Report to Hikers — week of Aug 2 – Aug 8

Hello Hikers!

Tues Aug 3

Report and photos by shesse

Farm road walk — Chicken Coop Road, town of Hector, Schuyler County

Gorgeous morning , 63 when we started, lovely clouds and a nice cooling breeze

Jack V lives just a few minutes walk from where Chicken Coop Road begins. Where is (or was) the chicken coop the road was named after, I asked him. No one knows. But there is this wonderful barn just as the road begins that creates a great rural feeling.

I’ve never done this walk in summer, and it didn’t occur to me the big fields that flank the road in the first stretch would be grown up. In the off seasons they provide a delightful farm-country vista.

Normally this road is almost untraveled, since it doesn’t really go anywhere. But we had the bad luck to arrive during a ditch improvement project, and there was a good bit of heavy dump truck traffic back and forth. It did ruin the peaceful setting a little.

The road climbs steadily as it herads west toward the Finger Lakes National Forest, and the views to the east and south get really pleasing. You can see to the other side of the lake from the higher parts of the walk.

Despite the big trucks, I had a great time. There is just a fantastic country feeling to this neighborhood that I love.

Official head count: 7H, four D. Final temperature as we wrapped up: 72


Wed Aug 4

Hike report by Jim

Upper Treman SP — various trails

9 hikers and 3 dogs met on Woodard Rd outside of upper Robert Treman, for a hike of area trails.

Walking South on the FLT, the group soon encountered the CCC trail that connects the FLT to the parking area near the Old Mill inside Upper Treman. Most of the times the group has hiked the CCC trail its been from the opposite direction, so traversing the trail from the direction of the FLT was  a nice change for me.

Despite being the first week of August, normally a dry time of the year for area waterways, the wet summer we’ve had ensured a good quantity of water was flowing in Fish Kill Creek as we passed along it.

Once at the Old Mill the group passed over the bridge that crosses over Enfield Creek, and walked to the near-by trailhead for the Red Pine Trail.

In my time with the group we haven’t hiked this particular trail, although Stephen has since told me that in past earlier years this was one of the groups regular hike routes.

The Red Pine Trail, compared to other trails inside Robert Treman State Park, is a little more in a worn condition. The quantities of loose rocks encountered and the overall incline of the trail in places makes it a more difficult trail to hike on at anything faster than a very slow pace.

There’s an initial steep climb out of what used to be the Upper Treman camping area, long since converted to picnicking space; the trail passes through some nice stands of pines ( not surprising, given the trails name ). The middle portion of the trail is nicer than either end, with only moderate elevation gains and loss. Approaching the Gorge Trail, the Red Pine Trail makes a seriously steep plunge downhill, especially given the quantity of loose rocks encountered and overall poor trail conditions previously noted. This would be a good place to improve the trails footpath with a series of switchbacks, I would think.

Reaching the Gorge Trail the group took a minute to admire the waterway, then pointed towards Upper Treman and began the trek back towards the Old Mill via the Gorge Trail.

I used to race up and down this trail loaded down with tools and gear with hardly a thought in my early 20s; something seems to have happened to me in the intervening decades. The multitude of stone and wooden stairs are a slower trip than I remember.

We passed  a number of other day hikers enjoying the Gorge trail and the scenery around Lucifer Falls. We had encountered no other hikers on the CCC and Red Pine Trails.

Reaching the Old Mill the group jumped back onto the CCC trail, returning to the FLT. Since the hike had taken the group much less time than I had originally planned, some of us turned South on the FLT, continued across the wooden bridge over Fish Kill Creek and onwards to Butternut Creek Rd. Once on Butternut Creek Rd the group walked to Van Ostrand Rd before turning around and re-tracing our steps back to our cars. This resulted in a total hike time a few minutes short of the desired two hour hike time.

Since the group hadn’t done this particular route in a long while, I hadn’t really known what to expect as far as an accurate assessment for hike duration. If I were to do it again I would have hiked South on the Gorge trail along the stream for a few minutes to burn up some time. The appeal of this hike was primarily in its newness for most of the current group of hikers. I might keep it in reserve as a very infrequent  back-up hike, but in the interest of hiker safety I think that the condition of parts of the Red Pine Trail really preclude me from using that trail as a regular hike location for the group.


Sat Aug 7

Reports by Leigh Ann and Jim. Photos by Cian and shesse

Morning hike through Treman SP — Cook-out at Roger’s

Hi, everyone.Jim and I agreed to write two hike reports about this morning’s hike at Lower Treman because, as is usual for this annual hike before the hiker cookout at Roger Beck’s, the group got very spread out.

The nine hikers and one dog started from the FLT parking lot on 13, crossed under 13 and stayed on the FLT for a bit. Then we came to what might be the funniest and best-bang-for-the buck piece of advertising ever: a green trail marker on which someone had written an arrow and “ice cream” with a sharpie. The arrow pointed at a little side trail that ended up at the mothership of Dennis’s Ice Cream (right where 13 and 34 separate), which, sadly, was not open yet. It was sad because the day was already quite hot and humid. This was by about 9:45.

Because it was hot and humid, the cliff of insanity on the FLT just to the west of the picnic shelter where we had last summer’s socially distanced hiker picnic was not as appealing as usual. So, we collectively chose to get onto the Treman State Park rim trail, took that west to the bridge that crosses the creek, and came back on the gorge trail.

By the time we got down into the gorge, the day was warm and hazy, like a North Alabama day in June. This is where we got so spread out that we were hiking in our own little groups.

