Report to Hikers — week of Jan 31 — Feb 6

Hello Hikers!

Wed Feb 2

Hike report by Jim

Lime Hollow Nature Center, Cortland County

8 hikers met on Gracie RD in Cortland County for a hike of various trails within the Lime Hollow Nature Center property.

The parking area was fairly well-covered with a layer of ice, which most hikers took as a cue to wear some form of foot traction. I opted for nano spikes, although we later found that the trail conditions were probably better for microspikes. Ultimately the trails were so compacted from previous skiers and hikers that no form of foot traction was really needed.

Setting off Westerly on the Lehigh Valley trail hikers soon arrived at the High Vista Loop  Trail which circles Baldwin Pond. Parts of this loop were the least compacted of any we found on the various trails. Stopping to look at Baldwin Pond, Steve S took the opportunity to walk out on the ice to check it out. Based on some other people present and what I took to be ice fishing holes on the pond surface, I assumed the ice was quite safe. Various wildlife observations also took place at this point of the hike.

Returning to the Lehigh Valley trail the group jumped onto the Hermits Way, which in turn connected to Fen Way and its return to Lehigh Valley. Through this stretch of trail the snow surface was  littered with the bark and needle and seed residue of the forest around us. The contrast of the snow, the darker bark, and this forest residue made for interesting visuals on this sunny day.

The sun was out, no wind was noticed, and so this was an enjoyable portion of the hike for me.

Once back on the Lehigh Valley Trail the group returned to the parking area, passed our cars and continued Easterly on the Lehigh Valley Trail.

We jumped onto  Maple Run, which led us to the Chicago bog. Once there the entire group walked out onto the frozen surface, something we’ve never done on previous hikes there. Walking across the pond we soon jumped back onto solid ground at the Phiilips Memorial Walk trail, which we took to Gracie Rd. The group returned to the Maple Run via the Esker Connector, and from there back to our cars.

Hike duration was almost a perfect two hours, arriving back at the cars with eight minutes to spare.

This was a great day to hike, with minimum difficulty from weather or trail conditions. The group behind me was  a steady hum of conversation for nearly the entire hike, so I assume that everyone with me had an enjoyable morning.


Sat Feb 5

Hike report by Nancy H

Stewart Park, bird sanctuary and Newman Golf Course

Eight hikers and two dogs met on a cold, snow-covered morning in Stewart Park. As hikers arrived, we found out that the roads inside the park had not yet been plowed. Two hikers’ cars got stuck in the snow when they tried to drive into the park, and the group spent some time digging and pushing to move the cars. Eventually, everyone parked in the lot of the Ithaca Youth Bureau, which had been plowed and salted.

With temperatures in the low teens and a brisk wind coming off the lake, we decided to head into the bird sanctuary to get out of the wind. There we made our way through the deep, powdery snow (it looked like maybe one or two people had been on the trail before us). One hiker in our group wore snowshoes. Norm spotted some mink tracks and (later) fox tracks in the snow.

After we’d looped through the woods, we crossed the bridge and walked across the golf course. Here the wind reasserted itself, but the sun and the astonishing blue sky made up for it. We gave our legs a rest by walking on a plowed road at the far side of the golf course. From there we headed back toward Stewart Park, cut through the woods again, and made our way back to our cars.

Photo of Leigh Ann by Nancy H

Photos by Leigh Ann

You can see Leigh Ann’s complete photo album here


Sun Feb 6

Hike report by Jim

Quiet rural roads weest of Upper Treman SP

Eight hikers and two dogs  met on Woodard Rd in Enfield for a roadwalk of the surrounding country roads. A ninth hiker arrived late and did their own solo hike. I had originally planned this as an FLT walk, but I arrived early to the meeting location, drove around the surrounding roads to check conditions, and chose to switch to a road walk.

It was a sunny but cold day, excellent for walking. Expecting some windy conditions I wore an extra layer or two but never felt overheated during the walk.

Road conditions, while well plowed and sanded, were slippery in parts and most of the group wore some form of foot traction.

Weather conditions were enjoyable except for portions of Thomas Rd where the group experienced some stiff winds coming across the open fields.

The group eventually arrived on Thomas Rd where the FLT leaves the woods and enters Robert Treman at the gated service road; to proceed further would have meant breaking trail through the fresh snow, which no one was interested in doing. The group used that as our turn-around point dfspite it being not yet quite an hour into the walk.

The group arrived  back at our cars also slightly early, but no one complained.

Photos by Leigh Ann

You can see Leigh Ann’s complete photo album here