Report to Hikers December 18-December 24

Wednesday, December 20

Kingsbury Woods

Hike report by Jim

Fifteen hikers and a single dog met in the Town of Danby for a hike of the Kingsbury Woods Preserve. This has been hike #46 on our list of hike locations: .

Although after today I will be moving this hike to our short hikes list ( edit: change made. Hike 46 is now a breakdown of Dave Bs CT hill Hikes. Look for the KIngsbury Woods Preserve hike under the compiled “shorter hikes ” list of Hike #67) due to the trail system here being too short to be able to hike a full two hours. On our past hikes in this preserve we were still a little early by the end of our hikes, but today’s hike was VERY abbreviated for time.

The group did two complete circuits of the single trail loop in the preserve. The trail initially follows the upper end of Lick Brook before turning into the woods where it crosses the stream a couple of times and follows the property line along some open fields before returning on itself. Since our last time here there have been some efforts to re-route the trail away from some muddy sections and to place some large rocks along the footpath in other muddy sections. After returning to the road we crossed to the preserve property on the other side of the road and walked the ridgeline before bushwhacking along some open fields on that side of the road.

Warm welcome to Jesse on his first hike with the group!

Photo by Leigh Ann

Saturday, December 23

Cayuga Nature Center

Hike report by Jim

Twenty-five hikers and no dogs (today’s location allows no companion animal hikers) arrived at the Houghton Rd parking lot for a hike of the Cayuga Nature Center trail system.

This is hike # 45 on our list of regular hike locations :

The group set off across the open fields towards the Nature Center buildings, arriving first at the animal enclosures. One of those looked to be a fairly new replacement structure, and almost all of the cages were occupied.

The day was overcast throughout the hike; I didn’t see the sun come out at all. There was a short moment where we had a few rain drops fall on us but there was no actual rain.

The group hiked around to the front of the building and completed a couple of the trail loops found on Nature Center property. Other than some muddy footpath sections of the Wilderness Loop and some of the on-going blazing issues we’ve found here before, there were no issues.

On our way back to the cars the group stopped at the treehouse and a few hikers took a minute to explore the layout of that building.

As we still had a few minutes to use up the group hiked out and back on the Black Diamond Trail to use up our remaining hike time.

Welcome to Anne on her first hike with the group!

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday, December 24

 Forest Home at suspension bridge

Hike report by Jim

Twenty-one hikers and two dogs met on Forest Home Drive at Flat Rock for a loop hike of various Cayuga Trail options in the area. This is hike 4-A on our list of regular hike locations:

The day was generally overcast and cooler, although the weather remained very tolerable hiking conditions throughout our hike.

The hikers set off across Stevens suspension bridge and turned westerly, hiking along the northerly bank of Fall Creek before turning to scale the hills leading up to the greens of the Robert Trent Jones golf course. Once on the greens the group followed the res stakes around the course perimeter until we reached the horse barns in the vicinity of Bluegrass Lane. Our normal route through the barns is still closed off due to on-going construction, so we doubled back to the golf course and took another trail that follows a perimeter fence along the horse fields until we reached another section of the Cayuga Trail system. Here we followed the orange blazed trails along the high bluffs before turning and making our way down to the trails that run along the banks of Fall Creek.

Returning to the suspension bridge we paused briefly while some hikers in the group opted to leave early, with the remaining people following the creek-level blue blazed trail along the southerly bank of Fall Creek. The blue blazed trails circle back to Forest Home Drive, which we crossed over and completed a loop back to our cars using some of the trails located just outside of the Arboretum. Hoping that all Ithaca Hikers have a good Holiday week and see you all on a hike soon!

I would also like to take a moment and note the passing this week of long-time Ithaca Hiker Henry “ Hank” Spencer.

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.