Report to Hikers December 25-December 31

Wednesday, December 27

Arnot Teaching Forest Roadwalk Hike

Hike report by Jim

Twelve people met at the North Gate of Arnot Teaching and Research Forest for a road walk hike of part of the Forest. This is hike # 52 on our list of regular hike locations:

The day was extremely foggy (very atmospheric) and damp but still cool and enjoyable hiking weather. The group set off on Irish Hill Rd from the North Gate, which is generally a slight uphill grade and a good way to warm up. Reaching the intersection with Banfield Rd we turned onto that road, which soon became a slight roller coaster of up and downhill sections.

The fog persisted throughout the hike, so a view or two along this section I recall from previous hikes here were denied to the group today.

Reaching Station Rd the group turned onto that road, walking a short ways to some nearby ponds which we walked around and photographed until it was time to return to our cars.

As the group drew closer to our vehicles a slight drizzle of rain started, a good timing for a hike to end if I had ever seen one!

Saturday, December 30

Connecticut Hill Saddle and Pond Loop

Hike report by Dave Bock

What a gang! 36 hikers and 2 dogs showed up on Connecticut Hill for Hank’s memorial hike.

A layer of snow and some early fog highlighted the beauty of the forest. Recent rains meant the trails were wet (even muddy in spots). Nonetheless, the group was game as we trekked about 4.5 miles through varied woods, with a quick side trip to large pond. In the hardwoods, the ground sported a veneer of snow. In the denser hemlocks, the trees were frosted with white. Our route took us along parts of 10 trails, mostly unmarked though made more obvious than usual, appearing as a stripe of leaves bisecting the snow.

With no serious climbing necessary, we were able to move along smoothly, stopping only briefly from time to time to make sure all were accounted for. We emerged in just over 2 hours, and without any losses. Whew!!

Photo by Dave

Sunday, December 31

Owl Creek Trail Buttermilk Falls State Park

Hike report by Casey

Well, this is the last hike I am going to do with this darn group……..This year.

The scheduled hike was supposed to be on the Owl Trail in Buttermilk Falls State Park. The hike leader was under the weather and I was asked to fill in. But I didn’t really give a hoot about doing the Owl Trail, so I decided we would tackle the Rim Trail from Lower Buttermilk to Upper buttermilk and beyond.

We started with 27 hikers and two dogs with the instruction that this would be an out and back hike giving everyone the opportunity to go at their own pace, and turn around after one hour ten minutes from wherever you are at that point.

We took the Rim trail to Upper Buttermilk, where we picked up the Bear Trail and took that to the Treman Lake Trail which got nine of us all the way to the far end of the lake at exactly the right time to turn around and head back. I arrived back at the cars at the two hour mark having hiked 4.67 miles. Which by the way puts me at 578.71 miles for this year. More that 500 of those miles were with the Ithaca Hikers.

See you on a hike next year,


Photo by Nancy H.