Tues July 27
Hike report and photos by Jim
Carson Road to the Woodchuck Hollow Lean-to on the FLT, Virgil
Six hikers and 1 dog set off on the FLT from Carson Rd in the Town of Virgil, headed Northerly towards the Woodchuck Hollow Lean-to.
The trail initially rises from Carson Rd at a steady pace. Passing by the remnants of an old stone wall, the footpath is a comfortable walking surface of layers of old leaves. The trail passes close to one of the recent DEC logging efforts, but not too close to the trail as with the Kuzia cut-off in near-by Kennedy Forest.
It was a great day for a hike, with the sun shining down through the layers of leaves, creating a patchwork of light and shadow on the forest floor.
Soon after passing the stone wall hikers had to clamber over the first of many recent blow-downs that are obstructing the trail in this area.
Reaching the crest of the hill the trail begins a gradual plunge downhill, the surrounding forest transitioning to stands of pine trees, and the footpath surface transitioning to layers of old needles.
There are quite a few stream crossings in this stretch, some are entirely dry, some with minimal amounts of water flowing, but none so full as to make the stream crossing difficult.
A couple sections of muddy footpath were also encountered along this portion of trail, but nothing seemed excessive or out of the norm from what we’ve come to expect from other local trails.
The trail soon comes to a split, with a blue blazed trail heading Northwest while the FLT continues Southwest. The group continued on the FLT, which skirted a fairly decent sized streambed for much of the remaining trail distance before the Woodchuck Hollow Lean-to.
Reaching the lean-to the group paused for a group picture.
Continuing onwards beyond the lean-to, the group reached the other end of the blue blazed trail. Hiker June agreed to lead the group for the return leg of the journey, allowing me to backtrack and photograph several areas I’d seen along the trail.
I returned to Carson RD and found several members of the group waiting for me; they reported that the blue blazed trail on the map did not conform to the trail on the ground, resulting in the group having to backtrack and take an alternate route to get back to the cars. I will keep this in mind for any future group hikes of the area.
I enjoyed this hike and will consider it for a hike location for the remainder of the group. The parking situation on Carson Rd will likely dictate that this be a Wednesday hike with a lower number of hikers participating.
Wed July 28
Hike report and photos by Jim
Texas Hollow SF, Bennetsburg
Seven hikers met in Schuyler County for a hike of the FLT in Texas Hollow.
It was a cool but sunny day.
The trail was slightly muddy in areas but not too bad.
The open meadow near the pond was overgrown, the footpath not having been mowed back recently.
Portions of the FLT we passed through were somewhat overgrown, prompting me to focus the hike mainly on the blue blazed trail that loops around one of the bogs.
The hikers set off on the FLT from the parking area, passing through the first woods walk portion with little difficulty. Walking through the overgrown grasses by the pond the group soon came upon and took the blue blazed loop that travels through stands of evergreens, the forest floor a cushion of evergreen needles.
Soon a short hike the group came to the junction where the blue blazed trail rejoins the FLT
Crossing a few small but flowing streams the group soon was climbing the hill out of Texas Hollow.
Reaching the hour mark the group turned around, re-tracing our steps back to the blue blazed side trail which we again hiked in preference to the much more overgrown FLT.
Passing the small pond again, the group walked to Texas Hollow Rd for a short road walk back to our cars.
Sat July 31
Hike report by Leigh Ann. Photos by Cian
Logan Hill Preserve, Candor
Eleven hikers and two dogs met at the Candor middle/high school parking lot on Saturday morning to hike in Logan Hill Preserve. It was a cool, clear day that looked like high summer and felt like early fall.
We hiked southwesterly on Water Road, which turns into Logan Hill Road where it becomes a steep, seasonal, one-lane road – one that’s much better for hikers and the occasional ATV than for a car. The steepest part of this roughly 4.2-mile hike is front-loaded on this stretch of Logan Hill Road.
About a mile into the hike, Logan Hill Road makes a 90 degree turn to the west, and about 100 feet past the turn is the eastern trailhead. The well-marked yellow trail heads north from the road through deciduous forest. Then the trail heads up through wide fields with beautiful ponds and enters hemlock forest. The trail winds around at the edge of a small gorge and turns back to the south. Then the forest becomes deciduous again, and the trail comes out at the top of another beautiful field with views of hills to the southeast. The trail returns to Logan Hill Road about 1/2 mile west of the eastern trailhead. Because this is a lollypop-shaped hike, the last mile of it is a long, lovely downhill on the same stretch of Logan Hill Road/Water Road that we came in on.
Fair-weather cumulus came in over the course of the hike, but the weather never got hot, and the views from the fields at the top of the hill were expansive. There hadn’t been rain for a few days, but there clearly had been a lot of rain before then. The undergrowth in the forest wasn’t dusty, so it shone in the sun. Tiny toads were hopping all over the place in the woods, and mushrooms were everywhere.
When we returned to the cars, Cian mentioned that there’s a goat dairy called Side Hill Acres about 3/4 miles from the school. Many of us drove over to the little store, which is a neat place to visit after a Saturday hike.
Best wishes,Leigh Ann
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Sun Aug 2
Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian
Dabes Diversion Loop, Cortland County
Ten hikers and two dogs set off on the Dabes diversion loop in Cortland County.
It was a warm, sunny day throughout the hike.
The threat of rain is the distance came in the form of far-away thunder, but no rain fell and darker clouds in the distance did not appear until the hike was completed.
The trail was dry throughout, with minimal amounts of water to contend with in the water crossings.
There was little to no mud on the footpath, and the dry bed of old needles and relative lack of roots on much of the trail made for a comfortable hike; those and the weather all combined to make a particularly fast hike pace for the group today. The group finished the hike with a good fifteen minutes left, but no one complained about ending the hike early.
Hikers made the first gradual ascent on the diversion loop to the observation point by the field, which was particularly enjoyable today due to the clear skies. This first portion of the hike to the observation point is one of my favorites.
The group then followed the FLT to the Kuzia cut-off. Here the recent handiwork of the CTC sawyer crews was obvious to everyone, as the trail wound through the large numbers of recent blowdowns was efficiently cleared of debris.
Once clear of the Kuzia cut-off the group made its way back to our cars, another hike successfully completed.
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here