Report to Hikers June 17-June 23

Wednesday, June 19

Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve, Ithaca

Hike report by Mary W.

At 8:30 a.m. this Juneteenth 2024 twenty Ithaca Hikers and one dog met in the small parking area of the Ellis Hollow Preserve to take an earlier than usual start-time walk through the area. Thanks to all for adjusting to the earlier start. 

Today, we welcomed two new hikers:  Nina and Andy; a visitor, James and a long ago hiker, Kiera. 

As hikers stepped into the preserve it was about 78 degrees F, moist and nicely shaded throughout the woodland trails. Not surprising, no see-um flies were also present, but hikers moved at a consistent pace and the group managed just fine.

Generally, this hike takes only one hour and covers about 1.9 miles when hikers walk each of the red, blue and yellow trails just once. On this particular hike we usually have the option to walk zig zag up and around once, or twice. Twice around is the usual hike plan in order to cover 4 miles and to be on the trails for about two hours. 

This morning, after only once around, the air temperature had climbed nearly nine degrees, so several hikers chose to end their walk after once around. The other hikers (nearly half) chose to continue hiking the preserve a second time, in the opposite direction! Hikers’ often agree that this second time offers a pleasant and opposite perspective. It can be noted however, that even one time around Ellis Hollow preserve gives hikers a moderate amount of lively ups, downs and stream crossings. This morning the trails were a tad warm but no less of a really nice woodland walk! Thanks to all!

Photo by Mary W.
Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Saturday, June 22

FLT west from Burnt Hill Rd. to Satterly Rd., Finger Lakes National Forest

Hike report by Leigh Ann

Twenty-one hikers and two dogs met at the Finger Lakes Trailhead on Burnt Hill Road and hiked west. Just east of Logan Road, we picked up a twenty-second hiker, Jim Rolfe, who had parked on Logan to catch anyone who might have gone there by accident (no one did). 

It was a steamy, hot day, so we kept a steady but not overly fast pace for the weather. In the last bit of shade before the open fields heading up to Satterly Hill Road, we hit the one-hour mark and turned around, arriving back at the cars exactly two hours and 4.2 miles later.

This section of trail is rewarding to hike but could use a little TLC from folks with a weed whacker. The verge encroached on the trail from the junction with South Slope Trail to where it begins parallelling fields on the slope up to Satterly Hill Rd.

We were drenched by the end of the hike. So, thirteen hikers and one hiker fan converged on Grist Iron for lots of water, some beer, and good food. We sat inside to enjoy the air conditioning, and had a nice, relaxed time.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday, June 23

FLT from Carson Rd to Woodchuck Hollow Lean-To, Cortland County

Hike report by Jim

Eighteen hikers and four dogs met on Carson Rd in Cortland County for a hike of the FLT and the unnamed blue blazed trail in Tuller Hill State Forest. This is hike #60-6 on our list of regular hike locations:

The morning was warm and sunny, although not as bad as the Saturday hike temperatures had been. Just a few degrees cooler, accompanies by a breeze on much of the hike, made a big difference in my enjoyment of the hike and probably for other members of the group as well. The entire hike was under the forest canopy, which was much appreciated.

The groups initial climb from Carson Rd was slowed due to a number of blow downs encountered along the way, several locations along the trail being the site of several blowdowns interlocked or laying in a shattered state together. The previous evening had seen some significant windstorms accompanied by hail in the area, with multiple fallen trees observed on the drive to the trailhead. See a few attached pictures showing what the group encountered. A separate trail conditions report has been made regarding these blowdowns.

Photos by Jim

Beyond the first few blowdowns there were individual trees that will need to be cut up, the group encountering these single downed trees all the way to beyond the lean-to.

Other than the downed trees, trail conditions were mostly good, although there were spots of ankle-deep mud and slippery roots or leaves that made a couple descents a little precarious.

The group paused for a group photo at the lean-to before continuing on; a short distance beyond the lean-to the group jumped onto the unnamed blue blazed trail that returned the group to an earlier portion of the FLT that we had passed through.

Leigh Ann V led the group on the return leg of the hike, which was accomplished without incident.

We saw exactly one other hiker on the trail with us during our hike.

Warm welcome to Beata P on her first hike with the group!

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.