Report to Hikers — week of June 7 – June 13

Hello Hikers!

Wed Jume 9

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Randy/Nancy

Black Diamond Trail, Ulysses

11 Hikers and 1 dog proceeded southbound on the Black Diamond Trail from Kraft Rd

A 12th hiker opted to proceed alone in a Northerly direction from Kraft RD

2 additional people arrived at the trailhead with a hiker and opted to jog the trail ahead on the main body.

This was certainly a case of “ hike your own hike” today.

The weather was hot and muggy; there was little in the way of a breeze to cut the heat until hikers had almost returned to their cars at the end of the hike.

Proceeding from the cars, the air was heavy, and it seemed that the fragrances along certain parts of the trail were heavier than normal in the hot, still air. One hiker observed that the berries along the trail are ripening nicely. I’m not sure if they’ll survive in a ripened state long enough for us to sample them on our next hike of the area.

As much as I enjoy the green tunnel effect we get on this trail in the summer, I miss the ability to look out over the adjacent parcels  that we have in other seasons.

There were a multitude of other trail users : bicyclists, joggers, dog walkers, etc

It was an enjoyable period to relax, let your feet move you along and engage in conversation with the people next to you.

After traversing several cross roads it struck me that we’d been moving at a decent pace and had covered much more ground on this trail than we often do; I’m not sure if others in the group would have agreed with me on this issue.

After reaching the hour time limit the group turned around and returned to our cars without incident.

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Sat June 12

Hike report by Nancy L/Randy. Photos by Randy/Nancy & Cian

Bob Cameron Loop, Connecticut Hill

A little after 9:30 Saturday morning, June 12, 17 hikers and 4 dogs met up at top of Tower Road, the highest point in the county. The google guidance to get to the hike start was faulty making it hard to find.  In future instructions I will describe a route or two as well as giving the link to the location.

We hiked southwest from the cars downhill through a cool, but muggy, forest.  It was cloudy, but no rain.  The trail was generally dry and easy to follow…if you knew where you were going.  Nancy used Gaia to pick the correct trails, and we found a large pond about an hour into the hike.  The pace of the hike was quite lively, without let-up.  Four of the hikers took an alternate route since they became detached from the group.  

One disturbing problem was the prevalence of the gypsy moth caterpillars literally hanging in the trail.  You could actually hear the detritus of the caterpillars falling from the canopy.  It sounded like a light rain.

After checking out the pond we headed north, still descending, until we got to Coal Mine Trail.  We then headed north and east on this somewhat wet and muddy section.  Once we reached the Bob Cameron Loop the trail widened.  However, it was now all uphill to the cars.  As we neared the cars we ran into two of the self-guided hikers.  But, there were two hikers still in the woods, so we used the phone to learn they were almost back.  Soon they emerged from the woods.   So, it turned out OK despite the group not staying together.  

Overall distance was nearly four miles.

Randy and Nancy

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You can see Cian’s complete photo album here

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Sun June 13

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

Roy H Park Preserve, Dryden

Fifteen hikers and two dogs set out from the Roy Park Preserve parking lot on Irish Settlement Rd for a hike of the trail leading from the Preserve towards Hammond Hill Rd and beyond.

A sixteenth hiker arrived somewhat later and met us on the trail

It was a warm and sunny day, and entering the treeline after the initial crawl over the wooden boardwalk brought immediate relief from the heat of the day. Walking through the stands of pines in the lower part of the Preserve is my favorite part of this particular trail.

The climb up the hill went by without anything of particular interest; the usual muddy spots on this trail were mostly dried up this particular day, and the chattering group surged ahead the closer we got to Hammond Hill Rd.

Reaching Hammond Hill Rd the group found the multi-use trails there in somewhat heavier use than the Roy Park trails, with a mix of runners, dog walkers  and bicyclists  being our primary trail companions on this day

As a change of pace upon reaching the first fork in the trail the group turned left, towards Star Stanton Rd. The group walked out the first hiking hour and soon turned around, retracing our steps back to our cars

After the end of the hike a sizeable contingent of Ithaca Hikers made our way towards the Hopshire brewery and its supply of cold beverages and food products. We arrived there in time to claim an awning from a just-ended exercise class, and so had a nice amount of protection from the sun while we enjoyed the warm temperatures and nice surroundings.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here

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Special report — Ithaca Hiker puts in four days on the Appalachian Trail

By Eva B

Eva has been hiking with our group for a number of years.

I just wanted to let everyone know I survived a four day section hike in Maine on the AT, southbound from the Kennebec River to Stratton Maine. It’s about 35 miles but in the 90° heat, and having not carried a backpack in over a year, it was brutal. The worst part was the terrain, it felt like 12 miles through the Bigelows were rock scramble straight up and straight down. There were many places I had to toss my pack down or lift it up and then climb up. My poor dog had to be lifted up or down countless times. She was NOT a happy camper. I think I set a world record for the slowest pace while backpacking, some parts of that took me an hour to cover less than half a mile.

Also there were very few other people out. I passed no more than four people on any given day.

Even the first 20 miles – before the Bigelows- were annoying because there were countless blowdowns and areas where it was hard to find the trail. Anyway, I have a few days off before starting the 100 mile wilderness on June 12. I’ve been reassured that the terrain is not as bad, although I have to climb  Mount Katahdin at the end. I hope I make it!

I guess the only good thing is it was so hot, that the black flies and mosquitoes were not bad. But the deer flies were starting to come out.

The canoe ferry across a Kennebec River was fun, even if it’s only about five minutes across.

Eva