Wed April 14
Hike report by Jim
Route 96B to the Tamatack Lean-to on the FLT, Danby SF
Two hikers met on state route 96B in the Town of Danby for a Westerly out-and-back hike on the FLT
Immediately after leaving 96B the FLT travels through some nice stands of tall evergreens. Walking on the spongey surface of pine needles was a comfortable start to our hike. In this area the light was subdued, and actually seemed to have a green haze to it due to the filtering effects of the pine needles in the upper levels of the stands of trees we were walking through.
Pretty soon the walk through stands of evergreens was replaced by what I suspect is some of the sharpest elevation gains anywhere along the Ithaca portions of the FLT; a near straight walk up the hill to the Tamarack lean-to, with few switchbacks or flat areas to offer a break to your climb. Passing through a stone wall and over a couple of decent sized trees along the trail gives a hiker some opportunities to rest on this particular climb. Temperatures were reasonable, so this climb wasn’t as discomforting as it might be in later summer months.
Here we found nearly the entire hillside along the trails route to be covered with the red petals of Red Maple flowers.
We stopped briefly at the Tamarack lean-to to make a quick trail journal entry, and continued on our way.
Crossing over Travor Rd, we continued on the FLT until it was time to turn around. This final portion of the trail has some young evergreen saplings, and with the recent rain it seemed as if the pines and what little green undergrowth along the trail was an extremely bright shade of green.
The return trip to our vehicles was uneventful.
Sat April 17
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian
Potato Hill SF, Level Green Road to Old 76 Road, Caroline
Nine hikers met on Level Green Rd for a hike of the FLT towards 76 Road.
After the rainfall of the previous day the trail itself for much of the route was an active stream, with water running down the path, or laying in decently sized pools. Portions of the trail that were not in standing water were found to be mud bogs. Water crossings were entertaining due to the speed and levels of water found in a couple of the streams.
Despite the water-filled portions, much of the trail was still quite enjoyable; the hillier portions of the trail were still quite passable, for instance.
The group found much greenery starting to thrive along the trail, and the contrast between the new growth and the muted colors of fallen leaves and old dead undergrowth was an interesting contrast.
Arriving at the final turn that leads towards 76 Road the group found that the trail was again an active waterway. Rather than continue further the group chose to turn around and re-trace our steps.
Arriving back at the cars early, part of the group opted to cross the road and continue on the FLT on the other side of Level Green Rd, while the majority opted for a short road walk to round out the two hour hike time.
Tou can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Sun April 18
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Tiger & Cian
Hammond Hill SF ski trails
13 hikers met in the parking lot on Hammond Hill Rd for a hike of various multi-use trails in the state forest
A 14th hiker arrived late and did their own hike.
Arriving in the parking lot, hikers were met by a cool breeze and the threat of rain clouds in the sky.
Setting out on the yellow trails, the group quickly warmed up as we climbed the first of many low grades we were to encounter on this hike.
Arriving at the first intersection we turned right, which soon had us walking through my favorite stands of tall evergreens in this particular forest.
After passing through the evergreens the group arrived at the seasonal portion of Canaan Rd. We quickly crossed over the roadway to the yellow 5 trails and from there a quick right onto the yellow 7 trail. This trail, one of the few muddy portions we found on todays hike, soon brought us to the lower end of Canaan Rd near the intersection with Red Man Run.
Walking past that road intersection soon brought the group to the bottom of Rabbit Run multi-use trail, which is easy to miss later in the year as the weeds grow up. Today that trail was marked mainly by a decently sized pool of water. Climbing Rabbit Run, we arrived at the intersection with the blue trail that returns hikers to the parking lot we started out on. Some of the group chose to head home early; the remainder turned the other way on the blue trail, doing a quick out and back lollipop hike to burn up remaining time.
Taking the blue trail brought us back to the yellow trails and the parking lot at about the perfect time.
Throughout the hike we had the majority of the trail to ourselves as I saw only a couple of dog walkers in addition to our group on the trail. Weather was just about perfect hiking weather; compared to the literal streams we were hiking in on Saturday, todays trails were a real pleasure.
You can see Cian’s comlete photo album here