From the gorge trail, we saw at least a dozen people enjoying splashing around in the stream, or walking slowly up the stream bed, or sitting in the stream under one of the many small waterfalls. The trail became more populated the closer we got to the lower falls parking lot. When the advance trio of hikers from our group arrived at this parking lot, it was packed. Not in a bad way: more in a collectively effervescent way.

Thoughts on the cook-out

Speaking of collective effervescence, the hiker’s cook-out at Roger’s was popping with it. The whole summer feels different after it for me, in a good way. Roger and Gunilla have such beautiful flowers around their ponds, the cooking crews did such a tasty and big job, and it’s always so fun to taste everyone’s favorite potluck dishes. Most of all, it was great to see people I haven’t gotten to see in the past 17 months and catch up. The weather was warm and nice, and it was a great, mellow time. Thank you, Roger and Gunilla, for your hospitality, and to everyone who headed up the cooking and set-up.
Best wishes,Leigh Ann 

Cian’s photos:

You can see Cian’s complete album here


Jim’s report:

8 hikers and 1 dog met at the FLT pull-off near Shady Corners at the base of Newfield Hill, where State Routes 13 and 34/96 split.

This hike was announced at the parking lot as being unusual from our normal hikes, as I expected some hikers to leave early to attend Rogers picnic near-by.

The group set off on the FLT, entering lower Robert Treman State Park.

An oddity we noticed and commented on almost immediately was a short stretch of trail on the flats that has had some water intrusion. This stretch of trail, normally dry, was wet from water runoff from the surrounding hillside.

The group proceeded up the first short hill from the lower flatlands of the park camping area; after that the trail continues a gradual climb until it reaches and crosses the access road to the YMCA camp.

A short distance further up the FLT we encountered the side trail that runs off into the distance, offering the hiker a chance to buy some ice cream. As it was a hot and muggy day and we’ve never explored that trail, we followed it to Dennis’ Ice Cream at Decker Pond. Unfortunately the ice cream place was closed, so we returned empty handed to the FLT and proceeded Westerly.

Reaching the YMCA camp I made the decision to alter the hike, leave the FLT and jump onto the near-by Rim Trail for a change of surroundings from our normal FLT hike.

The group proceeded up the Rim Trail, meeting a few day hikers and having an enjoyable hike ourselves.

Reaching the turn-around time the rest of the group chose to proceed onwards for a few extra minutes of hiking, while I opted to remain behind waiting for their return. The rest of the group in fact did not turn around and continued on for a loop hike; I’m having Leigh Ann document this part of their hike separately.

After waiting a few minutes and not seeing the group returning, I continued onwards, running into Cian along the way. We continued on the Rim Trail until we reached the bridge below Lucifer Falls that connects the Rim and Gorge Trails. We opted to cross the bridge and take the Gorge Trail back to the lower park.

Here the frequency of other hikers  on the trail picked up, with numerous observed swimmers, day hikers, dog walkers etc

The Gorge Trail was very attractive as it proceeded along the waterway. Stopping to dip my hat in the running stream gave some relief from the heat of the day. I was extremely surprised at the number of people I saw on the trails who brought no obvious hydration supplies with them.

Reaching the lower park area we walked back to our cars and headed to the picnic at Rogers. Total hike time was about thirty minutes longer than our normal two hour duration.

There is some retaining wall and footbridge damage along the Gorge Trail. A couple of trees on the park trails requiring sawyer work were observed, but nothing that posed a hazard to hikers.

Report on the cook-out

Arriving at Rogers I found the party well under way. Chicken and other various food items were available in quantities to suit anyone’s tastes. Multiple cold beverage options were also available. A few hardy souls braved the cooler temperatures of the pond to swim. Clusters of people spread around the yard, the buzz of numerous conversations going on throughout the day.

As the afternoon wore on the bulk of the attendees slowly left, leaving a dozen or so remaining people along  with a good number of their dogs standing by. Roger broke out the clams as the final food course of the picnic; those were quickly decimated to everyone’s satisfaction.

While people came and went through out the party, I could not get an accurate head count. I can safely estimate attendance at 61 people, but I am sure that even that number is too low for the actual number of hikers and family members present throughout the afternoon

shesse photos:

The chicken crew — Jack V, Bud, Randy and Eckhart
Only the toughest people went in


Cian photos:

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Aug 8

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

Bob Cameron Loop, Connecticut Hill WMA

Eight people met at the radio tower on Tower Rd on Connecticut Hill for a hike of the Bob Cameron Loop Trail.

It was a great day to hike; not quite as warm nor as muggy as Saturday.

The group set off down the trail from Tower Rd; reaching the split in the FLT and the Cameron Loop, we veered off to follow the orange blazed trail. Despite recent rains the trail was not hazardous at all; damp but not muddy on the downhills. Given my past history of wiping out on the downhill portions of this trail it is always a concern for me. There were  a few sections of muddy trail along the way, but nothing that constituted a hazard to the hikers.

Lighting conditions were excellent, with the forest being well lit and a play of shadows and light from the sunlight coming to the forest floor from above.

I’ve always found most of this route to be an enjoyable mix of minor hills and flat areas. The majority of the footpath on the loop is a nice bed of needles, which I’ll take any day over a sometimes active streambed that’s filled with loose rocks or roots.

Water crossings were not difficult; while there was some minimal amounts of water flowing, it was not in such a quantity to create hazards.

Coming up out of the ravines on the return leg of the hike there was a nice breeze that made the hike more enjoyable.

The group moved along at a good pace that found ourselves back on Tower Road after only 90 minutes. We crossed the road and plunged into the woods on the FLT, quickly making a thirty minute out and back hike there to burn up our remaining hike time

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here