Report to Hikers July 31 – August 6

Wednesday August 2

Black Diamond Trail

Hike report and photos by Tom B.

Fourteen of us set out on the Black Diamond Trail from the parking lot on Houghton Road at the back of Cayuga Nature Center’s property.  We had a strong suspicion that others may have gone to the Nature Center itself, but those who found the map pin had a beautiful day for a brisk hike up the trail  The fastest group made it all the way to the falls overlook center, but most of us settled for the railroad bridge with its own smaller falls.  The water was running nicely there and at other spots along the way. 

Though the day was not particularly hot, six of us wound up at my house for quick dip in the lake – very refreshing!  Perhaps there will be another occasion when we are hiking on the west side of the lake and a larger group can come for swim.

Leigh Anns pictures from the Wednesday hike:

8-2-23 Black Diamond Trail – Google Photos

Saturday August 5

Shindagin Hollow State Forest

Hike report by Jim

Sixteen hikers and a single dog met on Braley Hill Road in Caroline, in the dual parking lots just above Bald Hill School Road. This was a loop hike combining parts of the blue, yellow, and red bike trails; a snowmobile trail; and a short section of the FLT.

Since I took over the group we’ve only done this hike once, last winter, and we came up short on time on that hike. On Friday I prehiked the area, checking out some of the bike trails we’ve previously bypassed, in an effort to improve our time on this hike as well as possibly include some of those other trails in a new hike for the group in parts of Shindagin State Forest that we’ve previously missed out on. I premarked today’s route with engineer tape due to the maze of trails – it’s easy to get lost on if not careful.

After an initial hike route briefing and group picture, we set off on the blue-blazed bike trails east of Braley Hill Road, trails that take the group through towering monoculture pines followed by a gradually descending arc of trail footpath that was gentle on the knees.

The bugs that hunted me down as a solitary hiker on Friday were not so obvious on Saturday’s hike. The only buzzing I heard was from the group of hikers behind me.

Eventually the blue-blazed trail intersects with both the FLT, which we initially bypassed, and a snowmobile trail that leads back to Braley Hill Rpad. After reaching Braley Hill Road, our route jogged briefly before taking the FLT west. In this area, there is some evidence of recent windstorms, which have sent a few trees crashing down, although nothing that we couldn’t work through.

After we reached the various red-blazed bike trails, the group turned north, working our way through a series of turns on different red-blazed trails that eventually terminated in a yellow-blazed section of trail we’ve hiked before. This final downhill section of trail brought us back to our cars only five minutes late – but that was still much better than a too-short hike.

It was only after returning to the parking lot that we ran into our first significant number of bike riders, unlike Friday when I repeatedly encountered groups of both bicyclists and other hikers on the trail.

photos by Leigh Ann

More pictures from leigh Ann:

8-5-23 Bald Hill – Google Photos

Cian’s photo album from this hike:

Shindagin Hollow Blue Trail August 2023 – Google Photos

Sunday August 6

Cayuga Trail

Hike report by Jim

Nineteen hikers and two dogs met at Lower Creek and Hanshaw Roads for a hike of part of our adopted section of the Cayuga Trail to check on trail conditions.

The weather was sunny and warm, and bugs along the trail were minimal.

The group initially walked from the trailhead to Route 13, then we turned around and hiked the Cayuga Trail toward Freese Road as far as some of the open fields beyond the Cornell Outdoor Rec pavilion.

We skipped our usual stops along the creek, as time was a concern.

Trail conditions overall were good, and it looks as if we won’t need another trail maintenance day until early fall.

Welcome to new hiker Todd and his canine hiking partner, Lexi, on their first hike with the group!

Photo by Jim

Photos by Leigh Ann

Leigh Ann’s Photos: 8-6-23 North Monkey Run – Google Photos

Annual cookout assistance needed

Regarding the cookout at Roger’s on the 19th:

Our party host Roger needs help with set-up on the morning of the 19th and break-down on the morning of the 20th. If interested in helping, please contact Roger at

As always, if you are attending the picnic you are free to bring food to share with the group.

Hiker Recognition:

On her recent trip to the high peaks, Ithaca Hiker June Meyer has completed all 46 of the high peaks. Congratulations June!