Report to Hikers — week of Aug 16 – Aug 22

Hello Hikers!

Wed Aug 18

Rained out


Sat Aug 21

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

Comfort Road to Hill Road, Danby SF

13 hikers and 6 dogs met in the parking lit at the corner of Comfort and Bald Hill Roads, for  a hike of the FLT

Rain fell steadily before the hike started, but eased up as the group proceeded down the trail.

It was an overcast day, with a noticeable amount of humidity.

Stream crossings were obviously a little interesting today due to the quantity of recent rainfall. I personally got to a point where I simply decided that my feet were going to get wet no matter what I did, and so just proceeded across streams without regard to any effort to rock hop.

Other than some issues with slippery rocks and roots on the trail the trail surface was mostly enjoyable for me. Not as much mud as a person might expect given recent rains, and the bed of pine needles made for some comfortable mileage on my feet.

The group emerged from the trail at Michigan Hollow Rd and walked to Hill Rd to walk off the remaining hike time prior to turning around. Hill Rd turned out to have an uncomfortable level of washed out surfaces, including one part that is so damaged as to be impassible to vehicles.

After turning around the group hopped onto the FLT where it crosses Hill Rd and returned to Michigan Hollow Rd, without incident.

AS we made our way back up the trail the rain, which had diminished as we made our outbound leg of the hike, picked up in intensity until we were back near the lean-to area of the Trail.

Esps were out on the trail by the dozen, and at Diane’s Crossing the group had an encounter with a decently sized snake that made its escape before we could photograph it.

All things considered and despite the rain, I believe that the group had an enjoyable hike today.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Aug 22

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

Kennedy SF, Virgil

13 hikers and 5 dogs met for a hike of Kennedy State Forest in Cortland County

The weather was a good improvement from Saturdays hike, being warm and only a small but noticed amount of humidity as the hike progressed.

It should be noted that the logging of the past several months in this portion of the forest is done, and the parking are and the road beyond it have been left a ( for now ) well graveled and flat surface. A far cry from the muddy mess that just a few hikes ago at this location left a hikers car buried to the axle in mud.

Hikers set off down the trail from the parking area. My main concern for this section of trail is always the large number of roots; wet weather usually leaves them a slippery hazard, and today was no exception. Careful navigation around the many roots slows the hike down but is preferred to face planting.

The trail scenically proceeds along Rowland Creek for a short stretch, before starting to cross the Creek a couple of times. Neither crossing was particularly worrisome in terms of water flow or crossing difficulty. After those minor water crossings we arrived   to the first color coded fork in the trail; here the groups hike route diverges from the FLT and jumps onto the blue blazed Swedish Loop trail. There are no significant elevation gains or losses anywhere along this route, which is unusual for our hikes.

The walk through the hemlocks was enjoyable, with diffused light filtering down to the footpath except for a few short stretches where direct sunlight was observable off to the side of the Trail but not directly on the trail.

The Trail crosses over one of two of the recently created logging roads within the forest; time will eventually soften the mechanically created dirt roads.

Soon the hikers met the yellow-blazed Stockholm Cutoff Trail, which brings the group back to the FLT. Turning Westerly the group passed through the Two Creek bivouac site before crossing the earlier fork in the trail with the Swedish Loop.

The return trip to the cars was uneventful other than a quick encounter with other day hikers/ dog walkers.

The fast pace of this hike found the group arriving back at our cars at only 90 minutes; we previously extended this abbreviated  hike time by road-walking down Daisey Hollow Rd to where the FLT continues Westerly, but the Trail in that direction quickly comes to a significant water crossing that’s not well depicted on the FLT map that stops the groups progress on anything but a dry period where water levels have dropped. I will need to walk the FLT and Swedish Loops ahead of  our next hike of this area  to find an acceptable route that brings us closer to a normal two hour hike duration.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here