Report to Hikers: week of May 25-31

Hello Hikers!



Wednesday May 27

Finger Lakes Trail from Bald Hill Road to Smiley Hill Road, Danby
Chestnut Lean-to 076

This walk through the northwest corner of Danby State Forest is a great one for a hot day, because it’s almost all in dense shade — it was verging on oppressive at the trail head, but once we stepped into the woods it was mild and lovely. But buggy — the bugs swarmed us as we stood around waiting to start, and they stuck with us throughout.
Chestnut Lean-to 133

One of the high points of the hiking year for me is the emergence of autumn olive blossoms in the woods — I find the intense sweetness almost intoxicating — it was out in full force along this trail and the effect is especially lovely on a sultry morning like this one — regrettably, it’s an invasive species much hated by native-plant types

This is the trail where we had our fabulous early-February hot dog cook-out, and I found myself thinking back on it wistfully as the prospect of a hot summer looms ahead. Since we were last here in February, there’s been considerable logging done along the trail, but it hasn’t changed the character and it’s still a very beautiful walk.
Chestnut Lean-to 112

Official head count: 15 hikers, five dogs

I got some shots of the hikers standing around at the trail head — light not great and some of the shots are a bit overexposed, but they’re usable — click here.

I got seven more shots on the trail — click here.

You can see Annie’s photos here.



Saturday May 30

Upper Buttermilk Falls SP from the Yaple Road spur trail

Upper Buttermilk Falls SP 161

Beautiful dark sultry morning around Late Treman

Upper Buttermilk Falls SP 068

This walk has a great variety of wonderful scenery, but a couple of spots have been damaged recently, in my opinion  —  the charm of this area where Buttermilk Creek flows into Lake Treman under this graceful little bridge was really degraded by a heavy-handed engineering project  —  here’s hoping it’ll recover ….

Upper Buttermilk Falls SP 121

…. damage also at La Tourelle  —  we used to be able to emerge from the woods and stand on the edge of a lovely bucolic lawn and gaze out on the serene resort  —  now the lawn’s been filled with glamping tents and there’s a raw gravel road  —  of course the resort’s entitled to make money, but it’s a shame from our point of view.

Upper Buttermilk Falls SP 096

There’s lots of really gorgeous dark woods along this trail  —  but it’s a waste of time trying to take photos on a gloomy morning like this one  —  here’s a view in an open glade where you  can at least get a glimpse of the woods in the background.

Upper Buttermilk Falls SP 186

Official head count:  19 hikers, five dogs.

You can see nine more shots by me online here.



Sunday May 31

Satterly Hill, Finger Lakes National Forest, Schuyler County

Satterly Hill 131

A cold front moved in overnight  —  the storms that were supposed to hit us kept sailing by just to the north  —  and we had a fantastic atmospheric morning on Satterly Hill, with just a few light sprinkles  —  that’s not to say it was dry  —  we had to wade through long stretches of tall soaking grass and traverse some serious mud

Satterly Hill 089

The clothing of choice for a day like this is official rain pants, in my opinion  —  I wore mine  — roasty toasty  —  but you can’t worry about having a fat-assed look on the trail if you wear this item —  Sue’s actually decidedly slender under her rain gear

Satterly Hill 164

The mud was pretty intense  —  one hiker lost her concentration while crossing this boggy spot, fell over and actually got so stuck in the mud that some other hikers had to pull her out

Satterly Hill 104

The whole hilltop area was foggy so there were no long views to be had  —  but the fantastic lighting and atmospherics more than made up for this loss

Satterly Hill 098

The National Park Service has done some brush cutting and clearing in the last year, and many of the flowering shrubs seem to have disappeared  —  at least I didn’t see or smell any blooming areas  —  but the spring bird-song action was great.

Satterly Hill 088

Official head count:  14 hikers, three dogs.

You can see eight more shots by me here.

You can see Annie’s shots from the hike here.


Annie took photos of last Sunday’s walk at Kennedy SF that I didn’t link to before  —  click here.