March 13, 2019
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.