Kennedy SF and the adjacent International Loop trails, Virgil
Hike A — Kennedy SF
Meet-up: Corner of Daisy Hollow Road and Carpenter Hill Road.
Click here to see the Google Maps page showing the meet-up, and the directions from downtown Dryden. Sometimes Google Maps tells you to take Route 392 east to Palmer Road to Virgil Creek Road to Daisy Hollow Road. Other times Google says to stay on Route 392 to West Meeting House Road (127A) and turn south on that to catch Daisy Hollow Road. Pay attention to the road names — some hikers got confused in the past and got lost so they missed the hike. You can see a blow-up of what I’m talking about here.
Either way you go, the countryside between Dryden and the trail head is wonderfully picturesque, so be sure to look around.
This hike takes us through a large and gorgeous hemlock forest, and the trail runs along a beautiful stream for much of the way. It’s a bit strenuous at times, and the trail surface is very challenging in spots, with roots and rocks and eroded spots, but it’s lovely the whole way. It’s possible to make part of the walk into a loop by walking on the Swedish Loop and then Owego Hill Road, a very scenic rural road, instead of just going in and out on the FLT. Click here and scroll down a ways to the pertinent map to see what I’m talking about.
Click here to see a state DEC PDF map for the forest.
Hike B — The International Loop
From FLT parking along the side of the road in the vicinity of 1181-1185 Daisy Hollow Rd ( not starting from the parking lot area we normally use for “Hike A “). Look for the normal green FLT sign on the Westerly side of the road as an indicator for the area to park in:
Google pin to 1181 Daisy Hollow Rd:
The AllTrails listing for the International Loop only includes a partial display of the trail system:
There are a number of interconnected trails that can be woven into a variety of combinations which can offer hikers a variety of hike experiences. The blue blazed trails in the south run steeply along Christina Creek and allow access to a number of small falls, while the red and orange- blazed trails to the North side travel along utility right of ways and have more to offer in longer views and vistas. Several of the trails offer at various times some wonderful stretches of treadway that pass through some nice monoculture stands of evergreens, offering short “green tunnels” to hikers.
Those hiking these trails in winter should pre-hike their planned route to determine which trails have had more frequent use to avoid the need to posthole through deeper snow.
Those new to hiking this section of trail absolutely need to carry some form of paper or electronic mapping that allows them to maintain situational awareness of where they are within the trail system. Larger groups need to emphasize staying together to prevent losing stragglers within the maze of trails.