Report to Hikers — week of July 19 – July 25

Hello Hikers!

Tues July 20

Hike report and photos by Jim

Morgan Hill SF, Onondaga County

Four hikers met at the Spruce Pond parking lot on Herlihy Rd in the Morgan Hill State Forest, for a hike via the FLT/ NCT to the hang glider launch area that overlooks Labrador Pond in the Onondaga County Forest

Spruce Pond itself was extremely nice; near-by logging activities have not marred the ponds immediate surroundings. A decent breeze, the croaking of frogs in the pond, etc were a good atmospheric start to the hike.

The immediate stretch of trail was pleasant; very quickly hikers meet a fork in the trail, with the blue blazed FLT/ NCT going in a westerly  direction and the Fellows Hill Loop headed Northerly. Once past the fork in the trail its  a pretty steady slog up the hill for a short while. Once things leveled out a bit the group encountered some fairly wet, extremely muddy stretches of trail. As the trail eventually dipped towards a stream crossing the muddy trail transitioned  in some places to running streams of water. All part of a good day on the trail….

Once past the water crossing there were some additional muddy spots and smaller up and downhill sections, but nothing equal to the earlier hill climb.

Eventually the trail breaks out onto the hang glider launch area. There was some haze in the air today, so the view was not as clear or impressive as my last time at the site, but it was still quite enjoyable. We spoke a while with a section hiker we found at the overlook, and he was kind enough to get a group picture of us.

Leaving the overlook area we returned to the trail and began the return trek to our cars. We encountered a few other day hikers along the return hike.

Reaching the fork in the trail one hiker opted to end their hike there; the hike to that point had taken just a little over our normal two hour hike time. The rest of us opted to take in the views along at least part of the  Fellows Hill Loop. The route proved to be fairly easy, with minimal elevation gain or loss. The waterfalls were flowing well with water, and we stopped along the way to take several pictures.

Reaching Herlihy Rd a couple of us opted to road walk back to our cars; one hiker chose to hike on solo in order to complete the loop.

Overall a very good hike location that more of the group should take the time to check out. It was well worth the additional travel time. Thanks to Leigh Ann for suggesting this particular route to me.


Wed July 21

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Tiger/shesse

Groton Loop Trail

Seven hikers and three dogs met on the 700 block of Spring Street in the Town of Groton for a hike of the Groton Loop Trail. This is a fairly new trail system that’s been created  just outside of the village of Groton. So new in fact that the person behind the trails creation a couple of years ago emailed me before our hike to advise me that a new portion of trail had just been created that wouldn’t be on the trail map. I had not had the opportunity to pre-hike the trail, so this was an exploratory hike for myself as well as the rest of the group.

The group set off from the trailhead parking lot, climbing a short hill that offered a look out across the valley occupied by Groton Village, to the hills on the opposite side.

Entering the forest the trail initially follows what must have been originally an old logging road. Soon enough the trail splits into two parts away from the logging road, with one trail leading down the hill and another up the hill. New signs with the various trail names assist hikers who did not bring a  trail map with them.

The group followed the lower trail, soon coming to another fork in the trail offering different directions of travel. The group opted for a fork that offered the possibility of a loop through the woods rather than what I believe is a direct path to Groton Village.

Continuing through the woods on what is now a wider trail footpath, hikers pass over several small water crossings that are shallow enough that they are probably entirely dried up in normal times.

There are some nice parts of the trail that pass through tall stands of trees. Berry bushes are plentiful, although the group was a week or two too early to be able to harvest more than  a handful of ripened berries.

We passed through a couple of additional forks in the trail, eventually coming out on the lower end of Sovocool Hill Rd at the Groton Village line. Thinking that we were at a higher road crossing on the map we looked for the trail to continue across Sovocool Hill Rd so we could complete a smaller loop above the area of the high school. Not finding a trail on the opposite side of the road we returned to the woods, re-traced our steps on the trail and took another fork in the trail that led up Sovocool Hill itself.

In this stretch of trail there are the most significant elevation gains we found on todays hike, as the trail follows the utility right of way. Having a utility line running directly above your head nearly within arms reach was a bit of a unique experience for me.

Eventually the group found the portion of trail that did cross Sovocool Hill Rd, but opted to continue our uphill climb along a quickly running stream that that portion of trail was then by.

Completing the climb up Sovocool Hill we followed the trail as it leveled out and returned to the entry point to the trail system by our cars.

Cutting out the lower loop, combined with out stops for map consults and rest breaks, todays hike  clocked in at just around fifteen minutes short of our regular hike duration. Anyone wishing to retrace our route should plan on crossing Sovocool Hill Rd and completing the lower loop to bring your hike time out to the standard two hour duration. Due to the newness of the trail system, hikers should plan on encountering some portions of trail that might not be as refined as trails that have been around for a longer time period. Overall, it was still a good hike.


Sat July 24

Hike report by Jim. Photos by shesse and Cian

Upper Treman SP, FLT from Woodard Road to Hines Road and beyond, Enfield

Sixteen hikers and six dogs met on Woodard Rd for a hike of the FLT towards Hines Rd.

Some hikers opted for  a road walk of surrounding roads rather than the FLT.

The main body of hikers plunged into the woods. The surrounding undergrowth was bountiful, with several blow downs across the trail to liven up the hike. Mud in some places along the trail, but nothing that was unexpected. The worst stretch of mud was around the Treman Center, a stretch that is historically very muddy

Hikers reached Rockwell Rd without incident, and due to the amount of poison ivy encountered along the trail opted to road walk Hines Rd back to Woodard Rd. Once on Woodard the trail hikers reunited with the road walkers for the last stretch of hike time.

Once back at our cars the group had some hiking time left and opted to take the FLT in the opposite direction, towards the CC trail, to burn up the last few minutes.


You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun July 25

Hike report by Jim. Photos by shesse and Cian

Jim Schug Trail, Dryden

Ten hikers and three dogs met at the parking area on Lake RD for a hike of the Jim Schug Trail towards Dryden Village

Temperatures were moderate, and after an early morning rain shower I wasn’t sure that the rain would hold off during the hike.

It did in fact not rain, although some of us came prepared with wet weather gear for that possibility.

The outbound leg saw an overcast sky, but by the time the group had turned around to head back to our cars the sun had come out and it was a pleasant return walk.

Use of the trail by others was light; I saw more deer on and along the trail on this hike  than I saw people outside of our own group.


You can see Cian’s complete photo album here