Trip report Bowman Lake to Kopac Observation and back around the lake 053121

There were 6 hikers this morning, Marieanne Coursen, Lisa Wolf, Bob Nolan, John Nesbitt, Karen & Steve Ellsworth. 

It was sprinkling when we met at the entrance but before we headed out from the beach the rain had stopped. By the time we finished there was a little sun and really warmed our outlook. The hike was a short 2.5 miles with an elevation gain of 129'.
Along the way we found a patch of bunchberries  (creeping dogwood), canadian mayflowers and wet trails.

No black flies,


Hike report 053021 Wiley Brook SF Shapley Rd to Cooper School House Rd

We had 5 hikers today for our hike. Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Lisa Wolf, Karen & Steve Ellsworth.

No black flies today, steady light rain for most of the hike but a great day in the woods. 
It was a wildflower kind of day. We saw 17 lady slippers, canadian mayflowers, jack-in-the-pulpit, wild (false) sarsaparilla, bristly buttercups and star flowers. There were red effs
There were a couple carp that must have gotten washed out of a pond we found closer to Cooper School House Rd.
We hiked from Shapley Rd to Cooper School House Rd and the map says 4.4 miles but the gps had 4.9 miles.
There were some blow downs across the trail but I'll report that separately.
Great to be out!

Hike report for May 22, 2021

It was a beautiful day for a hike. We had 6 hikers (Sharron Sandberg, Joyce Post, Anne Altshuer, Marieanne Coursen, Pam Mennis, and Peg Fuller).  We parked on Rt. 42 at Plank Rd. We walked down Plank to the Gorge, back up to the entrance to the red trail, followed the red trail to the blue trail and to the lean-to. We took a break at the Perkins Lean-to. We walked the blue trail to the intersection of the main trail looking for Pink Lady Slippers that have appeared there in previous years. Not finding any we proceeded back to the red trail and up Plank Rd to the cars. 
We went 5.5 miles with an elevation gain of 587 Feet.  It was about 75 degrees out but the hike was well shaded.
We had a wonderful time looking for wildflowers. We were surprised by the numerous Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants and Painted Trillium. We also saw Red Trillium, White Trillium. An interesting note about the white trillium, as it 'ages', it begins to turn pinkish (see pictures). Other flowers/plants - wild geranium, May Flower, dwarf ginseng, spring beauties, and numerous other plants I forget the names to already!  The cascading waterfalls were picturesque. Lots of birds singing and we saw many birds and even a partridge. A very nice day. 

Link to the pictures:

The hike GPS:


Hike Report Truman Hill 4/25/21

We had a cool day for this upward trek. There were 6 hikers Teri Currie, Cherokee Brown, John Nesbitt, Heidi Johnson, Karen & Steve Ellsworth. Teri contributed most of the photos. If others have photos they want to share just email me.

We soon warmed up on the climb to Larry's bench where we took a water break and an extra breath of oxygen. 
We continued up to the Truman Hill register where Karen signed us in and then took off over the top and across Stage Rd. and to Clarence Church (Mud Lane).
The rest went on to Flanagan Rd. where we found that the trail was closed? 
It looks like it went through some private property and the owners may have retracted their 'right to pass' to the FLT???
We wandered around there looking for a place to continue and just went back to the road and went a little further then took a break and headed back. As you can see from the map we lost some of our trail by having to revert to the road.
The yellow violets were out but the spring beauties were closed waiting for some sunlight. The first ramps (wild leeks) were spotted and tasted today.
A little red eff had a near miss but is ok after a gentle examination. 
The group hiked 4.8 miles with 755' in elevation gain. Karen who went over the top walked then ran for a total of 8.5 miles getting extra miles for the 50 mi/month FLT challenge 


Great workout!

April Full Moon Hike Report


We had calm winds, clear skies, and cool weather for tonight's hike. The hike started with 11 hikers: John Nesbit, Teri, Kayleigh, and Mia Currie, Cherokee Bourn, Cathy Cruz, June Granz, Beth Stewart, Steve Elsworth, Sam and Chris Sprague. We parked at the trailhead on the north side of Nine Mile Truck trail between North Road and Fred Stewart Road and started out heading north at 7:05pm.
We strolled at a leisurely pace through the old blowdown observing the regrowth. There was some witchhobble on the edge of the trail that was at least 7 feet tall and almost ready to flower. Trout lily and spring beauty were also in flower. Many of the white pine planted by Bullthistle members were observed near the trail. We continued north through the blowdown to the short blue spur out to the old trailhead on Fred Stewart Rd. At the road we turned south and, at the mere mention of an owl, one appeared for a fleeting instant in the distance. A few minutes later it was seen again, but not heard. While hiking along the road Rebecca Hargrave and our dog Apollo joined us for the remainder of the hike. We continued along the road to the blue trail which we followed west back to the main trail. Darkness was starting to set in and the first glimpses of the Pink Supermoon were observed through the treetops as we retraced our steps south back out to the truck trail completing the north half of our crooked figure-eight hike. Back at the vehicles we paused for a quick snack break where pink frosted cookies with star shaped sprinkles and pink starburst were shared.
After a short break we headed south and east on the mail trail. After crossing the creek we paused at the picnic table to don our headlamps. From here we continued on towards the lean-to. We paused to admire the Sidote bench and its friendly squirrel before heading to the lean-to for a photo-op in the pitch black. (FYI, everything looked in order at the lean-to, rocking chair and all, but the register book is nearly full.) After the photo documentation we returned to the main trail which we followed around the horseshoe bend and back out to Fred Stewart Road once again. This time we walked north on Fred Steward to the intersection with the Truck Trail where we turned west back towards our starting point. The moon was rising above the trees now and headlamps were optional in the bright moonlight.
We returned to our vehicles at about 9:35 completing the figure-eight hike, covering a distance of 4.64 miles in 2.5 hours. Thanks to everyone for coming.

Next month's full moon is on May 26th. Schedule and weather permitting, we will try a hike at the Stone Quarry property above Norwich

 Hike Report 041821 Jackson - Lower Pond Loop

Another great day with 7 hikers: Heidi Johnson,Teri Currie, Anne Altshuler, Chris Gregoire, John Nesbitt, Karen & Steve Ellsworth
The wild flowers are doing their best, round leaf Yellow violet, periwinkle, spring beauty and trillium and trout lilies budding. 
We headed across the South end of Jackson on the dam where a couple was having lunch and fishing. The trail just past the dam had a blowdown that needs trail maintenance as well as a couple of trees down across the path on the West side of the lake. Scheduled logging might warrant waiting but if it won't happen until next winter we should take care of it.
The passport station was in good shape but the wooden box register needs a bolt to keep the squirrels from chewing the register book. (just a little bit) and the no longer waterproof ziplock bag.
We headed East once we got to Johnson St. and began picking cans and garbage as we went. I had worked up a thirst and noticed that the Georgetown Inn was 17 miles, the Outpost was 21 miles away, the Balsam Inn is closed and the Chen33 sign should be updated to reflect this dried oasis.
Karen ran ahead at the start and completed the loop and came back to walk with us before we got to Lower Pond.
The output of Lower Pond always amazes me that the old stonework that regulates the output is still in great shape. (photo)
We went back North on Elmer Jackson Rd to get back on the FLT at the old CCC camp and headed West back to our cars at the Jackson trailhead for a total of 4 miles. and 6.6 miles for Karen


Hike report Norwich Stone Quarry 04/11/21

Today's hike was an incredible opportunity for discovery, new friends and some incredible sights.
The rain was not as much as predicted which was a blessing. We had 10 hikers Kelly & Silas Perrin,
Kathleen & Laura Christensen, Jill Liberatore, Anne Altshuler, June Granz, Cathy Cruz, Karen & Steve Elsworth
We started with a photo op for the Chenango Greenway Conservancy that is trying to raise enough money to purchase this property.
Rob Baker appeared several times on his mountain bike while hiking to the overlook. On the way we discovered the new rock formation called the wall of fire. The group photo was taken at the overlook while we had a little break and snack.
On our return we came to Dimross and all it's magical stone wonders. Silas, our youngest hiker is looking like a future hike leader. 
The first sighting of the red eff, spring beauty and mullein so far this year were along the path.
We were wondering what kind of a birds nest we found about 4' off the ground (photo)
The hike was 3.9 miles and ascended 237' and collected 2 bags of cans and garbage.  
We had such fun that we hardly noticed the rain.  


Walk on,

 hike report and pictures April 10th

Saturday, April 10th was a beautiful day for hiking. Clear sky and 70 degrees. 
There were 3 hikers, Peg Fuller, Tom Larkin, and Warren Straus.
We put one car at the trailhead on Ridge Rd then drove up to Bamberry Rd trailhead. We started the hike there. We completed 5 miles with an elevation gain of 525 feet. The hike would have been a little shorter if we hadn't lost the blazes and walked in the wrong direction for a short time. If you look closely at the GPS of the hike, you can see the little jaunt off the trail.
Springtime hiking is beautiful, but many times we are out on a section of trail before the trail maintainers have gotten there for the season. That was the case today. We encountered several blowdowns, some completely blocking the trail, and the spot we lost the trail needs blazes, probably becauise trees that had them are down on the ground!
We saw a huge midden that resulted from squirrels enjoying a long winter feast of pine cones (see the picture). We had 2 red tail hawks fly overhead. There was some old horse-hoove fungus on some trees. We saw some spring flowers starting to bloom as well as leeks coming up, some really nice rock walls, and beautiful views


GPS of the hike

Hike report Dry Brook E08 Passport rubbing

Another great day in the woods. We had 5 hikers ,
Heidi Johnson, Abbie Tambor, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth.
The trip to the trailhead was an exciting ride on Steam Mill Rd and Barbour Brook Rd. (seasonal and washed out) 
A barred owl that was sitting on the ground and stayed just long enough to miss the photo.
There is a great bridge over Dry Brook that an Eagle Scout took on as an Eagle Project when you first head to the West off Dry Brook Rd.
We hiked 2 miles with an ascent of 450' out and back which was a good workout. 
Karen went over the top to complete more of the FLT and we picked her up along the Cannonsville Reservoir.
On the way to Rocky Point we stopped at the cistern and caught the reflection of the trees and the sky looking downward.
The Dry Brook Lean-To was in good shape. We stopped there for a snack and were amazed at the artwork in the trail register (photo).   
At Rocky Point we signed the register and took rubbings at the E08 Passport station.
The coltsfoot is in bloom and spring is trying to survive.


No hills,

April 3, 2021.

We had 4 hikers (June Granz, Dot Rice, Bill Carey, & Peg Fuller),
We started on Stage Rd and walked down to the trailhead that goes north towards Will Warner Rd. We went down to the creek to take pictures and enjoy the cascades in the water. We then went back up to Stage Rd and onto the FLT going toward Clarence Church Hill Rd. 
There was still plenty of snow in the woods. The mud wasn't back because of the still-frozen ground in most spots. The waterfalls and cascades were very enjoyable and we spent time photographing them. We took a break when we reached Clarence Church Hill Rd. We then backtracked to our start location.
We hiked about 4.5 miles (the GPS on my phone stopped working). There was plenty of uphills. It was sunny and the weather warmed up nicely for a very enjoyable hike.

link to pictures

Here is a short video of the sounds of the creek


Hike report 03/28/21 Ludlow Stone Piles

Today's hike was a nice change into spring. The last three months we have snowshoed or skied.

It was nice to see the ferns and club moss uncovered from their blanket of snow.
We had 9 treker's today: Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Tom Harvey, Julie Simoncic,Teri Currie, Maryanne & Mathew Weiss, Steve & Karen Ellsworth.
We hiked 3.8 miles and an ascent of 255'

The hike was in reverse of the last one Don Windsor led in 2016. 
We parked at the Ludlow kiosk at Tucker Rd. and hiked to the lean-to. Then bushwhacked South along Ludlow creek and veered off to the stone piles.

I'm not sure what the count was but there were at least 20 in varying states of completeness. Some wrecked by tree fall and others fell over.  
There were several new stone pile discoveries that we did not see on our last hike. 

The bushwhack took us to the Ludlow Forest State Boundary then we headed West to the FLT and came out Near the Passport station and FLT register.
The FLT trail was a welcome path after fighting blackberry thorns and a small swamp that we had to cross.

The rain held off for most of the hike, we suited up and made it back to the cars in good shape.



Life is a bushwhack,


We had a beautiful day for the first day of spring. Blue skies, no clouds, and very little breeze. 

