November 30, 2016
The Onondaga Trail is part of the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) system, a 42-mile branch trail. The North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) follows the entire length of the Onondaga Trail from end to end, and I hiked most of it this year while pursing the Hike 100 Challenge. My original intent was to only hike the off-road portions, and I completed those in October. However, when I realized there were just 3.5 miles of the roadwalks remaining, I knew I'd end up completing them at some point; leaving them undone would just drive me crazy. A rainy day during hunting season provided the perfect opportunity for me to hopscotch around and knock off the three short roadwalks.
November 19, 2016
Beaver Lake Nature Center is a County Park with about 10 miles of groomed trails and a visitors center. Being a nature center, hunting is not allowed, and as a result, we almost always hike there in November. Today was unseasonably warm, with temperatures that rose above 70 degrees before a cold front rolled in. We walked the 3-mile Lake Loop Trail, which as the name suggests, circumnavigates the lake, making use of several elevated boardwalks through the swamps. Boardwalks are always a hit with kids, so much that Frankie got "stuck" on the Bog Trail for a long time, insisting we had to hike that every time.
November 16, 2016
November 13, 2016
I had thought I might take Frankie further afield locally this year, to explore more of the many beautiful New York State Parks in our region. However, many of these parks feature gorges and waterfalls, and we had a drought this summer. The waterfalls we did visit were practically dry and, as such, underwhelming. Therefore, I never bothered making the longer drives to take him to see more dry/drippy rock faces. The autumn finally brought some rain, and while the groundwater may not be fully recharged yet, the surface waters are flowing again at least.
November 1, 2016
My mother Mary has been visiting. She stayed with my sister a few nights on this trip, so that she could spend some quality time with my adorable nephew. Frankie loves visits from Grammy, so wasn't necessarily excited to share her, but we arranged it so she would be here with us for the Halloween excitement, and could stay with Frankie while Erwin and I attended a parent-teacher conference at his school. Pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating are very important to my five-, almost six-year old. We didn't get in as much hiking as we sometimes do, but we did have fun!