Report to Hikers July 1-July 7

Wednesday, July 3

South Hill Rec Way/Six Mile Creek

Hike report by Jim

Twenty-one hikers and one dog met on Crescent Place in the city of Ithaca for a hike of the South Hill Rec Way and associate trails. This is hike # 2-1 on our list of regular hike locations:

The day was warm and sunny as we gathered on Crescent Place and took our group photo. Starting the hike on the actual Rec Way, we soon turned off into the woods and began a slow descent to join the many hiking trails that run along the Rec Way and towards the creek below.

There was no water running at the small water crossings, no mud at the usual locations along our route, and the footpath was in good shape.

The green tunnel blocked our view of second dam once we arrived at that vantage point.

Rejoining the Rec Way the hikers walked out and back towards Burns Rd to use up a few minutes of hike time, before taking the Rec Way directly back to our cars.

We encountered a few runners and bicyclists along the way today, but not as many as I expected.

Warm welcome to Hal on his first hike with the group!

Photo by Jim

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Thursday, July 4

Woodard Road northwest to Hines Road and beyond, Enfield

Hike report by Jim

Nineteen hikers and one dog met on Woodard Rd for a special holiday hike of the FLT towards Hines Rd and beyond. This is hike # 13 on our list of regular hike locations:

The morning was nice, with a hint of precipitation that never materialized except for a small amount of rain that some hikers reported encountering while they were en route to the hike.

The footpath on this hike is a mix of overgrown weedy plants (including a LOT of poison ivy!) and a forest floor devoid of anything other than a nice spongey layer of pine needles. The terrain is a mix of rolling ups and downs, with a couple of minor stream crossings that rarely give us any issues this time of year.

Before reaching Hines Rd the FLT leaves the woods and crosses the open fields at the Treman Center: A short jog up Hines Rd and the group hiked another five minutes towards Rockwell Rd before the group turned around for the return leg of the hike. Everyone got back to the cars fifteen minutes early, so I probably should have continued the hike to Rockwell Rd before turning around.

Temperatures were not excessively hot but by the time we turned around I was definitely experiencing the heat of the day, even under the cover of the forest canopy.

On the return portion of the hike usually the group is fairly well divided between those who want to make it a loop hike by road walking back to the cars, and those who want to do a return hike on the FLT. Today only a couple of us did the road walk, while Mark L and Randy O led the main group of hikers back on the FLT at a good pace, with both subgroups arriving back at the cars at the same time.

Thanks to all who came out for this special hike today!

Photo by Jim

Saturday, July 6

Connecticut Hill Bridges & Quarry Loop 

Hike report by Dave Bock

18 hikers met at the Connecticut Hill Cemetery on a warm morning for this forested 4-mile trek. Heading steadily downhill for the first mile, we passed the remains of what’s rumored to be a Depression-era moonshiner still: a rusty old metal sink with a nearby cistern. At the bottom of the hill a stream crossing and some rolling terrain brought us to the top of an old gravel bank, a chance to enjoy a bit of a view and take a brief breather. A short but steep downhill then led to a streamside trail and eventually another crossing alonside some old pilings marking the location of a long-gone bridge that once bore the trucks hauling out the gravel. And then the climb back to the trailhed began — a mile steadily (relentlessly?) uphill, now at a much warmer temperature, with higher humidity and an escort of gnats. We paused along the way for brief visit to an abandoned homestead marked by stone foundations of both a barn and house, with a deep stone well (with water). Most of the group returned to the cars by 11:45 as advertised (Thanks, Jack!) while leader Dave accompanied a few slower (and hotter!) hikers at a more forgiving pace. Everyone was on their home before noon, after some quality time in the woods (OK, that’s redundant…) and a good workout.

Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.

Sunday, July 7

Shindagin Hollow State Forest

Hike report by Mary Weiz

Nineteen hikers, zero canine met at the FLT crossing on Braley Hill Road in Shindagin State Forest on Sunday morning. As planned, they hiked a pleasant and rigorous approximate 4 miles exclusively on the FLT starting at Braley Hill Road and proceeding westward to White Church Road. The sky was clear and the air temperature was about 70F at the start. The woodland was filtered with bright sunlight although the day warmed up quickly. Hikers made it to White Church road in no-time pacing at about 2.5mph! 

On the return trip, they traced their tracks uphill on the FLT eastward back to Braley Hill Road. Hikers ascended about 1600ft (or more) back into the forest still at a good pace, about 1 – 2 mph on the return thrip. Surprisingly, due to the temperature, now 75F, and the elevation rigor, hikers reached the cars with 10 minutes to spare . . . a fine bunch!

Throughout this hike there is a nice mix of hardwood forest, a fern glen, a small creek, meadow land, and when approaching White Church Road, distant views of forested hills. 

Photo by Mary Weiz
Photos by Leigh Ann

View Leigh Ann’s photo album.