We hiked about 3.3 miles at Rogers Environmental Center.  We had 9 hikers (Teri Currie, David Sadler, Joyce Post, Cathy Cruz, Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Julie Simonec, Robin VanWagon, and Peg Fuller).
We walked the following trails: Farm Tower, Pine Ridge, Spruce Ridge, Channels, Boundary, and to the visitor center snd parking lot.
As promised, there was mud and a bit of ice and snow too! 
We saw a Red Tail Hawk from the tower area (see picture). 
Standing near the Chenango River we saw some geese take off and what I thought was a Great Blue Heron, very far away, a few of us thought it was a Heron and a few people said maybe a Bald Eagle. I included the extremely blurry pictures if you would like to play along and guess what we saw. 
Another picture from the tower area was a very distant cabin, it is a tiny hunting-type cabin, also pictured. 
Across the Chenango Creek were a few Canda Geese, very far away and we were having trouble identifying a bird that I knew was not a Canada Goose, he/she is also pictured. Looks like some sort of goose to me, but I can't completely identify it.
Link to pictures:


Hike Report Fred Stewart Rd. to Sidote Bench and Sandberg Lean-to

Not a cloud in the sky and a great day to snowshoe in the Pharsalia Woods. 
There were 14 snowshoers, Teri Currie, June Granz, Dot Rice, Bill Carey, Holly Crouch, Warren Strauss, Anne Altshuler, Beth Stewart, Christine Gregoire, Dominic Shea, Pam Shea, John Nesbitt, Karen Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth.
We hiked North on the FLT crosses the Nine Mile Truck Trail and then Fred Stewart Rd and on to the Sidote Bench top which you could only partly see. At the trail register we transfered   several rubbings. The nearby stone wall had snow about 2' deep along the top. 
There were coyote tracks, squirrel tracks and some unidentified scat along the broken trail so the snowshoeing was not too difficult. 
Hiked to the Sandberg Lean-To for our traditional well deserved break and group photo. John Nesbitt led us back around on part of the Blue Loop and the Nine Mile Truck Trail and back down the FLT. What a great ski trail you maintain John. 
We hike 4.4 miles but the gps recorded 4.3 (forgot to turn it on at the start)





Hike report Kopac to Whaley snowshoe 022721

We had another banner snowshoe hike with 11 hikers:
Anne Altshuler, Teresa Currie, Hollie Crouch, Maryanne Weiss, Tom Holmes, Yusuf Harper, Christine Gregoire, Tom Harvey, Karen, Noah and Steve Ellsworth.
We headed North at the Kopac kiosk, stopped at the Passport / FLT registration box, registered and rubbed a few Pasport books. 
Then continued on the Kopac trail where there are some treemendous hemlocks and white pines. 
Someone had snowshoed and headed off on the old trail. 
We broke trail on the new reroute all the way to the junction of  <- Whaley Pond / Bowman -> and continued breaking trail to Whaley Pond. At Whaley Pond we took our well deserved break and group photo. 
Then it was backtrack with a short stop at the Kopac observation deck where you could see it sleeting out in the open. Then it was back to the vehicles. 
We hiked 3.3 miles with 120 ft. ascent, which is pretty flat.



Hike Report Whaupaunaucau snowshoe

What a great group we had this morning. There were 19 snowshoers Anne Altshuler Michele Graham, Michael Solloway, Heather Manley, Dondon Currie, Dave Dis, Vicki Merrit, Cathy Cruz, June Granz, Dorothy Rice, Bill Carey, Peg Fuller, Maryann Weiss, Beth Stewart, John Nesbitt,Tom Larkin, Karen & Steve Ellsworth  (some spelling of the names could be wrong, correct me.)

At times the long line of hikers looked like the Klondike Gold Rush headed up the Chilkoot trail. 

We hiked 2 miles around Jeffrey Pond although it looked flat on the map there were some uphill slight grades which were tough with the deep snow. There was one xcountry skier that we met on the west side of the pond.  
Several of the new group that we met at the Kiosk went on around again for another 1.2 miles. 


Let's do a longer snowshoe next weekend at the Kopac trail kiosk... announcement pending weather watch.
The snow may settle a bit this week,

Ludlow snowshoe hike report

The morning started off on the cool side of 6 degrees. 

We met at the Dollar General while Karen and Noah went to the trailhead to clear off the foot bridge.
I brought an extra pair of snowshoes for anyone in need... no need!

Karen ended up shoveling the snow bank from the plow as well (photo).

There were seven snowshoers, Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Eve Ehrlich, Steve Jensen, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth.  

We shoed to the lean-to looked at the nearly frozen creek then headed out on the FLT to the first trail register. 
The Passport rubbing was iced over and could not be exposed for fear of damaging it.
Karen put some new Passport books in the box for when it warms up.

Breaking trail was tough for the lead and second person and a gradual uphill almost all the way to the second FLT trail register about 1.8 miles
We turned there and headed back after a break and a snack. 
The return was almost a breeze, downhill and broken trail. It had warmed to about 20 degrees.

The group photo was taken back at the lean-to and then a short hike to the cars for a total of 3.6 miles.


February 11, 2021. Stage Road snowshoe:

We had a very nice day for a snowshoe hike.
At times it was snowing lightly, then the sun came and glimmered off the snow.
We hardly noticed it was only 20 degrees (as long as we didn't stop moving).

We had 6 people (Pam, Julie S, Cathy C, Steve, Eve, and Peg) and 2 dogs (Tripp and Livy). We snowshoed around my property, up hills, downhills, across meadows, thru the woods, and across the creek.
Even the dogs were happy to stay single file and opted to let others break the trail at times. 

We went 2.3 miles with an elevation gain of 433 feet, but it felt like more in some spots.  We were outside for about 2.5 hours. 

Link to a few pictures from the hike:

GPS of the hike:

Hike Report 020621 Bowman xcountry ski

It was a clear day and about 24 degrees but seemed cooler in the wind.

We had 9 adventurers on skis & snowshoes who were, Tom & Grace Holmes, Eve Ehrlich, Warren Strauss, John Nesbitt,Tom Larkin, Christine Gregoire, Karen & Steve Ellsworth 
We split into two groups one continuing on the park road but split 3 continued on the road and 6 peeled out to the right and down on the X2 trail.  The X2 group had some spills and a lot of laughs and went about 3.3 miles and an elevation gain of about 330' after correcting the late gps start. Karen bent her ski pole. 
The second group continued around the park roads rounding near the lake and back up to the parking area for a total of 1.7 miles

I handed out Bullthistle membership forms to 2 women from Norwich while I was waiting for the X2 group. 
We all pulled (pushed) together in the end to get Christine's car out after pulling off the road a little too far. Great team effort and even a couple unknown hikers pitched in.

I'm not sure how many photos were taken as we had our hands full of poles.
Here is one of Tom & Grace

In the shadows,


We met at the Bowman entrance and decided to hike from the parking just past the booth.

It was a brisk morning but by the time we were done the temperature was up to 15 degrees and we were warm from the exercise.
There were 4 hikers this morning Anne Altshuler, Julie Simoncic, Karen and Steve Ellsworth. We headed North and went counter clockwise around the lake.
When we started out another hiker showed up, Eli but was hiking on his own. He had been on the Bullthistle website this morning and didn't realize that we were hiking today.
He went directly to Kopac and then came clockwise around the lake so we met him again. The snow was not too deep in the pines but a little deeper in the open and drifts. 
The snow smoothed the bumps, rocks and logs on the trail. We saw coyote, mouse and deer tracks along the way.
We snowshoed 2 miles this morning, the ascent was 103 ft and the descent was 135 ft so once again it was mostly downhill. 
When we returned to our cars we saw a vehicle that belonged to Eve & Steve who got stuck in their driveway and missed the departure but still made it out to hike Bowman Lake SP. 
So, there were 6 Bullthistler's out today!



Making a short story longer than it should be,

Snowshoe report & pictures 1/21/2021


The BHC snowshoe hike on Jan. 21, 2021, was in South Otselic.
The temperatures were high of 17 degrees with a very strong wind.
Freshly falling snow added to the 6 or more inches on the ground and made it perfect snowshoe weather.
We had 8 people and 1 dog (Tom Larkin, Warren Strauffo, Cathy Cruz, Anne Altschuler, Karen, Noah, & Steve Ellsworth, and Peg & Tripp Fuller).
We started out without a toy for Tripp, but he quickly found a ball along the way, which required several people, especially Noah, to participate in entertaining Tripp with a game of fetch as we hiked.
As promised, we had some hills. Most of us hiked 2.75 miles, but Tripp went about 4.5 miles. We had an elevation gain of 436 feet. Steve will post the GPS of the hike.
It was a group effort since many of us took the lead to break trail. And Tom was extra kind to help Anne with her balance test. I think most of us agree the board across the creek covered in ice, was an excellent balance test! I also checked the gravity and made sure that was still working, thankfully I didn't do that over the creek! Thanks to Tom for lending a hand on that test too! All testing aside, it was a great hike. The snow was beautiful.
We walked from the house around the top of the property (Peg & Mike's), down through the woods, around the field, over the creek, up into the woods, and ultimately onto the FLT. We hiked to Will Warner Road. Took a group picture and a quick break. Then back down the FLT back onto the private property and to the house.
The break was short because just standing still resulted in feeling the cold. While we were moving, the cold wasn't bad.

 Hike Report 011721 Cooper Schoolhouse - Searles Hill

This morning Sunday 011721,  5 hikers came to the 3.6 mile snow walk. 
The snow was not deep enough for snowshoes but did slow us down a bit.
The snow on the pines was like magic in the woods, sometimes hiding the blazes with their weighted branches.
We crossed Townline Rd and headed up a driveway to find the trail off to the right. A call the day before notified the owner and verified the location.
The high point of the hike was about halfway. Toward the end of our trek we found the FLT trail register had fallen off a dead tree stump near Searles Rd 
just past the bridge that had too few boards covering the top. We tried to open the register box but it was frozen from laying face down on the ground. (see waypoint on map).
The well deserved break was at the halfway (turnaround) point then we headed back.
We found some interesting tracks on the return that were in our tracks we made on the way out (see photo)

There's no stopping us!



Hike report Jackson Pond - CCC Camp loop 011021

Today we had 5 hikers, Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, John Nesbitt, Bob Nolan and myself.
We hiked 4.7 miles, a bit further than we had planned due to the snow plow stopping at the last house on John Smith Rd. (The Carmen's)
The unplowed portion was packed from snow mobiles. We cut in on the FLT at Jackson Pond and went around the west side to the trail register to Johnson Street.
The logging has not started in that area yet. Johnson Street was plowed and sanded up to Elmer Jackson where we headed South on more packed snowmobile tracks.
Just in time for the snowmobile 'races' we were off the road and into the woods back on the FLT to the CCC Camp where we took some nourishment and hydrated.
The entire trail in the woods had been previously snowshoed so the going was pretty easy. 
The rises in elevation didn't hinder us much as we only gained 303 feet on the entire hike.
Gone to the woods,




[BHC Googlegroup] First Day Hike Report - Fri 1 Jan 2021 - Norwich Greenway North

The First Day of 2021 had 10 hikers on the Norwich Greenway North: Anne Altshuler, Cathy Cruz, Grace Holmes, Tom Holmes, Allen Marsters, Joyce Post, Elizabeth Schaefer, Maryann Weiss, Matthew Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.8 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked in the lot on River Street by the Rexford Street bridge and hiked westerly on Rexford, then northerly on the former O&W railbed to the Greenway. We then hiked to the DL&W bridge and backtracked, with a few shorter trails, to our cars.

See group photo, with all hikers wearing masks, and action photo of hikers gingerly crossing where a wooden bridge once was. Spiffy DEC gloves and appropriate First Day pins were issued to each hiker.

First Day Hike Bowman Lake State Park 01/01/21

Happy New Year to You All!
It was a beautiful day to start off the New Year!
There were 33 hikers and at least 3 dogs that joined us this morning.
There were three groups, two of which did the Bowman / Kopac Loop one clockwise and the other counterclockwise.
The third group hiked the ski trails. The hike leaders were Andy Goeller, Julie Thompson, John Nesbitt and myself.
At the start we first discovered snow fleas, but throughout the hike there were many wildlife tracks including some impressive fisher tracks.
We stopped at the Passport Station where a couple of hikers got their first rubbings. Giant hemlock and cherry trees were like columns on our path.
There were many spots that the deer pawed through looking for ground cover to eat.
The considerable amount of snow in the woods made it difficult negotiating some obstacles and balancing on the puncheons.
Thanks for the bridge repair crossing the Bowman Creek on the FLT section!
The Kopac Loop was about 3.3 miles and it took about 1hr 49 min +10 min for stops.



A hike, if for no other reason but to breath in the forest,

Rogers Center 1st Day Hike

The First Day hike at Rogers Environmental Center had 11 hikers.
Carol Smith led the hike. Peg Fuller was the sweep.
We hiked the Farm Tower trail, Pine Ridge Trail, and Spruce Ridge trail.
We stopped to take in the great view from the tower. We also stopped at the weather station, which I had never seen before. Go to http://www.nysmesonet.org/mesonow#network=nysm&stid=sher to get the weather report from that station.
We also discussed the American Chestnut trees that are newly planted as part of a project from the American Chestnut organization that is working to save the trees and get rid of the disease that is killing them all.
We saw lots of animal tracks in the snow. Small canine tracks, possible coyote or fox, we weren't sure. We also saw tracks we believe were opossum.
A few hikers stopped at the gift shop which Simon was nice enough to open for the hikers.
We hiked approximately 2 miles. We handed out DEC gloves, first day hike buttons, Passport booklets, Bullthistle club information and FLT information.

Kopac Hike Report

A great morning hike... sorry for the late notice.
The Kopac hike was going to start at Bowman Lake SP but the plows were there in preparation for the first day hike, 
so we headed to the Kopac kiosk and headed North following our snowshoe tracks from last week. 
We had some fresh snow at the start and during the hike.
The snow covered trees were enchanting which captivated us through the woods.  
At the Whaley Pond / Bowman Lake sign at the end of the Kopac reroute we headed East to Bowman Lake.
Then down the East side of the lake past the beach. There was some ice from where the lake level came up and back down from the 3" of rain and the snowmelt.
We just went a little higher on the bank and on to the dam and back to the Kopac kiosk.
We hike 3 miles in 1hr 53 min.

Map & stats:


Hope to see you on the full moon hike tonight!

December 27 Hike Report

It was a very nice day for a hike. The temperature were around the high 20's and close to 32' by the time we were done. 

