REPORTS ON HIKES


Hike Report – Sun 17 Jun 2018 – Balsam Swamp SF, McD


News Flash! The parking lot at HoJo was much hotter than the woods on Sunday afternoon 17 June 2018, when only 3 hikers showed up for a pleasant bushwhack in the Balsam Swamp State Forest in McDonough: Maryann Weiss, Matthew Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 1.9 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 0.8 miles per hour.

We parked on Balsam-Tyler Road just west of Dolan Road and bushwhacked to the large stone pile. See photos of Matthew and Maryann measuring the pile. Note yellow tape measure. We then trekked westerly to the Balsam Creek. After noting a good water flow, we headed northeasterly back to our car. No other stone piles were found. However, we did investigate a well-made stone foundation. 


I rate hikes by their speed; the slower, the better, because there are more interesting things to look at. This was a good hike.

June 16, 2018, Saturday

Today was a beautiful day for a hike.
We had 8 humans and 7 dogs (Maryann Weiss & Troy, Anne Altshuler, Abbie Tamber and Hoot and Stitch, Robin VanWagner and Rudy, Ted Robinson, Joanne & Dennis McCloskey and Cece and Friday, Peg Fuller and Tripp).
We started at Hoag Childes and Fred Steward Rd. We immediately entered the FLT trail and hiked north. We looped around the blue trail to Coy St (not necessarily on purpose) and then went south on Coy back onto the blue trail to the main FLT trail and south to the cars. We hiked more then planned, 5 miles. We took numerous breaks and the dogs had a lot of treats. Everyone had fun and the woods were much cooler then the road walk. 
We look forward to our next dog hike.

Hike Report – Tues 12 June 2018 – Ambler SF, NB

Warm and breezy, nice and easy, that was our hike on Tuesday afternoon in the Ambler State Forest in New Berlin. We had 5 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Barb Bida, Pete Bida, John Nesbitt, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.8 miles in 2.1 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked at the hairpin turn on the Truck Trail and hiked it easterly, northeasterly, and northerly to the large log pile. We then took the new logging road northerly to its terminus, turned around and went back (see photo).

The logging road was wide and the coarse woody debris was cleaned off. Toward the end it got messier. There were several side roads that looked intriguing, but time did not allow any investigation.


The BHC on Sunday June 10th hiked at Round Pond. 



We parked at the new DEC Observation Platform parking. We hiked the snow mobile trail to CCC truck trail, then the orange and blue trail. We enjoyed the new trail. We encountered a freshly fallen tree that was blocking the trail. David happened to have to a folding saw and we were able to clear the trail. We saw tadpoles, red efts, mushrooms, very young fawns, and many wildflowers. We stopped at the observation platform and had our break and watched birds. Although barely 3 miles, we had a very enjoyable hike. The 6 hikers were Carol Smith, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, Sharron Sandberg, David Sadler, and Peg Fuller.


The BHC Sunday hike (June 3rd) was led by Al Marsters in the Skinner Hill Forest.





We parked at the kiosk pn Pleasant Valley Rd. 

We had 7 hikers (Anne Altshuler, David Sadler, Carol Smith, Peg Fuller, Maryann Weiss, Joyce Post, and Al Marsters).
We bushwhacked thru the forest looking for wildflowers, specifically Pink Lady Slippers. The area is known to have them this time of year. We saw many different types of wildflowers as well as red efts, birds, chipmunks, frogs, and only one single Pink Lady Slipper.
Although we only hiked 2.1 miles, we were hiking and looking for 2.5 hours. There are many fallen trees and blow down areas that require careful footing to step over. 
It was a wonderful day in the woods. 

Thr GPS link will show you our path.

