Report to Hikers May 13-May 19

Tuesday, May 14

Ringing Rocks Park

Hike report by Roger

Five hikers gathered at Ringing Rocks Park near Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County, PA. It was about 1:30 and we’d driven 190 miles in three and a half hours. It was time to share our picnic lunches and just in time for a light rain to begin. You already know it didn’t hold us up. A few hundred yards past the kiosk we came to the end of a seven acre boulder field. We were at the Ringing Rocks! And, we’d brought our hammers! Very carefully we climbed a hundred feet or so out into the boulder field; barely maintaining our footing allowed no lapse in attention to every step.  

Perhaps a third of the rocks we hammered sounded a pleasant ring. Unfortunately, the ringing didn’t record well in the videos I took. And, they seem much worse on my computer after emailing the videos.

The rain had stopped after only a few minutes and it had become very humid as we returned to the trail and headed toward the water falls. Very lovely, and at twenty feet high, the highest in Bucks County! Those residents should visit us.

Back on the trail, we took the loop around the boulder field. Coming upon the opposite end, we realized it was much longer than we’d thought. If anyone wants to promote a new sport, how about a race over the boulder field? 

We returned to our cars and headed for Frenchtown, NJ. In six miles or so of a pretty drive, we crossed the Delaware and were in Frenchtown. We’d hoped to visit the Art Yard but it was closed, as were many other businesses there. Don’t visit Frenchtown on Tuesday!  It was time for a snack, so we settled outside next to the sidewalk at Cocina Del Sol on the corner of Bridge St. and Front St. The food was good and the waiter (Probably the owner.) most pleasant.

We walked east on Bridge Street, passing many lovely boutiques and restaurants, many closed for the FrenchtownTuesday. We returned to our cars for the three and a half hour drive home.

Photos by Jim

Photos by Mary Weiz
Photos by Jack Vanderzee

Wednesday, May 15

Finger Lakes Trail from White Church Rd., Brooktondale

Hike report by Jim

Nine hikers and a single dog showed up on White Church Rd for a hike of the FLT, despite the intermittent rain throughout the morning. This was the first hike from this location that I can recall we didn’t need to double and triple park cars in the very small parking lot to get everyone off the public road.

There was some confusion as to which hike had been published, so the group split into two sub-groups. Casey led a sub-group that hiked north from White Church Rd towards Shindagin Hollow State Forest, while I led the remainder of the group along the FLT and future South Hill Rec Way extension between White Church Rd and Ridgeway Road ( hike 24 on our list of regular hikes: ).

There was a light rain when I arrived at the parking lot, and the mist hung on the hills opposite my location. By the time the hike started the rain had stopped and didn’t, resume until the very end of the hike. This still left the field of tall, un-mowed grass along White Church Rd very water-logged and the trees with their fully leafed out branches hung low in many places.

Entering the woods from the open fields we reached the T intersection along Wilseyville Creek and continued on the recently re-routed section of the FLT as far as the junction of White Church and Coddington Rds. Lots of flowers and blooming things along the way, and the open fields visible through the trees were freshly tilled and waiting for planting. We had the path to ourselves today, our only identified trail companions being a couple of rabbits we encountered along the way

The group turned around and walked westerly as far as Ridgeway Rd on the old section of FLT that per recent agreements will soon be an extension of the South Hill Rec Way. Once again my group turned around and made our way back to White Church Rd and our parked cars via the FLT, arriving back at the parking area just as the rain again started to fall. Casey’s group was also just arriving back at the parking lot. Thanks to all who braved the elements to hike today!

Hike report by Casey

Jim scheduled a hike going west on the FLT from the parking area on White Church Road. But being rebellious, six hikers (one of us had 4 legs) decided to go east on the FLT from the same starting point. That meant a fair amount of up, up, and more up. We climbed that hill, crossed some Shindaigan Hollow bike trails, crossed Brailey Hill Road, and turned around at a semi road that is between Brailey Hill Road and Shindaigan Hollow Road.

We managed to get back to the cars at exactly 11:30 after traveling 4.63 miles with an elevation gain of 928 feet according to the app that I use.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Saturday, May 18

Lake Road southeast of Dryden

Hike report by Leigh Ann

Eighteen hikers and one dog met at the Lake Road parking area for the Jim Schug trail, along with a pair of bald eagles we could see from the meet-up spot. Two very different and very satisfying trails head off from here. Seven hikers took the Jim Schug rail trail all the way into Dryden for a 6-mile round-trip hike, and eleven hikers took the FLT over Havington Hill to the end of the blue spur trail or just beyond for a 4+ mile hike. This day was the first day of chartreuse summer this year. The sky never did clear up during the hike but never opened up into full rain, either. It made for a lovely, atmospheric, and varied walk either way.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday, May 19

Hammond Hill State Forest from Canaan Road

Hike report by Jim

Twenty-five hikers and one dog met on Canaan Rd for a hike of some of the trails in Hammond Hill State Forest. This was hike # 31-2 on our list of regular hike locations:

The day started out a little overcast and cool; the bugs were out in strength as hikers arrived at the end of the paved portion of Canaan Rd. I also found out that we would be sharing the trail system with approximately 130 trail runners, of whom we ultimately encountered around a dozen of over the course of our hike.

The hike started with a short road walk down the seasonal part of Canaan Rd before turning onto the Rabbit Run snowmobile trail. This trail was in reasonable shape, although the grass was fairly high; hopefully everyone checked themselves for ticks after getting home!

The route continued on the blue and yellow blazed trails, crossing over the seasonal portion of Canaan Rd before continuing on our looping route.

Some of the group expressed turning one portion of the hike into a loop rather than an out-and-back short section, so we ended up using a short section of the FLT to complete a loop of trail yellow # 5 for that section of the hike rather than an out-and-back on Yellow # 8.

Towards the end of the hike the group took Yellow trail # 7 back to the seasonal part of Canaan Rd and our cars. Somehow there was a misunderstanding and part of the group ended up hiking away from the cars on the last leg of the hike; I’m not sure how the misunderstanding occurred, but ultimately everyone made it back to their start point.

Warm welcome to Caitlin on her first hike with the group!

Photo by Jim