There were 4 people, Julie Simonec, David Sadler, Joyce Post, Peg Fuller, and 1 dog, Tripp. We parked at Hoag Childes Rd and Fred Stewart Rd. We hiked the FLT to 9 Mile Truck Trail and then reentered the FLT north of the Sandberg Pharsalia Lean-to. We then stopped at the Sidote Bench and at the lean-to for a 'well-deserved' break. We then followed the FLT back to Fred Stewart Rd and walked the road back to the cars.

We were surprised by how much snow we encountered. At least 4 inches deep in some spots. Two snowmobilers passed up on 9 Mile Truck Trail. We could see old cross country ski tracks on the trail. We also had another hiker and his dog, Annie, pass us. A raven made his presence known and perhaps expressed his displeasure that we were there.

The Sandberg Lean-to was decorated for Christmas. So cheerful. There were spots of standing water from the recent rains and snowmelt. There was freshly fallen snow. Some ice. If you like cross country skiing, hurry up and go there because there is enough to ski it, but another warm-up is coming. 

We hiked 5.7 miles. I had recorded it on a GPS, but for some reason, I cannot get the map to load on the computer. So I am attaching an old hike which is the same route we took today if you want to see the path we took. Link to old GPS:  https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/recording-jan-04-1250-pm--6

We were on the trail for about 3:45 minutes. It was a slow, but very enjoyable hike. 

Here is the link to today's pictures:


1223/ Snowshoe Excursion

Today we had 4 snowshoers today: Anne Altshuler,John Nesbitt, Noah Ellsworth and myself.
We broke trail on the Kopac reroute (mostly John) to the junction of Whaley/Boman. 
Headed toward Whaley to the North end of the old Kopac trail and retrieved the Whaley/Bowman sign.
The sign was relocated at the North end of the Kopac reroute where it meets with the Whaley / Boman trail.
On the return, I cut out to Kopac Pond to get a shot of the observation deck and when I got through the brush my shoes shoes were under water.
I had to get out quick after snapping the photo.

The snowshoeing was a good workout, but I need that.


Don't let a chance go by!

Saturday 12/12/20 another pleasant day for a stroll along the river. 

There were 14 hikers today some new folks and some a little more seasoned: Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Peg Fuller, Anne Altshuler, Debbie Johnson, David Sadler, John Nesbitt, Marlette Lanfear, Julie Simoncic, Maryann Weiss, Bonnie Gale, Christine Gregoire. 
The caravan to the 'trailhead' looked as long as a funeral procession and Karen joked that we should get some bullthistle magnetic statues for such an occasion.

There was an old abutment for a RR bridge that used to cross the Chenango a little North of Hale St. 
The hike turned out to be 3.1 miles. The RR bridge section of the trail was interesting stepping from tie to tie with a 3 or 4-inch

crack to watch the Canasawacta Creek flowing below. The old RR snow plow looked like it could cut through some very deep snowdrifts.

Mallards seemed to dominate that area of the river today although there were some geese, a fleeting kingfisher, a redtail hawk, and apparently a cardinal that I didn't see until Peg posted the photo.  



Thanks for all the photos!

On the level (today)!

November 27 Hike Report

On Friday, Nov 27th, our hike started out with a little mist, drizzly stuff, but it stopped as we hiked. 
We met in the parking lot at Rogers Environmental Center. 
We had 14 hikers (Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Steve, Karen, & Noah Ellsworth, Anne Altschuler, Rich & Chris Breslin, Carol Smith, Peg Fuller, Christine Gregoire, Elizabeth Sdiage, Evelyn Ehrlich, and Steve Jensen). 
We walked the Spruce Trail, the South Trail, Channels trail, Boundary Trail, and North Loop Trail. We hiked 2 miles at a leisurely pace. We did see chickadees and a Downy Woodpecker. We stopped at the visitor center where several of us enjoyed splurging on some holiday shopping. 
Only 2 pictures - the group of masked bandits and an okay picture of the Downy Woodpecker. Pictures - https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1fE5rQOgzU3nsWilFZxxtHudnK1tTekVG?usp=sharing

I paused the recording at the visitor center and forgot to restart it but it wasn't very far to the cars.
GPS of hike:


Hike Report 11/14/20 Bull Thistle Bridge - Lower Pond - Jackson Pond

We had 4 hikers today John Nesbitt, Bob Nolan, Julie Simeoncic, Steve Ellsworth. We traveled about 7 miles from RT 23 across the Bullthistle Bridge past the beaver pond on Elmer (Fudd) Jackson Rd 
to Lower Pond and on to the old CCC camp and over to Jackson Pond then the trail on the west side  of Jackson where we saw a lot of marking for the inevitable clear cut.
We took a rubbing at the Passport station (E04) and filled out the trail register then North to Johnson St., East to John Smith Rd, South to RT 23 then east to our cars.
There were several caterpillar nests on the ground that had blown from the trees. We looked inside one of the webbings and saw little fuzzy caterpillars that I hope will not return in the spring.
The beaver pond where we broke trail to explore had at least three dams and 3 lodges.

At Jackson Pond where we took our well deserved break the wind picked up and we had a little snow.  
There were three hunters that we saw along the way as well as a few empty tree stands. One sitting by and old foundation, the second clearly had a rifle & scope and was dressed in camo (early deer season I guess)
The third was a bird hunter coming back to his car with a springer spaniel shortly after we had kicked out three ruffed grouse. 

Julie picked up quite a bit of trach along the way, her trash bag and one John had brought along. 



The coming hikes will not be quite so bold with the onset of the gun season.

On the level,

Hike Report 11/07/20 Truman Hill

Well it's hard to believe that last week there was snow in Whaupaunuacua last weekend and 70 degrees today.
A gift I guess?
We had 4 hikers (almost 5) today Anne Altshuller, Marieanne Coursen, Julie SImoncic, Steve Ellsworth.
The almost was Joyce Post who must have arrived late because I found a postit note on my window saying she couldn't find the parking lot.
Well, I missed the parking area also as the DEC took the Fishing Access site sign down and on the return to Norwich I noticed the Otselic Fishing Access sign was gone from County Rt 16.
We hiked up to Larry's bench then to the top of Truman Hill where we took a little break and snack. There were some nice mosses and fungi along the way.
Big cherry trees and old maples were spotted but the most interesting thing to me was the old wagon wheels and hubs that we saw along Truman Rd.
Along the road we could see some stone structures, will go back to investigate. The group was a little hesitant to bushwhack after finding 2 ticks on 2 of us.
It was a great day for our 3.7 mile hike with an elevation gain of about 552' but the best part was our descent of 585'
Fair weather,

Hike report Whaupaunaucau West hike

We had 7 hikers this morning, Anne Altshuler, Robin VanWagner, John Nesbitt, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, Noah and Steve Ellsworth 
There was still some snow in the woods and as the sun warmed the trees, little ice pellets fell that lasted throughout the hike. 
We hiked from the Jeffery Pond parking lot and took trails 4,5,6, 9, 10, 12, 18,16, 17 back to the cars for a total of 5.5 miles.

We did not do half of the 13 mile x-country ski trails. The western trails did not have blazes or signs... we took a lovely path Westerly which we are calling trail-X and came to some private land and turned around to go back whence we came.  The trails were not marked very well, if at all in the Western region\

We crossed 3 different bridges which now serve a purpose after we had a good rain. I don't recall these on previous hikes.



Hike report Buckley Hollow to French Rd. 101720

Hello everyone,
It turned out to be a great day again although a little cold for the departure.
We had 5 hikers today, Anne Altshuler, Tom Harvey, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth who hiked over 7 miles with an elevation gain of 956 feet..
The GPS stopped for a while so it was a little farther than 7 miles.
We ascended overlooking the Bowman Creek and followed it to Buckley Hollow Rd. Just before Buckley Hollow Rd we could see the falls below us.
The second stile on the way up the fence was cut and rolled up. Not sure if that was done by the owner or vandals.
There is an old sign that tells where an old sawmill was in 1870's
We continued past Buckley Hollow Rd through a couple fields before getting back to the woods.
An old oak in a field was lit up in the morning sun and will measure the base next time I pass by, it is huge at least 12' around.
Lots of shagbark hickories and red oaks along this trail as well as basswood with the tell tale big leaves..  
We had a well deserved lunch at the parking area on French Rd., a bench would have been welcomed.

The upper end of the trail toward French Rd. were some blow-downs but not bad for seasoned bushwackers. 🌲

We coasted on the way back except one spot where the uphill trail was inclined toward the gorge, slippery with leaves and hidden roots.

So inclined,



Geriatric Stroll - Report - Hunts Pond, NB

On a sunny and cool Sunday afternoon, 25 October 2020, we had 6 hikers strolling around Hunts Pond in New Berlin: Anne Altshuler, Cathy Cruz, Karen Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We went from the entrance around to the dam and then backtracked, covering 2 miles in 2 hours.
See Steve's photos. I took only the attached photo. of a heart depicted by aspen leaves. Perhaps it was an omen. To find out, I asked the auricle, but the only reply was a faint murmur.
Thanks for another day of nature's wonders and your great wit!

This morning 5 hikers (Anne Altshuler, Maryann Weiss, Elizabeth Schafer,Yuksel Duman and myself started out in a drizzle and stopped in about a half hour. 

Ascended the impressive observation deck and saw a bald eagle perched on a dead tree. The eagle took off before Yuksel could retrieve the binoculars.
We could see it flying around over the pond then landing in another dead tree on the other side.
There were lots of different fungui on the trees and a few on the ground the ref effs are turning an olive color. lots of interrupted moss, fan club moss and Elizabeth spotted a Herb Robert Geranium in bloom next to the road.
We hiked the blue loop and found an old cellar hole and a short red loop which took us across Reservoir Hill Rd on a short spur that brought us back to the road to the parking area. The hike was 2.5 miles with a 123' ascent.   




Yesterday, Thursday 10/15/20 three hikers (Julie Simoncic, John Nesbitt and myself) hiked 4.5 miles.

This hike was the easiest we've done in a long time, almost leisurely. Kopac trails were also the driest. 
The E06 Passport rubbing station is still there.
We hiked around Bowman Lake and it was such a great day that we continued in a counter clockwise direction to Kopac Pond then back to Bowman.  The E06 Passport rubbing station is still there.
There were a lot of stone walls between Bowman and Kopac and a nice cellar hole along one of them.
We met a nice couple on the Kopac trail and a photographer on the Kopac Observation deck where we had a little lunch. There were many fungi and of course some asters hanging on. 

On the way back to Bowman there was an old foundation by a maple at the South end of the Lake. Don had told us about this once but I can't recall.
We met a single hiker close to the end of our hike and she had heard about us through the Oxford Farmers Market and was surprised to meet us on the path.
I handed her a Bullthistle membership application and talked about our hikes.

Cake walk,



Hike report Bucks Brook SF 10/10/20

What a beautiful day... to have 5 hikers Anne Altshuler, Tom Harvey, John Nesbitt and myself along on our trip around McDermott Hill in the Bucks Brook SF. We started at the Bucks Brook SF FlT trailhead sign and headed North (up) and then Northwest along the FLT to Ridge Rd. then turned South down Bucks Brook Rd to our cars. 

After our initial incline, while enjoying our descent we met Pete and Colleen coming in the opposite direction, we talked a bit and still amazed by the day! 
There were only a couple times that we were distracted by our conversations, the nice path and the day that we lost the blazes. Only a short ways before we noticed and corrected.
We found an old cellar hole, stone walls, steep shale banks along the creek, fan club moss, partridge berries, interrupted clubmoss. 
It was nice to take a little break at the nearly new lean-to. (built June 2019) 
Everyone was quite impressed with the open air privy!  
The gray dogwood was a little tree I found along the woods at my place.

We hiked 6.1 miles and 714' was on the incline I mentioned. It seemed slow but the day and the conversion enjoyable.
Why rush it? 

On the level,


 Whaupaunaucau hike report 100420

There was a great turnout this cool morning with 8 hikers.
Joyce Post, Julie Simoncic, Maryann Weiss, John Nesbitt, Robin Vanwagner, Bob Nolan, Karen & Steve Ellsworth We parked at the Whaupaunaucau kiosk and headed West and South on T20 (T=trail) from the Kiosk. The chill was gone after a couple minutes on the incline (can't call them hills).
The trails were beautiful with the fresh fallen leaves and are sometimes a surprise to your footing.
We came to the Whaupaunaucau Lean-To at T17 & T16 it was in good shape but no privy. We followed T17 the T15 South then turned North on T13. There we found the Clement Lean-To that was built by a couple and has welcomed campers to stay there.  Here we found the privy but looked a little rough from the outside and looked as if the porcupines had chewed hole in the siding. Shortly after we came to the Forest Access Rd. then right at the Y toward Jeffery Pond followed the Access Rd to T4 and West then South of the Jeffery pond where we could see the foliage on the other side. We rounded the pond on the dam side and cut up T1 to Post Rd. past the inner parking lot and back to the kiosk.
The oaks were loaded with acorns, the squirrels were busy and seemed to chatter when we were in their way.
The hike seemed quick but the lack of floral photo ops except the new england asters are mostly gone until spring. 

Someone wondered what Whaupaunaucau meant, Bob the reader in the group went to the kiosk and found out.
Whaupaunaucau is Native American, which means 'Land of the Marten'. 
Although the marten no longer lives in the forest. 
 Whaley Pond Bowman hike 092620

Well what started out be be a short hike evolved into a longer hike after consulting with all the hikers.
We decided to stick to the woods and stay off the road. We hiked 4.3 miles about a mile farther than originally planned.
We had 3 hikers John Nesbitt, Karen Ellsworth and myself.

