Wednesday October 5
Finger Lakes Trail east from Shindagin Hollow Road, Brooktondale
Hike report and photos by Mary W.
Thirteen hikers and three dogs met in the hollow of Shindagin Hollow SF at the FLT foot bridge on Shindagin Hollow Road. This is a seasonal, limited-use road that is perennially blanketed with wildflowers from mid-May until August, but it offers a pleasant forest-road experience any time of the year. It runs along a sedimentary gorge located in the Allegheny Plateau created 250-330 million years ago when the North American continent collided with Africa (DEC, Shindagin Hollow State Forest).
On this bright morning, the road’s early autumn foliage was evident. It was a chilly 46 degrees to start and increased nearly 12 degrees by the time the hike ended.
We started uphill in a northerly direction and quickly reached an old logging road. Within a few hundred feet the trail moves east away from the logging road and toward the Shindagin Lean-to. We continued through the forest on the FLT to the cedar grove and past the stone cairns to South Road. At South Road we continued east on the FLT until the trail heads briefly south and toward Old 76 Road. Here, we turned around and traced our steps back though the sunlit forest on relatively mud-free trails and easily crossed streams back to the cars.
As it sometimes goes, hikers separated early on this particular hike into differently paced walking groups based on comfort levels. There were no worries, however, because no hiker was alone and the hike was an out-and-back, staying solely on the FLT. Regrettably, a whole-group picture was a missed opportunity at the meet up.
Saturday October 8
Finger Lakes Trail east from Hines Road
Hike report by Nancy L.
Eighteen hikers and five dogs met on Hines Rd. near the Treman Center to pick up the Finger Lakes Trail heading east. The hike through the woods to Woodward Rd. was a series of mini hills with scattered creek crossings to wake up our muscles.
After we crossed the road, we continued on the FLT until we met the South Rim Trail. We headed down and spied Lucifer Falls before turning back and taking the rim trail to the upper Treman parking.
From there we took the CCC trail along the Fishkill Creek until we reached the FLT again and headed back to Hines. We enjoyed the wonderful stone walls and pillars near the parking when we got back to the cars.
After the hike, some hikers gathered at Hank’s home for an Oktoberfest celebration.
Sunday October 9
Jenksville State Forest, Newark Valley
Hike report by Jim
Fifteen hikers and two dogs met in Tioga County on Allison Hill Rd. for a hike of the trail system within Jenksville State Forest.
The day started out cool and overcast, but as the hike progressed the sun came out and added to the hike’s enjoyment as the sun filtered through the leaves overhead and created pools of shadow and light on the forest floor.
There were only a few other hikers on the trails, and I cleared more than a few of the previous night’s cobwebs from the footpath.
The leafy canopy over much of the forest was at least in the yellow stage of seasonal color change, while many of the lower branches were still a brilliant green. Some hikers commented that if you didn’t look up and only looked to either side of the green tunnel we were hiking through, you wouldn’t know that we were into fall.
Leaf cover on the trail fluctuated, which I think was at least partially determined by the dominant tree species along that part of the trail. The maples, for example, were not as far along in their transformation as some of the other species.
There was some form of motorized cross-country event going on at nearby farms, and the accompanying engine noise seemed to follow us for much of the hike. When we got to our observation area that looks over the farm fields, the valley below was packed with all sorts of vehicles and trailers for this event.
Along the way we stopped to look at some building foundations and stone walls, but otherwise there isn’t much to pull your attention away from the trees and nature as you complete this particular trail circuit. Still, overall it’s a very enjoyable hike!