January 18, 2017

North Country Trail: Lenox Basin to Durhamville

I started out today at the Lenox Basin trailhead where I parked two weeks ago, but instead of hiking west into Canastota, I proceeded east to Durhamville.  I turned back at Route 46 for a roundtrip out-and-back of 6.1 miles.  This section of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) follows the Old Erie Canal.  It is flat and gravel-surfaced and not terribly exciting.  However, after my trouble parking last week down at the Cheningo Day Use Area, I wanted a sure thing today.  Plus, it was raining and in the 30s.  I thought being able to move quickly would help stay warm. 

Of course, I was way too hot after just half a mile.  I really struggle with thermoregulation, especially when wearing rain gear.  It was huge a relief when the rain eased up, and I was able to remove the rain pants and a sweatshirt.  I always start winter hikes cold, on the theory that I will warm up fast, but I might have to start even colder.  Despite these issues, I really enjoyed myself out there.  I love the misty look of soft rain, the peace of solitude, finding the hidden beauty in a landscape of drab. 

the water is full of sediment, runoff from all the rain
starting in the cold rain
looking back

the trail uses the Canal Street bridge to cross the New York State Thruway

bridge over Oneida Creek
high water
warmed up and shed some layers
this section of trail ends at Route 46 and the next few miles of the NCT are a roadwalk
snowmobile signs
re-tracing my footsteps
crossing the Thruway again
Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
so nice when the trail diverges from the road

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