Wednesday, November 29
Fillmore Glen State Park
Hike report by Nancy L.
Fourteen hikers and a single dog met in the parking area of Fillmore Glen State Park in the village of Moravia, Cayuga County, for a hike of the trail system there. This is hike 14-2 on our list of regular hike locations：
Nancy L and Jeff V led the hike. For this hike I (Nancy) planned to hike the rim trails. The trickiest part was finding a way from the parking lot to the North rim trail since it required crossing a bridge over the creek. Many of the bridges were closed. Jeff guided us over to a stone bridge behind the visitors center. There was a long climb up the North side. The woods was nice but there is no view of the gorge along its length. However near the top of the North Rim trail, there is a new waterfall loop which allowed us to see one of the best waterfalls in the gorge. After we completed the loop we continued hiking a little farther to the top end of the trail where we hiked along the edge of a dam and a small reservoir to reach the South rim. At this point we used a park road for a distance. We finally reached a trail back through the woods and proceeded along it with good views through the leafless trees. After arriving at a picnic pavilion we made our way carefully down a stone staircase back to our cars.
Saturday, December 2
Sapsucker Woods, Lab of Ornithology
Hike report by Jim
Thirty-one hikers met at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on Sapsucker Woods Rd for a hike of the trails there. This is hike # 62 on our list of regular hike locations: https://www.ithacahikers.com/hike-62.
The sky was overcast with nearly 100% cloud cover, but other than a very short time during the hike when we had a few drops of rain, it was good hiking weather. We generally only come to these trails during hunting season when so many of our other trail options are unavailable, and since our last hike here they’ve opened some new loops on the easterly side of their property. New map here: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/…/07/TrailMap_May2023.pdf .
The visitor center is closed until spring 2024 for renovations, so we weren’t able to include a visit there as part of todays hike. We started with a generally counter-clockwise route of the outer trails, starting at the visitor center, with brief stops at observation points for the various ponds along the way. Crossing Sapsucker Woods Rd we continued in a counter-clockwise direction, merging into the new trails which we found primarily pass through some nice open field areas. The open field paths were quite water-logged compared to the older trails, and we ended up by-passing one entire loop on the lower section of the new trails as a result. Returning to the older trails the group stopped briefly at the Goldsworthy egg cairn before continuing on. Returning to the westerly side of Sapsucker Woods Rd, we took the inner ring of trails back to the visitor center, where we took a few minutes to observe the various sculptures and the wildlife in the ponds. From there we walked back to the cars, getting there about ten minutes early. That will be corrected once the visitor center re-opens or we’re able to work up a better route within the circuit of trails.
Welcome to Paul, Isaac and Nate on their first hike with the group!
Sunday, December 3
Dryden Rail Trail
Hike report by Jim
Nine hikers braved the elements to meet in the Kenny Van Sickle ballfield parking lot in the Village of Dryden for a hike of the Dryden Rail Trail between Dryden and Freeville. This is hike #49A on our list of regular hike locations: https://www.ithacahikers.com/hike-49 .
The entire hike was done in a downpour, although the precipitation volume did lessen a couple of times along the way. Views across the valley from George Road were atmospheric and misty. The path underfoot was saturated and often pools of water that we found ourselves slogging through. Path-side ditches were alive with small streams of rainwater.
As I walked the rail trail I noticed that I was surrounded by hundreds of glistening beads of water that lay suspended on the branches and the tan shoots of last summer’s dead weeds that still stood along the path. The hikers were a mix of colors from their rain gear. We had the path to ourselves with the exception of one cluster of bicyclists who passed our group at one time. This path often has too much road noise for my liking, but I have found that early Sunday mornings are the exception, as the volume of traffic on near-by roads is diminished. The weather today must have kept even more people indoors, as traffic was minimal. The group walked to the Village of Freeville and turned around and re-traced our route without incident.