We headed South on the FLT from Preston Rd. to the border of Bowman SP and then went East to Whaley Pond where we spotted a dangerous snapping turtle.
We backtracked to the Bowman trail and headed South again to Bowman Lake then East to the Main FLT and then North  back to the cards on Preston Rd.
We met a few hikers along the way and one couple with a dog passed us like we were standing still (maybe they were younger)

The FLT return trail we  crossed a bridge that went over the dried Bowman Creek. The railing there is in need of repair.  

Walk on,

It was not a BHC hike, but a FLTC hike that I went on today.  I wanted to share the pictures.

We hiked 2 passport hikes. If you don't know what passport hikes are, go to fingerlakestrail.org and look for the details. 
If you do not have an Eastern Passport book and would like one, let me know, I have plenty,
So the FLTC hosted a Hike 101 hike today and I helped. Deb Nero was the hike leader and Dave Neulan was the sweep. 
The 2 hikes were passport book hike E09 and E10. They are on FLT map O1. It is just into Onanadago county and in Morgan Hill State Forest. We parked at Spruce Pond.  We were able to get 2 rubbings for our passport books (there is a passport station at the Sidote bench, Jackson Pond area, and in Bowman State Park, so most of you are familiar with these). 
The hang glider jump-off point was worth the hike up, amazing view. It was a great day for a hike. 
I recommend doing the passport hikes in the Eastern booklet. You will enjoy yje hikes. 
Here are the pictures:

Sept. 25, 2020:

Another great day for a hike with the Bullthistle Hiking Club on FLT Map 22! Low 70's, sunshine, and beautiful fall foliage. 
We had eight people hiking and 3 dogs hiking (Anne Atchuler, Joyce Post, Julie Simoncic, Carol Smith, Debra Nero, Steve Ellsworth, Rich Breslin, and Peg Fuller, and Tripp, Addie and Kye).
We parked at the first trailhead on Partridge Hill Road in the Otselic State Forest. We hiked to the top of Truman Hill. Although we had several ups and downs, we avoided the steepest hill going down to the Rt. 26 trailhead at the fish access. We zigzagged along the FLT until we reached the very top of Truman Hill where trail maintainer Larry Cheseboro put a custom made bench. We took a week deserved break there.  We also stopped at the beaver dam that is very close to a puncheon (bridge) that we took a picture at. For now, the beaver dam is holding, but it looks precarious. The beavers also look like they are starting to build a small dam on the other side of the bridge. There is a temporary reroute around some of the wet areas. We backtracked on part of the FLT and then took Partridge Road part of the way back to the cars.
We hiked 6 miles (although Tripp's GPS says he did 7.1 miles, he had to keep coming back to check on me to see why I was taking so long).  Steve emailed the link to the GPS. There was an elevation gain of 724 feet, but at times it really felt like more. 
The fall foliage is awesome right now. It will not last long, so get out and drive around to enjoy it or take a hike. The colors are very bright, but it is predicted to be a short period of time before the leaves fall.

Link to pictures:


Labor Day Hike

We had a beautiful day for a hike. A little bit breezy and we heard a few cracking branches in the woods, but no rain, not too hot, not too cold. Turkey vultures flying overhead. 
We had 7 people (Dave Sadler, Warren Johnson, Joyce Post, Connie Tedesco, Robin VanWagner, Deb Nero, and Peg Fuller) and 4 dogs (Rudy, Addie, Kai, and Tripp).  We hike 5.6 miles in 3 hours. The elevation gain was 853 ft. 
The hike went around the Fuller property, then cut into the FLT and up to Will Warner Rd, crossed into the Otselic Forest, and continued on the FLT.  We took a brief break at the Braxton bench.  We took the FLT to Partridge Hill Rd and walked the road to Will Warner and back onto the FLT to the back of the Fuller property and back to the house. 

Noteworthy pictures:
Fall is on the way - see the leaf picture.
See the guys resting on the Braxton Bench.
Joyce is surrounded by some of her best friends.
We turned at the fungus tree.
Something was chewing on the trail marker in the quarry area.
Here is the link for those pictures and more:

This is the GPS of the hike.  The battery died when we were almost back to the house, right by my garden. So it didn't record the last 100 yards or so.

Hunts Mountain Hike 8/30/2020

Thanks to the brave hikers who refused to be discouraged by the weather forecast, we enjoyed a pleasant 4.5 mile hike on Hunts Mountain.  The nine hikers, including the leader Al Marsters, were Anne Altshuler, Amy Marsters Bice, John Carhart, John Nesbitt, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith and Maryann Weiss.

Al decided to do a reverse trip to the pinnacle from past years as he remembered Don Windsor’s comment.  Don had said the past hike was all downhill after the pinnacle.  We also avoided the spot where Don had experienced the “sudden surge of gravity”.  After seeing the Geological Survey Markers and reference points, we headed down for a view of the beautiful Chenango Valley.  For those who look VERY carefully, you may see three of the four turkeys - but then maybe you won't.  Then we aimlessly wandered through the woods and fortunately found the large virgin White Pine.  The next stop was Al’s cabin for a snack.  Although we all enjoyed a well-deserved break, Anne did offer some comments on Al’s housekeeping.  The last uphill to the tower gave way to a leisurely walk downhill to the cars.  We enjoyed perfect hiking weather.  We started with nine and ended with nine.

Thanks to Maryann and Amy for the pictures.

Ambler State Forest Hike 082320

We had 6 hikers today that made the 4 mile trek, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, Bob Nolan, Peg Fuller, Karen & Steve Ellsworth.
The DEC road was mostly shady so it was not too terribly hot and we finished before noon.
There were some purple flowering raspberries (red - very tasty) jewel weed, blue wood-asters, joe-pye weed, artist's conk and other fungus that I don't know the names of.
The mullein was not as tall as last year in August and it could be the lack of water this year or the fact that they are biennial. We'll check next year.
Mullein was historically used as an herbal treatment for coughs, congestion, chest colds, bronchitis, and inflammation.
Peg found an interesting red caterpillar that we need to identify.
As for stick man... we looked high and low and found his shoes in the brush with no sign of him. Bob said that he must have run off barefoot.
He'll be back I'm sure.
I'm not able to lead hikes for two weeks unless you want to meet in VT for a remote hike with some hills.
I expect someone will carry the torch and have a hike.. watch your email.

Sunday 8/2/20 hike to the Chestnut Plantation (or perhaps the Chestnut research plot

We lucked out today and had only a few drops of rain shaken off the tree by the wind.
There were 7 hikers today, Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, Robin Van Wagner, Karen, Noah and Steve Ellsworth who hiked 2.7 miles up on Cush Hill recorded by Maryanne. I forgot to turn my gps off and logged 46 miles which I though was a little much for the day and it totally threw the map for today off. Perhaps Maryann has an All Trails map for today?
It was interesting to see the Chestnut experiments, there were bags over the ends of some of the branches.
These bags are for controlled pollination.
There were also the remains of two experiments where the DEC was trying to show how many baby trees grow in an area in the forest if they were not eaten by the deer.
We hiked the red loop to the summit and the yellow conifer loop then checked out American Chestnuts and meandered to the blue trail where we found 3 lean-to's for our 'well deserved break'. The one we stopped at was apparently a party lean-to as Karen had to put her spare garbage bag to work. Sad that the people in such need to find a secluded place to party can't pick up after themselves.
There were a few flowers along the way including Herb Robert, Common Selfheal, Hemp nettle, Yellow jewelweed (a touch-me -not)
Another great day!


On July 25th, Saturday, the BHC led the Sidote Hike. There were 2 options to hike. The short hike was led by Peg Fuller. The long hike was led by Julie Thompson. Both hikes started at the trailhead on Clarence Church Rd (map 23). 

There were a total of 11 hikers. Everyone maintained social distance and/or wore a face mask. 

The short hike was 4.4 miles and went up Clarence Church Rd, then done Mud Lane, a right turn onto Johnson Street and then onto the FLT. We took the blue trail to the Perkins Lean-to and had lunch. We returned to our cars by walking back the blue trail to the main FLT trail to Clarence Church Rd.

The long hike was 8.5 miles and went up Clarence Church to Game Preserve Rd. Onto Johnson St to Bear Wallow Rd. Then on the blue spur trail to the main FLT by Lower Pond. The hike continued on the main FLT past Jackson Pond up to the blue trail to the Perkins lean too and then back to the main FLT trail to the cars. The group enjoyed their lunch at Jackson Pond where there was a nice breeze coming off the water. 

It was a beautiful day for a hike. Temperatures ranged around 80 degrees for the day. The hike thru the woods was very comfortable in the shade. 

Peg & Warren went back to Perkins Lean-to after the short hike to wait for the long hikers. While there, it became very clear how simple things can be entertaining. Peg & Warren watched a very active inchworm, photos of proof of the fascination with it.

Thanks to Julie for leading the long hike. And thanks to everyone who came out to hike: Warren Johnson, Carrie Williams, Dan O'Shea, Karen & Steve Ellsworth, Robert Nolan, Joyce Post, Linsay Spraque, and Loralyn Pierre. 

Link to pictures (more pictures will be added, so check back):

Short hike GPS:


It turned out to be a great day for a hike, not too hot, occasionally a welcome breeze.
I have to confess it was not a no hills hike.
We had 5 hikers today Joyce Post, Mary Ann Weiss, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth who hiked 4.5 miles.
The hike started out along a hedgerow and a field (uphill) where there were a few ripe blueberries. Continued to hike South to the top before entering the woods and continued to climb. We descended to the first stream and climbed again paralleling another which had some steep drop offs and a couple of nice waterfalls and cascades. These may have been dry a week ago.
There were fungi, ramp flowers, red effs, dogbane, rattlesnake plantain, fan clubmoss, indian pipes and some very large hemlock trees.
After breaking away from the ravine and crossing Clarence Church Rd. the terrain was a little flatter to the Perkins Lean-To.
We took a break, had some lunch and decided to head back rather than take the spur trail over toward Perkins Pond.
The downhill back was a joy to walk and we were glad we did the uphill first.
Uphill, Downhill it doesn't matter as long as there's a hike,


We hiked the Basswood State Forest today with 4 hikers, Anne Altshuler, Noah, Karen & Steve Ellsworth about 3.3 miles.
This trail has a high water bypass which we didn't need, there wasn't a drop of water in the stream bed. 
Karen tried to get more for the July FLT 50 and ran the other side of Crouch Rd past the lean-to and back and met us just getting to Crouch Rd.
The woods were much cooler than the open road today but it was early enough that we didn't over heat 
From the trailhead on Brooksbank Rd. we hiked through to Crouch Rd. (DEC road) headed back and took a break for water and a snack.
Along the way there were several stone walls  that were still in very good shape. There were ramp blossoms (which had no leaves, just a single stem, the photo captured something else) a greater purple fringed orchid, swamp dewberries, waxflower shinleaf, herb robert.
different mosses: 
  • fan clubmoss / ground cedar
  • interrupted clubmoss
  • American climacium moss
  • common hairmoss
Close to Crouch Rd we found a couch/hide-a-bed in the forest living room.  

Next week we'll leave from Norwich and possibly earlier to beat the heat. Any time suggestions?
Be well and hike often!





Yes, we had a hot and humid hike, but also enjoyed clear skies since the thunderstorm never materialized. There were 11 hikers who ventured out into the fading daylight: Peg Fuller, Maryann and Matthew Weiss, John Nesbitt, Katy, Justin and Veronica Perry (8) with their dog Bean, and J. Rebecca Hargrave, Christopher, James (10) and Sam (5) Sprague with our dog Apollo.

We parked at the Jeffery Pond parking lot and headed out across the dam at about 7:25pm. Then the hike went south with a turn down the wrong trail which was followed up with a bushwack across the hillside above the pond northerly to correct our course. Back on track we followed trails north and west in a loop around the County property. We stopped for a patriotic Oreo break at the dead end cul de sac of the DEC truck trail. With darkness setting in we continued back into the woods, hiking south and eventually east on trail 10. We were now able to catch peaks of the moon through the trees as we returned back to our starting point on the Jeffrey Pond dam where we watched the nearly full moon rise above the trees. The hike ended just after 9:30am.

We hike approximately 3.75-4.0 miles in about 2 hours and 15 minutes, including our stop. One tick was found crawling on clothing after we returned home.

Thanks to everyone for an enjoyable hike.
Great full moon hike last night (7/3/2020). Led by Chris Sprague at Whaupaunaucau state forest.

Here are some pictures. I hope the link works:




Hike report FLT M25 Crouch Rd to Shapley Rd

There were 4 hikers today, Bob Nolan, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth

We started at the Crouch Rd. Trailhead in the Basswood State Forest and hiked to bleu spur trail to the Basswood Lean-To which is still brand new it seems, very well kept!
We went back to the main trail and headed to the Wiley Brook State Forest and went through an area where it looked like all the white pines have shed their needles and it doesn't seem like a natural needle drop/replacement the trees were nearly bare. The path and forest floor is blanketed with needles. 
We hiked to Wiley Brook SF kiosk on Shapley Rd. then headed back a short ways for lunch on some horizontal trees that we saw on the way to the road. There was a little sprinkle on the way back for about 10 minutes but hardly noticeable with the canopy as an umbrella. We made it home with 30 minutes to spare before the 15 minute downpour.
 A fisher track was spotted in the mud and there were some bristly buttercups and red elderberries along the way. We saw lots of red eff's and a little frog that we did not identify.
Trail conditions:
Trees down (more toward Shapley Rd) but none we couldn't step over or easily navigate and a few wet spots that could use some stepping stones, logs or puncheons.  



