Report to Hikers — week of Aug 22 – Aug 29

Hello Hikers!

Tues Aug 23

Hike report and photos by Jim

Oakley Corners State Forest, Tioga County

Five hikers and one dog met in Tioga County for a hike of some of the trails in Oakley Corners State Forest

Let me start out this report by stating that unless you know the trail system there well, consider it to be something along the lines of the Hammond Hill trail system. This was my first time on these trails, and the only person in the group who had any  previous experience with this trail system was Norm.

We ended the day thinking that we had the system worked out, but who knows.

The DEC map I linked to in the hike announcement was barely helpful in that the trails are numbered, and that numbering system wasn’t reflected on the DEC map.

Norm later sent me these links

Oakley Corners State Forest, Owego Mountain Biking Trails | Trailforks

Oakley Corners State Forest (

Thanks for the links, Norm

Those linked maps do show the trail numbering system.

Overall this was an enjoyable hike; temperatures were pleasant under the forest canopy, and bugs while present were not intolerable. The group stayed with the more Southerly trail loops, as my primary sightseeing interest were the several ponds in that part of the forest. Its my understanding that if you want hikes with elevation gain, you should go with the more Northerly trail loops.

Being a weekday there were minimal numbers of other trail users; I’ve been told that on weekends this trail system sees a lot of use; for those who are concerned about possible covid exposures, plan your trip accordingly.

Much of the trail system we saw replicates many of the other trails we hike often; much In the way of stands of pines, some nicely flowing streams. Water levels were adequate. There were some stretches of muddy trail but nothing out of the ordinary. Lots and lots and lots of roots. This was a very root-y hike. Also, if you’re into ants, a tremendous number of ant mounds along the trails.

We stopped to check out the various small ponds that the southerly trail system circles. The largest of these was by far the most attractive ( and appeared to be the cleanest ). Norm stopped at a few to collect samples, which we dutifully documented for posterity.

We ended up running over the normal hike time, but that was as much caused by our unfamiliarity with the trails as anything else. All of the hikers agreed that it was a hike location worth returning to.

Addendum: The more southerly parking area on Hullsville Rd is not well-marked. The Google link I sent out in the original hike announcement is accurate, but unless you are actively looking for the parking lot, you’ll drive right by it as a couple of drivers in my group did ( myself included )


Wed Aug 24

Hike report by Jim

Bike trails, Shindagin Hiollow SF

Four people hiked the bike trails in Shindagin Hollow as well as a road walk to and from those bike trails.

This hike was supposed to be primarily a hike of the Shindagin Rim trail system

The weather was hot and humid, with many swarms of bugs to accompany the group. I think that this deterred many potential hikers from the Wednesday hike.

A road detour due to a bridge replacement along Central Chapel Rd the usual route to the trailhead confused some of the attending hikers, and the group waited several extra minutes in case there were late arrivals due to the detour

Walking down Shindagin Hollow RD, I missed the turn-off into the woods for the trail, and by the time we realized that the group was so far past the turn that we opted to walk to the other end of the trail and walk back from there.

Reaching the small parking area at the end of the rim trail, the group decided to take the side trail for the mountain bike trail rather than walk the Rim trail back to our cars.

The descent to the stream area went well, and a decent amount of water was flowing. Nothing so significant as to make crossing hazardous. The bike trail area was more pleasant than what i expected the Rim trail to be , probably due to its proximity to the stream. The bugs were much less of a problem as well.

The replacement gold shoe on the stump along this trail was still where we’d placed it a number of months ago.

Reaching the end of the trail we returned to Shindagin Hollow Rd and walked up the road back to our cars. Passing the parking lot at the end of the Rim trail the group opted to stay on the road and expedite our return to our cars. The missed turn onto the trail was observed and found to be overgrown; unless you were standing right next to it, it was easy to miss. Between the bugs and humidity and sun in the open areas of the road walk  it was less of an enjoyable hike than what we normally have on this particular hike.


Sat Aug 28

Hike report and photos by shesse. Additional photos by Cian

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home
Very grey and humid, mid 70s — I liked the atmospherics quite a bit — got two nasty mosquito bites. Six hikers didn’t make it into the group photo.
The group stayed together for about five minutes — by that point we’d formed into a super-fast group and a larger main group — the main group had falled behind just enough that they missed a turn-off
We all reunited about a half-hour later, up in the big Cornell horse fields
We were all happy to see each other
From the fields, we set out to cross Freese Road and check on the condition of the dramatic Varna cliffs — had they collapsed any more from the recent excess rains?
Forget that plan — the path in to the cliffs was completely overgrown — crawling with ticks and bees — so we turned back
We checked out the horse barns and paddocks and then headed back down the hill to the flood plain
The trail along Fall Creek
Spent the last half hour in the arboretum

Official head count: 17H, three D


Cian’s photos

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Aug 29

Hike report by Jim

Bock Harvey Forest Preserve and Riemen Woods, Enfield

Fifteen hikers and five dogs met for a hike of the Bock Harvey Preserve in Enfield

In comparison to recent days the weather was cool, with occasional breezes that helped make the hike more enjoyable

Hikers left the parking area, climbing the hill through fields of goldenrod and towards the shelter.

The path itself was slightly overgrown but not enough to cause a problem.

After pausing at the shelter for the group to consolidate, we pushed forward up the blue blazed trail towards the FLT.

Reaching the FLT we turned and hiked Westerly. Once at Porter Hill Rd we crossed the pavement and entered into the Rieman Woods. Quickly completing the short circuit of the FLT within Rieman Woods the group returned to Porter Hill Rd, at which time we walked up the road to meet the FLT again.

Re-entering the woods the group traveled Easterly along the FLT, through woods over streambeds and across fields, until we reached Rockwell Rd. It wasn’t until this very last stretch of trail that we encountered any mud, but as this stretch o0f trail is historically muddy, this was no surprise to me. Some people chose to call an early end to their hike here, while others walked Easterly on Rockwell to re-enter the woods and continue Easterly on the FLT until rehang Hines Rd before turning around.

The group encountered only a small number of other hikers and dogs along todays route.

It was an uneventful return trip to the cars.

Photos by shesse

Entrance to the lean-to grove
Arriving at Porter Hill Road on the outbound leg
Back onto Porter Hill Road after walking through Riemen Woods
Waiting for the others to catch up at Rockwell Road

Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here