Tuesday July 26
High Vista Nature Preserve/ Hinchcliff Family Preserve,
Hike report by Jim
I’ll preface this hike report by saying that I was impressed by this location and would like to bring the larger group here in the fall at peak color change. Obviously it’s a little farther away than some of our hikes, and depending on the route taken the hike will run over two hours. If people are not interested I won’t consider it. Feedback appreciated.
Six hikers and one dog met on Vincent Hill Rd., located on the line between Cortland and Onondaga counties, for a hike of the Hinchcliff Family Preserve loop and the associated access trail from the parking area. Half of our group had been to this location previously; I was not one of those people, so this entire hike was a new experience for me.
There was some concern about temperatures in the hike area being a little lower than Ithaca, but I found that was not an issue at all.
The access trail from the parking lot is a nice 1.1-mile trail with some easy elevation changes. The access trail crosses a couple of streams and old logging roads; the recent rains had revitalized the streams so that we actually had some water flowing around our feet as we navigated the streams. I think that I saw exactly one muddy area, so that was not a concern at all.
We stopped briefly to examine the ruins of an old residence along the trail, and shortly afterwards halted our hike long enough to check on an excited dog that was barking a short way off the trail at a water crossing; we found the dog with its elderly owner. Both dog and owner were fine.
We stopped to admire some views up and down the valley; the views of the nearby lake were welcome. Some berry picking also halted our forward momentum along the trail, but I heard no complaints.
Overall, this hike took us about 40 minutes over on our normal hike time, but much of that was due to stopping for the various views and berry options along the way.
Wednesday July 27
Groton Village Trails
Hike report by Jim
Thirteen hikers met in the Town of Groton for a hike of the Groton Village trails. It was a clear warm day, with good views across the valley as we set off from the trailhead across the open fields. Entering the woodline away from the heat of the sun was a relief; soon we were walking deeper into the woods under the forest canopy.
At the first trail junction we turned onto a very long and steady downhill stretch. Joel noted that this surely meant that we would soon have a long uphill trek, and he wasn’t wrong. There are quite a few steady uphill or downhill segments throughout this hike, the most notable one being a short section that follows the utility line as it runs along a steep section of Sovocool Hill Rd.
There were a couple of blow-downs; nothing too severe or difficult to navigate around.
Soon enough we crossed Sovocool Hill Rd and continued on the lower trail loop that lets out at the Groton High School track field. We re-entered the woods and completed that lollipop section of trail, returning to Sovocool Hill Rd.
After crossing that road, we returned to the upper trail loops that led the us back to our cars with a few minutes to spare.
Ripening blackberries and raspberries lined the trail, and many in the group took time along the route to sample some.
Welcome to Tom on his first hike with us.
Saturday July 30
Finger Lakes Trail from Comfort Rd through Danby State Forest
Hike report by Jim
Fourteen hikers and two dogs met up on an extremely nice hiking day. The weather was nearly perfect, with sun and little humidity, and a decent amount of wind.
Hikers left the parking lot on Comfort Rd. and walked to the FLT where it crosses Bald Hill Rd. The outbound leg of the hike was well paced, the streams being empty of any water hazards and the trails having no mud to contend with. We paused at Diane’s Crossing for a group picture before continuing onward.
We crossed Michigan Hollow Rd. and resumed our hike on the FLT. After crossing Smiley Rd., we continued for another 10 minutes or so before reaching our turnaround point.
The return leg of the hike back to Comfort Rd. was uneventful, and soon we found the hike completed and the journey home started.
This hike counted as 3.6 FLT miles for those attempting to earn their FLT60 patch.
Sunday July 31
Ithaca Urban Walk
Hike report by Jim
On the last day on July, 16 hikers and four dogs met at the Ithaca High School parking lot for a hike of the surrounding hills and Fall Creek area.
We started by climbing through Lakeview Cemetery and making a quick stop at Sunset Park for a photo. We continued south on Stewart Ave., then entered the city cemetery and walked through it to University Ave.
We then walked down the hill to the Cascadilla Gorge trail, which we climbed to College Ave. From there it was a quick downhill trek through Highland Place ad Williams St. back to Stewart Ave., where we picked up the Cascadilla Gorge walkway on the north side of the gorge, which soon deposited us back at the junction of University Ave. and Linn Street.
We walked through the Fall Creek neighborhood, admiring the various beds of flowers and the hum of activity as people went in and out of the homes we were passing.
Fopr the last leg of our hike, we walked to Lake Street, where we stopped to admire Ithaca Falls. Then, we returned to the high school parking lot and our cars.
Total hike time was about two hours and 15 minutes, and we hiked over 5 miles today.
A warm welcome to Sandy and Sagara on their first hike with the group!