Wed Feb 16
Hike report by Jim
Kennedy State Forest, Cortland County
7 hikers and 1 dog met in Cortland County for a hike of ( mainly ) the FLT in Kennedy Forest.
The weather at the trailhead was a little concerning, with some good winds whipping through the treetops and enough windchill to penetrate multiple layers of clothing. Ultimately the wind was a non-issue as we hiked deeper in the woods, and only reminded us of its presence as we returned to the cars at the end of our hike.
The trail surface, while not perfect, was better than some I have seen recently. The snow had a decently hard crust that lighter hikers could stand entirely on the crust without breaking through. Thankfully there has been enough hiker traffic on this portion of the trail that the treadway was beaten down and easily traveled, even if the surface was a little uneven and somewhat slippery due to the constant freeze and thaw cycles since the last snowfall. Foot traction was essential on this hike.
It was a pleasant walk, with the streams frozen over and easily passed over. The visual scars of last years logging operations remained buried away from view and only hinted at by the stumps and piles of logs thrusting up from beneath the layers of white. The light from the sun that occasionally reminded us of its presence was a nice light and shadow contrast inside the forest. The snow remained fresh enough along the route that the various and frequent splashes of small cones across the snows surface made an interesting visual contrast.
The group found the Swedish loop and other side trails much less travelled than the FLT itself, but not unbearably so where we would have found ourselves breaking trail through the deep snow. This was more a case of while not a perfect walking surface but of being “just good enough” that it wasn’t a miserable slog through deep snow.
Soon enough we found ourselves at the yellow blazed shortcut back to the FLT.
The return trip to the cars was uneventful.
Sat Feb 19
Hike report by Nancy L
Depotron Hollow Road, Danby
10 hikers met at the corner of Miller and Marsh Rd on a chilly windy day. The hike on Marsh down to Deputron was uneventful. The road was mostly clear of ice and snow. Soon we turned left onto the snow covered Deputron road. The snow on the road was tamped down enough for easy walking for the hikers most of whom we’re wearing traction devices on their feet. About half way down we received warnings of a snow squall but most of us decided to go on hiking. Cian met us at the top of Deputron after hiking from Coddington so he was able to join us for the hike down. We hiked a fair distance past the unplowed portion before turning around to make our way back. On the way the promised squall arrived but in the protection of the dense surrounding woods neither the wind or the snow were very intense. All returned safely to their cars.The following pic is courtesy of Roger Beck:
Photos by Cian
You can see Cian’s complete photo album here
Sun Feb 20
Special exploratory hike report and two photos by Jim
International Loop near Kennedy SF
I didn’t have a formal group hike planned for Sunday, as I’d originally expected the days focus to be on the gathering at Chestnut Lean-To that was cancelled.
Once the days events were cancelled, I wanted to check out the International Loop near Kennedy State Forest in Virgil. Stephen had previously advised me that he’s never taken the group through this particular trail system. Other members of our group heard of my plans and asked to come along. With the understanding that this was an entirely new hike location that I was only doing an exploratory walk on, five of us met on Daisy Hollow Rd for a walk of the maze of trails that make up this particular hiking experience.
With only a map awareness of the trail system, I started the group off on a blue blazed trail that meandered along Christina Creek. This part of the trail system had seen only minimal previous use, and we found ourselves breaking trail through hard crusted snow and seeking out the shallower drifts to posthole through.
Reaching the top of the hill we merged into a network of trails, and the group split up into sub-groups to check out different blazed trails, with an agreed-upon trail intersection that we would meet at further up the hill.
From this point on the going was much easier; the trail register I wrote in indicated that a sizeable number of Tri-city Hikers had used the trails the day before, and they had compacted the footpath enough that the hike became much more enjoyable for our group.
The group eventually reached the Spanish Loop Trail and the Tiny Pond Spur Trail I had intended to use as our turn-around point.
The return trails tended to follow the utility right of ways at points, but did offer some nice green tunnels to hike through stands of evergreens
Overall this was an enjoyable hike location, one I intend to bring the group back to when warmer weather returns and we don’t have to contend with the snow.
Photos by Cian
Complete photo album here