May 5, 2019

NCT: Emhoff Road to Clark Road


For this hike, I parked at the Emhoff Road crossing, and Frankie and I hiked south to Clark Road and back.  This section of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) follows the Link Trail, which takes its name because it connects the Finger Lakes Trail and the Erie Canal Trail.  I had offered Frankie several hikes to choose from and this was his selection for today.  He had hiked the adjacent section to the north in October 2016, and the section to the south into Cazenovia for dinner with Erwin last November.  So this hike filled a gap for him (I had hiked it previously by myself).  It was overcast and I carried our raincoats, but we never needed them.

April 24, 2019

FLT/NCT: Shindagin Hollow Road Out-and-Backs


For this Finger Lakes Trail hike, I parked on Shindagin Hollow Road in Shindagin Hollow State Forest.  It was to be another double out-and-back, as has been a trend lately.  First I followed the white blazes northeast, until I reached the charming lean-to that had been my turnaround point two weeks ago.  Then I re-traced my steps to the car, crossed the road, and continued northwest up some steep slopes, passing an old foundation.  I crossed Braley Hill Road, and kept going until I got to the high point of Braley Hill, then turned back toward my car and the long drive back for school pick up. 

April 21, 2019

NCT: Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area


Frankie and I often take an Easter hike (which is exactly like an ordinary hike except it involves a lot more candy).  Today we convinced Erwin to join us.  We went to Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area, parking at the trailhead for the Link Trail on Irish Hill Road.  For the first part of the hike, the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) follows the Link Trail.  Then on Holmes Road, they diverge, with the Link Trail continuing south and the NCT following the Onondaga Trail southeast.  We took the NCT into the woods.  I keep meaning to come back and hike the Link Trail south from here, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.  I'm just a little too obsessed with the Finger Lakes Trail. 

April 10, 2019

FLT/NCT: Shindagin Hollow State Forest from Old 76 Road


Today I returned to the Finger Lakes Trails, Map 18, to hike the next section.  I parked on Old 76 Road and did out-and-backs in both directions.  There has been a lot of that lately, and while I prefer a cleaner section break, random turn-around points are becoming necessary more often because my drives are getting longer -- this trailhead is an hour and 20 minute drive from where I drop Frankie off at school at 8 am.  This leaves me less and less time to actually hike before I need to rush back to shower before school pick up at 3 pm.  The obvious solution would be to hike closer to home, but I will admit that I am completely hooked on the thrill of exploring new trail, extending my line further and further.  So I will keep up the madness for now.

April 6, 2019

Camillus Forest Unique Area: Trails #1 and #5


For today's adventure, Frankie and I met up with Erin and Alden at Camillus Forest Unique Area.  This was terribly exciting for me, since I can't recall ever having visited before, despite it's relative proximity to my house -- there is easy highway access and we were there in less than 20 minutes.  Erin and Alden had been here before, but only on the lower trails.  Erin suggested making a lollipop loop, where we followed the #1 trail up to the junction of the #5 trail, then followed that clockwise back to the same junction, then returned to the parking lot the way we came via the #1 trail.  This was a perfect adventure for all of us, because we all got to explore new trails, and the #5 trail goes through the old-growth forest that led to the protection of this property.

April 3, 2019

FLT/NCT: Potato Hill State Forest


This hike represents another link in the chain, another new section of Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) and North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) explored.  So as not to leave a gap, my goal for this hike was to hike back into my turnaround point on my last FLT/NCT hike, when I'd had to turn back prematurely due to time issues, then continue westward into new territory.  It was a gorgeous gift of a day, with blue sky for miles.  I parked at the trail crossing on Blackman Hill Road, and set out to the north, following a thin hedgerow across a wide sweeping field. 

March 13, 2019

FLT/NCT: Tarr-Young Natural Area


A myriad of commitments has kept me from my solo weekday hikes, and when a free day finally arrived, I was far past ready for it.  I have been impatient to continue my explorations on the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), which carries the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) westward.  After my long absence, I hadn't exactly forgotten the challenges of winter hiking on the FLT, but let's just say I was in denial.  The problem is access, since many of the trailheads are on narrow country roads, often seasonal dirt roads, with limited shoulder parking.  Even where such roads are plowed, the narrow shoulders are often filled with snow, leaving no space to safely park.  I experienced this difficulty today, and wasted a lot of time driving around after the first two spots I tried were completely inaccessible.  Then I remembered the small parking lot that served as my turnaround point on my last FLT hike in Robinson Hollow State Forest.  It has a southern exposure and was available.  Phew!  Finally I could get out of the car and start hiking.