Report to Hikers — week of Nov 22 — Nov 28

Hello Hikers!

Wed Nov 24

Hike report by Jim

Dryden Rail Trail, Varna section

14 hikers and 2 dogs met on the unsigned service road to the Stevenson Rd solar farm, for a walk of the recently opened Varna section of the Dryden Rail Trail, as well as a portion of the Monkey Run trail system.

As with most rail trails, this is a wide and fairly level of former railroad bed, better than a road walk but not as enthralling for me as a walk on the FLT through a favorite section of woods

On this particular hike we’d had our first snow accumulation the previous day, and already there was a glazing and surface irregularity to the snow-covered footpath due to others using the multi-use trail.

Soon enough we veered off the rail trail and entered the Monkey Run trail system. This was one of our more commonly hiked sections, but on this particular day we were hiking I in the opposite direction from what we normally do. Things in the woods still have a way of looking different if you just take the time to look at them from a different vantage point.

Coming out onto the Monkey Run parking area we crossed over and back into the woods, and followed the orange blazed trail on that side back to the Rail Trail.

The group took the Rail Trail until the Rte 13 crossing, at which time we turned around and walked back on the Rail Trail to our cars, without incident.


Sat Nov 27

Hike report by Nancy L

Architectural walk, downtown Ithaca and Cornell, with our retired architect Randy

25 people and 2 dogs gathered in Ithaca on Esty between Albany and Plain street to tour Ithaca and the Western slope of the Cornell campus to look at registered historical buildings.   The ones we visited are of course only some of the ones listed.  There are descriptions on Wikipedia of the buildings: _of_Historic_Places_listings_in_Tompkins_County,_New_York
We compiled a list of the buildings we hoped to visit though we didn’t have time to visit many of the registered buildings at Cornell.  Here is that list:

We first toured in the downtown area managing to stop by those historical buildings listed above that we’re downtown.   Next we headed up a combination of Cascadilla Park Road and short cuts between its bends to Stewart Ave.  From there we  proceeded uphill to the Deke and Telleride houses.  We climbed the rest of the hill to Morrill Hall, one of the earliest “newly constructed” buildings on campus.  The walking was more leisurely on the way over to A.D. White House, the home of Cornell’s first president.  After that, we took in a view from the slope and then headed down to Llenroc, the residence of Cornell’s founder, Ezra Cornell (along with Andrew Dickson White).  It’s a mansion on spacious grounds hidden away on a cul de sac. Most of us headed back through the neighboring cemetery to Cascadilla Park road and along the sidewalks by the creek to the cars.

You can see photos of the buildings the group looked at here


Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here


Sun Nov 28

Hike report by Jim

Groton village trail system

18 hikers and 2 dogs met on Spring Street Extension in the Town of Groton for a hike of the Groton village trail system.

There was light snow falling, with a minimal accumulated amount of loose powdery snow on the ground. While it was a generally overcast day it was still enjoyable to look out over the valley at the hills on the opposite side towards Cortland County

The hike starts out from the parking area across open fields before plunging into the woodline.

The trail is initially what appears to be a former logging road that makes its way through the undulating hillside quite nicely. Soon enough the group turned down the hill, starting our first loop through the woods to the West of Sovocool Hill Rd. Theres a very bizarre ( to me ) portion of this part of the trail where the footpath follows a utility right of way, resulting in a hiker being able to almost reach up and touch the utility lines where they run up the hill. A switchback away from the power lines would be better at this point in the hike.

Taking a side trail, the group crossed Sovocool Hill Rd and completed a small loop that included a short portion of the Groton High School track. Returning to the woods, the group completed that loop before returning to Sovocool Hill Rd.

Crossing Sovocool Hill Rd the trail splits again, following a very nice ravine area that had a decent amount of water flowing today. That trail arc brings hikers through some nice stands of pines before returning hikers to the original old logging roadf section of trail that leads back to the parking area.

The trails themselves are well-marked with wooden name placards as well as red trail discs, although the trail names do not appear on the map posted at the trailheads and on-line.

It was good to have long time Ithaca Hiker Casey Creamer hiking with the group again today. Welcome back Casey!


Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s complete photo album here