Thank you Al.
--
Peg

Hike Report – Tue 29 May 2018 – Kopac+Whaley ponds, McD

A summer afternoon in late spring brought out only 2 hikers in the McDonough State Forest on Tuesday 29 May 2018: Anne Altshuler and Don Windsor. We hiked 3.2 miles in 2.6 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked at the DEC kiosk at Kopac Pond and then hiked the Kopac Trail northerly to the T-junction. Whereupon we took the trail to Whaley Pond (see photo). We then hiked westerly to Whaley Pond Road and took it southerly to Sherman Road and that to Bliven-Sherman Road and easterly to our car.

The trail from the T-junction to Whaley Pond is woefully bereft of adequate blazing and could be confusing to a naive hiker.


We found 4 Lady Slipper Orchids along the Kopac Trail, but none in bloom. Lady Tresses were not visible at Whaley Pond. Beaver impoundment has drowned some trees along the western edge of the Kopac Trail resulting in more sunlight entering the hemlock swamp, which should lead to more biodiversity.

hike Report: Sunday 27 May 2018


We had a hike on the North Country Trail - Canastota Section a.k.a. the Link Trail the connects the 
Erie Canal Trail with the Finger Lakes Trail. There were six hikers, Carol Smith, Sharron Sandberg,
Joyce Post, Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller and David Sadler.

We hiked the winding trail through the woods and then descended the 78 step wooden staircase to
the base of the Canastota Ravine and then crossed the wooden bridge over Canastota Creek and 
then and then another smaller wooden bridge over the same creek into a wetland area.  Then we
ascended the embankment to the rail bed of the former Lehigh Valley Railroad that closed down in
1967 that now serves as the NCT/Link Trail.

As we continued Southbound on an upward incline a bear was spotted in a tree on the East side of
the trail. I believe the bears name was Ted E. Bear (not a real bear). About a half mile further up the
trail there is a small waterfalls from a tributary that enters Canastota Creek. Beyond that is the
Canastota Reservoir that was built in 1882 to supply the village of Canastota with drinking water.
Canastota now gets its drinking water from the Onondaga County Water Authority.

Carol and Anne identified many of the plant life along the trail. I had no clue as to what they
were.

The skies were mostly overcast with occasional light rain with temperature in the mid 60's making
for a comfortable hike. We crossed the road at Cotton Crossings in the Perryville section and ate
lunch. We then backtracked the trail to the Mount Pleasant Cemetetery Trailhead to where the
vehicles were parked. A total of 6.7 miles were covered in three hours and forty minutes with a
speed of 1.9 miles per hour.


David Sadler
Hike Report – Thursday 24 May 2018 – Ambler State Forest, New Berlin

If a tree fell in the woods and no one heard it, would it make a sound. A tree did indeed fall while we were in the woods and we certainly heard it. We 4 hikers were: Anne Altshuler, Dave Sadler, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.8 miles in 2.2 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.

We parked on the DEC Truck Trail off Pat Farley Road and hiked to the turn-around. We obediently turned around and hiked back. We did the usual rituals, scampered up steep inclines, wove our way through barbed wire, danced across wet spots, checked out a quarry, viewed a vista, botanized, birded, saw a snake, and one of us actually rescued a spider from being run over by a vehicle. Oh hum, just another day in the woods.

See group photo. Loggers left an inviting trail for a future hike. See it over Dave’s shoulder.


Hike Report – Sun 20 May 2018 – Basswood State Forest




There were 8 hikers who were not shy of the previous days deluge and what it might have left in the Basswood SF. 
Anne Altsuler, Maryann Weiss, Sharron Sandberg, Dave Sadler, Joyce Post, Peg Fuller, Carol Smith and myself covered
7.1 miles with a moving average of 1.8 MPH, move time 2:31, stop time 1:16, for a total of 3:47. Total elevation climb was 1004'.