A good day in the woods, no hills,


Today, June 20, 2020,

 7 people and 1 dog (Bob Nolan, Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, David Sader, Warren Johnsen, Joyce Post, Cathy Cruz, and Tripp) hiked 3.9 miles by Round Pond. Well, Tripp hiked 4.4 miles. We parked at the DEC Observation platform and took the Red trail towards the CCC road (Truck Trail). We followed the red trail around until we went back across CCC road and continued onto the yellow trail, small portion of the orange trail, onto the blue trail and then back onto to a small section of the red trail that crossed Reservoir Hill road and back again and walked up the driveway to the platform.

It was a little hot and humid, so 3.9 miles was more than enough for the day. We had an enjoyable hike. Several of us stayed and enjoyed watching the Sand Hill Cranes and other birds from the platform. 


Hike Report 061320 Wiley SF Shapley to Cooper School House

 Another wonderfully cool day for a hike with 8 hikers.

Anne Altschuler, Bob Nolan, Elizabeth Schaefer, Yuksel Duman, Carol Smith, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth

The hike was in Wiley State Forest from Shapley to Cooper School House and return. We have been doing out and back hikes since some of the hikers are trying to hike 50 FLT miles in a month and don't feel that making a loop on the road is actually on the trail. I will say that it is much softer to stay in the woods.   

This was the place for Pink Lady Slippers and last week may have been better... we saw most of them in the first 1/2 mile.
We lost count but there must have been over 25. 

We hiked South about 4/10 mi. to a blue spur trail that led to a bivouac although the sign read Campsite 1/10 mi.
The pond there looked weedy but there was some clear water and it was mentioned camping would entail carrying all your gear in but we noticed a gate with a STOP sign that was about 300 yards off Puckerville Rd.  

There was a clearing which looked like there would be a bumper crop of black berries later on.

The trail went past Mud Pond but not really close enough to get to the water's edge without a short bushwhack.
The outlet, Mud Pond Creek, that the trail paralleled and then crossed was very low considering the rain we had last week which made it a lot easier to cross. 

We made it through to Cooper School House Rd and saw a Guilford Town boundary sign then headed back and took our well deserved break and had lunch just a short ways back up the trail. 

We talked with a guy from Smithville who is a trail maintainer for the Triple Cities Hiking Club. He was pruning branches overhanging the trail. 

Map Details:

Downhill both ways,

Grover Brown Rd to Lower Pond Hike 060720

Another cool Sunday for the 5 hikers, Anne Altshuler, Bob Nolan, Noah, Karen and Steve Ellsworth 
What a beautiful hike this was though and along the gorges of the Canasawacta, there were some mountain goat paths for sure but glad that it wasn't wet or icy. 
This gorge is a lot deeper than the photos depict.  
We saw wild lily of the valley, clintonia, speedwell, pyrola, gold thread and oxalis/wood sorrel. 
We hiked to the dam at Lower Pond near one of the old CCC camps and went a little further to some rocks that Noah remembered for our 'well deserved break (Don)' for lunch, then sauntered back along the gorge to our cars.
There was a tree down about 1/4 mi. from Grover Brown Rd.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. John Burroughs 

Be well!




Hike June 5th report and pictures

The BHC hiked Brookfield  (Charles Baker State Forest) on June 5th.
We parked on T.T. 1 just in from Rt. 24. We hiked north to T.T. 7 and down Morrow Rd and made a left onto trail 19, stopping briefly at the 'Turkey Tree'. We continued to trail 15, coming to the fork of 15, we opted to go left. Turns out we should have gone right. We looped back up to Morrow Rd.  Last year we found dozens of Pink Lady Slippers on trail 15, this year we couldn't find them. So when we got to the other end of the right side of trail 15, a few of us decided to walk up a little to see if we could find them. We didn't complete the loop but definitely found the mud. We return to the other hike members and then took trails 16, 50, and 17 back to T.T. 1 and south to our cars. 
Although we never found the Pink Lady Slippers, we did see columbine and many other spring flowers. Lots of birds chirping and it was a nice day in the woods. We were happy to see about 10 horseback riders (and 1 dog) along the various trails. 

We had 6 hikers: Peg Fuller, Anne Altschuler, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, David Sadler, and Tom Larkin.  We walked further than planned, but that is nothing new. Since the GPS stopped and some of us walked an extra mile up and back on 15, I am guessing the main hike was about 8 miles. We had lots of hills, which appeared to all go up and ultimately found the promised mud.

A few pictures:

My cellphone died before the end of the hike, but here is a partial recoding of the GPS:


Sunday Hike Report 052420

What a nice day! There were 6 hikers today Anne Altshuler, Carol Smith, Bob Nolan, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth.

We hiked from the corner of Fred Stewart Rd & Hoag - Childs Road up to the Ed Sidote Bench and Sandberg Lean-To passing by the old cistern on the 9 Mile Truck Trail
There were some new flowers, the foam flower not quite in bloom, The Cuckoo flower, also commonly known as 'Lady's-smock', Purple trillium, buttercups, marsh marigolds, garlic mustard, myrtle (periwinkle) and others I haven't identified yet. 
There were at least 3 groups of horse back riders that were on the roads where we traveled.
We did see 4 wheeler tracks on a couple sections of the FLT... I had my camera ready but did not see anyone riding (probably midnight riders)




FLT RT23 to Jackson Pond Loop

What a nice Mothers Day in the woods! There were 7 hikers.
Anne Altshuler, Mary Ann, Mathew, Kaitlyn Weiss, Karen, Noah, Steve Ellsworth
We started the hike from RT 23 dropping down to the amazing Bullthistle Bridge that crosses the Canasawacta creek.
Then continuing North through the wood then on and off and on Elmer Jackson Rd passing by an unnamed pond to the left then coming to what looked like an old mill pond with a great stone laid dam. After we turned West from Elmer Jackson Rd we came to the old CCC camp where where were old foundations and perhaps an old homestead. Throught the woods westward crossed John Smith Rd to Jackson Pond where to took in a drink and a nice view.
Returning, looking at the level of the creek we opted to walk the road back to Rt 23 rather than bushwhack back to the trail that we started on.
When we got back to the cars we saw Larry Chesebro returning from some work on the Bulthistle Bridge.
We saw myrtle, trout lily, trillium, marsh marigolds, spring beauties in bloom today in spite of the snow.



What a day... warm, buggy and new trails for us except perhaps Anne..
With all the puncheon work in the area I assumed that we'd be hikin' the bog.
Not so, even with all the rain we had late last week it was a pleasant walk.
We had 12 hikers, 3 dogs and 1637 black flies but when the breeze came up we were relieved.
Anne Altshuler, Tom & Grace Holmes, Allyson Scott, Heather Brunick, Tracy Davis, Zoe Jenkins, Logan & Ebony Mondics, Karen, Noah & Steve Ellsworth all came out for the hike.  
The observation deck was quite impressive but no sign of the sand hill cranes today.
The geese are are quite active early in the morning but we saw none this afternoon.  
We took a short loop on the blue trail 1.32 miles and came back letting those who wanted to stop at this point.
Zoe (4 yrs) I think she was tired of lifting her muck boots the whole way. 

Blue trail: 
We headed next to the red trail and hiked that South to the CCC Truck Trail and started heading West realizing it was to Plymouth Reservoir and did an about face and headed back East then cut back in (North) on the clear cut where we had set puncheons last fall back to Round Pond for a total of 2.1 miles.
Red Loop: 

These loops are by no means the all the trails in the area but ones we felt we could do in a reasonable amount of time. They seem a little confusing as there are red, blue, red/blue, yellow and the red and blue trails we were on were not just those blaze colors.
We saw marsh geraniums, some kind of miniature ginseng and lots of club moss, burl, a conjoined tree on the walk. 

Hats off to the Galena Growlers that have hauled in the lumber for the puncheons.
 Karen came out once again with a bag of bottles, cans and garbage. We found a pile of old rusty tins, bottles and junk at the intersection of the red trail that comes in just before the Observation entrance and the blue trail... we vowed to bring a wheel barrow back and take care of that mess.


Keep on truckin'

Another under estimated hike 😀 3 miles today and another beautiful spring day but not as much in bloom as I had hoped.... we crossed paths lots of other hikers too. The most I have seen on this trail.

We had a total of 15 on this hike... Logan, Eli, Ebony Mondics, Anne Altshuler, Tracy Davis, Allyson, Isabella, Avianna Scott, Karen, Noah, Steve Ellsworth the last three Shitzu mixes Pippy, Emmett, & Sam.
So nice to have new hikers and can't wait for this social distancing to end because it is hard to breath though a mask while you are hiking. 
The trail is still wet in spots but there are some new puncheons, I imagine next week the trail will be much worse after the forecasted rains.We missed the reroute as the old route is still marked but on the return we could see where it started with fresh blue blazes.
The Whaley spur still has a lot of trees across the trail. I did cut one downed small branchy pine so we could step over the larger downed trees.
Eli was the snake scout as he pointed out three of them.
There are some really big hemlocks on the trail as you can see compared to Anne.



4/19/20 Ludlow Creek Hike

Today was perfect, it was warm, the bugs weren't out yet and we didn't get lost. Our ~4 mile hike turned out to be 4.6
We had 6 hikers, Anne Altshuler, Logan & Ebony Mondics, Steve, Karen and Noah Ellsworth.
We started at the Stone Quarry Rd FLT trailhead and headed North to the Lean-To.
Then on our way to Tucker road we found the Smokey and the Ranger geocache.
We took a detour to the one-lane bridge over Ludlow Creek for our group photo of masked bandits.
Then Tucker Rd. West to the DEC Truck trail South, following that about half way and ran into a trail runner (Richard Ellsworth)
before heading East bush whacking about .75 miles back to the FLT that we started on, to the cars.
The bushwhacking was interesting at an unnamed/unmarked creek but a carefully placed stepping stone was placed and everyone got over without getting wet.
Don you would have been proud of the photo that Karen suggested of the two Cairns or Karens.
Karen remembered a garbage bag and just about filled it. (good stewardship)

The spring flowers are starting to blossom.
Hike more, worry less!

 Hike report 040520 - Pharsalia Woods SF

We had 6 hikers & 3 dogs, Logan & Ebony Adsit-Mondics, Tracey Davis, (Karen, Noah, Steve) Ellsworth, Pippy, Emmett, & Sam Davis
There was a little rain just before we arrived but quit, the trail was pleasantly dry and a great day for a hike.
We parked at the intersection of Fred Stewart Rd and the Nine Mile Truck Trail, hiked south to the FLT and headed East then cut off on the Blue Trail Loop headed in a counter clockwise direction (opposite of the sun which means we got younger) until we got back to the FLT (white blazes)
then to a foot bridge that crosses a feeder stream of the Geneganslet, a couple old foundations, the Sandberg Lean-To and the Ed Sidote Bench.
There was a blow down just west of the Sandberg Lean-To.
On our way we found some delicious ramps (wild leeks)   
We hiked 5.1 miles and had a moving average of 2.2 miles/hr. stopped time was 23 minutes total time 2hr 46 min. 329 ft ascent 363 ft descent.



Happy Trails,

Cloudy but no rain on Sunday Afternoon 29 March 2020 in Bowman Lake State Park in McDonough,

 where we had 7 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Pippi Davis, Tracey Davis, Karen Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, Logan Mondics, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.7 miles in 1.6 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour. All while socially distanced!
We parked our cars at the Park gatehouse and hiked on Bowman Lake Drive northerly and then westerly to the FLT trailhead. See group photo. We then hiked northerly on the FLT to the sign-in box and back to the lake. We followed the lake shore to the dam, crossed it and took the Kopac Trail westerly to a high spot and then bushwhacked to Sherman-Bliven Road, then took that easterly to Olympic Lane and that to our cars. See Steve's photos.
A cloudy, even rainy day in spring is wonderfully hopeful, unlike the same weather in other seasons.

Hike Report – Sunday afternoon 22 March 2020 – Stewart Road + FLT, Pharsalia

A social distance hike can be done! We did one on Sunday afternoon 22 March 2020 in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest. We had 4 hikers: Carol Smith, Fred von Mechow, Patti von Mechow, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.2 miles in 2.5 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.
We parked on County Road 47 (=Hoag-Childes) and hiked the FLT northerly to the Truck Trail. We then hiked westerly on the FLT to Ed’s Bench. See photo with hikers 6 feet apart. We then turned back onto Stewart Road and southerly to our cars. See photo of pussy willows in bloom.

At the Bench, we met 2 end-to-enders. Campers were at the leanto.

Sunday afternoon, 15 March 2020, had 9 hikers in the Pitcher Springs State Forest: Bruce Coon, Karen Ellsworth, Noah Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, Pat Lane, Carol Smith, Julie Thompson, Jean Wittman, and Don Windsor.

 We covered 2.0 miles in 1.8 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour.
We parked on Pitcher Springs (=Center) Road and hiked northerly on Ralph Brown Road until it dropped down into a wet area. On the way we prowled around the former Ralph Brown farmstead, exploring its stone remains. We got in some bushwhacking and enjoyed the warm sunshine.
Our hikers came from 5 different counties: Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, and Otsego.
I took only one photo, a group shot of the hikers heading northerly on Ralph Brown Road. See more photos from the other hikers.

