Wednesday February 1
Bock Harvey Forest Preserve and Rieman Woods
Hike report and photo by Jim
Ten hikers met at the Bock Harvey Preserve for a hike of preserve trails and the FLT. Overall trail conditions were good, with minimal snowpack that only a handful of recent hikers had preceded us on.
We set off from the parking lot, quickly crossing the open fields to arrive at the lean-to, where we stopped for a quick group photo.
From there, we took the blue-blazed trail to the FLT to Porter Hill Road and Rieman Woods beyond. The main group took the Rieman Woods loop out and back, while I opted to roadwalk back to the road crossing and wait for the other hikers to return.
Once we’d all reunited, we took the FLT back into the Bock Harvey Preserve, hiking that trail through woods and open fields in a gradual arc until we reached Rockwell Road.
We turned around yet again and took the FLT until we diverted at the yellow-blazed preserve trail, which took us back to the cars.
Saturday February 4
Shindagin Hollow State Forest
Hike report by Jim
Six hikers met at the end of the maintained section of Shindagin Hollow Road for a hike of the Rim and bike trails. Although it was a cold morning (-3F as we got out of our cars), all of the hikers were well prepared for the frigid conditions.
The group set off down the seasonal portion of Shindagin Hollow Road, a layer of fresh white snow underfoot. We reached the turn-off to the Rim Trail and entered the woods. There, we followed the path in the snow left by a few previous hikers and bicyclists.
The sun gleamed off the snow in open areas but was greatly diminished under the trees.
The trail wound along the cliff’s edge, and before long we found ourselves at the top of the bike trail leading down to the stream. A decent layer of ice lay on top of the stream, and we crossed with minimal excitement.
We paused to check on the “shoe shrine” (see photo below) before continuing on our way to the lower end of Shindagin Hollow Road.
On the road walk back to the cars, the sun disappeared behind a layer of clouds that weren’t there early in the hike, so I’m glad that we hiked during the early part of the day and could enjoy the sunshine.
A warm welcome to Matt on his first hike with the group!
For those who missed this hike due to weather and temperature concerns, be assured that I will reschedule this hike sooner in the hike rotation than I normally do, so that everyone can enjoy this locale. This is one of my favorite places to hike, and I don’t want those of you who sat out this hike due to weather concerns to have to wait many months before we hike here again…
Sunday February 5
Finger Lakes Trail from Woodard Road to Hines Road and beyond
Hike report and map by Nancy L.
Twenty-seven hikers and four dogs gathered on Woodward Road near upper Treman Park to hike northward and away from the park on the Finger Lakes Trail.
The temperature was much milder than the previous two days, so I was comfortable without my stocking cap, which I had forgotten, anyway. Traction gear was a must, as the trail varied between snow and icy spots.
Hikers were spaced out nicely, everyone going at their own pace without getting too spread out. The route makes many short ups and downs, crossing gullies and ridges. So we got a workout without noticing it, thanks to the bursts of activity.
After crossing Hines Road we continued a short way farther on the FLT before turning around to retrace our steps. This allowed the fastest hikers to get in a little more distance than the rest of the group.
We arrived back at the cars about 10-15 minutes ahead of our scheduled end time, so some hikers extended the hike on the other side of Woodard Road, while others chatted by the cars or left a few minutes early.