We parked near the corner of Puckerville Rd. on Brookbanks Rd. and proceeded to follow the FLT there. 
The trail descended down to a creek after a short time and we were able to cross, stone stepping carefully. The trail rose
eventually to what looked like an old orchard with the apples in bloom.
We continued on toward the new lean-to and crossed the DEC trail road and Peg pointed out where the FLT used to cut down quite a ravine where the reroute started. The old rope used to 'repel' down the ravine to the creek, hung in a tree there at the juncture.
I was glad to walk along the top on the new route to enjoy the view of the creek rather than climbing down that scramble.
Soon we came to the blue blazes and headed North to the new lean-to. I can't believe that they finished the project in the deluge the day before. The project looks great and in a nice piece of woods.
We continued on the FLT through some wet spots, up and downs to Shapley Rd. East to Puckerville Rd. and back to our cars. 

There were lots of wildflowers that Carol was identifying for us. We did I think, see the largest trillium in NY along the road by a gully. Today was a great hike and everything was downhill... almost.

Hike Report – Thur 17 May 2018 - Round Pond, Pharsalia Woods SF, Plymouth



A great day for a hike! And we 4 hikers enjoyed it on Thursday afternoon 17 May 2018 at Round Pond in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest in Plymouth: Stan Benedict, Dave Sadler, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.8 miles in 2.9 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked in the DEC lot and hiked easterly along Reservoir Hill Road to the end of state land, we then turned into the woods and hiked the plantation trail south to the former Horse/Snowmobile Trail and took that to its multiple trailheads on Blackman Road north and south of Brookin Road. We then backtracked to Chris’s junction and took the “orange” trail westerly to our cars.

We found the old horse trough on Res Hill Rd (see photo). The H/S Trail is wide and spacious (see group photos). After the hike we went up to the tower with a Ranger and chatted a bit. The view is awesome (see photo).

===
BHC Sunday May 13, 2018 hike.
We had 4.5 hikers (Anne Altshuler, Davide Sadler, Joyce Post, Peg
Fuller & Tripp). We hiked 5.1 miles in 3.5 hours. We dropped a car at
the FLT Trail Head on Stage Rd and then went to the top of Truman hill
(Partridge Hill Rd) and started our hike. We followed the FLT back to
the car on Stage Rd. We had an elevation gain of only 636 Ft, because
we started at the top of Truman Hill!
There has been some logging activity in the Otselic Forest that we
observed and a few blown down trees that we walked around, under, and
even moved a few. We took a break at the Braxton bench. The weather
was very comfortable for a hike. The black flies were obviously
annoying whenever we stopped walking. We enjoyed the lush green growth
of the trees and grass. Beautiful day.
On a side note – Will Warner Rd has a lot of ruts in it and hopefully
it will be graded soon but it might be difficult for a lower riding
vehicle to maneuver.

GPS:


Hike Report – Fri 11 May 2018 – Round Pond, Pharsalia Woods SF, Plymouth




Round Pond again, and why not? These new trails are fascinating, especially since some of them are on the historic Horse Trails (wood arrows circa 1960s) and Sdnowmobile Trails (faded red discs circa 1980s). See photo with both.

On Friday 11 May 2018 we had 2 hikers in the area east of Round Pond, Pharsalia Woods SF, Plymouth: Anne Altshuler and Don Windsor. We covered 3 miles in 2.2 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.


We parked in the DEC lot and hiked the Blue Trail easterly until time ran out. Then we backtracked to the trail junction and took another Blue Trail westerly to our car. See photos of interrupted fern fiddleheads, Anne up in the tower pointing at a Raven being harassed by Red-winged Blackbirds, and the new sign on Reservoir Hill Road.

Hike Report – Mon 7 May 2018 – Round Pond, Pharsalia Woods SF, Plymouth

On a pleasant, partly cloudy Monday afternoon 7 May 2018 we had only 2 hikers on the trails at Round Pond in the Pharsalia Woods SF, Plymouth: Rebecca Hargrave and Don Windsor. We covered 4 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.

We parked at the DEC lot by the newly built observation tower and hiked the blue trail southerly to the Truck Trail. We then walked easterly on the TT to the end of state land and entered the woods to pick up Frenchmans Road. We took that westerly to the Noble foundation and then went northerly to the TT. We realized that we passed the official turn off as we ambled easterly to the blue trail and backtracked to our car.


