I have a cold, the first that Frankie's brought home this school year, and I woke up dragging. I was really tempted to just come home after dropping Frankie off at school and go back to sleep. However, it was gorgeous out there and I knew I'd regret being a total slug: I knew I'd truly enjoy myself if I managed to get outside. As a concession to my low energy, I picked a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) that follows the old Lehigh Valley Railroad. Flat sounded more appealing than normal. I hiked section from Emhoff Road south to the village of Cazenovia and back, a total of 6.2 miles roundtrip.
Because this section of trail goes right into Cazenovia, it is more highly trafficked than many of the more remote local sections of the NCT. I saw seven other trail users, mostly dog walkers and joggers. Not one of them had signed in at either of the two registers. The old railroad bed is on the east side of Chittenango Creek. The running water helps mask the noise of traffic on Route 13, which is immediately west of the creek for the entire hike. At the southern end of this section, the NCT passes along the back fence of a sewage treatment plant, through the parking lot of the village highway garage, and past a hardware store. It also passes an old railroad depot that seems to house a photography studio now. It would have been easy enough to skip most of this by turning back at Clark Street, but I am never eager to cut a hike short, even when under the weather.
|my starting point on Emhoff Road|
|burning bush (Euonymus alatus)|
|Bingley Road crossing|
|evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)|
|heart-leaved aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium)|
|blue-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago caesia)|
|Clark Street trailhead|
|bridge over Chittenango Creek|
|my turn around point at Route 20|
|crooked-stem aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides)|