Wednesday, December 13
Taughannock Falls State Park
Hike report by Mark S.
Twenty-four hikers and one dog met on Rice Rd in the Town of Ulysses for a hike that is new to the group, led by Ithaca Hiker Mark S. This hike is not currently listed on our regular hike locations list. See the TFSP trail map here:
The views on the hike were great and temps were cool – perfect for hiking.
The hike started at the top of the Rice Road sledding hill. Mark led the group on a circuitous route along the multi-use trails around Rice Rd and down to the bottom of the sledding hill. The next section of the route included some nice trail sections with beautiful mature trees that ran in and along various ravine and streams.
The route eventually led us to the Falls overlook on Taughannock Park Rd. The group then headed west on the North Rim Trail to the old railroad bridge that links the north and south rim trails. There was plenty of water flowing over the falls! Crossing Jacksonville Rd we did an out-and-back hike of the new Cataract Trail, which ends at the old Grassroots campground off of Agard Road. The group then turned around and returned to the rim trail. From there we picked up another section of the multi-use trails that took the group back to our cars on Rice Rd right on time.
Map of the hike courtesy of Nancy Lorr:
Saturday, December 16
Stewart Park to Farmers Market
Hike report by Jim
Twenty-two hikers and two dogs met in Stewart Park for a flat hike out to the Farmers Market (on its last Saturday of the fall season) and back again. This is hike # 53-2 on our list of regular hike locations:
The morning was a good one, with unseasonably warm temperatures and a hazy but nice view up the lake as hikers arrived.
The group left the parking lot and made a quick circle around the old swan pond, picking up a couple of late-arriving hikers along the way. We stopped for a quick group photo and continued on, crossing the first suspension bridge and entering the Renwick Wildwood / Fuertes Bird sanctuary trail system:
This was a quick loop, with the group returning to the second suspension bridge that crosses Fall Creek in just a few minutes walking time.
Crossing the suspension bridge we circled the edge of the golf course, walking out to Lighthouse Point to check out the views from there. Returning to solid land we continued onwards, circling the golf course and walking the graveled paths along Willow Ave behind some of the new construction that was a little better than our usual asphalt walking on past hikes here.
Crossing the footbridge near Willow Ave and State Route 13 we walked to the Farmers Market, which we found to be well under way and crowded with patrons. The hikers drifted around the Market, most of us buying a drink or food product along our way.
On the return leg of our journey the larger group broke up into smaller sub-groups of hikers, each sub-group finding its way back to Stewart Park and our vehicles at their own pace.
Warm welcome to James and Jody on their first hike with the group!
Sunday, December 17
FLT from Schuyler County Vets Park to Gulf Rd
Hike report by Jim
Twenty-one hikers and one dog met at the Schuyler County Veterans Memorial Park for a hike of the FLT in the area. This is hike # 66 on our list of regular hike locations: https://www.ithacahikers.com/hike-66
This is a mostly flat hike that’s good as a hunting season option when other sections of trails are unavailable to the group.
The day was cloudy and overcast, a big change from just the day before when the group had hiked to the Farmers Market.
The FLT leaves the park in a mostly southeasterly direction, travelling through minor wooded areas on private property until arriving at Route 6. Crossing Route 6 to reach Gulf Rd, it’s only a short road walk to where the FLT continues along a nice section of stream. The stream at this upper end is very slow moving, but as the trail continues to the southeast the cascades start in the water as the trail rises and falls above the stream level.
The group encountered a couple of easily by-passed blow down trees and met a couple of day hikers or dog walkers on this section of the route. Otherwise we had the trail to ourselves.
At the hour turn-around time we reached the location of the former wooden bridge that collapsed a year or two; some of its disassembled bones still remain on site awaiting removal.
The group paused for a quick photo, and then Casey took the lead and re-traced our route, getting the group back to the cars on time with around five miles hiked on this route.