We had a nice hike today, March 14, 2020. A little chilly but not bad.
We had 5 people  (Peg, Mary, Lisa, Robin, and Marianne) and 6 dogs (Tripp, Raine, Lennon, Annie, Rudy and Sara Lee).
We hiked the FLT from Stone Quarry Rd to the Ludlow lean to and back to the cars.  The people walked about 3.6 miles. The dogs probably did a few more. I was surprised Tripp's GPS said he only did 4.3 mile, I expected more the way he runs.
Typical March hike - there were still patches of snow and ice, lots of mud, and branches down along the trail.
The creek at the Lean to was really flowing but the walk from the lean to to creek side had a bit of ice, so I stayed up by the lean to. 

here are a few pictures:

 Hike Report – Sunday Afternoon – 8 March 2020 – Ambler SF, NB

A sun-drenched, warm, sunny Sunday afternoon on 8 March 2020 had 9 hikers in the Ambler State Forest in New Berlin: Henry Bogardus, James Bogardus, John Bogardus, Julia Bogardus, Bruce Coon, Marieanne Coursen, Steve Ellsworth, Julie Thomson, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered 3.3 miles in 2.4 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.
We parked at the kiosk on Pat Farley Road and hiked northerly on the Truck Trail until time ran out and then backtracked. Much of the snow was gone from the woods, but the Truck Trail retained its, due to being packed down by snowmobiles. See hiking photo. Along the way we paused to look at several sights. See photo of cistern. We even stopped to chat with Mr. Stickman. See photos from other hikers.
The most remarkable aspect of this hike was the long age gap, 82 years between the youngest and the oldest hiker. Hiking is indeed an activity for almost every age.

March 7 Moonlight Hike Report

We had a perfect night for a moonlight hike on the last evening of the dreaded standard time.  The air was crisp, the sky was clear, and the snow was crusty.  We had 7 hikers, J. Rebecca Hargrave, James Sprague (10), Sam Sprague (5), Jacob Lobdell (10), Jim Rolfe, Norm Trigoboff, and myself.  Jim and Norm traveled from the Ithaca area conducting "industrial espionage" on leading night hikes. 

Instead of the planned hike at Plymouth Reservoir, I decided to show Jim and Norm the trails at Round Pond.  We were able to get the last glimpses of daylight at the observation platform, no sign of any sandhill cranes, but several geese were alarmed by our presence.  Everything was still very frozen up there. 

The hike started east on the Blue trail, which we took all the way to the Orange connector where we turned south to the yellow trail.  (Turns out the yellow trail tabs are not reflective, FYI)  We followed the yellow trail west until the first red trail which we took south.  We then followed the red loop all the way back to the platform. 

The image attached shows animal tracks, we think fisher, crossing the new bridges by the red pine clearcut.  The clearcut provided an excellent spot for star gazing and satellite spotting.  Additionally, Jim had a night vision scope which wowed the hikers with spectacular views of stars hidden to the naked eye.  In honor of the "Worm Moon" gummie worms were shared, which were a big hit with the kids.  The adults also shared maple sugar candy in honer of the alternate name of the March full moon, the "Sap or sugar Moon."  https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/full-moon-names.html

The hike started began about 6:40 and completed just before 9pm with a unofficial distance of 3.25 miles. 

The next full moon is April 7th.  The window for a moonlight hike is April 4-8th.  Location TBD. Hope to see you there! 


Another glorious Sunday afternoon had 6 hikers in the McDonough State Forest at Preston Hollow: 

Anne Altshuler, Bruce Coon, Carol Smith, Fred von Mechow, Patti von Mechow, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.8 miles in 2.2 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.
We parked on Bliven-Sherman Road and hiked east, turning southerly at Griffin Road. At the Hollow we bushwhacked westerly on an overgrown CCC road to the dam. See group plus dam photos. After returning to the Hollow we admired a large beaver lodge and the deep blue sky. See photos. We then backtracked to our cars.
This is the best still-standing stone dam in Chenango County. Preston Hollow was a famous CCC camp.

Ideal day to remember winter, on Sunday afternoon 23 February 2020, 

when 7 hikers strolled around Hunts Pond in its eponymous state forest in New Berlin: Bruce Coon, Tom Holmes, Lynn Kent, John Nesbitt, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.6 miles in 2.2 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.
We parked on the icy road inside the forest entrance and hiked around to the dam (see group photo), veering off to the beach (see other group photo) and then on an uphill snowmobile trail to the state border. We then backtracked to our cars, taking alternate routes when possible. The woods were beautiful and even radiated a warm welcome (see photo of brook).
The pond ice must have been thick because 3 fishermen seemed to think so (see photo of two of them). Days like this make me regret that winter is almost over. Upon arriving home I heard the “Honk-ar- reee” of a Red-winged Blackbird, the one that has been in my yard all winter. He will probably be glad when winter ends.

Sunday afternoon was not a sun day but it was 16 February 2020 and we had 5 hikers in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest: Anne Altshuler, Steve Ellsworth, Carol Smith, Julie Thompson, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.4 miles in 2.5 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.

We parked on Stewart Road at the northernmost trailhead and took the FLT to the Truck Trail, then took that south, then easterly, almost to Stewart Road. At the chosen spot we bushwhacked southwesterly to Ed’s Bench. We then backtracked to the the Truck Trail and took Stewart Road northerly to our cars.

I thought this was a grueling hike. Snow was 18 inches deep and we were not wearing snowshoes. We followed Pete and Colleen’s tracks through the tornado blowdown (see photo), but then it was snowmobile tracks and laborious postholing. Snowmobiles were numerous, but were not bothersome. See photos of Julie and Steve.

In a coy change of location we went to Coy Street in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest in Pharsalia. A beautiful mid winter afternoon on Sunday 9 February 2020 with blue sky, dramatic clouds, and bright sunshine hosted 6 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Susan Dunshee, Steve Ellsworth, Peg Fuller, Lynn Kent, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.8 miles in 3.0 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour.

Snowshoes may have slowed us down, but we have to use them when we get the opportunity.
We parked on Hoag-Childes Road and snowshoed north on Coy Street to the Truck Trail, pausing to admire the bright green watercress growing in the roadside ditch. See photo. We then turned west to the DEC sign; see group photo. We then picked up the FLT Blue trail, took it northeasterly to the first stone fence, turned easterly to Coy Street and snowshoed south to our cars.
Snow persisted on tree branches, reminding Peg of cherry blossoms. Indeed. See Peg's photos and Steve's.
this is the link to the pictures I took today on the Bullthistle Hiking Club hike that Don led. I think you can add pictures to it. I am not sure.

Hike Report – Sunday Afternoon 2 Feb 2020 – Tower Road, McD

No shadows, cloudy, but if every winter day were as nice as this one, 6 more weeks of winter would be delightful. On Sunday afternoon 2 February 2020 we had 5 hikers on the Tower Road-FLT loop in the McDonough State Forest: Anne Altshuler, Steve Ellsworth, John Nesbitt, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered 4.0 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.
We parked on Tower Road near the road to the tower and hiked southerly to the FLT. We stomped along the FLT easterly and southwesterly, crossed Tower Road, and continued westerly and southerly to Preston Road. After a short stand up break, we ambled easterly on Preston Road to Tower Road and took the latter northerly to our cars. See photo.
The FLT was in great shape. Snow was typically at least 5 inches deep, so hiking involved some high stepping. Note the new sign proclaiming the new Breslin Bridge.

Today, Jan. 31st, the Bullthistle hiking club hiked at Whaupaunaucau State Forest.
We opted to not use snowshoes because there was only a few inches of snow.
We parked at the kiosk parking area off Post Rd. We walked the main road to the end and then went onto trail 15. We followed 15 to 18 to 16 to 20 to 19. We stopped at Clement's Lean to, a special place in the middle of the woods. 
We had 5 hikers (Lisa Barrett, Mark Champlin, David Sadler, Anne Altshuer, and Peg Fuller). We hiked 5.37 mies in about about 3 and half hours.  
My cellphone battery died during the hike so I do not have a GPS of the hike.
We saw a splintered tree that appeared to have been struck by lightening way up op and splintered the tree all the way down, but we did not see any scorch marks. Then we enjoyed watching air bubbles travel under the ice along the trail, simple things amuse us, well me, hopefully the video attached with the pictures.
There were a lot of animal tracks all over in the snow and lots of chickadees chirping and flying around.

We only had 2 hikers on Thursday January 23rd for the snowshoe hike, Peg Fuller and Anne Altshuler. So my 3 dogs joined us, Tripp, Andie, and Bo.
We had a blast.  We only went 2.1 miles, up a couple hills. 
if your interested, Andie went 3.3 miles, Tripp went 3.5 and Bo went the farthest at 4.4 miles. Yup they like to run around. 
The weather was beautiful for a snowshoe. Warmed up a bit as we were finishing. 
We had a pretty good laugh when I tried going backwards on the snowshoes and well you know how that goes, so I made sure Anne went with me. On the ground the dogs were very helpful licking us and wanting to play. Makes it a challenge to stand up. We really wish we had it on video. 
The creek had some ice formations that were interesting. One log had a brown ice formation coming off of it (see picture). 

Link to GPS of hike

Link to pictures

Peg,  That brown ice is frozen watershed tea, a basic nutrient source for streams.   Don

Ticks! After all these years of being tick-free, I get 2 ticks – in January!

The afternoon, 12 January 2020, was otherwise unseasonably favorable for hiking. Five of us took advantage of it: Anne Altshuler, John Knapp, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered 3.7 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked in the triangle at Buckley Hollow and hiked the FLT northerly to French Road, east to Winner Road and took that back to our car.

The FLT was in great shape, except for the area being logged at the north end. Also, it was full of puddles due to all of the rain and melted snow. We examined what looked like a fallen weather balloon that turned out to be a covered mower; see photo.

The wind was blowing quite strongly, so John was fortunate that he was wearing his helmet; see action photo.

Hike Report - Sunday Afternoon 5 Jan 2020 - Whaupaunaucau SF, NN

A light dusting of snow garnished with a glorious flourish of sunlight tearted 4 hikers to a nice winter hike: Anne Altshuler, Steve Ellsworth, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.6 miles in 2.2 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour. We parked at the lower gate, which was closed, and hiked Trails 1, 2, 3, 4, 19, and 20. All of them were submerged or just slushy. See Steve's photos
On Saturday, January 4, 2020 8 hikers braved the rain to hike in Pharsalia woods.We parked at Hoag Childes and Fred Stewart Rd. We entered the FLT and hiked it to the Sidote bench, stopping at the Sandberg Lean-to, and then continued north on the FLT emerging onto Truck Trail 9. We hiked and slide to Fred Stewart Rd and followed that south back to our cars. The seasonal roads were ice covered. The woods had spots of a few inch deep snow and standing water and mud. The rain finally let up after about an hour, but by that time we were wet and just enjoying the beautiful scenery.
The sign in box at the beginning had a item left behind by someone inconsiderate, but I guess it was better then throwing it on the ground. A partial bottle of Jameson whiskey (see picture). We dumped the remains and carried out the bottle to recycle it. We also inspected an interesting hole in a tree. I took a picture of the inside. Ann said a nice home for someone. Despite the rain it was a great hike.

The hikers were: Joyce Post, Anne Altshuler, Lisa Barrett, Maryann Weiss, Sharron Sandberg, Eli and Rhiannon Rutter, and Peg Fuller.  We hike 5.7 miles in about 3 hours. Most pictures compliments of Lisa.

Link to GPS of hike

Link to pictures:

First Day Hike - Greenway

The First Day of 2020 had 11 hikers on the Norwich Greenway North: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Karen Ellsworth, Noah Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, Warren Johnsen, Deb Ruski, Rob Ruski, Maryann Weiss, Matthew Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.0 miles (3 GPSs) in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked in the lot on River Street by the Rexford Street bridge and hiked westerly on Rexford, then northerly on the former O&W railbed to the Greenway. We then hiked to the DL&W bridge and backtracked, with a few shorter trails, to our cars.

A beaver-felled tree was blocking the trail, but Joe whipped out his saw and he and Steve hauled it aside. The bridge once anchored to a mighty Silver Maple was gone, but we crossed the stream on debris clumps. See photos. We saw 2 Bald Eagles, a Kingfisher, and a flock of Common Mergansers from the peninsula. Our hiking group spanned 3 generations from Noah to me. Hiking is a lifetime activity.


First Day Hike Rogers -
Carol Smith & Peg Fuller led the First Day Hike at Rogers Environmental Center on January 1, 2020. BHC members Joyce Post & Sharron Sandberg assisted with the registration type activities at the beginning of the hike. Simon Solomon,
Executive Director of the Friends of Rogers, also joined us to kick off the hike.We were please to have two NYS Rangers join us for the hike and they were ready to help with any emergencies, thankfully all went well.
Fifty hikers of all ages departed from the main parking lot and traveled along the trails around the Chenango River and the Marsh (Spruce Ridge Trail, South Trail, Channels Trail). As we crossed back through the parking lot, several hikers finished their hike at the 2 mile mark. The rest of the hikers, crossed Rt. 80 onto the Farm Tower Trail. We enjoyed the view from the tower and felt the brisk cold wind in the open field. Upon returning to the parking lot we had completed a total of 3.1 miles on a beautiful first day of 2020.

