Report to Hikers — week of June 29 – July 4

Hello Hikers!

Wed June 30

Hike report by Jim

Deputron Hollow Road, Danby

On Wednesday June 30, 8 hikers met for a hike of the seasonal portion of Deputron Hollow Rd

While on the hike, the group encountered a 9th member of the group hiking in the opposite direction with family members.

It was a sunny day, and I would say that my favorite part of this hike is probably as we descend the hill towards Coddington RD, before reaching the maintained lower portion of Deputron Hollow RD. On sunny days such as this particular hike day, the various shades of green in the tree canopies overhead are fairly enjoyable, as is the walk along the route of the stream below us..

It seemed as if the first hour of the hike passed quicker than normal, and soon it was time to turn around and climb the hill back to our cars. This was probably the most uncomfortable portion of the hike for me as it soon became readily apparent how still the air was, with almost no breeze to relieve the heat of the day.

Soon enough the group found ourselves back at our cars and being quizzed by a local resident as to our observation of insect damage to the trees along the hike route.

All in all a fairly normal hike, one that I will probably put some thought into changing up in the future to make it overall more interesting.


Sat July 3

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

Potato Hill SF, Caroline, from Level Green Road to Blackman Hill Road and beyond on the FLT

On July 03 the Ithaca Hikers turned out for a hike of the FLT in the Potato Hill State Forest . This is the hike we do that starts on the seasonal portion of Level Green Rd and travels towards Rte 79 ( in the distance ), first crossing over Blackman Hill Rd.

Eight hikers and two dogs set off on the trail; the lower portions of the trail were frequently standing water and more often mud, which was my expectation after the heavy rain of recent days. As we gained elevation this became less of a problem.

Previous hikes on this section of trail had resulted in the group meeting some stinging ground bees. I don’t know if the bees are still in the area; if they are, the weather on this hike day surely kept them close to their hives.

It was an easy, gradual  climb through the woods, with a quick pause to make a trail journal entry as we always try to do. Lucy G is the trail maintainer for this portion of the Trail, and had emailed me ahead of the hike warning that the second footbridge from Level Green Rd was a-kilter and unsafe to use. This was the condition that we found it in. Thankfully the water levels in the stream were low enough to make the water crossing not an issue for the group.

In the area of Blackman Hill Rd the Trail makes a recently created jog, bringing the Trail out onto Blackman Hill Rd to make the road crossing a direct crossing rather than the slight road walk that was until recently required.

Once on Blackman Hill Rd the group could see sunny skies off in the distance to the East, but our hopes for a sunny crossing of the open fields ahead of us were soon dashed. In fact, the skies overhead almost immediately opened up with a strong deluge, as if to welcome us for exiting out of the forest. We crossed the fields quickly and plunged back into the tree line. After a few minutes of walking downhill I turned the group around for the return leg, as there was no purpose in sending everyone down the water-sodden hill just to turn them around to claw their way back to the fields. Re-crossing the open field, my main thought was of the lightning portion of the wilderness first aid class I recently completed ( along with several other members of the Ithaca Hikers ). Thankfully we were not called on to have to perform any lightning-related first aid to anyone on this hike.

The return leg of the hike to Level Green Rd was uneventful; as we had turned around on the hike early, the group filled out the remaining fifteen minutes of hike time with a short road walk on Level Green Rd.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun July 4

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Tiger/shesse & Cian

Fischer Old Growth Forest, Newfield

Thirteen hikers and three dogs set off from the parking lot on Rte 13 in Newfield for a hike of the Fischer Old Growth forest. A 14th hiker arrived late and ended up doing a solo hike

The weather was particularly sunny and warm out in the open fields at the start of the hike, and it was a relief to plunge into the tree cover as we descended the hill from the parking area.

It was a pleasant walk through the woods as the group followed the red trail deeper into the woods. At the intersection with the yellow trail we branched off onto the yellow trail and did that loop through the old growth portion of the woods. I’ve always enjoyed that part of the trail system at this particular location.

Completing the yellow loop we rejoined the red trail, descending towards the streams and flat lands. The ground in many places along this part of the trail were still quite hazardous from the slick mud resulting from the recent rains. The portions of the descent with safety ropes were not adequate to keeping me from going to the ground at one point.

Reaching the flatlands the group found its way blocked for our most junior hiking member by a wild array of stinging nettles that grew up and over the trail. The group beat these down to the ground to make enough of a path to allow our young hiker passage without being unnecessarily shredded by the undergrowth.

Once across the small valley the group faced the mostly uphill portion of the Easterly leg of the red trail loop. Reaching the top of that segment the group reconvened and agreed that a second loop of either trail was unneeded today, and so we walked to the blue loop trail, completed that and returned to our cars so that we could each enjoy the remainder of the holiday.

Thanks to everyone who set aside part of what is surely a busy holiday for everyone to come together to hike our local trails.

As I stated my favorite part of this hike is the yellow blazed trail through the old growth trees.

I believe that for both safeties sake as well as a concern for the environment, some thought needs to be put into redesigning the hill portions of the red loop. I believe that creating some switchbacks along those areas would be both safer for hikers and protect the sensitive environments around the steeper slopes from human-caused damage and erosion……



You can see Cian’s complete photo album here