Report to Hikers May 1 – May 7

Wednesday May 3

Camp Barton, Trumansburg

Hike report by Mark S.

There were 12 hikers and one dog on the hike. We did not get to the  base of the falls due to high water, although I did show people how to get there. Other than that, we followed my previous description. 

Mark’s previous description from the hike announcement:

First, we’ll follow the rim of Trumansburg Creek, where we will have views of the three major waterfalls that drop between NY-89 and the lake. The path is fairly steep to begin with, but then it levels out to a moderate slope. We’ll follow the rim trail part way down and cut through the camp to the south, where we’ll have an opportunity to examine the various Boy Scout camps.

We will then see another waterfall, which is quite high but has only a small amount of water. We will head up the hill for a bit, cross over the small creek, and head back to the parking area via another trail.

If the water levels are not too high, we’ll try to get to the base of Frontenac Falls. Waterproof boots and hiking poles are recommended for this part of the hike. If water levels are too high, we will head toward the lake and explore the facilities there.

After the hike, Mark and Ellie will welcome hikers to their home for some light refreshments.

Mark wanted to share this amazing photo he took of Frontenac Falls in winter a year ago.

Photos by Mark S.

Photos by Jim

Saturday May 6

Finger Lakes Trail from Schuyler County Veterans Memorial Park

Hike report by Jim

Nineteen hikers and a dog met at the Schuyler County Veterans Park for an eastbound hike of the FLT toward Gulf Road and beyond. This was a new hike for most of the group; the only time we’ve previously hiked any of this route since I’ve been with the group was as part of the Van Lone trail hike. I’d describe this route as mostly flat and easy for all hiking abilities.

As it leaves the Veterans Park, the FLT takes a southeasterly route through new forests and across a couple of dry streambeds along the way. Most of the forest undergrowth was just starting to bloom, so the footpath is clear and obvious to hikers. There is one point where the trail crosses private property and where we hiked past people’s homes. In the handful of times I’ve hiked this section, I’ve never encountered a property owner at these houses.

Eventually the FLT reaches Route 6, and after a quick bridge crossing the trail turns onto Gulf Road. At the Gulf Road trailhead, the footpath leaves Gulf Road and follows Cayuta Creek. The upper section of the creek was nearly still, with only the faintest perceptible movement of water.

As we continued southeast, we hiked through several small streams that cross the footpath before they feed into Cayuta Creek. Eventually the creek begins flowing quite briskly, with many cascades. The footpath rises and falls as it follows the creek; sometimes it seemed as though the group was hiking right at stream level, while at other times the footpath climbs slightly and hikers get to look down on the stream from above.

On this sunny day, there was an interesting play of light and shadows, along with the surface of the water in the stream and various hues of green on the forest floor. At the one-hour mark, we reached the old, collapsed footbridge, where we turned around and retraced our steps.

We ran into a few day hikers along Cayuta Creek but otherwise had the trail to ourselves.

Welcome to Brennan and Adriana on their first hike with the group!

Today’s hike counts as four FLT miles for anyone trying to get their FLT 50 patch.

Photos by Jack V.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday May 7

Finger Lakes Trail from White Church Road, Brooktondale

Hike report by Jim

Thirty hikers and a single dog met at the new FLT parking lot in the 800 block of White Church Road for an eastbound hike on the FLT. This was our first hike in this direction since the FLT was rerouted last year.

In the past (before the rerouting), this section of trail was included at the very end of our Ridgeway Road hike. For that hike, climbing the hill was an option for those hikers who wanted to use up the last few minutes before we turned around. I don’t recall that we ever hiked to Braley Hill Road and beyond from this location.

The new parking lot on White Church Road is fairly small, so we ended up double- and triple-parking within the lot to get most of our cars parked off of White Church Road. In the future I’ll most likely limit this hike to a Wednesday hike due to the parking situation.

We set off across the open fields using a mowed pathway. By the end of the second field, the mowed path suddenly ended and we had to bushwhack across unmowed fields to the nearest series of white-blazed stakes. This got us back on track, and soon hikers were crossing the wooden puncheons to reach the base of the hill.

The climb up the hill was slow and steady. Casey led the faster hikers. That fast group gradually pulled away, and the group as a whole was spread out along the hillside as the well-blazed trail climbed through a series of switchbacks.

At the peak, the trail enters Shindagin Hollow State Forest. Shortly after that, we encountered the first of many mountain bike trails that crisscross the state forest. The peak is a short-lived victory, as almost immediately the FLT begins a steady downward course.

By this time, those of us in the back began to encounter the first of the returning hikers who’d turned around at the hour mark. We also encountered our first real muddy section of trail and decided that this was a good spot for the sweep element to turn around and start back.

The lead hikers eventually caught up and bypassed us on their way down the hillside. By the time I got back to the parking area, all but about five cars had gone.

In consulting the FLT map, I’m giving myself a total of 3.25 FLT miles for the hike today. For those trying to qualify for their FLT 50 patch, Casey reported that the lead element made it almost all the way to Shindagin Hollow Road, with a mileage of 4.6. If you were on today’s hike, you can pick some distance between those two numbers for your trail miles.

After the hike about 10 hikers met at Brookton’s Market for lunch.

Photo by Jack V.
Photo by Norm

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photos.