The view from the observation tower is really spectacular; see photo. The construction of the tower ramp is also noteworthy; see other photo of the ramp looking down from the tower.

The Bullthistle hike on Sunday May 6, 2018


 had 6 hikers (Maryann, Joyce, Art & Sharron, David, & Peg). Led by Art Sandberg, we hiked 5.6 miles total in 3 hours. had to pause on Rt. 10 for some stray cows wondering in front of the cars on the way to our hike. We postponed our planned Catskill hike due to prediction of heavy rain there and we lucked out and had only a few rain sprinkles in Pharsalia. We parked at Fred Stewart Rd and 9 Mile Truck Trail. We walked north on Fred Stewart turning right into the blue trail to the pond near Coy St. We then back tracked to Fred Stewart and walked north to the FLT main trail entrance and hiked south to the Pharsalia lean to. We stopped back at our cars and walked back to the lean to with the coolers and had a picnic (hot dogs, beans, chips, fruit, and homemade cookies!).  Thanks Art & Sharron. It was nice to see that on Saturday hikers also enjoyed a cookout at the lean to and cleaned up and even raked the area before leaving. There were beavers being busy at the pond and some geese just being geese. The black flies are in full force. We enjoyed the instant spring and found blooming trillium, spring beauties, trout lily, and may apples starting as well as a couple orchids. Fiddleheads and leaks are out for all the hungry hikers. One red eft was spotted walking across the trail. Birds were chirping and we heard woodpeckers and even a raven who didn’t seem pleased that we were in the area of the pond. The winter and recent storms have brought some trees down on the trails, which are all reported and cleanup is being planned.

Hike Report – Tues 1 May 2018 – Whaupaunaucau SF, NN

Another beautiful day for a hike, Tuesday afternoon 1 May 2018, had a solitary hiker in the Whaupaunaucau State Forest in North Norwich: Don Windsor. He covered 2 miles in 1.4 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.

He parked at the lower gate and hiked Trails 19 and 4 up to the Truck Trail, then took that back to his car. He explored the Daphne area for more plants, but found only one. He checked out Hepatica Hill, but only the Hepatica were blooming. The woods were unseasonably quiet. No Sapsuckers were heard, but around Jeffery Pond the Spring Peepers were calling. An Osprey flew over several times.


MOONLIGHT HIKE REPORT



With the promise of clearing skies, five hikers ventured out to the Pharsalia Woods to observe the 7th anniversary of the April 28, 2011 tornado.  On the hike were Peg Schmidt-Fuller, Rebecca Hargrave, James Sprague (8), Samuel Sprague (3), and Chris Sprague.  We parked at the trail head on the north end of Fred Stewart and hiked south through the blowdown, stopping to observe some fallen giants and noted the abundant fire cherry and aspen saplings, as well as the occasional (planted) white pine and oak tree.  The wildflowers were just beginning to emerge.  We were treated to a beautiful sunset as we left the blowdown and headed into the darkness of the notably quiet wood.  A lone hoot from a barred owl interrupted the silence.  

Donning headlamps at the lean-to, the children were buoyed to carry-on into the night.  By now the sky had finally cleared and stars were now visible as we turned back north on Fred Stewart Road towards the cars.  Some pesky clouds to the east kept the moon hidden, so instead we settled for the brilliance of Venus, the third brightest object in the night sky, to guide us home. 

We hiked 3.6 miles in almost exactly two hours time.   
__._,_.___

Our hike on Sunday, April 209, 2018 


was to Perkins Lean to.
We parked at the DEC kiosk parking on Johnson Street right off Rt. 42.
We started by walking into the field to the small pond. We then walked
up Johnson street to the FLT trail head and hiked the trail to
Clarence Church Rd. We went down the road to the alternative entrance
to the Perkins Lean to and took our break at the lean to. We hiked the
blue trail back to the FLT main trail, back to Johnson and to the
cars.
We hiked 4.5 miles in 2:45 hours. We had 5 and ½ hikers (Anne
Altshuler, Maryann Weiss, Joyce Post, Davide Sadler, Peg Fuller &
Tripp Fuller).
Flowers are trying to come up despite the snow fall. The woods were
quiet as the snow lightly fell. Lots of mud from the snow melt and the
recent rains. The downed trees on the trail are passable and are
already on the sawyers (Mike & Larry) to-do list. It is the season for
spring maintenance.  When we returned to the cars, the snow increased
and there was a quick dusting in the area. It was a nice leisurely
hike, but it did not feel like spring-time.

