Wednesday August 16
Robinson Hollow State Forest
Hike report by Jim
Nine hikers met on Harford Slaterville Road for an out-and-back hike on the Finger Lakes Trail through Robinson Hollow State Forest.
The day started out somewhat gloomy. The trail had some water seepage through the beaver dam, as is usual. The old logging road that starts the climb up the hill showed signs of some minor recent washout, probably from all the rain we’ve been having.
After cresting the top of the hill, the trail passes through a utility right-of-way and another old logging road, then it descends toward state Route 79.
We turned around and retraced our route, returning to the cars through a light rain.
Hiker safety note: There is an active bald-faced hornets’ nest on the right side of the trail, just before you reach the utility right-of-way. The trail maintainer has been advised, so you might find the area taped off if you do this hike in the near future!
Saturday August 19
Upper Treman State Park, Enfield
Hike and cookout reports by Jim
Fourteen hikers and two dogs met on Woodard Road for a hike into upper Robert Treman State Park as a prelude to our summer cookout at Roger’s house.
The group took the CCC trail into upper Treman, where we grabbed the Rim Trail to the overlook area opposite Lucifer Falls.
The route then took us down the stone staircase, where we again paused before the wooden bridge so that hikers could see Lucifer Falls from ground level. Leigh Ann commented that some of the group had never had an opportunity to see the falls from that angle, so I was happy that they got to experience something new today.
We crossed the bridge and then turned and walked back to the upper park via the Gorge Trail. From there, we took the CCC trail back to the FLT.
At that point, some hikers headed off to Roger’s house early. Leigh Ann led the rest of the group across Butternut Creek and followed the FLT until it was time to turn around. I opted to cross Woodard Road and continue on the FLT in that direction.
A couple of hiker safety notes about this route, for those hikers who might want to try it out for themselves as a solo hike:
First, the CCC trail near the park worker’s house is extremely overgrown, so long pants are advised. I assume that maintaining this trail section is the responsibility of the park (they converted it from campsites into the CCC trail after I left the state park’s employment in the late ’80s, so I’m not sure about that). This is a concern mainly because of the high probability of issues with ticks. This section of trail should be a quick trim job for a park worker with a riding or push mower.
Second, the stone staircase from the Rim Trail toward the Gorge Trail has some seriously deficient (to my mind) stonework on the steps. I understand that budgets are tight, but this has been an issue for several years now, and seeing how other parks have been staying on top of issues like this, it really reflects poorly on Robert Treman Park. It’s a serious safety issue for people using the stairs, so be forewarned to take the stairs carefully.
Welcome to Deanne and Leagh on their first hike with the group!
Summer Cookout at Roger’s
About 50 hikers stopped by Roger’s house over the course of Saturday afternoon to enjoy some food and drink and to catch up with Ithaca Hikers old and new.
The day was a little cooler than normal, but some brave souls did dare to take a swim in the pond.
A silent auction was held, raising some money to assist in defraying the costs of our website and Meetup page. Hikers also put donations in boots set up to collect money toward the cost of those sites and the chicken we grilled (Randy reported a significant spike in the cost of chicken this year, and he paid for the birds out of his own pocket).
Many thanks to Randy, Nancy L., Bud, Kai, and Jack V. for volunteering to help Roger set up on Saturday morning. On Sunday, Christina, Eckhart, and Mary assisted Roger in breaking down the tables and chairs, washing dishes and pots, and generally putting away those items until next year. (A gentle reminder to the group that assistance breaking stuff down and cleaning up after the party is equally important as any prep work done the day of the party. Roger is a gracious host in opening his home to us and providing so many of the materials used in the party; making the clean-up easy on him and his family is the least we can do for them.)
Sunday August 20
Monkey Run Natural Area, Varna
Hike report by Jim
Twenty-six hikers and three dogs set off from Monkey Run Road on the Cayuga Trail for a loop hike of the red-, yellow-, and orange-blazed trails on the south side of Fall Creek.
The weather was great for hiking. There were a few other day hikers on the trail system, but not as many as I expected for such a great day.
The group managed to keep up a good pace, but with such a long conga line we had to stop periodically to let everyone catch up.
We encountered a small amount of mud along the route, but nothing to worry about or slow us down.
Welcome to Maria on her first hike with us!