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
  4. crow
  5. blue jay
  6. downy woodpecker
  7. gold finch
  8. king bird
  9. cat bird
  10. mourning dove
  11. common yellow throat ---
  12. red breasted merganser
  13. cedar wax wings
  14. green heron
  15. cardinal
  16. tree swallows
  17. belted king fisher
  18. song sparrows
  19. chickadees
  20. unidentified hawk
  21. hummingbird
  22. flycatcher
  23. Common grackle
This is the link that goes to the pictures I took:

This is the link that goes to the video I accidentally made. I didn't know it until I loaded my pictures off my camera. Might make you dizzy watching it, but it captures a few birds.

Peg Fuller

On August 3, 2019  hikers met for the Ed Sidote Hike.

  The threat of thunderstorms did not deter 22 hikers.  The weather was beautiful and only an occasional cloud passed over.  The hikers met at Hoag Childes Rd and Fred Stewart Rd in East Pharsalia, NY. Everyone was all smiles as we paid tribute to Ed Sidote, posed for a picture and began to hike. Julie Thompson, Bullthistle Hiking Club Vice-President and FLT member, led the long hike and Peg Fuller, BHC President and FLT Board Member, led the short hike. The long hike had 13 hikers, a favorite number for Julie as she led the hike. The short hike has 9 hikers. Hikers entered the FLT and hiked north. The long hike looped onto the blue trail, while the short hike stayed on the main FLT until Nine Mile Truck Trail and walked north west until turning back onto the FLT heading south towards the Sidote Bench. The long hike took the blue trail back onto Fred Stewart Rd and headed north and entered the FLT just south of Center Rd. They proceeded to hike the FLT to the Sidote Bench. Both groups stopped at the Sandberg Pharsalia Lean to. BHC members, Art Sandberg, Larry Chesboro, and Mike Fuller, were ready at the lean to with hot dogs cooking. Everyone enjoyed hot dogs, chips, water, and cookies provided by the club. With full bellies, the hike continued on the FLT. The short hike walked Fred Stewart Rd back to the cars and the long hike took the FLT trail back to the beginning. 

Link to pictures of the hike:

Link to short hike GPS of hike:

Hike Report- Sunday Afternoon 28 July 2019 - Hunts Pond, NB 

Comfortably warm with refreshing breezes led to a pleasant hike around Hunts Pond in New Berlin on Sunday Afternoon 28 July 2019. We had 5 hikers: Anne Altshiler, Marilyn Ireland, Dave Sadler, Jason Shedd, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.6 miles in 2.1 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour. (The slower our speed, the more interesting our hike.)
We parked at the entrance off Hunts Pond Road and hiked the truck trail to the boat launch (see group photo) and then to the dam (see other group photo). After our wild thyme we then backtracked.
We encountered two Pasture Thistles in bloom (see photo). This species is a native, whereas the Bullthistle is a British immigrant

Hike Report - Sunday Afternoon 21 July 2019 - Ambler SF, New Berlin

A really pleasant hike, in spite of all the contrary weather forecasts. A nice breeze with lower humidity made a big difference on Sunday afternoon 21 July 2019 when we 3 hikers ambled along the Truck Trail in the Ambler State Forest in New Berlin: Anne Altshuler, Steve Ellsworth, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.9 miles in 2.2 hours for a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.
We parked at the DEC kiosk at Pat Farley Road and hiked the Truck Trail to the recent logging area, took a short break, and then backtracked.
Mister Stickman was still standing at his tree. See group photo. He needs some clothes. After the photo, I realized that we should have placed a burdock leaf (we did not have a fig leaf) over his wood be crotch. Perhaps on our next hike there I will remember to take some spiffy garments for him.
The other photo shows Anne and Steve walking up a gentle hill. All of my hikes have gentle hills, but they are usually upstaged by their less gentle rivals.


‎Jul‎ ‎16 at ‎10‎:‎35‎ ‎PM

This morning was the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 and tonight is the full moon, but it was last night when we had a splendid evening for a hike.  Seven hikers, Peg Fuller, Fred and Patricia von Mechow, Anne Altshuler, Mark Champlin, and John and Stacie Knapp, joined me for a nice stroll under mostly clear skies through the Pharsalia Woods.  