GPS link

Enjoy!

Peg

Our hike today, (Sunday April 22, 2018)


 was to the Ludlow Lean-to.
We had 13 hikers (Carol Smith, Nate Smith & Erin Lewis (with Riley,
Brayden, & Draven), Maryann Weiss, Anne Altshuler, Art & Sharron
Sandberg, Joyce Post, David Sadler, & Peg Fuller.

We parked on Stone Quarry Hill Rd, right off Rt. 3 (FLT map 24).
Special thanks to the home owners at the trail head for allowing us to
park on their property and for allowing the trail to go along side
their property. We even had one of the family members assist us by
having us park in their driveway today.

We hiked up the FLT to Ludlow Creek Lean-to, where we took our break
and then hiked back to the cars. We hiked 3.6 miles in about 2 hours.

Surprise, there was snow. Extra surprise for me, there was ice under
the leaves, so fall #1 for me. Parts of the trail were muddy, so fall
#2 for me. Yeah. Other then me falling, it was a wonderful hike. The
day was beautiful, spring has finally showed up. The creek was
flowing. The trail was in good shape (see picture for one spot with
trees down). Most of the trail was snow free, but there were still
patches of ice and snow. We encountered ‘snow fleas’, not sure if you
can see them in the picture. A piece of bone, we believe deer was
found by the lean-to.

The sun was shining, and the sky was blue, we finally enjoyed a spring
weather hike.

-Peg

GPS of hike:

The BHC hiked on Sunday, April 15, 2018 afternoon in Pharsalia woods.




We parked at the DEC kiosk on Johnson St right off Rt. 42. From there
we walked up Johnson street and quickly encountered a snowed and
ice-covered road. We continued to Elmer Jackson Rd where we picked up
our stalker. We then continued with our plus 1 to Bear Wallow Rd and
proceeded south where we picked up the blue trail. Taking the blue
trail to lower pond proved to be challenging in spots of snow and ice.
We hiked through 6 inches or more of snow in several locations,
including the downhill towards the creek. The view was spectacular,
the snow, the flowing creek, and the frozen ice formations made the
slightly difficult hike well worth it. We took our break at the lower
pond dam. Refreshed we continued on the FLT up Elmer Jackson and our
plus 1 quietly slipped away. We entered the woods and headed west on
the FLT when we encountered some downed trees from our recent storms.
The snow continued to be deep in parts and when we reached John Smith
Rd we decided to head north on the road opting for packed ice over the
deep snow. We then made a left on Johnson and returned to our cars.
We hiked 6 miles in 3.5 hours, with an elevation gain of 505 feet. We
had 7 hikers (David Sadler, Anne Altshuler, Sharron Sandberg, Joyce
Post, Maryann Weiss, Carol Smith and Peg Fuller).  A special cameo
appearance was Art Sandberg whose presence added to our wonderful
hike. As we were approaching our cars it began to lightly rain. Once
again, we escaped the rain during our hike.  Despite a few of us being
tired at the end and perhaps a little achy, we had a very enjoyable
hike.
Attached is the GPS of the hike. I attempted to imbed 4 pictures in
the GPS, but I don’t think it worked.


Enjoy the pictures.

