Report to Hikers March 4-March 10

Wednesday, March 6

South Hill Road heading east on FLT to Texas Hollow Road and back

Hike report by Casey

It was a wet Wednesday. We started with ten hikers at the FLT on South Hill Road in Benettsburg. Because we had two Toms we might have to name this the Tomtom hike. We also had two new hikers with us and they seemed to have a good time.

We went east towards Texas Hollow Road. In the past there were a few confusing spots on this hike, but it seems that someone did some blazing to get rid of any confusion.

As you get close to Texas Hollow Road. The trail becomes quite a challenging downhill. And because of the rain, that challenging part had slippery leaves, roots, rocks etc. It was tricky, but we survived, and from there we continued on the FLT into the normal Texas Hollow hike for about ten minutes and then turned around and headed back.

Because the steep downhill was such slow going, the steep uphill on the way back didn’t take us any longer than the downhill. Once we got to the top of the hill, it was a slight downhill on the way to our cars. We ended up ten minutes shy of two hours with only 3.72 miles and 738 feet of elevation gain. It was still a challenging hike for part of it.

Photos by Maria McMahon

Saturday, March 9

Shindagin Hollow Road east to South Road on the FLT, Brooktondale

Hike report by Mary W.

Nineteen hikers met at the southern end of Shindagin Hollow Road to hike the FLT to South Road. This location starts in the “hollow” proper and at the junction of Gulf Creek Road. An issue that was clear at the meet-up for this hike is that Google Maps, and GPS in general, is unreliable in this area. To explain, GPS is spotty, or absent in places due to lack of cell coverage. In addition, Google Maps routed several drivers to Gulf Creek Road. This may look like an efficient route to the meet up location, but Gulf Creek Road is a non-paved, largely unmaintained, seasonal access road that is very difficult for automobiles to travel. Talking with Nancy H briefly we highlighted two approaches to remediate the navigation trouble:  A.) Hike leaders will write out directions to the hike meetup when in this particular area. B.) Hikers are advised to contact the hike leader prior to the meet up if they are unsure of the area and where to go. A hike leader’s email is listed in each hike announcement. 

It was 39 degrees and cloudy at the meet up. Hikers traversed the FLT for about 4.3 miles and for two hours before returning to automobiles. The rain held off and the residual mud wasn’t too bad. As usual, the pine groves, the lean to, the stream and small gorge, the rock sculptures and the cedar grove were the highlights of the forest this morning.  

It is with great sadness for the loss of a fellow hiker that this hike is dedicated to Linda Verling. She was a friend, farmer, mother, grandmother, wife . . .  a strong and kind, long-time hiker who recently lost her life unexpectedly to a respiratory illness and related causes. 

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday, March 10

Havington Hill, into Cortland County

Hike report by Leigh Ann

Seventeen hikers and one dog met at the junction of Lake Road and the Jim Schug Trail and hiked north to where the Finger Lakes Trail crosses Lake. The Havington Hill hike goes east on the Finger Lakes Trail from Lake Rd. It is reliably excellent and enjoyably varied with steep parts through the woods, expansive views across fields, and several stream crossings. This was a great day for anyone that liked water underfoot – lots of it. Although we got snowed on immediately before and after the hike, it was the water underfoot that was remarkable. Today the entrance field was a 3-5-inch-deep lake with grass all through it. One crossing of a deep stream took rearranging rocks to make it passable for everyone. There were many opportunities to hop across trail-eating streams or just slog through them. Overall, an excellent day – one for telling stories about (“You wouldn’t believe…”).

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.