Wednesday October 26
Jim Schug Trail toward Lake Rd., Dryden
Hike report by Jim
Fifteen hikers met in the parking area of the Kenny van Sickle ballfield in the village of Dryden for a hike of the Jim Schug Trail.
The morning was cool, and very soon we split up into fast and slow subgroups on the flat, wide rail trail.
The slow group moved, well, slowly, stopping to look at things along the way and talk to people we encountered. At the hour mark, we turned around and made our way back to the parking area.
The fast group reappeared soon after, reporting that they had made it almost all of the way to Lake Road before turning around.
Saturday October 29
Dabes Diversion Loop, Virgil
Hike report by Jim
Twenty two hikers and four dogs met for a loop hike of the Dabes Diversion Loop, the Finger Lakes Trail, and Kuzia Cut-off. Warming temps meant a pleasant, sunny day for a hike. We encountered a few other day hikers along the way but otherwise had the trails to ourselves.
I found as I climbed the hillside from the parking area that the thick, noisy layer of freshly fallen leaves on the ground drowned out the hikers’ voices behind me as I pressed ahead on our route.
Along this bit of trail I particularly enjoy the stone walls and passing through a nice section of pine trees with a thick cushion of pine needles underfoot.
When we reached the junction with the FLT, we paused for some pictures in the open field and to admire the views across the valley on what was proving to be a clear, sunny day.
We returned to the trail and descended the FLT, the stone walls to one side and the stream ahead. Crossing the stream offered minimal difficulty, and soon we’d crossed the road and met the Kuzia cut-off. I found that this area, which was spot-logged by DEC as part of their recent efforts to replace the monoculture forests of the CCC era, was finally starting to look a lot less like a jagged, wounded bit of countryside that it did when the work was done a couple of summers ago.
We successfully traversed the cut-off and, upon reaching the seasonal roadways, returned to our cars with a few minutes to spare.
Welcome to Greg on his first hike with the group!
Sunday October 30
Halloween Cemetery Hike, Ithaca
Hike report by Jim
Twenty hikers and one dog met on a cool morning in the Ithaca High School parking lot, for a Halloween hike of the city cemeteries, Cascadilla Gorge, and the Fall Creek area.
Unknown to me, there was a fairly significant lacrosse event going on at the high school, so upon arrival at the meeting place hikers found ourselves trying to find parking spaces in a nearly full parking lot. This delay caused us to start a few minutes late.
We left the school property, crossed Lake Street and started climbing the entry road into Lakeview Cemetery. We paused briefly along the way so the group could reconsolidate, then we gathered for a group picture at Sunset Park
Here, the hike for me took an unexpected turn: the boots I was wearing as part of my costume were literally falling apart as I walked, after a decade of so of disuse. Leigh Ann took over leading the group, and Casey went back for his car to get me back to MY car for different footwear.
By the time all of that was sorted out, we contacted a few hikers by phone to let them know we’d meet them at Ithaca Falls below Gunshop Hill. There, I learned that the hikers had made their way through the cemeteries only to find that the Cascadilla Gorge trail was already closed for the year.
We spent a few minutes at Ithaca Falls, then walked back to our cars at the high school.
Welcome to Beth and Eileen on their first hike with the group!