Peg Fuller

Hike Report – Wed 11 Apr 2018 – Skinner Hill SF, Sherb




A pleasant afternoon on Wednesday 11 April 2018 had 5 hikers in the Skinner Hill State Forest in Sherburne: Barb Bida, Pete Bida, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered about 2.5 miles in about 2 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked at the DEC kiosk on Skinner Hill and Warren roads and hiked south to the end of State land, where we entered the woods and followed the DEC blazes up to the top of Skinner hill. We then wandered around until the allotted time expired. Whereupon we backtracked to our vehicles.

We gawked at the old stone house, built in 1822 (see photo) and then inspected the cellar chambers that are alleged to have been part of the underground railroad. As we entered the woods, we saw a stone pile poking through the snow (see photo).

About halfway up the Hill we struggled to read the carved inscription on a large stone slab. It said:

On 13 June 1822 half past 10 am on the spot where this monument stands Albert Allen Ainsworth son of Stephen and Dolly was instantly killed by three large logs rolling over him Age 10 yr. 9 mo. 22 days”

After reaching the top we wandered around in ankle-deep snow looking for the awesome bedrock trenches, but alas, I could not find them.


On Sunday, April 4, 2018 the Bullthistle Hiking Club ventured into
Whaupaunaucau State Forest.


The expectation was we would wonder the series of trails. Once we
started up (and if you know Whaupaunaucau, I mean up) the main road we
quickly discovered there was still a lot of snow. So we continued on
the road in several inches of snow. We came across a couple downed
trees in the road. The sky was a beautiful blue when we started
hiking. Clouds took over and ultimately, we had a light snowfall. Just
another typical spring day in Chenango County. We followed the road
around and then went onto the trail (#15). We took trail 15 to 17 to
the DEC lean to, where we took a break. Most of the hike we followed
deer, fox, and turkey tracks, maybe some coyote and numerous smaller
animals.  Once we crossed the creek by the lean to we were back to
following people tracks.  The trails in the woods had less snow, but
it was much wetter then the road.

There were 7 hikers (Anne Althuler, Robin Vanwagner, Maryann Weiss,
David Sadler, Joyce Post, Bruce Coon, and Peg Fuller). We hiked 4.2
miles in 2.5 hours. It was a nice winter hike on this spring day.

Attached is the GPS map.

Peg


Happy Easter.



Today the BHC went in search of wabbits on Elmer Fudd Rd (AKA Elmer
Jackson Rd). Even with the help of our four-legged friend, Tripp, we
still didn't see any rabbits.

We had seven hikers (David Sadler, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg,
Laurie Hennessey, Anne Altshuler, and Peg & Tripp Fuller). We parked
at One-Eyed Rd and Elmer Jackson Rd. The original plan was to park
further up Elmer Jackson Rd by Lower Pond, but the snow was still deep
and not suited for driving.

We walked up Elmer Jackson Rd. A Common Merganser duck was observed on
Lower Pond and then flying away. We decided to stay on the road
because the FLT was deep with snow and we did not have snowshoes. The
packed snow on the road was about 4 or 5 inches deep, the unpacked
trails in the woods was much deeper. We continued up Elmer Jackson and
made a left on Johnson St. We walked a short way up hill and took our
break. We then backtracked to the cars. There was freshly fallen snow
on the ground and snow was lightly falling for the second half of the
hike. Yes, it is spring, Easter, but also April Fool’s Day! It was
very beautiful, but we are all ready for spring flowers and warmth.

We hiked 4.1 miles in 2 hours. The GPS map is below.


GPS link of hike:



On a crisp Sunday morning in late March we had 6 hikers on a short amble along the snowmobile trails in 


Charles E Baker State Forest(aka Brookfield). Hiking were Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, David Sadler, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss and Gina Wotasek. We drove up Rt 12 to enter the state land from Quaker Hill Rd. We hiked down TT12 and turned onto the horse trail to "Elmer's Place," noted the sign in memory of Elmer(who was Uncle to Gina and I.) We continued on to TT13 and took that back to our starting point. We then walked the bare road down to the Quaker Hill cemetery and checked out the  cemetery fence and a few of the graves after plowing through the deep snow to get to the markers. 
After returning to our cars Maryann's phone told us we hiked 2.5 miles in about 1.5hours. So a short hike but enjoyable in the sunshine.

