Wed April 21
This hike report was written by Jim
Layen Road to Bruce Hill Road on the FLT, Jersey Hill, Danby
Five hikers met at the junction of Townline and Layen Roads in the Town of Danby, for a hike of the FLT
Getting to the hike involved driving through fog for some members of the group today.
At the meet up location hikers were met with a steady stream of hail and cool temps
As we hiked the hail changed to snow, and the FLT footpath became increasingly obliterated by a growing layer of snow on the trail.
Despite the weather conditions, spirits among the group were high, and frequent observations of the effects of the snowfall on surrounding plant and tree life were common.
The open fields we cross early in the hike had not yet begun their summer growth, which made that part of the hike much more enjoyable.
The change from open fields to overheard forest cover from the snowfall offered some protections from the weather, but snowy conditions still demanded that we pick our way carefully along the downslopes and across the several water crossings on our route, all of which had high volume of water flow due to the rain of recent days. Some of the steeper hillsides demanded particular attention due to slippery rocks and roots found there.
The group didn’t get as far as we usually do on this particular hike, in large part due to trail conditions. As luck would have it, we reached the first road crossing at exactly an hour into the hike, and so the group turned around and re-traced our steps back to our cars without incident.
Sat April 24
Hike report by Leigh Ann. Photos by Cian
Logan Hill Nature Preserve, Candor
Thirteen people did this hike, under sparkly blue skies into which floated a few fair-weather cumulus clouds by the end. The best place to park for a group hike in the Logan Hill Nature Preserve is the Candor middle/high school parking lot, and this is where we met up. We crossed Main Street to head southwesterly on Water Street through a residential area that borders Catatonk Creek. Water Street turns into Logan Hill Road where the road transitions from paved to seasonal and ascends to the hilltop, where the trails are. There is no parking lot on the top of the hill, just a place where you can do a three-point turn. It’s not a great place to drive a car, but it’s a satisfying road hike up.
It was already in the 50s by the time we started, and it was a perfect spring day. Flowers were out a bit more than in Ithaca because Candor is farther south. As we left the parking lot, some dudes were firing up the large barbeque in Moyer Park next to where we parked. This was in preparation for a big Mother’s Day chicken barbeque, and it made the whole day feel even more springlike.
This hike is about 4.6 miles total, and it has just a bit over 2000 feet of elevation change, most of which is happens on the road once Water Street turns into Logan Hill Road. At this time of year, there are views through the budding trees all the way down the hill to crayon-green fields alongside Catatonk Creek.
Once Logan Hill Road makes a 90 degree turn to the west, the eastern trailhead is on the right. From there, the trail heads north for about 1/2 mile, turns left to go up to the very top of the hill, and comes out in fields that give beautiful views. There are two ponds up there, and the yellow (longer) trail goes between them into hemlock forest. Hemlock needles were shiny in the sun. The yellow trail loops back to the south and comes out at the top of a wonderfully prairie-like field with gorgeous views. Then the trail comes back to Logan Hill Road about 1/2 mile west of where the initial trailhead is. Along this part of the road were huge clusters of little trout lillies – in numbers I’d never seen before. They were packed like trillium will be along Shindagin Hollow Road in a few weeks.
Nancy Lorr picked an excellent time to lead this hike!
You can see Cian’s full photo album here
Sun April 25
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian
Eastman Hill Road
Ten hikers met at the end of the maintained portion of Eastman Hill Rd at the county line between Tompkins and Tioga County, for a hike of the FLT in that area.
Inclement weather had met some hikers while en route to the hike location; ominous cloud formations still filled the skies at the time the hike started, but overall the hikers encountered no poor weather during this hike.
Venturing onto the seasonal portion of Eastman Hill Rd that runs through state land, we changed our usual direction of travel for this hike on request of a local group member. Reaching the point where the FLT crosses Eastman Hill Rd, we turned Westerly, walking the FLT until reaching Heisey Rd. A few wet patches along the portion of the trail on the immediate sides of Eastman Hill RD were the only issues we found along todays hike.
Reaching Heisey Rd the group paused and then re-traced our steps to Eastman Hill RD. Crossing over Eastman Hill Rd we continued on the FLT. Several hikers appreciated seeing this part of the trail from a different perspective that a change of direction offers on a hike of any local trail.
Carefully picking our way down the hillside and across the logging roads that travel through the area, we remarked on the view of the valley below through the trees.
Soon enough we found ourselves at a convenient point to turn around, and we retraced our steps to Eastman Hill Rd and then back to our vehicles.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here