Wed Dec 1
Hike report by Jim
Stewart Park, Renwick Woods and Newman Golf Course
15 hikers and 4 dogs met in Stewart Park near the recently restored boathouse, for a walk around the bird sanctuary, the golf course, Lighthouse Point, and onwards to the Farmers Market. The skies were clear, with an excellent view down the lake.
Crossing the first foot bridge, the group turned into the bird sanctuary now known as Renwick Wildwoods. Moving at a quick pace to stay warm on a cool morning, the group made a quick loop within the Wildwoods before returning to the boardwalk and continuing over the second footbridge.
Turning into the golf course the group skirted the greens and the flocks of birds occupying the fringes. We soon arrived at the entrance to the Lighthouse Point area. This area was a little muddy, but the shallow pools were easily passed.
A quick walk to the end of the jetty where the lighthouse is located, and we were soon back on firm ground and making a loop around the remainder of the golf course.
As we walked we looked at the on-going construction in the area; this particular part of town was a frequent destination for my family when we visited friends who were still living in the area into the 1970s; it looks nothing as it did back then.
The group crossed over the footbridge leading to the farmers market area.
Walking past the Market the group continued on, arriving at the CU and IC boathouses before turning around to re-trace our path back to Stewart park and our cars.
A warm welcome to Paul, on his first hike with the group!
Photos by shesse
And here’s a final photo from an unusual angle — hiker Sabine happened to be walking along toward Cass Park on the other side of the inlet, when she noticed the group walking along the pier:
Sat Dec 4
Hike report by Jim
Shindagin Hollow SF Rim Trail
24 hikers and 3 dogs gathered at the end of the maintained portion of Shindagin Hollow Rd, for a hike of the rim and bicycle trails in that area.
Upon arriving I had spoken to some dog walkers who were in the process of leaving the area, in order to find out what trail conditions were like.
The morning was cool, and the seasonal portion of Shindagin Hollow Rd ahead of us was already glazed over with patchy ice. The sides of the road still bore random piles of snow that had already melted away in other parts of the county. Foot traction was worn by some, although not entirely necessary.
The group set off down Shindagin Hollow Rd before turning into the Rim Trail. There was little mud, although water was flowing freely across or down the trail in a few places, sustaining random pools of mud that had to be skirted. Cool air blew towards the hikers from the depths of the valley below us. The sun shone down, bright but offering no real warmth. The air was clear, offering excellent views to the other side of the gorge area and the path ahead.
Arriving at the Jeep Trail parking lot the lead group found that about a third of the group had fallen substantially behind. After a short while we proceeded ahead, jumping onto the bicycle trail that leads down into the gorge and the water crossing there. A substantial amount of water was flowing downstream, but a thoughtful pattern of hop scotching rocks offered the group a dry path to the path on the opposite shoreline.
My group of hikers continued onwards; the heavy leaf cover and lack of blazing forcing me to rely more on memory of past hikes than is normal. On most of this section the footpath stands out from the surrounding area, but at one small water crossing I lost the path and had to do a little searching before continuing onwards.
Proper homage was given at the stump with the golden shoe, which the group had replaced after the preceding shoe was removed earlier this year. I’m always curious on this hike to see if the shoe remains, or has been taken again since our last walk through the area.
Reaching Gulf Creek Rd some of the hikers in my party opted to turn around and make an out-and-back hike through the woods. The remainder continued down Gulf Creek Rd to Shindagin Hollow Rd for a road walk back to our cars. There we met the second half of the full group, who had chosen to make a road walk of the remaining hike rather than walk the bike trails as my group had done. That subset of hikers continued down the road awhile before turning around and joining us on the slog up the hill back to the parking area.
Photos by Cian
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Sun Dec 5
Hike report by Jim
Owl Creek Trail and Rim Trail, Buttermilk Falls SP
There were multiple late arrivals for this hike, but I am fairly certain that the count below is an accurate final accounting for both hikers and dogs
28 hikers and 6 dogs met at Buttermilk Falls State Park for a hike of the Owl Creek and Rim Trails.
The question came up during the hike as to whether the waterway the Owl Creek Trail follows is actually “Owl Creek”. I’ve done some internet searching at home after the hike and there is apparently an officially named Owl Creek waterfall along the route, which I was unaware of:
The state park map does not name the waterway on the official park map
Buttermilk Falls State Park Trail Map (ny.gov)
but it does answer Rogers question about where the Owl Creek waterway leads once its on the flats.
The group set off from the lower Buttermilk Falls parking lot, walking up the asphalt roadway towards the camping area. Turning onto the Owl Creek Trail the group was soon churning its way up the hill. This particular trail always gives me a good work-out with its various up-hill sections and occasional and very welcome flat stretches. Today was no different.
Following the green trail discs we took the official trail to its Stone Quarry Road trailhead:
Then re-traced our steps to the trail fork and took the unblazed trail to the cemetery. Pausing there for a group photo, we soon found ourselves re-tracing our route back down the hill.
The group jumped onto the Rim Trail, then gradually broke into smaller ability groups with instructions for everyone to turn around and return to the parking lot at a certain time. This worked fairly well, and everyone was back at the cars at the two hour time limit.
Welcome to Shannon on her first hike with the group!
Question to everyone regarding January hikes, which I’m already planning.
Assuming the trails are mostly clear of snow, given that we have the special bow season for all of January, how comfortable would everyone be as far as hiking at least some of the hike locations on trails which might be open to bow hunters. Last year during the special season it was my impression that most of the bow hunters were out of the woods around the time that the group started its hikes. If anyone feels one way versus the other, please reach out to me with an opinion over the next couple of weeks. Thanks!