Wednesday October 11
Finger Lakes National Forest
Hike report by Mark S.
Nineteen hikers and one dog met near Reynoldsville for a loop hike of the Finger Lakes National Forest trails. Two additional hikers showed up late,
and they headed north on the Interloken trail.
This hike is not on our website’s hike list. I chose this hike hoping for peak fall colors, but the colors were rather muted and the day was fairly gloomy under the forest canopy. Temperatures were cool, but hikers warmed up within a few minutes of starting the hike.
I led the group on an entertaining loop combining forest trail and open fields. The views from the fields were somewhat hazy at a distance but still very enjoyable. We had some light but manageable breezes while traversing the open fields, and no rain at all over the duration of the hike.
We did a short out-and-back on the Ravine Trail to Burnt Hill Road. Three hikers extended their hike by continuing on the Ravine Trail loop.
Saturday October 14
Roy H. Park Preserve and Hammond Hill SF
Hike report by Jim
Seventeen hikers met in the north parking lot of the Roy H. Park Preserve for a hike into Hammond Hill State Forest. This is hike #32 on our hike list.
The sky was overcast at the hike’s start. We crossed the boardwalk and entered the forest. In the past, I’ve often found the lower parts of the trail system to be very muddy, but these weren’t in bad shape today. We ascended the hillside, and I noticed some downed trees along the way that are overdue for being removed. I also noticed that, with the freshly fallen leaves obscuring the trail, there is a real shortage of red trail markers in many places between the parking lot and Hammond Hill Road. This was particularly a problem on the return leg of the hike. Although it would be difficult to get seriously lost on this section of trail, the issue should be addressed.
We reached Hammond Hill Road and stopped briefly for a group picture before proceeding with the hike. The climb to Hammond Hill Road had gone very quickly, so Casey C. took over leading the group and we continued onto the Hammond Hill trail system, taking the yellow-blazed trails to the seasonal part of Canaan Road and beyond before turning around.
On the return leg of the hike, light rain started to fall. This turned into a steady rain by the time we’d reached our cars.
We shared the trails today with a good number of runners, dog walkers, and bicyclists.
Sunday October 15
Upper Treman SP, Enfield
Hike report by Jim
The rain fell Sunday until we were just getting our hike underway. Despite the wet morning, 17 hikers and four dogs met on Woodard Road in Enfield, where the Finger Lakes Trail crosses, for a loop hike spliced together from the FLT and several roads and park trails. This is hike #12 on our website.
Hikers posed for a group photo and then set off on the FLT toward the bridge that crosses Fishkill Creek. Once across the bridge, we took the seasonal portion of Butternut Creek Road to the junction with Van Ostrand Road. When we emerged onto Van Ostrand Road, the sun came out, and the remainder of the hike was an enjoyably sunny day with some light breezes.
We walked Van Ostrand Road until we turned onto Thomas Road, which led us back to Butternut Creek Road and the continuation of the FLT into upper Robert Treman State Park.
In the park, we walked to the Lucifer Falls overlook on the Rim Trail before splitting into two subgroups. The smaller group took the Rim Trail back to upper Treman. Because the stone stairs and the Gorge Trail have not yet closed for the season, this was our last chance to enjoy those parts of the trail system. The larger group of hikers took the stone stairs down to ground level at the base of Lucifer Falls before taking the Gorge Trail back to the upper park.
From the area of the Old Mill, hikers took the CCC trail back to the FLT and from there back to our cars. There were many other hikers on the Gorge Trail, some from distant locations, which surprised me. I stopped to talk to one person from a group of hikers similar in size to our own and learned that they were visiting from Delaware. Other than on the Gorge Trail, though, we didn’t see many other people on this hike.