Wednesday July 15
Potato Hill State Forest, Caroline
Fabulous atmospherics for the second Wednesday morning in a row — cool, dark, foggy, drizzly, soaking wet from a storm overnight —
One of our hikers who hates the winter cloudiness here said she’s gotten badly depressed this summer by the constant dark stormy conditions — I love it myself — I’m 3/4 Irish — maybe I’m genetically predisposed to super-cloudy Irish-type weather ….?
It’s my impression this Potato Hill SF trail isn’t one of the most popular FLT segments in the county — it has a wild and unused feeling to it — it’s not as dramatic as some of our trails but I always find it oddly satisfying — the high point is normally crossing several big fields with long views to the south into Pennsylvania — completely fogged in this morning but great fun nevertheless — if you don’t mind plowing through waist-high wet grass
Official head count: 10 hikers, two dogs
You can see eight more photos online here.
Saturday July 18
Bob Cameron Loop, Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area
Delightful hike amid some really weird weather — at 8 am there were strong storms showing on the radar and the NWS was warning of flash floods in the area of our hike — but when we stepped off it was lovely, no signs of a storm — a heat wave was sweeping in but it was very bearable under the trees
One hiker got stung three times, and both dogs were attacked by the bees — it’s tempting to dress in the lightest clothes on these hot mornings but I’d rather swelter a little in sturdy pants than get stung
There’s one hairy stream crossing on the Bob Cameron Loop (not the one shown here) — the point where the trail officially crosses was too tough for some of our hikers, and we had to do some serious bushwhacking to find an easier crossing point — really needs a bridge but that would be a major project
The trail was very neat and clean following the Cayuga Trails Club maintenance hike two days before. But even at its best, this trail is harder to follow than most we do — luckily, hiker Gail had just been here five days before on yet another CTC hike, the popular Tuesday evening series — she saved us from doing the wrong thing a number of times.
Official head count: Nine hikers and the two bee-stung dogs.
Sunday July 19
Hammond Hill State Forest, Dryden
This is a great place to hike on a hot day — the trails have a very pleasing shady quality, sheltered from the sun but not claustrophobically hemmed in, and there’s a beautiful dappled light on a sunny day.
This turned out to be the hottest day of the year to date, in the mid 80s during our walk, but it wasn’t bad at all in the woods, sweaty but not oppressive. I wore a thick cotton broadcloth Brooks Brothers-type shirt to protect against mosquitoes and bees — neither of which were out — instead we had nasty biting flies, which bit me right through the heavy shirt.
I’m always intrigued by this little pond in a pine grove — finally got a shot of it, not that the photo does the scene justice.
Official head count: 18 hikers, three dogs.
You can see six more photos online here.