We started on Fred Stewart Rd where the blue trail crosses and headed west to the main FLT.  There we turned south to the truck trail which we followed west to the snowmobile trail along North Rd.  We followed the snowmobile trail north back to rejoin main trail where we turned east back towards Fred Stewart Rd.  We arrived in the 2011 tornado just after moonrise.  Stopping in the blowdown we listened to the bedtime calls of the veery, hermit thrush, and wood thrush.  While we paused we snacked on the Marshmallow Moon Oreo's (in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission).  With darkness setting in, we finished the last half mile of the hike continuing back to the blue trail we started on and then out to Fred Stewart Rd.  Peg's GPS recoreded 4 miles in a tidy two hours and one minute. 

The next full moon is August 15th.  Weather and schedule permitting, I will plan for hike sometime between the 13th and 15th. 


July 13th was a beautiful day, not too hot and the shade in the woods made it a spectacular day to enjoy a leisurely hike.

 The BHC had a hike to the Ludlow lean to. We met at the Oxford Dollar store. We started the hike on Stone Quarry Rd. The home owner helped us park the cars in the safest place. We had a nice chat with her and thanked her for allowing us to hike her property.  We will be asking Larry C from the club to make a new parking sign for her. 
We hiked north on the FLT. At the end of the barbed wire fence area we were met by 2 more hikers! Art and Sharron walked down from Tucker Rd to join us. Tripp was super happy to see them, especially since they had dog treats. 
Tripp and Sullivan enjoyed splashing around in the creek and some ball play. Troy opted to observe from the sidelines. 
We had 7 humans (Art & Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, Loren Larkin, Anne Altshuler, Abbie Tamber, and Peg Fuller) and 3 dogs (Tripp, Troy and Sullivan).

A good time was had by all. Very scenic and relaxing at the lean to. Not a big photo day for me, but the link is attached.

If anyone happens to be hiking near the Ludlow lean to any time soon, please look for a dog collar that has ID tags for Sullivan. We believe he lost it near the creek. The pre-lean to pictures show he has a leather collar (plus his tracker collar and flea collar) and at the creek he is missing the leather collar (see picture of Sullivan by himself in creek, it isn't there). If anyone finds it, please let me know.

Link to pictures:

GPS of the hike

Hike Report - Sunday Afternoon 7 July 2019 - Round Pond, Plymouth

Round pond used to be round, but now it is buried under water. When I first encountered it, in 1967, it had a dilapidated boardwalk and my 35 foot anchor did not touch bottom. One remnant of those bygone days is the nearby horse trail which we 7 hikers trekked on Sunday Afternoon 7 July 2019: Anne Altshuler, Lisa Barrett, Mark Champlin, Maryann Weiss, Matthew Weiss, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.6 miles in 2.4 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.

We parked in the lot by the platform and hiked the horse, later snowmobile, trail southerly to the Truck Trail, which we took westerly, then an access trail southerly to Frenchmans Road, and that westerly to the stream by the house. We saw, for the first time, a posted sign. We then halted on the bridge (see group photo) and bushwhacked northerly to the Truck Trail and backtracked to our vehicle.

On a sunny day a swamp looks like a magnificently lush paradise; see photo of view from the horse trail.

Excursion Report - Thursday 4 July 2019 - Jam Pond, German

A hot Thursday afternoon on 4 July 2019 had 2 hikers at Jam Pond in the Five-Streams State Forest in German: Steve Ellsworth and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered 0.5 miles in about 2 hours for a speed of 0.25 miles per hour.
Flowers in bloom were: Calopogon, Rose Pogonia, White Fringed Orchid, Cottongrass, Round-leaved Sundew, Pitcher Plant, Cranberry, and Withe Rod. Southern Twayblade and Snowberry were not blooming. Mountain Holly had green berries. See photos of Calopogon as a Belt-of-Orion, and the wide spread of Pitcher Plant flowers.  See also Steve's photos.
"Never hike alone!" said Steve after he pulled me out of the muckhole that I fell into. Muck is like quicksand; the more you struggle to get out, the deeper down you go. I had suddenly plunged thigh- deep. Thanks Steve! I have been visiting Jam Pond for over 30 years and have always been wary of the mat. But I fell through in the swamp between the rim and the mat. Apparently the reduced sunlight in the swamp does not produce a tightly woven mat. I suggest that everyone stay out of this place until it gets drier.

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