Wed March 3
Hike report by Jim.
Upper Buttermilk Falls SP
9 hikers and 3 dogs met in the parking lot at Upper Buttermilk Falls State Park.
I looked over our trail options upon arriving, and decided that a hike around Treman Lake would be the most enjoyable choice.
Several members of the group opted for a flat hike around the roads and parking lots of Upper Buttermilk.
The main body of hikers crossed the new bridge that leads to the Bear Trail. There was a newer cover of snow on the surface that concealed an older layer of ice; foot traction was absolutely a necessity on some of the hillier part of the trail and stairs.
The snow made everything in view attractive to look at as we walked along, and the volume of water coursing down the streambed, as well as the layers of ice on the main streambed and the gullies along the way drew more than a little attention from hikers. The various eddies and water currents created some formations of ice that drew some comments as the group walked the trail.
Temperatures were cooler than in recent days, but not unbearable. Views along the way were clear with no haze or other impediments to enjoying the view
Along the way the group encountered Casey C from the Germophobic branch of the Ithaca Hikers. Casey was hiking solo, and reported good trail conditions ahead. We also ran into a trail runner ( despite trail conditions!) and a handful of dog walkers.
Due to trail conditions the overall group speed was somewhat diminished from our normal pace on this trail. By the time the group rounded the upper end of the lake and crossed the stone footbridge, it was time to turn around.
Returning to the upper parking area just below Treman Lake, the group decided that the more direct route of a road walk back to the cars would be a wiser course of action. Along the way we ran into the splinter group that had been road walking, and we returned to our vehicles without incident.
New to the group on todays hike was Elizabeth G; welcome to the group, Elizabeth!
Five photos by Nancy L
You can see Nancy’s complete album here
Sat March 6
Hike report by Jack V. Photos by Cian
Snowmobile trail, Finger Lakes National Forest
Six hikers and 2 dogs showed up for the hike today. After going around the Wildlife Pond we spent the rest of the hike on snowmobile trails. Since it was windy, it was a beautiful day to spend in the woods. Near the end of the hike we encountered a hiker who parked in the wrong parking lot and the car of a hiker who arrived late whom we never saw.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Sun March 7
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Jim and Cian
Thirteen hikers and four dogs met at the corner of Townline and Sandbank Rds for a hike of the Lick Brook trails.
With the exception of one hiker who chose to road walk the area, the group set off down the hill towards the flat lands around the waterfalls.
The weather was clear, and the sun shining down on the area was much appreciated.
Very early into the hike the group passed a handful of hikers and dog walkers who were walking up out of the trail system.
Very quickly hikers found that the trail surface, well-travelled by numerous hikers over recent days, had been compacted to a thick sheet of ice that in places covered the entire footpath and beyond. The entire group had some form of traction on our feet and yet the going in places was extremely risky, particularly places where the trail ran immediately next to drop off’s into the deep gorges of the area. We travelled at a seeming snails pace compared to the normal pace we set on this particular trail. Even the speediest of us was reduced to carefully picking our way down the white blazed hillside; we still had a couple of hikers fall down; thankfully, no one sustained any injuries.
Th group inched along, in many places reduced to leaving the trail and walking through the surrounding snowpack out of necessity and a need for safety. Stairs were a frozen mass of ice that were completely unnavigable in any safe manner.
Reaching the flatlands at the bottom of the trail system, hikers congregated around the frozen falls, admiring the mass of ice covering the area.
Soon enough we started again up the blue blazed stairs, picking our way along again. This trail was for the most part no better than the downward-bound white trail had been.
Upon reaching the roadway, a few hardy hikers crossed the road to the blue blazed trails to finish out the two hour hike time. By the time that group returned to the cars the last of the hikers and dogs were coming up out of the gorge at the cars.
This was easily the slowest the group has ever hiked this particular trail, and the worst most unsafe condition I’ve ever seen this particular trail in. Thankfully no one was injured during the hike.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here