Report to Hikers April 22-April 28

Wednesday, April 24

Eastman Hill Rd at the Tioga/ Tompkins County Line

Hike report by Jim

Ten hikers met at the end of the maintained portion of Eastman Hill Rd at the Tompkins and Tioga County line, for a hike of the FLT in the area. This is hike # 50 on our list of regular hike locations:

The weather forecast called for rain through much of the day, which I suspect accounted for a somewhat low turn-out. The day was cool and sunny when I arrived at the trailhead, but distant dark clouds moving towards our area were an ominous foretelling of weather to come.

The group set off on the seasonal/ unmaintained portion of Eastman Hill Rd that passes through DEC land. Reaching the intersection of Eastman Hill and Heisey Rd the group turned onto Heisey Rd. Before the FLT was recently re-routed we usually ended our hikes coming back on Heisey Rd; going in a reverse direction today caused me to be a little confused at the turn-off onto the FLT. The portion of the FLT between Heisey and Eastman Hill had a few sections of semi-solid mud that seemed to have the consistency of cookie dough. Not too bad, and not as liquid as the muddy section that we always run into on the opposite side of Eastman Hill Rd.

Once on the FLT walked to where it crosses the seasonal portion of Eastman Hill Rd, crossed over that road and continued on the FLT until entering the Eberhard Nature Preserve. My original plan had been to do a loop of the various trails within the Eberhard Preserve, but we were running short on time, so the group simply turned around and took the FLT back to where it crossed Eastman Hill Rd. The group returned to our cars via Eastman Hill Rd, with the rain starting to fall just as we drew closer to the trailhead.

Photo by Mary

Saturday, April 27

Virgil Mountain, Cortland County

Hike report by Greg

Nineteen hikers started and completed this 2 hour hike. No newcomers and no dogs accompanied us. Weather was ideal, temperatures fluttering around 50 degrees. There was some shedding and adding clothing depending on ascending or descending or rare sun exposure. Virtually no mud was encountered and 3 streams were readily traversed. Once again rain was delayed till after our hike! All in all a pleasant hike.

Sunday, April 28

FLT from Woodard Road to Hines Road and beyond, Enfield

Hike report by Casey

Lexi and approximately 31 hikers started at Woodard Road and headed west on the FLT. Yes there were muddy spots, but most of them were the spots that are muddy year round on this section of the FLT. After tackling the first few hills, three of us at the front had the pleasure of seeing a fisher in the woods scampering along a small ledge that was parallel to the park road. That is the first one I have seen in the wild.

We managed to cross Hines Road and continue through the woods to Rockwell Road where we walked a little and then followed the FLT across a field and into what is either part of the Bock-Harvey Preserve or very close to it before turning around and heading back to the cars.

On the way back there was the easy option of road walking Hines Road to Woodard and back to the cars, but for the first time since I have been doing this hike, I didn’t see anyone take that option. Although there could have been a few escapees that I failed to notice.

Anyway, we ended up with a nice 4.7 mile hike on a very pleasant spring day with a few rain drops only starting as we got into our cars.

Photo by Nancy H.