Report to Hikers — week of Jan 24 — Jan 30

Hello Hikers!

Wed Jan 26

Hike report by Jim

Upper Buttermilk Falls SP

Six hikers met in upper Buttermilk Falls State Park for a hike of the Bear Trail and Lake Treman Rim Trail.

It was a cold and clear morning; not as cold as the weather report would have had you believe if you had checked that before coming to the hike.

A few minutes of very fine snowflakes fell when I first arrived in the parking lot, but soon dissipated and ended completely.  Other than a departing hunter and a dog walker or two, our hikers had the park to ourselves at that time of the morning.

Hikers crossed over the new footbridge to reach the Bear Trail. The Bear Trail footpath was well compacted snow, a welcome change from last Wednesdays hike in Shindagin. I had donned nanospikes for the hike after making an initial inspection of the trail footpath. Over the course of the hike I realized that the better option would have been microspikes, as the nanos failed to provide the best traction over the entirety of the hike due to changing trail conditions.

The Bear Trail portion of the hike was uneventful, and soon we found ourselves in the picnic area near Treman Lake. By now the sun was shining, casting long shadows through the woods and causing a glare of light across the fresh snow along the trail.

Hikers climbed the hill towards Treman Lake, crossing the closed off  side trail to the loop trail that crosses over the dam. From there we continued the steady uphill climb.

Continuing on the trail circling the Lake we found the trail increasingly less compacted; clearly the regular users of the tail were not coming this far. Eventually we crested the high point of the trail and began descending. By the time we reached the junction with the FLT spur trail we found that the lake trail was closed to hiking for the season. The group jumped onto the FLT spur trail which was even less compacted than what we had been hiking through.

The group soon reached Yaple Rd at the hour mark of the hike, then turned around to re-trace our steps. Picking up a couple of slower members of the group along the way we soon returned to the picnic area parking lot.

Rather than returning along the Bear Trail we opted to cross the fordway, made possible by a layer of frozen ice and snow covering the flowing water. The wooden footbridge was taken up for the winter season and unavailable.

The group found the park service road was plowed, allowing an enjoyable return trip to our cars with no incidents to report.

A warm welcome to Johanna on her first hike with the group!

Photos by Nancy L

You can see Nancy’s complete album here


Sat Jan 29

Hike Repoort by Jim

Black Diamond Trail from Kraft Road, Town of Ulysses

4 hikers met on Kraft RD for a Northbound hike of the Black Diamond Trail. Two of the four chose to ski rather than hike the trail. The trail surface had been reconnoitered by Nancy L the previous evening, so we knew that there were several individual tracks running the length of the trail for use by either skiers or hikers.

Two additional hikers arrived at the parking area late and chose to do their own hike in the southbound direction.

While the reported wind chill factor had scared many hikers from joining this hike, the wind was not particularly bad after a few minutes of hiking. Within a half hour of the hikes start the wind had died down to a level where I barely noticed it for the remainder of the morning

.The northbound hikers and skiers proceeded Northerly for an hour, turning around at the hour mark to return to our vehicles without incident.

The South-bound hikers later reported to me that they had made some excellent progress on their own hike before turning around to return to the parking area.

Special cold-weather photo by Jack V


Special report and photos by Leigh Ann

A little explanation that can go with these pictures:
Saturday, Iris and I arrived at the Kraft Road trailhead shortly after the rest of the group headed north on the Black Diamond. We headed south so we wouldn’t tread on as many cross-country ski tracks and had a very enjoyable hike to Perry City Road and back. The wind chill was -15 to -10, so we kept our face masks on pretty much the whole time. We had the trail to ourselves except for a herd of deer that we startled. Two hours after we started, we returned to the cars and rendezvoused briefly at the Upper Falls Overlook.

Best wishes,Leigh Ann


Sun Jan 30

Hike report by Jim

Spur Trail, Upper Lick Brook to Upper Buttermilk Falls SP

12 hikers and 1 dog met on Townline Rd for a hike of the Thayer Preserve and the FLT Spur Trail to Yaple Road.

Weather conditions were much improved from the previous day.

While the trail leading down into Lick Brook was closed for the extended January hunting season, the Thayer  Preserve trails were well traveled with a compacted layer of snow on the treadway, probably benefitting from the Lick  Brook side being closed.

The group set off from Townline Rd, quickly scaling the hillside to the flats where the trail runs along the ridge between the gorge and Sandbank Rd.

Reaching the split with the blue blazed trail that runs back to the gorge, the group quickly found out that the well-compacted trail surface was now greatly diminished in the amount of hiker traffic that had been using the orange blazed trail. Coming out into the open fields near the Sandbank Rd cidery there was still a discernable path left by previous hikers, but it had been largely filled in by blowing snow. Reaching the opposite side of the field where the trail returns to the treeline, it was clear that even fewer people had been using that section of the trail.

The group spent much of the time between that field and the powerline right-of-way breaking trail through several inches of fresh powdery snow. Once at the right-of-way we found ourselves again breaking trail to West King Rd.

Coming out on West King Rd we made a short jog down the road and re-entered the woods, now on the FLT spur trail proper. While much of this section was not well-compacted, a trail left by previous hikers served to guide the group through the maze of trees when the blazes were not immediately obvious.

Coming out in the final field the group crossed the field towards Yaple Rd before turning around.

On the return leg the group splintered into several sub-groups. The main body returned to Townline Rd via the more direct route we had taken on the outbound leg of the hike. A couple of us took the blue blazed trail down into the ravine, crossing the frozen streambed and climbing the hill on the opposite side to loop back to Townline Rd. This section is always my favorite part of this particular hike.

A warm welcome to Gary on his first hike with the group!

Photos by Leigh Ann

You can see Leigh Ann’s complete photo album here


Photos by Cian

You can see Cian’s complete album here