Mon May 31
Report by shesse. Photos by Tiger/shesse
Rural road walk — Hosenfeld Road and Carley Road, Alpine, Schuyler County
Another gorgeous morning out in the country
This time we were up on a beautiful hilltop south of Mecklenburg, with greatr views to the south and east
There’s a lovely feeling of gently rolling terrain up on the hill — but getting up there is a diferent story
It’s a 450-foot climb up from Route 228, and some of the way is fairly steep
Here we see Connecticut Hill and Cayuta Lake in the background
Almost no traffic. Not dusty. Wonderful spring feeling.
Official head count: Eight walkers, eight dogs
Wed June 2
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Tiger
Robinson Hollow SF, Tioga County
18 hikers met on Robinson Hollow RD for a hike of the FLT in a Northerly direction from that trailhead.
It was a cool day with a forecast of rain later in the day; thankfully for this hike, the rain held off until the very last hikers emerged from the woods at their cars at the end of the hike.
Hikers set off up the very steep and continuous grade that presents itself to hikers when starting out from the small parking area at the base of the hill. The incline continues through a series of switchbacks and turns for around the first thirty minutes of hiking. Eventually the trail comes out onto what must have been at one time a logging road. All the hiker cares about at that point is that the trail is now FLAT, and continues to be so for a few minutes.
While the trail was steep in the beginning, it did benefit from following old forest logging roads for much of the uphill portion. This meant that hikers were able to not have to walk single file and could communicate with each other by means of other than hollering back over ones shoulder to someone further back in the column of hikers as we sometimes find our group when in motion.
The trail maintainer for this section is our own Lucy G, and the trail was in good shape as I expected it to be, having witnessed Lucy in previous years while she was tending to her trail maintainer activities….
Eventually the Trail takes a plunge over the embankment, leading more or less straight down to a stream near the Kimmie shelter.
Hikers took a slight detour to the new shelter before returning to the FLT and continuing Northerly through the woods. This stretch of the Trail is very pleasant, with a minimal amount of roots, mud and other stuff to detract from the hike. The surroundings were quite enjoyable throughout the hike, and I found hikers on numerous occasions stopping to admire one item or another of plant life growing on the forest floor.
After reaching the hour turn-around time, the group did an about face and returned in the direction we’d come.
Thankfully after the initial long climb up from the streambed, much of the remainder of the trail was downhill.
Sat May 5
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Tiger and Cian
Upper Buttermilk SP from Yaple Road, Danby
21 hikers and 6 dogs met on Yaple Rd near the junction with Comfort Rd, for a hike into upper Buttermilk Falls State Park
This route is part of the spur trail for the FLT that runs from West King Rd towards upper Buttermilk Falls State Park.
The weather was sunny and warm, and there was a fair number of other day hikers both with and without dogs sharing the trail system as we navigated through the park.
Some of our group commented that the trail from Yaple Rd into the park was previously unknown to them and a very nice section of trail for being relatively unknown.
The group reached the Treman Lake Trail and took a right turn, passing the small lean-to there and circling the lake and climbing the stairs as the trail continued around the Eastern side of the lake. I’m always happy to recognize the on-going trail maintenance that I see in our state parks when we hike any of them, and this section of trail always brings that issue to mind for me. Reaching the side trail to La Tourelle the group took this slight detour; while not an official trail within the park, it does cross over some very nice topography and gives the hiker a nice view of the forests in the area.
Turning around the group returned to the Treman Lake Trail and descended towards the portion of the trail that crosses over the CCC-era dam. I observed that the lake levels were probably the lowest levels I recall them being in recent memory.
I had originally considered having the group hike the actual spur trail to West Kind Rd after circling the lake, but the bright sunlight and warmer temperatures changed my mind and seek another route that would keep us in the shade under the trees. Upon reaching the opposite end of the dam, the group turned North and road walked to the picnic and pavilion area closer to West King Rd. Here we took the Bear Trail South; after completing that trail the group returned to the Treman Lake Trail and took it back to the FLT spur trail and our vehicles. This brought us back out to our vehicles at exactly the two hour time we try to meet for local hikes…
I was very happy to see the larger turn-out on Saturday; the groups passage along the trails generated more than a few positive questions about the group to me as I followed behind everyone as sweep for the last leg of the journey…
Thanks to everyone who took time out of their day to join us for this hike.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Sun June 6
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian
Jenksville SF, Tioga County
12 hikers and 2 dogs met in the Allison Hill Rd parking area for Jenksville State Forest in Tioga County.
The day was already beginning to be a hot one as hikers strode into the shade of the trailhead.
The trails in this forest are broken down into yellow , blue and red trail systems. For the novice first entering this trail system, a map is a necessity, as the general trail layout is not immediately obvious on the ground, particularly if you’re hiking the blue blazed trails. Last years hike had focused primarily on the centrally located blue trail system; this years hike was focused on the yellow trail system, including a very nice overlook area on the western edge of the yellow trails that I had wanted to get to in that previous hike but was unable to do so.
Overall, todays hike was marked by very gradual elevation gains and losses, a nice feature of a hike on such a warm day. There was a minimal amount of mud anywhere on the trail, although a couple of low-lying areas had clearly sopped up some of the recent rainfall and were something of a gooey slog to traverse. Most of the worst of the muddy areas had well-defined side trails that allowed the hikers to avoid the muddy depression entirely; not something I would advocate for normally, but a happy occurrence on Sunday.
Before setting off on the hike I passed out maps to everyone in case someone should get separated from the main group, and in fact within the first hour or so the group broke down into two or three distinct sub-groups due to trailing elements missing arrows set down on the forest floor for them, photo-taking,etc. Thankfully that section of the trail consisted of a loop, and the main body soon encountered the trailing element coming from the opposite direction.
Everyone reunited and paused briefly at the overlook area that has a great vista overlooking the valley and the roads the group used to get to the trailhead. On both hikes in this forest, hikers have commented that the drive through the farmland and country roads to get to the hike is an enjoyable thing all by itself
Trying to avoid setting foot on the same sections of trail as much as possible, I had the group climb up the hill from the observation point before grabbing another side trail that had some short inclines and a fairly significant old house foundation. Out of curiosity the group paused long enough to find the old homes now filled-in well, and then we set off again through the forested trails
Before too long the group reached what I have come to think of as the Jenksville Forests version of the “Time Square” trail convergence that we all know from Hammond Hill State Forest. There we jumped onto a blue trail that took us back to our cars with just a few minutes over the two hour hike limit.
A very enjoyable day, overall
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here