Report to Hikers: week of March 14-March 20

Hello Hikers!

Wednesday March 16

Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve
Ellis Hollow NP 015This is one of our more attractive hikes, but it never comes out looking that way in my photos, for several reasons — try as I do, it always comes out looking like a blah walk — just be aware that’s not the case
Ellis Hollow NP 027For one thing, the nicest stretches are very dark — one of the few places with any light are the stream crossings — I’m always slightly hoping someone will fall in so I can get an action shot, never happens
Ellis Hollow NP 071Really the only other parts of the walk where there’s enough light for photography are the hardwood areas when the leaves are down — always comes out looking pretty generic to me
Ellis Hollow NP 043Besides above-average scenery, this walk is notable for some unusually steep ups and downs — they don’t last long but they’re a little challenging when you’re actually navigating one
Ellis Hollow NP 116We had a little bit of excitement — regular hiker Vicki has gotten a new puppy, some kind of German hunting dog named Sylvie — she made her first appearance on the trail with us — Yoda generally doesn’t like puppies so it was interesting to see how he’d respond — didn’t seem very interested
Ellis Hollow NP 048Official head count: 17 hikers, six dogs

After the walk we drove about a mile to the house of regular hiker Marianne for coffee and lemon cake — delightful place on two acres on a big cul de sac — Marianne laid out a very nice little spread — I was quite taken by a beautiful pond she created in her back yard

More photos online:


Saturday March 19

Potomac trails, Finger Lakes National Forest
Potomac Road, Finger Lakes National Forest 051One thing I forgot to mention when I announced this hike is that there can be a lot of mud in springtime — in fact, it was very muddy — but in a big stroke of good luck for us, it was cold enough overnight and at hike time for the mud to freeze, so we were pretty much able to cruise over the top — given the amount of mud here, that made a huge difference.
Potomac Road, Finger Lakes National Forest 063I’ve walked before on part of the route we did this time, but a lot of the loop that Jack V laid out was new to me — both Tiger and I thought it was the best hike we’ve done in the national forest to date.
Potomac Road, Finger Lakes National Forest 082Really wonderful variety — ponds, a variety of fields, old country roads, great long views — not sure what we were looking at …. I usually don’t care exactly what it is, I just like the feeling of spaciousness — some very nice woods. Just one complaint — there were some boardwalks in the woods and they were quite slippery with old moss

Potomac Road, Finger Lakes National Forest 113**

Potomac Road, Finger Lakes National Forest 116**

Potomac Road, Finger Lakes National Forest 153Official head count: 25 hikers, three dogs

More photos online:

Jack V


Sunday March 20

Shindagin Hollow SF, FLT to the lean-to and South Road
Shindagin lean-to 035I really like everything about this walk — except the footpath — it’s very bumpy for long stretches because of protruding roots and snags, and sometimes also extremely muddy. Nothing to do about the rough footing, but now I realize we can avoid the mud by hiking when it’s frozen — we had a generally easy time of it Sunday in the high 20s
Shindagin lean-to 107Now I’m also thinking maybe the walk is a little more strenuous than I believed — what I used to think was level, I now see is steadily uphill on the outbound leg — another good reason to come here when it’s on the cool side

Shindagin lean-to 143Our regulars who are accustomed to this walk all pretty much ignore the big cairn landmark when we reach it now, but new people generally show an interest — our first-timers Katy and Sandy actually jumped in and started to work on a tiny side cairn someone else had started

Shindagin lean-to 232Scenery always beautiful here and it looked especially lovely in a nice not-too dark overcast

Shindagin lean-to 225Official head count: 24 hikers, three dogs

More photos online:

Jack V