossing.

After a few minutes of rest the group returned to the trail for the return leg of the hike. The skies opened up somewhat, giving us a brilliant field of white to walk through in the more open areas. Hikers stopped often to observe the animal prints and other trail-side evidence of forest life that we were passing.

Soon enough we found ourselves back at Comfort RD and the vehicles; a good hike for all involved.


Sat Feb 20

Hike report by Jim — Photos by Cian

Cornell arboretum, Mundy Wildflower Garden and nearby areas, Forest Home

8 hikers met in the Forest Home neighborhood near the FR Newman Arboretum, for a hike of the area.

It was an overcast day with snow falling in moderate amounts early in the morning.

Because overall weather and trail conditions have been so variable in recent days, I had no set route in mind for todays hike. I  figured that we would “wing it” and roll with any changes we had to make as the hike progressed.

The group walked through the lower areas of the Cornell Botanic Gardens/ Newman Arboretum, pausing briefly at various overlook points to admire the surrounding areas before proceeding onwards. Portions of the arboretum roads had been plowed, but even the unplowed portions had a firm snowpack base to walk on, making the hike much more enjoyable.

Completing our circuit through the Arboretum, we moved across Caldwell Rd and walked through some of the Mundy Wildflower Garden paths that skirt the creek in that area. There was a good amount of water flowing today, and between the fresh snow, the sun reflecting off ice in the creek, etc, this portion of the walk was very visually appealing.

The group continued westerly, climbing the stairs and  crossing Judd Falls RD towards Beebe Lake. Walking the footpath  along the lake we proceeded towards the Forest Home community. This hasn’t part of our previous hikes of the area, but it seemed to work out well today.

After passing through the Forest Home Community we crossed the bridges and returned to Arboretum property.

Once back in the Arboretum we  took some of the side trails back towards the parking area and our cars.

There were a fair number of other small hiking groups and dog walkers sharing the roads and trails with us today, but we had no problems.

Overall it was a very good hike.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Feb 21

Hike report and three photos by Nancy L — Panoramic photos by Cian

Taughannock Falls SP, areas north of the overlook

10 hikers and 1 dog showed up across from the Taughannock overlook for the hike on a sunny mild winter morning.  Seven of us (not the dog) headed North through the woods.  The trail soon headed down hill.  The snow was deep and pristine but the trail itself was walkable.  We crossed over a nice creek bridge , Rice road and then another Creek bridge before reaching the base of the huge sledding hill accessible from rice road.  Since the trails in the woods beside the sledding hill  were too deep with snow, we climbed straight up the hill on the edge of the sledding area.  We crossed rice road and took another  trail back through the woods to the park road.  From there we headed up the rim trail  for some spectacular views of the snowy gorge. The other 3 hikers took different hikes though we were able to join one at the top of the gorge

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here