hike #7

Lick Brook  

General Information:

This is one of our best hikes. The high point is walking up and down the steep slope from the open fields below in the inlet valley to Town Line Road near the top of the hill.  There are also another big field and a large pine grove beyond Townline Rd within the Thayer Preserve; it is all very pleasing to walk through, and has several stream crossings that can be fun.

Click here and scroll down to see a map that clearly shows the trails that make up this walk.

From meet-up location # 2, initially we see the trail skirting two big flat areas (fields) and then crossing Lick Brook.  This is where the steep uphills start, as you can see from the contours.

The blue-blazed trail runs up the hill along the rim of the gorge. This route can be very abrupt and strenuous, although work was recently done to add switchbacks to the route which lessen the hiking difficulty. There are great dramatic views along this trail which are quite beautiful.

The white blazed trail, officially part of the FLT, is a more gradual but equally beautiful and dramatic way up or down the slope. Both routes are fabulous.

Across Town Line Road the orange blazed “Toms Trail” enters the Thayer Preserve and runs through pine woods before making a quick right turn as a blue blazed trail. This trail crosses and follows the stream before bringing the group back to Townline Rd. The orange-blazed trail beyond the blue blazed trail split continues through the woods before veering out onto an open field.  This section is not as dramatic as the uphill routes within the Sweedler Nature Preserve, but very satisfying.

Be sure to check out the falls on the valley floor where the blue and white blazed trails converge, either on the way up or the way down the hillside.  The brook flow can be low sometimes in dry weather, but if there’s enough water running the falls are delightful to visit. In winter, if you’re lucky you may find the falls solidly encased in a sheath of ice. This is a uniquely attractive but relatively rare state to find the falls in.

There are two meet-up locations for this hike:

Meet-up location 1:  Corner of Sandbank Road and Town Line Road, Danby

Click here to see the Google Maps page showing the location.

This location is the best meeting location for a quick up and down the slope to visit the falls on the valley floor. It avoids the hunting season trail closures encountered when coming from meet-up location #2

Meet-up location 2:  Dirt parking lot belonging to the FLLT off Route 34-96 northbound precisely where Route 13 northbound coming up from Elmira joins in ( commonly known as Shady Corners ) . The parking lot is down a little hill and right next to Enfield Creek.  This is the parking lot we use for both the Lick Brook walk. when we approach Sweedler Nature Preserve at Lick Brook through the Tapan Mitra Preserve as well as entering lower Robert Treman State Park to walk the FLT in the opposite direction.

Click here  to see the Google Maps page showing the location.

Warning:  Never try to pull into the parking lot directly from the southbound lanes of the highway, as this can be very dangerous. Instead, keep going south on State Route 34-96 after State Route 13 breaks away toward Elmira. After a few hundred feet you’ll come to a U-turn – head back north to Ithaca on State Route 34-96 and watch for the parking lot entrance on your right.

Last edit 12/2022 JFR