Wednesday November 16
Deputron Hollow, Danby
Hike report by Jim
Seven hikers met at the corner of Miller and Marsh roads in Danby for a hike of the seasonal Deputron Hollow Rd. on a cool November morning. We left the parking area, quickly passing from the paved roadway to dirt and then turning onto the seasonal road portion of the hike.
As we proceeded downhill and the forest closed in on either side of the road, the evidence of human habitation we’d passed at the beginning of the walk receded into the distance. This portion of the road descends in short stretches, leveling out occasionally before resuming its downhill path. All too soon we reached the lower, maintained and inhabited portion of Deputron Hollow Rd.
The main body of the group reached our turnaround time, while the group that was closer to Coddington Rd. continued at their faster pace, turning around only after reaching that intersection.
The return, uphill portion of the hike was uneventful and seemed to pass by quickly. All too soon we found ourselves at our vehicles, another hike successfully completed.
Saturday November 19
Historic architecture walk, Ithaca
Hike report by Randy O.
A group of close to 30 people met on a very chilly, but sunny morning. There were a couple of new hikers, one from Japan who was visiting for a short time. There were at least two dogs. Because of the cold, we departed right on time, with a few hikers arriving shortly after we started.
We walked past eight historic buildings before climbing up Cascadilla Gorge. The gate was open, and the trail was mostly ice-free. We were warmed up by the time we reached College Avenue. However, the group had now fractured into two, with about 20 in the lead pack.
We continued onto the Cornell campus, passing an interesting rock garden, Sage Hall, the A.D. White House, and Bailey Hall, before experiencing a colorfully interactive sculpture.
From there it was all downhill, through the Arts Quad, past Morrill Hall and the clock tower, with frigid views of the lake. Loping down Libe Slope brought us to the Telluride House, notable for its esteemed residents, then down to Llenroc, home to Ezra Cornell, with brilliant sunshine enhancing its Gothic facade.
A short stroll through the deserted cemetery brought us to Cascadilla Park Road and a steep descent to the flatlands. Walking along Cascadilla Creek was a pleasant way to end the hike/walk, with Gimme! luring some (me) to grab something warm while waiting for the trailing group. Surprisingly, and to the delight of many, we ended the hike in exactly two hours, covering 4.4 miles.
Click here for a list of the historic buildings we saw.
Sunday November 20
Finger Lakes Trail from Shady Corners parking area to Thayer Preserve
Hike report by Jim
Twenty hikers and two dogs met at the recently paved parking area outside of lower Robert Treman State Park at the Shady Corners intersection of state routes 13 and 34/96.
It was a cold morning; snow flurries had been falling as I drove to the trailhead, and as hikers gathered the wind continued, although the snow flurries dissipated.
My plan was to hike into the Lick Brook area and do a hike in a reverse direction from the route we normally do at that location.
The group went east, passing through the land recently acquired by the Finger Lakes Land Trust that surrounds the parking area, before entering the lands of the Tapan Mitra Preserve. We quickly crossed the railroad trestle, hiking through the lands of the Cornell Botanic Garden and into the Sweedler Nature Preserve. After stopping by the ice-encrusted falls (which were deep in shadows) for a group picture, we continued upward on the Finger Lakes Trail, traversing the narrow ridgeline the trail follows as it climbs the hill toward the distant Townline Road.
Around this point, the group split into several speed-based groups as some people lingered to take photos of the valley floor below us.
The freshly fallen snow, light enough to not crush the plant life that still rose along the trail, was a nice visual contrast to the browns and greens of now-dead but still-standing summer plants and the evergreens that surround the trail.
We met several day hikers along the way, many out enjoying this early winter day with their own canine companions.
By the time my subset of the larger hiking group had reached Townline Rd, the main body of hikers had long since crossed the road and continued on the red-blazed trails of the Thayer Nature Preserve. My small group crossed the bridge and jumped onto the blue-blazed Toms Trail, assuming that we would soon meet the main body of hikers as they completed the loop.
This in fact happened, and the reunited group returned to Townline Rd., picked up the few remaining stragglers and headed downhill, hiking the blue-blazed trail that runs along the cliff’s edge.
As we returned to the valley floor, the serpentine line of hikers compressed into a tighter group and continued on the trail back to our cars. The hike took just a bit longer than our normal two-hour time, so I count this as a successful hike route to do again in the future.