Wednesday, November 8
Yellow Barn State Forest
Hike report by Jim
Thirteen hikers and a dog met at the end of Signal Tower Rd for a hike of Yellow Barn State Forest. This is hike 33 on our list of regular hike locations:
The day was cool, and there was a dusting of fresh snow on the ground. The group set off down the seasonal road that extends beyond the end of the maintained portion of Signal Tower Rd. This location has been the site of some recent residential development, but soon we were past the new house lots and following the old logging road in a southerly direction. Reaching a fork in the road we turned towards the horse fields to the east and walked the edge of the fields until reaching the cross-country ski loop at the end of the second field. The group completed a loop of the ski trail and returned to the horse fields, re-tracing our steps back to our cars. The wind had picked up by this point, the sun had come out, and the new snow was quickly melting from the forest floor around us as we reached the cars.
Edit: if you were on today’s hike, be sure to check yourself well after getting home. I picked up a tiny hitchhiker somewhere along the hike route today.
Saturday, November 11
Black Diamond Trail
Hike report by Jim
Twenty-two hikers and a single dog met in the Jacksonville Rd parking lot for the north end of the Black Diamond Trail for an out-and-back hike of the Black Diamond Trail. This is not a hike that currently exists on our list of regular hike locations. The day was cool and overcast, although the sun made a limited appearance during the morning.
The group set off without incident and quickly broke down into distinct subsets according to people’s walking pace. The fastest group hiked a total of 7.25 miles during the hike. We encountered a few other day hikers and dog walkers during the hike, but the trail was surprisingly empty for a weekend.
Welcome to Joy and Linda on their first hike with the group!
Sunday, November 12
Ekroos Rd Roadwalk
Hike report by Jim
Twenty three hikers and a single dog met on Ekroos Rd, just over the line into Tioga county, for a rural out-and-back road walk. This is hike number 54-1 on our list of regular hike locations: https://www.ithacahikers.com/hike-54
We are more often here as a late summer or winter hike location for the group, and I like it best when the colors are changing or we’re in the depths of winter and the plowed roads here make an easy hike when so many other locations are snowed in. The road was shut down for several months and unavailable to the group, however, so today it made for a nice hunting season road walk.
Temperatures were on the cool side, with a little bit of breeze that chilled you until the hike started. The skies were generally overcast. The outbound leg of this hike is a gradual decline until nearly the end, when it becomes more of a serious downhill grade that’s often entirely impassible due to ice build-up when we are here in the winter months. A nice motivation to make that last downhill descent and climb back up on the return leg of the hike is a small ravine that runs alongside the road in that area. There are a couple of houses towards the turn-around point, and a new post-and-beam house is going up along the road as well. There is one spot along the route where the view opens up across open fields to the south and hikers are rewarded with views of the distant peaks.
On today’s hike the group made it to the intersection with 76 Rd inside of Tompkins County before turning around and re-tracing our steps.
On today’s hike the group had a new hiker Caroline with us. Caroline is a journalism student at Ithaca College and came on the hike to interview members of the group on our views about preserving green space for the future generations. A completed video product including our interviews will be released via an on-campus source in the future. I’ll be sure to send out a link of that video to the group after I receive it.