Wednesday May 10
Roy H. Park Preserve to Hammond Hill State Forest, Dryden
Hike report by Jim
Ten hikers met in Dryden to hike from the Roy Park Preserve to Hammond Hill State Forest. Temperatures were generally warm, and there wasn’t much mud anywhere along the route, which is unusual for this particular hike.
The climb from the preserve’s parking area to Hammond Hill Road passed quickly, and soon we’d entered the Hammond Hill trail system.
The group got somewhat spread out at this point, with the lead hikers getting as far as the seasonal part of Canaan Road before turning around.
We regrouped and retraced our steps back to the cars, arriving in the parking lot at a nearly perfect two-hour hike duration.
Saturday May 13
Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area, Newfield
Hike report by Dave B.
Twenty-two hikers and one dog met at the Connecticut Hill cemetery on a perfect morning for hiking — crisp and clear. The trail led us downhill through mixed hardwoods, then hemlocks, and finally a rooty stand of spruce before we reached a stream. A stepping-stone crossing was flanked by steel footers, the only remnants of a century-old bridge that carried truck traffic from a now-abandoned quarry.
We passed another bridge, this one with deck girders still in place, on our way to the partially overgrown quarry. A short-but-steep climb brought the group to the upper rim of the quarry and a nice view of a far hill in the WMA.
Ahead lay more woods and two more stream crossings. A steady climb followed, along the side of a wooded ravine and past an old metal sink and stone cistern (moonshiner debris?). The nearly four-mile loop, adorned by several species of wildflowers, brought us back to the cars in two hours.
Sunday May 14
Jenksville State Forest, Newark Valley
Hike report by Jim
Seventeen hikers met in Tioga County for a hike in Jenksville State Forest. The hike involved a new route that included both blue- and yellow-blazed trails within the state forest. Previous hikes here had been limited to yellow-blazed trails. The new route offered more variety in both views and forest environments than the old route. Sunday’s hike also ran over our normal two-hour hike time, but no one complained about that. Given the positive feedback people gave for this hike, I’m thinking that we’ll use this as our normal hike route here in the future.
The day was sunny but cool, and the trail was in excellent condition. We encountered a very small segment of trail that was muddy, but everything else was entirely dry. We had the multiuse trails to ourselves, except for a small group of cyclists and some equestrians we encountered in the parking lot but never saw on the trail.