Link to the GPS of the hike:

Link to pictures:
Hike Report - Sunday afternoon - 29 Dec 2019 - Pharsalia Woods SF

Cloudy and gloomy, just as advertised, but the heavy rain waited for us to finish on Sunday afternoon, 29 December 2019. We had 6 hikers in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest in Plymouth: Anne Altshuler, Marieanne Coursin, Bill Diamond, Irene Diamond, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered at least 3.5 miles (measured on topomap) in 2.6 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.
We parked at Doing Road and hiked westerly on Brooking, southerly to Blackman, and westerly on the Truck Trail. At Frenchmans we examined the foundation and well and then took the DEC Red Trail northwesterly to the Yellow Trail and ambled along it to Blackman, where we went southerly to Brooking back to our cars.

This hike seemed longer because wet snow and ice forced us to take shorter steps and burn more energy.

Sunday afternoon 15 December 2019 was blustery with passing bands of lake effect snow punctuated by sunshine. Perfect for hiking as 4 hikers took advantage of it on the road to Plasterville in North Norwich: Anne Altshuler, Lisa Barrett, Peg Fuller, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.0 miles in 2.1 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.
We parked in the Airport lot and walked the scenic road to Plasterville. However, as we approached the endpoint, we encountered newly posted No Trespassing signs. We respect landowner rights, so we backtracked, with a few side tracks, to our vehicle. Fortunately, this disappointment did not squelch our spirits. The hike became a jolly romp along the river. See photo. See also Peg,s photos.

Link to pictures:

GPS of hike:

The BHC Sunday morning hike on 12/8/19 was on private property in Morris. We started the hike at about 4 degrees. We ended the hike at 28 degrees. It warmed up nice. It was a winter wonderland hike. The frost was in the branches (at the beginning of the hike at least) and everything looked beautiful. Unexpectedly we had some areas plowed and others with big tire tracks so snowshoeing and hiking was fairly easy. Anne Altshuler, Lisa Barrett and Peg Fuller went 3 miles and the dogs, Tripp and Annie, went about 3.7 miles (Tripp's GPS). You can see in the pictures, that someone had snow toes towards the end of the hike. 

link to pictures:

On Sunday afternoon, 24 November 2019, 

we had 3 hikers in the Basswood State Forest in Oxford: Anne Altshuler, Lisa Barrett, and Don Windsor. We hiked 4.4 miles in 2.1 hours for a speed of 2.1 miles per hour.
We parked on Brooksbank Road by the FLT trailhead and ambled east then northeast to Quarry Road. Whereupon, we trekked up Quarry southeasterly to the Truck Trail and took that southwesterly to Crouch Road and that to Puckerville Road and northerly to Brooksbank and out cars. This is a nice loop, but the Truck Trail was muddy. Also, there are 2 noticeable hills on this route.

On the way home I dutifully rang the bell as directed by the sign. See photos.

Hike Report - Sunday Afternoon - 17 Nov 2019 - Camp Pharsalia loop

Sunday afternoon, 17 November 2019, was a beautiful day to hike, as well as to see what the Earth looks like without all those pesky leaves blocking the view. We had 3 hikers in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest: Anne Altshuler, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We hiked 3.4 miles in 1.6 hours for a speed of 2.25 miles per hour.
We parked on Center Road, off North Road, and hiked westerly until Camp Pharsalia. We explored the abandoned buildings because the doors were open. We could not do this on our previous, 1 September, hike because the road was swarming with bees. The hives are now gone. We then moseyed over to the Truck Trail and hiked easterly to North Road and took that north to our car.
Camp Pharsalia closed in 2009, so in a mere decade, vegetation is breaking through the pavement and growing. See group photo with Maryann and Anne pointing to the lush growth. The other photo is a sign on one of the buildings.
Hike Report - Sunday Afternoon 10 Nov 2019 - Round Pond Red Trail, Plymouth

Sunday Afternoon 10 November 2019 was fine weather for hiking, even though sunshine grew progressively gloomy. We had 3 hikers on the Red Trail at Round Pond in Plymouth: Sue McIntyre, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We hiked 3.3 miles in 1.7 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.
We parked at the official lot and hiked southerly on the western Red Trail to the Truck Trail and then westerly to the Red trailhead and then easterly on Frenchmans Road to the foundation at the end of state land. I stuck a new pole in the well and then we moseyed around but finally went northerly on the eastern Red Trail (see photo), all the way to Reservoir Hill Road. We then took a Blue Trail to our cars.
In dim light, red looks black to me. So I could not see most of the red blazes. Fortunately, my hiking partners are not so encumbered. Multi-use of state forests presented a new aspect for me: operating radio controlled miniature trucks. See photo.

Hike Report - Sunday Afternoon - 27 Oct 2019 - Whaupaunaucau SF, NN

Between two rain showers on on Sunday Afternoon, 27 October 2019, we 7 hikers had a dry trek through the Whaupaunaucau State Forest in North Norwich: Anne Altshuler, Ben Howland, Jessica Howland, John Nesbitt, Dave Sadler, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.7 miles in 2.8 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.
We parked at the lower gate and hiked trails 19, 20, 16, 13, 14, Truck Trail, 4, and 19.
The DEC kiosk has been commandeered by a pair of white-footed mice, who shredded all of the paper in the register to build a cozy nest. See photos by Jessica and Maryann. Larches were in almost prime color, but the hue was dampened by the rain. The small clump of Hercules Club still retained some leaves and had one cluster of berries.

   Hike Report - Apple-lachin Trail - Sun Afternoon 20 Oct 2019 - Pharsalia WMA

Apple crop was disappointingly sparse. Better to call this the Apple-lacking Trail. Nevertheless, on Sunday afternoon 20 October 2019 we 7 hikers did enjoy a splendid display of autumnal color: Anne Altshuler, Karen Ellsworth, Noah Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, John Nesbitt, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.0 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.
We parked in the lot at the eastern border of the Wildlife Management Area and walked westerly down Cole Hill Road, turning southerly on Benedict Hill Road, and westerly on Johnson Street. When we reached the 2.0 mile mark we turned around and hiked back to our cars.
The highlight of the hike was a small porcupine. See photo of the beast in its defensive posture, head on the right, formidable quills on the left. We also saw several ambitious beaver fells of large aspens. See also jolly group photo.

                 SUN. OCT. 20TH, 2019

On Sun. Oct. 20th I led a hike in Schapiro Reserve,
Gateway Reserve and the Madison Feeder Canal all
in Madison County just outside Hamilton which are owned 
by Southern Madison Heritage Trust, a land trust.  There 
were five hikers, Sharron Sandberg, Anne Altshuler, Peg 
Fuller, Joyce Post and myself.

We saw several species of birds along the towpath trail or
in the nearby marsh, sandpipers, turkey vultures, a great 
blue heron and others.

At Schapiro Reserve, a unknown plant was seen
and quite abundant on the the mowed trail. However no
one knew the name of it.

The weather was cool with temperatures in the upper 40's 
and lower 50's overcast and it started sprinkling at the end 
of the hike.

We hiked a total 3.5 miles on both reserves according to
Peg's electronic device. 

                           David Sadler

We had a great hike yesterday night in Pharsalia Woods.  There were twelve hikers who took to the twilight at about 6:35pm.  David Sadler, John Nesbitt, Mark Chaplain, Tom Holmes, Maryann Weiss, Lisa Barrett, Carol Smith, Anne Altshuler, J. Rebecca Hargrave, Sam Sprague, James Sprague and myself.  

We started out on Fred Stewart Road and headed east on the blue trail through the red pines and it wasn't long before darkness settled in.  We followed the blue trail towards Coy Street where we turned south continuing up the long steady hill towards the 1998 tornado blowdown.  We paused for a break in a clearing to observe the rising of the full Harvest Moon.  After our break we continued west on the blue trail until we joined the main FLT which we followed back to Fred Stewart Rd.  The moon was rising high enough now to light the way north back up to our vehicles.  A few calls for owls were unanswered.  

The hike concluded at about 8:20pm.  GPS distances varied from 3.37 to 3.7 miles. Total time was just over 1:45 and total moving time was about 1:30.  

Thanks to everyone for a nice hike.  Photos attached taken by Rebecca Hargrave.

The next full moon is November 12th.


Hike Report - Sunday afternoon 13 Oct 2019 - Greenway South, Norwich

The bright sunshine of a beautiful afternoon on 13 October 2019 brought out 6 hikers to the Greenway south of the City of Norwich: Anne Altshuler, Rainer Morgan, John Rzucidlo, Dave Sadler, Patricia von Mechow, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.4 miles in 1.9 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.
We parked at the visitors space on Portelli Drive and hiked northerly on the Greenway to the Canasowacta Creek. We then headed southerly along the Chenango River to the treated waste water effluent. We followed the River easterly and then southerly and westerly and again southerly to the truck trail. We then took that dirt road westerly to the railroad tracks and ambled northerly to our cars.
I forgot my camera, but John Rzucidlo had his, so see his photos.

The northern trails of the Norwich Greenway were in perfect shape

 on Sunday afternoon 29 September 2019 when we 3 hikers ambled along them: Marie Inglee, John Nesbitt, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.0 miles in 2.4 hours for a speed of 0.8 miles per hour.
We parked at Weiler Park and proceeded northerly to the gravel road and then east to the City Wells pumping station. We then headed northerly on the trails to the railroad tracks. We then took some different trails to the former O@W bridge and trekked on the former railbed southerly. We then took the trail to the peninsula tip and backtracked on some different trails to our car.
These trails are in excellent shape and the scenery is wonderful. This area is a great resource on City owned land. See Marie's photos.

We had a nice hike in beautiful weather today (9/29/19). 

Three of us (Joyce Post, Peg Fuller, and Anne Altshuler) hiked 5.5 miles. Although my GPS said we hiked 166 miles in 3.5 hours, pretty good! I have no idea what was wrong with that, but Joyce's reading showed 5.51 so that is a bit more realistic in 3.5 hours. 
We started ay my house on Stage Rd. walked along various groomed trails and then onto the FLT. We followed the FLT to Will Warner Rd and then to Partridge Hill Rd, stopping at the Braxton Bench. As we walked down Partridge Hill Rd, 3 deer ran across the road (see pictures). We then re-entered the FLT off Will Warner Rd and followed that back to my property and back to the cars. 
The leaves were nice colors and the temperature was perfect for hiking. The cloudiness quickly cleared once we started hiking. 

link of pictures


                      MADISON COUNTY 
               THURSDAY SEP. 26TH, 2019

On Thursday, Sep.. 26th, 2019 I led a hike in 
Madison County on Southern Madison Heritage
Trust owned and/or controlled lands near
Hamilton. There were two hikers, John Nesbitt 
and myself.

We hiked Leland Reserve just South of
Hamilton and Gateway Reserve just North of
Hamilton as well as the adjacent Madison 
Feeder Canal towpath.

At Gateway we saw two great egerts and a
great blue heron in the marsh.

The weather was overcast with light rain at 
the beginning and towards the end of the
hike with temperatures in the upper 60's.

                           David Sadler 

                    SEP. 20,21,22, 2019

On Sunday Sep. 22nd, 2019 on the last day of
the FLT Weekend I led a 8.6 mile hike in Bucks Brook
and Otselic State Forests as part of the FLT Fall
Weekend Event.

There were three hikers including myself. We started
at the Ridge Road trailhead and headed easterly to 
our terminus, the Will Warner Road trailhead. 

As we hiked through the Bucks Brook State Forest
we stopped to visit and admire the new Bucks Brook
lean-to that was assembled  in mid June. This is the
newest lean-to in Chenango County.

As we traveled on we entered Otselic State Forest

and hiked up Truman Hill. We had our lunch at the

bench that's about halfway up the hill. As we ascended
to the summit where it levels off there was a large tree
lying across the trail. It appears the trunk of the tree
recently snapped from rotting out. As we continued on
we heard a barred owl barking. We signed all three trail
registers on our route.

The temperature was in the 70's with abundant sunshine
making for a very pleasant and enjoyable hike.

                            David Sadler

On Sunday afternoon 22 September 2019, we 2 hikers strolled the FLT south of Shapley Road in the Wiley Brook State Forest in Oxford: Anne Altshuler and Don Windsor. 

See group photo. We covered 1.4 miles in 1.8 hours for a speed of 0.8 miles per hour. That seems to qualify as a stroll.
In this short back and forth distance we climbed over/around 7 large trees (9 to 22 inch diameters) down over the FLT.
Although it was a pleasant day with fall colors emerging, the number of trees already displaying bare branches surprised me.

         THURS. 19 SEP. 2019

On Thursday Sep. 19th I led a nearly 3 
mile hike on the Chippewa Falls trail, a 
spur trail of the FLT in Cortland County
an in and out.

There were two hikers, Deborah Jackson
and myself. Chippewa Falls is almost 
entirely dry, only a small trickle of water 
going over the falls.

Deborah identified a variety of plants on 
the forest floor. On our return we heard a
woodpecker busy drilling a tree.

The weather was quite cool in the morning,
in the low 40's but it warmed up quickly to 
the 70's with abundant sunshine, making
it a very pleasant day for a hike.

               David Sadler

On Sunday afternoon 15 September 2019, we had 5 hikers in the McDonough State Forest hiking the Kopac Trail - Whaley Pond loop

: Anne Altshuler, Steve Ellsworth, Peg Fuller, John Nesbitt, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.1 miles in 2.9 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.
We parked at the kiosk on Bliven-Sherman Road and hiked the Kopac Trail to the T junction and went westerly to Whaley Pond. We returned via Whaley Road, Tice Road, and Bliven-Sherman Road.
Please note that "Kopac" is the correct spelling. The history of Kopac Pond is in my Souvenirs book, volume 1 pages 76-77.
I saw no changes to the Kopac Trail. The same old blue blazes are still visible. The route to Whaley Pond is not adequately blazed, but we traveled the time worn path.
Nodding Lady Tresses were blooming in the spillway, about 500 plants.

