Report to Hikers — week of Mar 28 — Apr 3

Hello Hikers!

Wed Mar 30

Hike report by Jim

Boylan Road to Carter Creek Road, Connecticut Hill WMA

Nine hikers and a dog met on Boylan Rd for a first time group  hike of the blue blazed trail that runs from the seasonal part of Boylan Rd towards Carter Creek RD.

Temps were cool, but the ups and down of the trail warmed everyone up nicely.

Snowpack was minimal after the recent snowfall, with none of the deep snow and ice build- up I’d encountered on my test hike of this trail a month ago.

The blazes immediately off Boylan Rd ( directly opposite the FLT ) are barely visible, apparently due to someone attempting to destroy the blazes;  a short ways down the trailthe blazes  are almost new, which helped seeing the blazes from a distance during the hike.

The trail passed through a series of  enjoyable monoculture evergreens and mixed tree species.

Other than a couple of short sections the trail was a steady downhill almost the entire distance.

At around the hour mark into the hike the group left the trail and took a short side trail down to the streambed, where there were a series of small cataracts. Water flow volume over the small falls was very good, making conversation at a distance somewhat difficult.

After leaving the streambed the group bushwhacked to the near-by Hulford Rd, which we walked back to our cars.

The group arrived at our cars at a perfect two hour mark. Hikers who might want to extend this route can follow the blazed trail to its southern terminus on Carter Creek Rd.

Welcome to Steven on his first hike with the group!

Photo by Nancy L


Sat Apr 2

Hike report by Leigh Ann

Texas Hollow SF, Schuyler County

Fifteen hikers and three dogs met where the FLT crosses South Hill Road just south of 79 in Bennettsburg, and we hiked east into Texas Hollow for an out and back. The outbound part of the trail heads gently upward through pretty woods and alongside a string of large and small fields in the first half mile.

This was an ideal time of year for this hike because there were no leaves on the trees. Nothing but trunks and branches stood in front of the wide view of Texas Hollow to our left. For most of the way, the trail parallels Texas Hollow road along the hilltop, and the trail is pretty much flat. It was mud free except for a few easy-to-avoid places in the entrance field, and there was no ice.
The hikers were remarking how lovely this section of trail was. Casey (who was leading and had done this section once) and Jack V. (who lives nearby and had done this section of trail a lot) were giggling about how things were going to change soon.

The last 1/4 mile down into Texas Hollow from the east is a set of tight but shallow switchbacks followed by a long, steep, and narrow stretch of trail down to Texas Hollow Road. It only took about five minutes to go down and ten to go back up. However, two hikers decided to walk back on roads rather than the trail because the trail gave one of them some vertigo.

As we were heading back toward the cars, the clouds opened, and the character of the day changed. We stopped briefly near the entrance field to check out a small pond, then arrived at the cars at exactly 11:30. We had only gone about 3.2 miles out and back on the trail, but it was a satisfying hike, and nobody really wanted to leave.

Photos by Leigh Ann

Leigh Ann’s full album is here


Photos by Cian

Cian’s full album is here


Sun April 3

Hike report by Jim

International Loop, Virgil

13 hikers and 3 dogs met in Virgil for a group first-time hike of part of the International Loop

It was a cool, somewhat windy morning.

I left for the hike and in the few miles from Freeville to Virgil the day was transformed from a cool, clear morning to blowing snow that was sticking to the ground.

The group started by crossing Daisy Hollow Rd and making the initial ascent; the first thirty or so minutes of this hike is pretty much all uphill.

From our exploratory hike of this area a couple of months ago I knew that I wanted to take the group first along the blue blazed Irvin Trail; this trail section skirts some nice sections of Cristina Creek before it starts a more substantial and serious climb up the side of the hill. This climbing portion isn’t terribly bad thanks to the numerous switchbacks along the way. The trail climbs through a mix if evergreens before finally leveling out towards the middle of the hillside.

After a quick stop to make an entry in the trail register the group continued out climb, finally crossing the crest of the hill.

By this point of the hike there are numerous trail intersections, end even having been there once before and consulting a map during this hike, I somehow missed an intersection on both the outbound and return legs of the hike. The worst outcome of this was that we got to repeat short sections of trail before jumping onto the correct trail at a following intersection.

Eventually the group stopped at our turn-around point, the blue blazed small pond spur.

Turning around the group re-traced most of our steps, opting at a couple of points to take trail sections we hadn’t explored on our first hike of the area in February.

By now the snow had stopped, but with only a small coating of snow on the grass, and the frequent mess of mud and pools of water not being froze, some of the portions of the downhill return leg of the hike proved to be more exhilarating than planned for those who came close to losing their footing. We only had one hiker fall during the hike, with no injury resulting, so it could have been worse.

One benefit to the return leg is that the hikers get more of a long view of the opposite valley through the leaf-less trees and through the cuts provided by utility right-of-ways.

The nice part of this hike is that, while the trails at the top of the hill can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the trail network, the return leg of the journey  is much simpler to figure out as all trails, no matter which one is picked, eventually spill out onto Daisy Hollow Rd.

Photos by Leigh Ann

Leigh Ann’s full album is here


Photos by Cian

Cian’s full album is here