Monday May 17
This report was written by shesse. Photos by Tiger/shesse.
We have a new weekly event — road walking out in farm country — provided it’s not too hot. Our first walk was along Red Mill Road in West Malloryville, NE of Freeville
Fabulous morning to be out in a farm area. The temperature was 60 at the start, 70 at the end. Just right for a walk in full sun the whole time.
This walk takes us up on a relatively flat hilltop with views of rolling hills in all directions (depending on where you’re standing).
There’s a big dairy-cow operation here, of the modern type (cows don’t leave the barn). You can spy a few of the cows in the photos.
This is the type of operation that allows a farmer to make a decent profit while we all get milk for $2 a gallon, the same as 20 years ago.
The scenery along this walk is completely pleasing. The fields were ablaze with dandelions.
There’s hundreds of cows in this farm but there was barely a whiff of manure smell, except when a big tanker truck with spraying equipment passed on its way to spread liquid manure on a nearby field.
Official head count: eight hikers
Wed May 19
Hike report by Leigh Ann
Connecticut Hill Wildlive Management Area
Nine hikers and two big, playful puppies met at the western junction of Boylan and Connecticut Hill Roads at 12:30 p.m. This was later in the day than our usual because turkey hunting ended at noon.
Connecticut Hill was a chartreuse explosion under a bright blue sky, and the humidity was so low that it looked like the shadows in the forest had been cut out of cardboard. This was one of the hottest days of the year so far. The creeks and streams were running, which was great for the hot puppies and fun for the hikers. Fallen leaves on the forest floor were dry, and the chartreuse of the blooming trees ended up on our boots.
We went west down to a big creek where there are several tightly stacked chimney-like cairns. Then we headed north and east up to the top of a quarry where there is a view that never disappoints, regardless of the season. The chartreuse explosion was especially impressive there. Then we continued northeast and spent ten minutes picking our way around a big clear cut before climbing uphill through lovely hemlock forest on the “sink trail,” which has a big, steel sink at the top. The sink is rusted out – not good for collecting water, but close enough to the cars to be encouraging.
Thank you, Nancy, for leading this fun hike!
Sat May 22
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Tiger & Cian
Ridgeway Road to White Church Road and beyond on the FLT, Brooktondale
Nineteen hikers met on Ridgeway Rd for a hike of the FLT Eastward towards White Church Rd and beyond.
Because of long term trail footpath flooding the group in recent months when hiking this section have road-walked to the former railroad crossing area at the low point in the road; that’s what we did today.
Temps were on the warm side ( high 80s F) , which is why I had decided on a relatively flat hike today.
A significant number of bugs were airborne, resulting in a few hikers resorting to head nets and rain gear or long sleeves for self protection against the flying annoyances.
The old railbed portion of the trail that runs along Wilseyville Creek was trimmed back and an easy walk today.
After making the turn towards White Church Rd the group found that the portion of the trail running through fields south of White Church RD had not been mowed yet, but the fields were not so overgrown as to make this a problem.
Hikers crossed over White Church RD and passed through the fields on that side of the road.
Approaching the base of Roundtop Hill hikers found the only muddy portions of todays hike, but nothing so bad as to make the trail impassible.
With progress on the out-bound leg of the hike having been relatively fast, a half dozen hikers opted to continue on the trail, climbing Round Top until it was time to turn around.
Progress back to the vehicles was uneventful, with the bulk of the hikers arriving back at their cars at precisely the two hour mark.
A chance encounter with a property owner at the vehicles may lead to permission for our group to cross their private property in the future and avoid the flooded areas that have required road walks for this hike location.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Sun May 23
Report by Jim. Photos by Tiger and Cian
Bald Hill Road south to Michigan Hollow Road, Danby SF
13 hikers and 3 dogs met at the junction of Bald Hill and Station RDs for a walk of the seasonal portion of Bald Hill RD
This particular route was selected due to recent high temperatures and the relative ease of walking this route.
The group most often hikes parts of this route for our Pinnacles hike. On todays hike we found that there was minimal water or mud on the flatlands near the parking area. The lower sections of the road that are often churned up mud were flat and easily navigated on this hike
The initial climb, past the old cemetery and the turn towards the Pinnacles, was a comfortable walk. Once under the heavier canopy of leaves it seemed as if temperatures dropped several degrees. Only the accompanying and persistent onslaught of bugs deterred from the hike.
While this hike was mostly a road hike, there was still a lot of visually interesting sights along the road if one slowed to observe. The play of light and shadows along the rows of CCC-era evergreens, the occasional explosion of white flowers from Dogwood trees and other colors from various flowers were all of interest on this hike. Some members of the group paused to take note of the birdsong heard from close to the trail.
Other users of the trails and roads were minimal; we had to yield a time or two to passing cars and motorbikes, and I saw only a single user of the Abbott Loop on this day
The fastest members of the group made it far as Michigan Hollow Rd, while the rest of the group was happy to meet the returning fast walkers on their way back to their vehicles.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here