7 hikers joined me for a harvest moon hike in Five Streams State Forest.  Lisa Barrett, Maryann Weiss, Warren Johnson, David Sadler, John Nesbitt, Mark Chaplain and myself met behind Hojo's.  Lisa generously volunteered to drive so we all piled into her team bus and met with Peg Fuller at the trail head on Hollow Rd in German.   The forecast betrayed us and with clouds having moved in early we would not have any moonlight to enjoy on this night.  

From the trailhead on Hollow Road we followed the snowmobile trail east up and then north over the hill and back down to the bridge over the Five Streams at the intersection of Skillman and Jones roads.  Pausing for a moment on the the bridge we then turned westerly and headed back into the forest where we briefly overlooked the Five Streams gorge.  Without any moonlight and under the cover of the hemlock forest, darkness set in as we trekked north and west across the braided branches of the Five Streams and back up towards the old Seymour farm where, even in the dark, we were able to find the old barn foundation.  Without much to see in the dark we headed up the farm lane to south Pucker St where we paused for a harvest themed snack of pumpkin shaped peanut butter cups and candy corn.  Leaving Seymour Lane behind us, we hiked south on S. Pucker St, a road only fit for hiking--as Peg can attest, returning to the snowmobile trail and back to our vehicles.  

The hike was a couple minute shy of 2 hours with competing GPS tracks ranging from 3.6 to 4.0 miles.  

The next full moon is October 13. 


                 Friday Sep. 13th, 2019
                FLT - Chenango County

On Friday Sep. 13th, 2019 I led a four mile
hike on the FLT in Chenango County from
Clarence Church Road to just beyond Will
Warner Road to the trail register and return.

There were three hikers, Anne Altshuler,
Lisa Barrett and myself. There were many
stops on the trail to identify the various flora
on the forest floor. Anne identified the red 
berries of the Jack-in the-Pulpit, Berv-Cohosh,
Everlasting or Pussytoes, Rattlesnake Plantain
and many other plants.

The weather was in the upper 50's when we 
started the hike and in the 70's when ended
the hike with sunny skies the entire time.

A very pleasant day, we hiked four miles in
four hours with a speed of 1.0 mile per hour.

                        David Sadler


                         Sunday morning Sep. 8th, 2019

On Sunday morning Sep. 8th, 2019 I led 4.4 mile hike on the
Chenango Canal Towpath in Madison County from the Montgomery
Street trailhead to the Woodman Road trailhead and return.

There were three hikers, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post and myself. Peg 
took several pictures of the sights along the towpath of wild flowers,
signage, the old abandoned Chenango Canal, Woodman Pond etc.
We saw a white egret in a marshy area adjacent to the towpath.

The weather was pleasant with mostly sunny skies with temperatures 
in the upper 60's to low 70's making for a very enjoyable hike.

                                     David Sadler


On a really nice Sunday afternoon, 8 September 2019,

 we 4 hikers hiked in the Whaupaunaucau State Forest in North Norwich: Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, Dave Sadler, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered 4.1 miles in 2.8 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour. The hills were definitely noticed.
We parked in the lot at the lower gate and hiked up the Truck Trail to the Quarry, where we took Trail 5 to the Truck Trail and to the place where the Madison windmills can be seen. We then turned back and hiked the Truck Trail to Trail 4 and took that to Jeffery Pond and the Truck Trail to our cars.

Among the ubiquitous wildflowers in bloom were: Beechdrops, Indian Pipe, Wood Betony, New England Aster, and Closed Gentian. The photo shows Joyce pointing to a clump of Closed Gentians, part of the stand discovered by John Carhart many years ago. 

                   CHENANGO CANAL TOWPATH 
                            MADISON COUNTY
                      SATURDAY SEP. 7TH, 2019

On Saturday Sep. 7th, 2019 I led a 5.5 mile hike on the
Chenango Canal Towpath from the Woodman Road
trailhead to U.S. Route 20 in Bouckville and return.
There were two hikers, Carol Smith and myself.

As we reached Bouckville at the intersection of U.S.
Route 20 and Canal Road we visited the Cottage
Museum which sits on the bank of the Chenango Canal.

The museum has many artifacts dealing with the history
of the Chenango Canal 1837-1878 and of Bouckville and
the surrounding area. On our return hike two cardinals flew in
front of us. According to Carol's watch we hiked 5.72 miles.

The weather was fairly pleasant with mostly cloudy skies
though we did encounter a few sprinkles.

                                   David Sadler
David didn't mention the flowers we saw. A beautiful Cardinal Flower, fruit of flowering Raspberry, White Snakeroot(I think) and a fall Aster
Very enjoyable hike.
Thanks Dave for leading so many hikes.


                                    Chenango Canal Towpath 
                                      Friday, Sep. 6th, 2019

On Friday, Sep. 6th, 2019 I led a 5.0 mile hike on the Chenango Canal
Towpath in Madison County. There were two hikers, Anne Altshuler
and myself.

Three great blue herons were seen flying over this historic water way. As 
we reached the Northern terminus of the canal at former Lock 76 and the 
Oriskany Creek Aqueduct we were unable to see these structures due to
high and thick brush.

The weather was in the low 60's when we started and it warmed up to the
the low 70's. toward the end of the hike. The sun was shining making for a
most comfortable and pleasant hike.

                                             David Sadler 

Cool, cloudy, but no rain on the Sunday afternoon 1 September 2019 hike

 on the Camp Pharsalia loop with 3 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered 3.3 miles in 1.7 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.
We parked on Center road just west of North Road and hiked westerly to Camp Pharsalia. We then returned via the Truck Trail easterly to North Road and north on said road to our car.

On Center Road we encountered a small wasp nest inhabited (appropriately) by small wasps. See photo. Suggestion: get your camera set up before you get close to the nest. Many colorful beehives were arrayed by the bus stop in Camp Pharsalia. They were indeed inhabited by busy bees.

   HIKE REPORT - Pharsalia WMA 
                          Thursday Aug. 29th, 2019

On Thursday Aug. 29th, 2019 I led a nearly five mile hike in 
Pharsalia WMA from John Smith Road to Clarence Church
Road & return near South Otselic in Chenango County. 

There were three hikers, Anne Altshuler, Carol Smith and
myself. Anne and Carol were identifying various plants and
fungi on the forest floor. The trail was in excellent condition
with no obstructions.

The weather was pleasant with temperatures in the low 60's
with a mixture of overcast and sunny skies. It was a very
pleasant and enjoyable hike.

                                    David Sadler

Hike Report - Sunday Afternoon 25 Aug 2019 - Beaver Meadow SF, Ots+Smyr

Another ideal afternoon for hiking on Sunday 25 August 2019 had 3 hikers in the Beaver Meadow State Forest in Otselic and Smyrna: Anne Altshuler, Dave Sadler, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.0 miles in 2.6 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.
We parked on Reit Road by Ivan Stannard Road and walked up Reit to Bliven-Coye Hill Road. We then hiked east to the ruins of the former experimental forest headquarters. We then continued easterly and then southerly on the unnamed truck trail to the watershed weir. See group photo. After a short break, we backtracked to our car.
This was a hilly hike with a total ascent of 740 feet.

Whaupaunaucau State Forest 
Sunday morning, Aug. 25th, 2019

On Sunday morning,  Aug.,25th, 2019
I led a hike in Whaupaunaucau State
Forest in Chenango County.

There were four hikers: Sharron Sandberg,
Maryann Weiss, Joyce Post and myself.

We hiked the main dirt road going through 
the state forest exploring several side
trails. On the last trail where we explored there 
was a large stone arrangement that appeared
to be used as fireplace/fire pit. 

Nearby was a wooden bridge and a couple 
hundred feet beyond the bridge there was 
a large tree lying across the trail. At this point 
we headed back to the road and headed to
the turn-a-round loop at the end of the road and
hiked back to our vehicles. 

We hiked five miles in two hours with a speed
of 2.5 miles per hour. The weather was in the
upper 60's and lower 70's with mostly sunshine
making for a very pleasant Sunday morning hike.

                      David Sadler

HIKE REPORT on the FLT -  Aug. 22nd,2 019

On Thursday Aug. 22nd I led a 7.0 mile hike on the FLT
from the French Road trailhead to the NYS Route 12/
South Oxford Road intersection near Oxford, N.Y.,
 Chenango County and return.

There were two hikers, Julie Thompson and myself.
Overall the trail was in good condition with the exception
being near the gravel pit where the weeds were higher than
the long white poles being used for blazes. There especially 
difficult to find.and there were at least three large trees that
were lying across the trail.

At the second stile in from NYS Route 12 it looks as someone
may have cut the barb wire. Not sure, but the barb wire is
broken there.

We hiked 7.0 miles in 4.5 hours with a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.

                             David Sadler

HIKE REPORT - MON. AUG. 19, 2019

On Mon. Aug 19th, 2019 I conducted a solo 5.4 mile
hike on the FLT from the Tucker Road trailhead to the
French Road trailhead in Chenango County & return.
No one else showed up for the hike.Soon after entering
the FLT trailhead I heard a large tree crash to the ground.
On my return I was unable to find the downed tree.

I stopped at the Ludlow Creek lean-to and made an
entry in the the register book and saw 4 empty beer
cans in the fire ring.

As I proceeded on the trail  and crossed the small wooden
bridge and up a small hill there was a trail register with a
Wegman's station attached to a post that appeared to have
been pulled up and was leaning against a tree. There was
a trail register book inside that I made an entry in.

Then I continued my hike toward Stone Quarry Hill Road
and there was another trail register before exiting the woods.
I also made an entry in this trail register book. After reaching
Stone Quarry Hill Road it was a short road walk on that road 
and Chenango County Route 3 and a much longer road walk
on Fred Wilcox Road and then a short road walk on French
Road to the trailhead.

The FLT map says it's the French Road trailhead, but the FLT
sign says it's Winner Road even though you see the French Road
road sign a few feet away.. The sign also says it's Map 24, but it's
actually Map 25. Then I backtracked to my vehicle.

The weather was pleasant in the mid 70's. I hiked 5.4 miles in three
hours with a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.

David Sadler

it's actually FLT map 24

Hike Report - Sunday afternoon 18 Aug 2019 - Moon Hill Road, Pharsalia

                           Hike Report - Sunday afternoon 18 Aug 2019 - Moon Hill Road, Pharsalia
A pleasant afternoon on Sunday 18 August 2019 had only 2 hikers on Moon Hill Road in Pharsalia: Anne Altshuler and Don Windsor. We covered 3.4 miles in 1.8 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.

We parked on Moon Hill Road near State Route 23 and hiked said road southwesterly to County Road 10. Whereupon we backtracked to our car.

The highlight of the hike was finding a freshly marked snowmobile trail bearing a welcoming sign. See photo. When it becomes cool enough to wander in the woods fully clothed, to minimize skin exposure to ticks, we will hike this trail to see where it goes.


  FLT Hike from Chestnut Road to Tucker Road & Return
                                in Chenango County              
Sunday Aug. 18th Dog Hike

The hike was 3.6 miles (although the dogs walked farther, Tripp's GPS said 4.5 miles). We started at Stone Quarry Rd and walked to the Ludlow lean to and back.
There were 4 people and 3 dogs (Mary, Peg, Lisa, John, Tripp, Raine, and Annie).
Nice weather, no rain, sun shining and lots of red efts on the trail, some toads too. 
Lots of fun!

Link to pictures:

     Thursday ,Aug 15th, 2019

On Thursday, Aug. 15th, 2019 I led a 4.8 mile hike on the FLT 
from Chestnut Road to Tucker Road and return in Chenango
County. In some areas blazes were sparse and there were two
downed trees lying across the trail which made for slow going.

The weather was pleasant with the temperature in the mid 70's.
We were on the trail fours with a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

                                          David Sadler


                                                                        Saturday Aug. 10th, 2019

On Saturday Aug. 10th, 2019 I led a 6.8 mile hike  on the FLT from the entrance of Bowman Lake State Park
through McDonough State Forest to Chestnut Road and return. There were two hikers, Anne Altshuler and myself.

We met an older couple walking their dog on the trail near East McDonough and advised us there was a black bear
roaming the area. The weather was in the low 70's with light to moderate rain on and off. We were on the trail four
hours with a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.

                                                                                David Sadler

The bird walk today at Glen Highland Farm in Morris had 9 birders.

Only some birds pose for pictures (Thank you Cedar Wax wing!).

We heard and saw a wide variety of birds. Here is a list, but John Knapp and Abbie Tamber might have others, I wrote as fast as I could, at times they were calling out 2 and 3 birds) and I missed a few full names. It was a beautiful day. While we were under thick tree covering admiring the Wise Old Oak (over 300 years old) a brief sprinkle occurred but we did not get wet. The rest of the time was partly cloudy. The Cedar Wax Wings were the most cooperative for pictures and the Red Breasted Merganser didn't disappoint either.  On my pictures I included a few non-bird pictures (red admiral butterfly, the suspension bridge waled all walked across, joe pye weed that was huge). Another picture is a back end of a bird that was not cooperating, I have no idea what it was but I was trying to sneak a picture of it and it would not turn around.
  1. Red eyed vireo
  2. chipping sparrow
  3. robin