Wednesday, February 7
Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve
Hike report by Mary Weiz
Nineteen hikers and zero canine met to circle and loop the Ellis Hollow Preserve until they reached the 1h 52m mark and 4.3 miles. Welcome Nathan who joined us for his first hike with this group.
Hikers began walking in chilly 27 degree mostly clear, blue air which heated to 36 degrees after two hours. The group enjoyed no precipitation.
The preserve encompasses 111 acres of woodland donated by Barbara Keeton and family to the Finger Lakes Land Trust and is located in the Town of Dryden. Notably, it’s home to the only native magnolia in the region (according to FLLT information)! Look for it Mid-May. Streams in the preserve feed into Cascadilla Creek and were moderately full this morning. There was some visible ice in the streams and only a small amount on the trails. Hikers did well with or without light foot traction. The Dominion Transmission Plant is in operation and still apparent at the onset of the hike.
Only five hikers completed the final push to cover every inch of walkable area, all yellow, red and blue trails . . . walking each either once, twice or few . . . three times. Near the very end, hikers encountered the only downed tree, which was on the yellow trail. Then, hikers were heading south and close to the kiosk.
Saturday, February 10
FLT in Danby State Forest
Hike report by Casey
We started from Durfee Hill Road and Route 96-B with 24 or 25 hikers. It was 46 degrees when we started and it seemed to climb quickly as we quickly climbed a seriously steep and long hill on our way to the Tamarack lean-to and beyond.
This was a simple out and back hike on the FLT. Our out and back hikes are purposely designed in a way that absolutely anyone and everyone can hike at whatever speed suits them, whether that is fast, slow, or in-between.
The bunch that were out front most of the time, which I think was more than half of the whole group, managed to get just about to South Danby Road where we turned around and headed back. Much to our surprise, when we got to what seemed like a serious up hill on the way out, was now and even more serious downhill on the way back.
We ended up with 5.84 miles and an elevation gain of 978 feet, and less mud than I expected.
Sunday, February 11
Lloyd Starks Loop, Connecticut Hill, Newfield
Hike report by Nancy Lorr
25 people and 1 dog gathered at the corner of Boylan and Lloyd Starks road in Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area on a spring like winter morning. After the group pic and intro, we headed up Lloyd Stark road. A trail takes off to the left and heads first through a short piece of sloppy clear cut and up into a piney hillside. This was our only climb of the hike, approximately 600 ft of elevation gain. After regrouping at a small pond at the top, we traversed the plateau top of Rowell hill. We encountered traces of human settlement like the pit of a foundation and some rock walls. Next we had a nice view South across a meadow. Then we headed to another lookout further south which gave us a Northeast view. Next we crossed over to the other side of Lloyd Stark road and headed gradually downhill to a beaver pond for a quick glimpse. We successfully traversed a swampy portion to make our way back to the cars for a hike of 2 hours.