Tues July 12
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Nancy H
Steege Hill, Corning
Two hikers met outside of Big Flats for a hike of the Steege Hill Nature Preserve.
The weather was fairly muggy and this had a definite impact on the hike.
Since this was our first time hiking this particular preserve I had only an indefinite idea of which route I wanted to take within the preserve. There are five interconnecting trails within the Preserve that total seven miles.
Right after arriving at the Preserve I had a good talk with a Finger lakes Land Trust employee who happened to stop by the Preserve at that time; he pointed out that this is the largest of the FLLT holdings, which I was previously unaware of.
We set off on the yellow trail that leaves the parking area towards the summit. This is a gradual incline that deceives you as you’re on it. On the return trip back to our cars it was much more obvious of the continuous climb that this trail represents for the out-bound hiker.
Near the top of the hill we were faced with several possible trails and directions of travel, and opted to continue in a big looping counterclockwise circle on the yellow trail we were then on.
This trail passed by a nice( small ) pond and consisted largely on old logging roads and some slightly un-mowed ankle to calf-height grassy sections of trail ( if ticks are a concern for you ).
Eventually the yellow trail intersects several side trails, including red, orange and blue. We opted for the blue, thinking that it offered a fairly level trail section that would return to the yellow trail and a return to the cars within our desired hike time. While not a bad trail section compared to many we hike on as a group, there was a fair amount of streambed walking on this blue trail. With recent rains filling the shallow streambeds and the humidity this might not have been an optimal trail route.
Eventually the blue trail connects up with a white trail that heads back towards the yellow loop and the return to the cars. We stopped briefly at the summit, where there’s a bench thoughtfully installed for visitors. The return to the cars was uneventful.
Total hike time at our leisurely pace including a rest stop at the summit was around 2.5 hours for the route we took.
The pamphlet for the Preserve warns about rattlesnakes and bears; we never saw a bear while the only snakes we saw were non-poisonous varieties.
Plenty of berry bushes were encountered along the way and raided for their supply of small tart berries.
I believe that every Daddy Long Legs in the 607 area code was observed to be hiking with us. Once Nancy H pointed them out to me I felt like we were in a bad 1950s era sci fi movie, with little bodies on invisible legs rushing across and along the trail as we walked.
We shared the trail with one trail runner and her dog; otherwise we were alone on the trails.
For those of you willing to take a little bit of a drive for a new hike location this was not a bad destination
You can see Nancy’s complete photo selection here
Wed July 14
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Mary
Lindsay Parsons Preserve, West Danby
Eight hikers and three dogs met in the parking lot of Lindsay Parson.
It was a warm and sunny day, uncomfortably so when out in the open. The humidity clung like to us like an outer layer of clothing, and the islands of shade were a welcome relief when crossing the open fields at the beginning and end of the hike.
Hikers set off out of the parking lot after a brief encounter with a dog walker, the only other hiker we saw on the trails during our time there.
The group found the main trails well mowed, which lessened the concerns about ticks.
Starting out on the blue trails from the parking area we soon made a stop at Coleman Lake, which was in much better shape than the last time I saw it after there’d been some recent earth-moving done around the lakes perimeter.
Leaving the lake we jumped onto the near-by red blazed trail, following that to the yellow trails that circle around some of the marshes on the more northerly end of the preserve. It was hre that we saw the only mud on the hike, which was not unexpected.
Back in the forest we transitioned to the orange trails that led the group across the railroad tracks. Once there the group completed the purple loop and re-traced our steps back across the fields to our cars. The hike came in exactly at the usual two hour mark.
As much as I tried to stop the group at major trail junctions we got split up at some point and we encountered part of our group coming from the opposite direction on the purple trails on the more Easterly side of the Preserve.
Gypsy moth activity was very obvious on the purple blazed trail portion.
With the humidity the smells and scents of the forests and fields were very pronounced on hike day. More than a few times I noticed how prominently the forest smells were presenting themselves during this hike.
Sat July 17
Sun July 18
Hikes cancelled — threat of T-storms