Wednesday, February 14
Bob Cameron Loop, Connecticut Hill, Newfield
Hike report by Casey
It was a cold morning of 15 degrees when 13 hikers met at the tower on Connecticut Hill. Thirteen of us started out on the FLT which led us to the Bob Cameron Loop.
We had completed the loop by 10:50 so we spent the rest of the time with an out and back on the FLT and managed to get back to the cars on schedule after having logged 4.51 miles, with an elevation gain of 738 feet. The footing was fairly good given that I suspect some of that trail was quite muddy just a few days ago. But the cold temperature seemed to cure that problem for the moment.
Saturday, February 17
Lime Hollow Nature Center, Cortland
Hike report by Jim
Eighteen hikers met in Cortland County for a hike of some of the Lime Hollow trails. This location is hike 37 on our list of regular hike locations: https://www.ithacahikers.com/hike-37.
I changed our route up a little for todays hike; normally we start our hikes here on the west side of Gracie Rd and conclude on trails on the east side of Gracie Rd. I switched that up today by reversing that order.
It was a cold morning with a thin layer of snow from overnight flurries coating everything in the nature center. The group walked Lehigh Valley to Maple Run, stopped to check out Chicago Bog, and then made a loop out of the Memorial Trail and Esker Connector to get the group back to Maple Run and from there back to the parking lot.
Crossing over Gracie Rd to continue on the Lehigh Valley trail, the group soon turned onto Fen Way, then to Hermits Way and Wilderness Way. The group has often discussed checking out the Wilderness Way trail, but as we’re often here in the fall hunting season when the Wilderness Way is closed for hunting, this was our first hike to be able to check out that trail.
The Wilderness Way took a little longer to navigate than I had expected, and by the time the group was back on the Lehigh Valley Trail heading back to our cars there was a significant snowfall coming down and the hike had run a good thirty minutes past our normal hike time.
Welcome to David on his first hike with the group!
After the hike many hikers reconvened in several waves of hikers coming and going at Hopshire between noon and 3 PM to celebrate my imminent departure to Georgia to begin a thru hike of the AT. Thanks to all hikers who attended or sent their well wishes! The gifts will be put to good use!
Here is a special note from Jim:
I wanted to say thank you to all who not only hiked today at Lime Hollow but all those of you who arranged for the use of Hopshire and those who were able to come together to celebrate my imminent departure for the AT. I want to include also those of you who are ill or otherwise unable to come but who sent your well wishes.
I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have all of you as friends and companions, not only on the trail but additionally in the social events that we share as a group such as todays gathering. These social events have been a special aspect of being an Ithaca Hiker fpr me, and I always look forward to seeing all of you in a social setting away from the hikes. Thank you for your gifts and cards today; I will put them to good use!
As I have often said to many of you, I prefer to lead hikes where there is a great view, a geological feature along the hike route, a “gotcha” moment that makes the rest of the hike especially worthwhile. I am sure that in the next months where I’ll be looking at some such feature I’ll be wishing that all of you could be standing there with me to share in the experience.
Thank you to all of you for your years of support in all things Ithaca Hikers-related. For those of you who have been able to step forward to plan and lead hikes, or oversee our social media platforms and email lists while I am away, I am especially grateful for your efforts in the coming months.
If I missed an opportunity today to say thank you in person today at Hopshire I apologize.
Sunday, February 18
Hill Road and Curtis Road, South Danby
Hike report by Jim
Seventeen hikers and one dog met at the junction of Hill and Curtis Rds in the Town of Danby, for an out-and-back hike that included parts of the FLT and Abbott Loop in addition to portions of Curtis Rd. This is hike # 57-2 from our list of common hike locations: https://www.ithacahikers.com/hike-57.
The morning was cold and clear; a frigid breeze greeted hikers as we assembled at the trailhead. After a quick photo the group set off down Curtis Rd in a southerly direction, passing a residence or two, some open fields that can be VERY breezy on a windy day regardless of the season, as well as Karenville, before entering the seasonal portion of Curtis Rd. The snow was still fairly fresh and not too deep or slippery, so once we reached the FLT where it crosses Curtis Rd we turned westerly into the FLT, hiking generally downhill through Danby State Forest until we reached the junction with The Abbott Loop Danby State Forest. Continuing on the FLT portion of the Abbott Loop the group continued westerly, climbing the grade towards the seasonal portion of Hill Rd. The group remained on the FLT until our turn-around time and upon reaching a downhill portion of trail that proved to be somewhat slippery for some in the group.
The hikers turned around and re-traced the route, by now thoroughly warmed up from the elevation gain and loss during the hike. Many in the group arrived back at our cars a few minutes early, so they road-walked easterly on Hill Rd to use up the few remaining minutes of hike time.