Wednesday September 20
Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve
Hike report by Jim
Eleven hikers met on Ellis Hollow Creek Road for a hike of the Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve, which is hike #38 on our list of hikes. The day was cool but sunny, and the greenery in the parking area was clearly in seasonal transition, with many shades coloring the leaves as I waited for hikers to arrive.
We all stayed together for a single circuit of the yellow, blue, and red loops. Once we were in the preserve, things were quite gloomy under the canopy, and here it was obvious that most of the trees had yet to start their seasonal transition. There was almost no water flowing in the creeks, and we encountered only rare patches of mud along the way.
After a quick pause at the kiosk at the end of the first circuit, the group splintered into a number of subgroups, and each subgroup did its own route within the preserve. The entire group reconvened at the two-hour mark to conclude the hike.
Our group had the place to ourselves with the exception of a single dog walker we encountered along the way.
Saturday September 23
Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve, West Danby
Hike report by Jim
Eighteen hikers and one dog met at Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in West Danby to do hike #16 on our hike list. The day was generally overcast, but hikers said they preferred that to some of the hotter days we’ve hiked recently.
Before we set out, the larger group split into two smaller groups. Each group did its own distinct hike: Five hikers, led by Casey, preferred to bushwhack to the top of the Pinnacles, while most hikers stayed within the preserve’s trail system.
Those hiking within the preserve started with a quick loop around the Coleman Lake observation trail, then entered the larger fields and began a loop hike of the various yellow, blue, red and orange trails there.
Trails were in good condition, and we saw only a handful of other hikers during our time on the trails. There was a 50% chance of morning rain, but that never materialized while we were hiking.
The main group arrived back at their cars a few minutes early. Casey’s bushwhackers arrived back at the parking lot considerably later and reported a successful ascent of the hillside.
Sunday September 24
Spur trail from upper Lick Brook/Townline Road to upper Buttermilk Falls SP/Yaple Road
Hike report by Jim
Nineteen hikers and one dog met on Townline Road in Ithaca for a hike of the Thayer Preserve trail system to the FLT spur trail into upper Buttermilk Falls State Park. This is hike #11 on our list of our regular hike locations.
We set out into Thayer Preserve on a steady climb on the orange-blazed trails away from Townline Road. A few minutes into the hike, the trail reaches Sandbank Road and follows that road in close proximity for a short while. The trail then emerges into the open fields near the South Hill Cidery glamping sites, where we paused for a group photo before returning to the woods. The trail winds through the woods until it finally emerges into an open utility right-of-way near West King Road.
We crossed West King Road and picked up the FLT spur trail, which intermingles woods walks with open fields until it reaches Yaple Road. This section in particular was very nice today; the wooded portions were gloomy, but the grasses and underbrush in this section had an almost luminescent quality, especially on the return leg of the hike after the rain had ended. The open fields were awash with a multitude of shades of fall colors: yellow, red, green, and purple.
At Yaple Road, hikers continued on the spur trail until we reached the park trail that circles Treman Lake. We took that trail to the upper end of Treman Lake, crossed the mostly dry lake bed and walked to Comfort Road on the park access road. Then, we walked back to Yaple Road and Casey took over leading the group for the return leg. We retraced our route until we reached the blue-blazed Toms Trail, which we took back to Townline Road.
We arrived back at our cars at exactly the two-hour mark.