Message of interest to some of the older hikers from Stephen Hesse

Stephen and Susan no longer have editorial control over the website, so I am posting this message from him that would be of interest to the older hikers who might still subscribe to the website but are not on the separate email list for hike announcements that go out to current hikers.

Stephen is now active on Facebook and has a small email group he’s updating with their adventures in their new hometown. If you’re a long-time Ithaca Hiker and want to stay in touch with Stephen, email him to be added to his email list, or find him on Facebook and follow him there.

Thanks to all!


Message from Stephen follows:

I’m going to put together a book from these 20 photos as a memento for myself of the last year I hiked with the group before I turned 70.  The first photo shows the group having a tailgate birthday party for me in January as I turned 69.  The last shot is from September, just before the web site opened and I began to post all the hike photos there.  The photos in this album were all emailed to the hikers  —  I doubt if many people have copies of these shots so many years later.

I’m going to publish the memento book with a company Robin used to publish an album of her photoshop photos.  It’s more expensive than the average online photo publishing operation but I thought Robin’s book was fabulous and I want mine to look as good as hers.  I don’t actually know what the cost will be but I’m sure it’s not crazy high.

I go into all this because it’s possible some of the people who were hiking with the group in 2013 might want to buy a copy of the book after I get my copy and they can see what it looks like.  A number of people who hiked with the group then are still active now.  And I suspect that some people who are no longer active still subscribe to the Ithaca Hikers web site and follow along.  The group was actually quite large in 2013 and there may be more than a few people who would like a souvenir of that year.

I’ve put the 20 photos into an album on my OneDrive account where anyone can look at them or download them.  I chose shots that I think convey the spirit of the group in that year  —  it was very cheerful and people were clearly having fun..  I’m going to put a short preface in the book explaining what 2013 meant to me.

My Top Twelve Hikes: Summer 2022

I was reviewing some of the older pages here last night while I sat in on Nancy H’s writing group on Meetup. After reviewing Stephens older post on his personal favorite top 12 hikes I decided it was a good time for me to compile my own list. I’ll probably have more commentary associated with my choices than Stephen had for his.

In no particular order:

1- Monkey Run, North side. Currently hike #5-01 on our hikes page. This is one of our go-to hikes that we’ve done repeatedly since I’ve been with the group, and it never fails to be a fun hike for me.

2- Kennedy State Forest. Cortland county. Hike # 36-1. Another of our hike standards. I was worried that recent logging work in the area would ruin the appeal of this hike for me, but the logging had minimal impact on the FLT footpath through the forest.

3- Shindagin Rim Trail. Hike #26. A very visually enjoyable hike for me.

4- Monkey Run south side. Hike #6. This route has so much to offer in terms of visuals and just sheer fun for me while I’m hiking this trail!

5- Six Mile Creek South Hill Rec Way from Crescent. Hike #2. While the hike route itself is very nice in its own right, I’m always amazed that this hike exists so close to the city of Ithaca.

6- Lower Treman Loop. Hike #8-02. I took the existing lower Treman out-and -back FLT hike and made it a loop hike by adding the Rim and Gorge Trails. I worked at the two Treman state parks for many years in the 70s and 80s, and this hike covers parts of my favorite trails in Robert Treman State Park.

7- Hammond Hill State Forest. Hike # 31-5. A recent addition to our hike options for Hammond Hill, this route covers just about all of my favorite parts of the state forest as it starts from Star Stanton Hill Rd and takes hikers in a clockwise loop hike over the green and yellow trails.

8- Potato Hill State Forest Hike #29-1. The FLT from Level Green Rd to Blackman Hill Rd and beyond. This hike has only gotten better after the recent footpath changes.

9- Virgil Mountain, Cortland County. Hike #40. I’m not normally a fan of the out-and-back hikes, but I like this one.

10- Dabes Diversion Loop, Cortland County. Hike #48-1. Combines Dabes Diversion Loop, the FLT and the Kuzia Cutoff into a fun loop hike in any season. Some nice views across the fields at the junction of Dabes and the FLT!

11- The FLT from Eastman Hill Rd, Tompkins/ Tioga county line. Hike # 50. While parts of the abandoned parts of Eastman Hill Rd make this loop hike somewhat sketchy in bad weather, the rest of the hike makes up for it. We’ll be losing this part of the FLT soon due to a trail re-direction.

12- Loop Trail: Bald Hill Rd to Dianes Crossing and back on the FLT. Hike # 20. Combines parts of the Abbott Loop, Doves Trail and the FLT into a loop hike worthy of being on my favorites list.

Honorable mention:

13- Fischer Old Growth Forest. Hike #15. This is a great hike locale, but the fact that we can’t *quite* get a two hour hike out of this one keeps it out of my top 12 list

14- Lick Brook. Hike # 7. This hike is a favorite for many hikers in the group, but for whatever reason doesn’t quite make my top 12 list.

15- Lime Hollow, Cortland County. Hike #37. While this is a little more of a “civilized hike” than the others on the list, we have a nice route we hike in this nature preserve that I find very enjoyable.