Wednesday February 8
Robinson Hollow State Forest, Richford
Hike report by Jim
Eleven people met on Robinson Hollow Road for a hike of the Finger Lakes Trail. Temperatures were mild in comparison to recent hikes, and a bit of snow still covered the trail.
The first several minutes of this hike are entirely uphill, following an old, winding logging road away from the very small parking area. After a steep climb the footpath turns away from the logging road, continuing upward until it reaches a flat section, another old logging road.
The footpath eventually turns downhill, traversing a steep slope until it arrives at a stream crossing near Kimmie Lean-to. We opted not to visit the lean-to but continued on the FLT as it winds through a mix of soft and hardwood forest, following the stream bed. This is my favorite part of this hike, and it was even more enjoyable as the sun made an appearance through the clouds and lit up the snow cover.
After we turned around, everyone chose a comfortable pace that soon spread out the group over an extended section of trail during the largely downhill return hike.
Saturday February 11
Finger Lakes Trail through Lower Treman SP
Hike report by Jim
Nineteen hikers met in the parking lot outside of lower RH Treman State Park for a hike of the FLT toward upper Treman and the Rim Trail. This was a last-minute revision due to hunting-related trail closures at our originally planned hike location, Fischer Old Growth Forest.
It was a cold, breezy morning as the group set off, passing under the Rt. 13 bridge and entering the state park. A dusting of fresh snow clung to last summer’s dead leaves that littered the forest floor.
A long line of hikers snaked its way along the flat terrain near the campground before starting to climb the first incline of many on the hike’s outbound leg. We crossed the service road to the YMCA pavilion and continued onward.
The trail itself was clear of obstructions, but the hulks of fallen trees, both large and small, from many years (based on the level of decay) littered the shoulders of the trail.
After the YMCA pavilion, the trail begins another climb in earnest for a good long while before it eventually settles into a flatter stretch. Here the trail runs along a border of sorts: open fields visible through the trees on one side of the trail, while the terrain falls away sharply on the other side. The lack of summer undergrowth offered extensive views of the ravine’s opposite bank.
The faster hikers reached the Rim Trail and opted to continue to the Lucifer Falls overlook. Other hikers opted to turn around at the hour mark and begin their return to the lower park and our vehicles.
The group reconvened in the Land Trust parking lot. Some hikers got back about half an hour later than our usual two-hour hike time. I didn’t hear any complaints about this additional hike time.
Welcome to Meenu on her first hike with us!
Sunday February 12
Two Hikes from Lake Road, Dryden
We had a large group on Sunday: 32 hikers and five dogs in all. We had a choice of two hikes beginning on Lake Road in Dryden. Some hikers followed Casey up Havington Hill, while the rest opted for a flat hike of the Jim Schug Trail.
Hike report by Casey
Ten Ithaca Hikers and one well-behaved dog chose the non-flat alternative hike plan. Instead of doing the Jim Schug Trail from Lake Road, our small, enthusiastic group walked along Lake Road for a little way before turning onto a meadow that is famous for being inundated with knee-deep snow, extremely wet, or both. Today it was just cold enough in the morning that this was not a problem at all.
From that meadow we reached Havington Hill, where we had a lovely climb to the top. None of us wore spikes because there seemed to be no need until we got two-thirds of the way up the hill, where we encountered a number of icy patches directly on the trail. But it wasn’t much problem to just walk a few inches to the side of the trail to get whatever traction you needed.
We crested the hill and were treated to a wonderful 360-degree view. From there, we went down the other side and got to see the fancy deer stand in the open field, which also offered a great view of Purves Road and Route 38.
From there we continued down the hill and crossed the creek at the bottom. We hiked a while more until reaching our required turn-around time, at which point we did just that and climbed back up the hill. We enjoyed the view from the top and then carefully made out way back down the icy sections without any mishaps.
We managed to return to the cars right on schedule, only to find that the main group of flat hikers were still quite a way down the trail on their way back to the cars.
Jim Schug Trail
Hike report by Jim
Twenty-two hikers and four dogs hiked the Jim Schug Trail to Weber Street before turning around and retracing our steps. The day was sunny, and a relatively warm breeze blew during much of the hike.
The trails were mostly clear of snow and ice, although we did encounter intermittent ice along the route. The path was definitely thawing during our hike, as what was frozen surface on our outbound leg had turned to thawed mud on the return trip.
Many joggers and dog walkers were out on the Schug Trail, and the ice on Dryden Lake was still substantial enough that there were several fisherman on the ice.
I found the clear ice over the aquatic weeds on the opposite side of the path to be interesting (see photo).
After the hike a number of hikers convened at Hopshire to socialize and discuss upcoming hikes.