Report to Hikers November 20-November 26

Wednesday, November 22

 Mulholland Wildflower Preserve

Hike report by Jim

After a night of high winds and rain, eleven hikers met in the city of Ithaca for a hike of Mulholland Wildflower Preserve and Wells Falls. This is hike # 1 on our list of regular hike locations:

The morning temps were in the 40s as the hikers pulled into the parking lot off Giles Street. There were already several other day hikers/ dog walkers in the Preserve, so our group jockeyed around to fill the remaining limited parking spaces.

Setting off into the Preserve, the group found the cascades in the creek and the waterfalls flowing off the cliff faces to be running strongly, thanks to the previous evenings rainfall. The day was somewhat overcast but still quite enjoyable. We stopped occasionally to check out a few sections of the creek we were passing, and then turned onto the blue blazed trail that leads to the second dam service road. Before reaching that road we turned onto the branch of the blue blazed trail that winds along the side of the hill and gives a great view of the creek around second dam, where the water was flowing strongly enough that it was quite loud even from a distance. Reaching the end of that blue blazed trail we merged onto the service road and walked a short distance to the overlook above second dam. As I no longer take hikers along the goat path of a trail that continues to third dam, we reversed direction and re-traced our route back to the parking area.

From our cars we crossed Giles Street and traversed the bridge before taking the higher loop blue blazed trail that comes out over Wells Falls. That loop returned the hikers to Giles Street; we then took the lower blue blazed trail to the base of Wells Falls. Wrapping up the hike we returned to Giles Street and our cars, arriving back in the parking lot about ten minutes earlier than usual.

A warm welcome to Val and Hina on their first hike with the group!

Photos by Jim

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Friday, November 24

Monkey Run South Side

Hike report by Jim

Seventeen hikers and two dogs met on Monkey Run Rd for a special Friday Thanksgiving Weekend hike of the Monkey Run trail system on the southerly side of Fall Creek. This is hike # 6 in our list of regular hike locations:

The day was chilly at the start of the hike, and no one in the group was complaining to get started so they could warm up. The footpath between the parking area and Route 366 along the orange blazed trails was a little muddy in places but not terribly so. The wind was a little bit of a bracing shock in the very beginning as we hiked along an exposed ridgeline, and persisted until we’d crossed the open fields near Varna and returned to the red-blazed trails along the creek. The sun came out for us fairly early in the hike but soon disappeared, never to be seen during the remainder of the morning. We encountered several other small clusters of day hikers with their dogs but for the most part we were by ourselves in the woods. We hiked along the high bluffs, then followed the red blazed trails in a long loop at creek level. Rather than pass through a portion of the trail in the closing minutes of the hike that’s always extremely muddy, the group opted to retrace the route to a side trail which brought us out at the cars right on time and just as a coarse granular snow started to fall.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Saturday, November 25

 Kennedy State Forest

Hike report by Jim

Twenty hikers met in Cortland County for a hike in Kennedy State Forest. This is hike #40-4 on our list of regular hike locations:

This hike has always been a bit of a planning challenge for me because no matter how I configure the route we take; we always seem to get back to the cars 15-20 minutes sooner than I expected. With the recent opening of the Ukranian Loop I thought that finally we’d have a route that would bring us back to the cars at the expected time.

The morning was cool and sunny as we set out through the forest. The forest floor had that springy quality where the surface needles underfoot are frozen while the underlying ground is still soft or even muddy. The footpath had more mud and standing water than we’ve had in recent hikes here, with some of it being well concealed under the leaf cover. A decent amount of water was flowing in the streams but we completed the crossings without incident.

The route today consisted of the FLT to the new Ukraninan Loop, to an unblazed connector that took us back to the FLT. From there we jumped onto the Swedish Loop and completed that, arriving back at the FLT. Once back on the FLT it was a straight -forward hike back to the cars, where we arrived…fifteen minutes earlier than planned… at this point I can only assume that the FLT travels through Kennedy Forest via the Twilight Zone or the Bermuda Triangle! We’ll keep at it until I get it right!

Photo by Jim

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday, November 26

 FLT from Lower Robert Treman

Hike report by Jim

Twenty-five hikers and three dogs met in the Tappan Mitra parking lot at Shady Corners, for an out-and-back hike of the FLT in Robert Treman State Park. This is hike # 8-1 on our list of regular hike locations:

The day was cool, with a cold breeze greeting hikers as they arrived. The group set off through the thick leaves in the lower Robert Treman camping area, each hiker setting their own pace for the outbound leg of the hike. Pretty quickly the larger group settled into distinct subsets of hikers, the fastest hikers quickly disappearing from view.

At about the hour mark everyone turned around, the fastest group having made it as far as Butternut Creek and the wooden FLT bridge there before turning around, for a total distance hiked of 7.25 miles.

Photo by Jim

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.