Wednesday September 21
FLT south and east from Townline and Layen Rds., Danby
Hike report and photos by Jim
Ten hikers and a single dog met at the corner of Layen and Townline Roads in Danby, for an out-and-back hike of the Finger Lakes Trail. The weather was pleasant, with a light breeze and sun.
From the trailhead we walked along the abandoned portion of Townline Road before emerging into the open fields. The fields had been mowed, and round hay bales dotted the hillside. The distant countryside was visible through breaks in the hedgerow as we skirted the field’s edge.
As we entered the woodline, sunlight mottled the forest floor, and the canopy overhead offered some relief from the direct sunlight of the open field.
The first major water crossing had some small amounts of water flowing , as compared to the later and smaller water crossings, which were still bone dry. The hillside was dry, but the ropes were still greatly appreciated as we climbed the opposite hillside.
The FLT wound across the forest floor, occasionally going straight for a while but more often than not snaking its way through the woods. Here and there the trail crossed or followed logging roads, Only a few short hiking seasons ago, these had been scars along the trail; now, the healing process has begun to soften the devastation’s rough edges.
Despite recent rains, on only one occasion did the group encounter any mud at all, and that single instance was so minimal that it was barely noticed.
We stopped for a quick group picture at the only road crossing, then returned to the woods on the opposite side of the road. Eventually we reached a good turn-around point; the return trip to the cars was uneventful.
Saturday September 24
Texas Hollow State Forest
Hike report and photos by Leigh Ann
Sixteen hikers and two dogs met up at the junction of Texas Hollow Road and the FLT. Casey led, and he mentioned that there would be two groups: a fast group and a “half-fast” group. These groups were the same size at the start, and we met up at the first pond to the east of Texas Hollow Road on the FLT.
This hike headed east from Texas Hollow Road, across the gently rolling hollow, and then steeply up toward Newtown Road. The group in front made it all the way to Newtown Road and many more joined what became the main group as we returned on the FLT. We took the blue trail for a pretty loop out and back to the FLT on the way back.
The temperature was perfect for this varied hike, and the light through the trees was diffused because of some high haze. In the parts heavy with deciduous trees, the light was a salmon color because of turning leaves, and in the parts with dense hemlock, the light made silvery spots on the ground. This was a great choice of trail for the day.
Sunday September 25
Carter Creek Rd., Newfield
This hike was cancelled due to rainy weather.