Report To Hikers August 23 – August 28th

Hike Report Tuesday August 23

Hike report by Jim

For this weeks Tuesday “farther away” hike two hikers drove to the Keuka Rail Trail for a hike of part of that trail system. Inclement weather during the commute time seems to have scared away more hikers, but by the time we arrived at the trailhead the weather had cleared and we had no further issues for the remainder of the morning.

Norm and I did our own respective hikes, with Norm hiking his own hike and looking for fossils, mosses and other natural stuff along the trail.

There was some demolition of one of the cascade viewing areas going on very near our trailhead. There was some other use of the multi-use trail going on while we were there, including bicyclists, day hikers and joggers.

My own experience was more of  a casual stroll along the route. As this was my first visit to this particular trail I stopped often to read the various signs and look at the vestiges of the trails time as  an active rail route.

Hike Report Wednesday August 24

Hike report by Jim

Fifteen hikers met for a hike of the Cayuga Nature center trails and a portion of the Black Diamond Trail. We normally reserve this hike for hunting season, but I thought that it would be a good hike for the end of summer.

It was a sunny day and it was a relief to be under the forest canopy after initially hiking across the open fields from the parking lot in the morning heat.

We stopped briefly at the animal enclosures at the Nature Center before walking to the near-by trailheads. The summer youth programs were still in full swing, with dozens of kids running around the grounds. My first exposure to the Nature Center was during my own youth, and its nice to see a new generation still taking part in the programs they offer.

Most of the trails here are enjoyable, although the blazing along much of the loops of trails need to be touched up. Portions of some trails get more use than others; the less travelled trails require a bit of bushwhacking this time of year as you make your way across the forest floor. One of the water crossing bridges is also wildly askew and unsafe to cross, so the group always resorts to a direct stream crossing there.

The group completed the trail loops and stopped at the treehouse a short while before moving on to the Black Diamond Trail for a short out-and-back hike to bring the hike to a full two hours

After the hike several hikers reconvened at a hikers near-by residence for a swim in the lake.

Hike Report Saturday August 27

Hike report by Jim

Eighteen hikers and one dog met on Comfort Rd in the Town of Danby for an out and back hike on the FLT.

This section of the trail is often quite muddy in spots, but on this hike day the footpath was largely dry, even with the recent rains we’ve had in the area.

From Comfort Rd the trail gradually and almost imperceptibly winds downwards, something you really don’t notice until its time to walk back to the cars for the return leg of the hike.

The recent rains really seemed to “green up” the ferns and other ground cover along the trail, the colors seeming to pop out at you as you walked along the trail.

There are a few stream crossings along the route, but all were dry.

One crossing in particular has been slightly re-routed a few feet up the stream, something I was happy to see, as the previous crossing involved a more or less straight vertical drop of several feet as it crossed the stream. Other recent trail maintenance such as fresh blazing and tree cutting were visible; thanks to the volunteers who maintain the trails to our benefit!

The trail at one point emerges briefly out onto an open field; here we paused briefly for a group picture before hiking onwards. Other than that one field and the fields at the turn-around point, this entire hike is walked in the “green tunnel”.

The group reached the open field I use as a turn-around point for this hike; the return leg of the hike with its gradual uphill climb was uneventful, and we arrived back at our cars at the two hour mark with no unusual events to report.

Photo from Jim
Photo from Judith Pena Shaff

Album from Leigh Ann

Hike Report Sunday August 28

Hike report by Jim

First, welcome to new hikers Doug and Mike for their first hike with the group!

Eighteen hikers and one dog met for this hike; most meeting on Townline Rd, with one walking from their house to meet the group on the trail.

Eighteen hikers and one dog met for this hike; most meeting on Townline Rd, with one walking from their house to meet the group on the trail.

The main group set off from our cars on the red-blazed trails of the Thayer Preserve. It was a warm sunny day, and trail conditions were good. Before long we were out of the woods in the fields behind the South Hill Cidery; here we had a surprise, as there are several unexpected and very occupied “glamping” tent platforms set up along the Woodline facing the field. We moved quickly through that area and returned to the woods and the trail as it snaked towards the utility line right-of-way near West King Rd.

Pausing there for a few group photos we moved on to West King Rd, crossing over and continuing on the FLT spur trail towards Yaple Rd. This section of trail is often quite muddy, but we had no such problems on this hike.

The open fields near Yaple Rd were full of tall goldenrod and other plant life, but the main trail had been mowed somewhat recently and was easily navigated.

Reaching Yaple Rd the group paused a moment before starting the return trip.

The return leg of the hike was uneventful Once past the glamping area we diverted to the blue blazed Toms Trail that crossed the now-dry streambed and snaked its way along the opposite side of the streambed.

Arriving back at Townline Rd a few minutes early, the group went our separate ways; some of us reconvened for a planned gathering at the South Hill Cidery. This was my first visit there and a nice end to an excellent hiking day.

Photo from Leigh Ann

Album from Leigh Ann