Report to Hikers — week of Aug 30 – Sept 5

Hello Hikers!

Tues Aug 31

Hike report by Jim

Connecticut Hill Rd and Cabin Rd, Town of Newfield

Seven hikers and four dogs met at the junction of Connecticut Hill Rd and Cabin Rd in the Town of Newfield. The FLT crosses Connecticut Hill Rd a short distance away, but the parking area at the trail crossing can only accommodate a couple of vehicles; it was easier to meet at Cabin Rd and walk the short distance to the FLT.

The weather was perfect for hiking, with little in the way of humidity, some decent temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

As the FLT leaves Connecticut Hill Rd and heads West towards the Schuyler County line, hikers found themselves to be walking through one of the stands of CCC pine tree plantations that we often find on state forest land. This particular stretch of trail is pleasant to hike on, and is a gradual descent down the Southwest corner of Connecticut Hill.

Eventually the Trail takes a turn to the South and hikers found ourselves walking in a gentle arc through a section of hardwood trees. There were some short stretches of mud in this part of the hike, but nothing too bad.

Finally, just before reaching Todd Rd, the Trail comes out into a small open field that was bursting with goldenrod on the day of our hike.

Crossing Todd Rd, it’s a short jog to the North to pick up the continuation of the FLT. Passing through some fairly significantly sized boulders, hikers soon found ourselves at a split in the trail between the FLT and the Easterly end of the Van Lone Loop Trail.

Hikers jumped onto the Van Lone Trail, gradually descending towards the flowing stream below us.

Eventually the Van Lone travels along the streambed; before reaching Todd Rd again, there is an unofficial side trail that crosses the stream and comes out onto a small bivouac area identified by the stone benches and fire pit found there.

The group stopped at the bivouac area and then took a short trail back to Todd Rd.

I had intended to walk Todd Rd back to the FLT crossing, but Randy and Nancy were on the hike and volunteered to show the group some of their unofficial trails they hike in the area that lead back towards Connecticut Hill Rd. Taking them up on the offer we found ourselves following old rutted wagon trails as we climbed Connecticut Hill Rd back towards our cars. The group stopped periodically to examine various fungi and mushrooms, of which there were multiple examples.

Stopping at a small homestead cemetery we examined the worn engravings and then continued on towards Connecticut Hill Rd and our vehicles.

The group seemed to enjoy this new ( to the group ) section of the FLT, and I think that I will be adding it to our roster of regular hike locations


Wed Sept 1

Hike report by Jim

Mulholland Wildflower Preserve toward Potter’s Falls, north side of Six Mile Creek

Nine hikers and 3 dogs met in the parking lot of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve in the city of Ithaca. Parking was somewhat constricted because of the heavy equipment associated with an unfinished construction project that is underway ( but not actively being worked on ) in the Preserve area.

It was a cool but sunny day, with rain predicted for later in the day after the hike. Weather during the hike was pretty much perfect, however.

The group set off down the trail; Six Mile Creek was flowing well as we walked along its bank.

The group moved at a pretty good pace and soon we found ourselves turning off onto the blue blazed side trail that climbs the bank to the graveled road that serves as an access road to Second Dam.

After a short break the group continued onwards; arriving at the Second Dam Jack V led part of the group out onto a promontory overlooking the dam area.

The group continued on to the open field area that overlooks the southern end of the Second Dam reservoir. There we climbed the hill to the memorial bench that oversees the Second Dam area, and then turned around.

The group re-traced our steps to the parking lot, then crossed Giles Street and took the access path to the “ Businessman’s Lunch” nature area around Wells Falls. As always that area was impressive for being in the heart of the city of Ithaca. The trash situation around the falls had some of us discussing taking a morning to go into the Falls area with trash bags to do a clean-up.

There was  a fair amount of other hikers/ dog walkers on the trails today; not unexpected, given the trails location within the City of Ithaca.


Thu Sept 3

Hike report and photos by shesse

Farm country road walk — N Shuler Road, Schuyler County
Fantastic way to kick off what I hope will be a much cooler month than last. 59 when we shaped up, quite breezy — we all wore jackets. Gorgeous setting of rolling hills and sweeping fields
Amazing cloud formations and sun & shade effects
This walk is full of great long views — very few houses, almost no traffic
The buildings in the background look picturesque and peaceful, but when you get up close it smells pretty awful — seems to be a pig farm.
A wonderful mix of atmospherics and scenery
Early apples. Much too sour for me
One hiker arrived late and didn’t know which way we’d gone. She walked on another road and had a great time. We were happy to meet up near the end of the walk.

Official head count: 6H, three D


Sat Sept 4

Hike report by shesse. Photos by Tiger

Lindsay Parsons Preserve, West Danby
This place used to be a paradise of color and fragrance in early September. The entire main field area of the preserve would be thickly covered with goldenrods in bloom, and the sight and smell was intoxicating.
Then, some years back, we’d arrive on the right day and find the fields had been freshly cropped down to a two-inch height. I used to be really bummed out, but Tiger now theorizes the goal was to increase the diversity of the area, and avoid overwhelming dominance by one plant that some people view as just an annoying weed.
This time we actually saw the mower at work in the distance. One benefit of the scalping is that it created a nice visual pattern.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining too much — this is always a great place for a walk.
Look at how beautiful the scene was Saturday, even without much goldenrod.
Luckily, a few years back we discovered a small side trail where the goldenrod doesn’t get chopped down every year, and we’re now able to do a short but very satisfying swing through this.
But it is a dead-end loop and we have to come back to the parking lot to start the main walk.
Here we are at the viewing area over the lake. Lovely spot, but we never have time to linger because of the demands of our schedule.
Almost back to the final stretch through the big fields again. Tiger and I were both feeling very overheated and sweaty as we climbed up the last hills, and complaining about how oppressive it was. Then, after we’d been in the car for a few minutes on the way home, the car thermometer settled at 71. Weird that we found the final stretch so overheated.

Official head count: 21H, five D


Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Sept 5

Hike report by Jim. Photos by Cian

The Pinnacles look-out from Bald Hill Road

18 hikers and 3 dogs ( including late arrivals ) met at the junction of Station Road and Bald Hill Rd, for a hike of part of the Abbott Loop in Danby State Forest.

Weather was intermittent rain and a general overcast gloom during the hike. Despite the weather very little of the hike involved walking through areas of mud as is sometimes the case.

Hikers set off down the seasonal portion of Bald Hill Rd; making the initial climb from the flats, he group quickly  encountered the  Abbott Loop turn to the West that leads to the Pinnacles. That climb was steady but enjoyable; the group soon dispersed on the upwards climb, some members of the group never catching up with the main body again. Soon the group found itself at the Pinnacles. Visibility was not too good, so after a brief pause for  a partial group photo we were soon pressing onward and down the other side of the mountain.

Reaching the more Southerly crossing point of the Abbott Loop on Bald Hill Rd, the group split into two elements, with half choosing to turn around and re-trace their route back to the cars via the Pinnacles. I took the second group and set off North on Bald Hill Rd, intending to take the Abbott Loop to the East when we reached that more Northerly loop crossing.

My group soon reached the Northerly crossing of the Abbott Loop across Bald Hill Rd. Turning East we were soon hiking downwards along the streambed. Crossing over the waterway the group climbed the hill on the opposite side. We soon reached the junction of the Abbott Loop with the Dove Trail. Jumping onto the Dove Trail we took that to its terminus on Bald Hill Rd near where we parked our cars. A few minutes later the Pinnacles group arrived at the cars, another hike successfully completed.

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here