Happy Spring!

Carol

Hike Report – Thurs 22 March 2018 – Pharsalia Woods, Plymouth



Deep snow remains but the bright high-angle sunshine proclaimed spring as we 3 hikers snowshoed in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest in Plymouth: Anne Altshuler, Art Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.2 miles in 2.6 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked on Doing Road near Brookin Road and hiked a snowmobile trail easterly and southerly to Inman Road. Whereupon we rejoiced and backtracked to our car.


One group photo shows crossing a creek and the other wondering how to comply with that traffic sign. The third photo shows a Black Knot infection in a Black Cherry tree. This has been a good year for snowshoeing but I hope it is over.


hike report and pictures Sunday March 18th


It started out a bit chilly on this sunny Sunday morning. About 12
degrees to start and it was much warmer when we finished, about 25.
We parked on Hoag Childes and Fred Stewart Rd. We snowshoed, hiked up
Fred Stewart to Nine Mile Truck Trail, cut into the woods and went to
the Pharsalia Lean to. Took a break there and then hiked back to Fred
Stewart to our cars.
We had 7 hikers (Anne Altshuler, Art & Sharron Sandberg, Maryann
Weiss, David Sadler, Joyce Post, and Peg Fuller). We walked 3.2 miles
on snowmobile trails and in the woods in deep snow (some areas packed
down by prior snowshoes) in 2 and half hours. Thanks to Art for
leading the way in the snow packing it down for the rest of us.
On the way up Fred Stewart Rd we spoke to four boy scouts/leaders on
their way out of the woods after spending the night at the lean to.
Additional scouts were still at the lean to. When we turned onto Nine
Mile Truck Trail we stopped and spoke to mountain bikers enjoying the
snowmobile trails. A snow mobile passed us and we heard more in the
distance. We caught up to the rest of the boy scouts on our way out
and we all walked together to our cars.
For a chilly morning, there were a lot of people enjoying the
beautiful day. The sun felt great and the sky was a bright blue.


Peg
Hike Report – Sun 11 Mar 2018 – Pharsalia Woods SF, Plymouth

Winter drags on and so do snowshoes. On Sunday afternoon 11 March 2018 we had 6 hikers in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest in Plymouth: Anne Altshuler, Dave Sadler, Art Sandberg, Carol Smith, Julie Thompson, and Don Windsor. We covered 1.6 miles in 1.7 hours for a speed of 0.9 miles per hour.

We intended to park on Doing Road near Brookin Road, but about a dozen vehicles with snowmobile trailers were already parked there. So we parked about a mile easterly on Doing and then cautiously ventured into the woods on a snowmobile trail but quickly veered off to bushwhack southerly and then easterly. We continued until my time was up and then backtracked to our cars.


The group photo shows the magnificent vista, but does not show the tower at Chenango Lake poking up from the horizon, about 7.5 miles distant.
Hike Report – Thurs 8 Mar 2018 – Bowman Lake SP, McD



Slouching toward the Ides of March on snowshoes is a resigned drudgery, a poignant admission that winter persists as long as it wants. Relishing this sojourn on Thursday afternoon 8 March 2018 were 3 stubborn hikers: Anne Altshuler, Art Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered about 2 miles in 1.8 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour.

We parked within the Park near the gatehouse and snowshoed through the campsites northeasterly and then westerly to the new FLT sign. (See group photo.) We moseyed over to the beach but refrained from swimming because the lifeguard was not on duty. (See other group photo with hike leader and former lifeguard.) We then clomped southerly along the lake shore to the dam, where Art found a tunnel he could safely enter without the fear of being arrested. (See action photo.) We then veered easterly to our cars. (See other action photo.)


In spite of the extended winter, signs of spring are springing up. We found 3 stoneflies also traveling on the snow and back in Norwich we spotted a migrating vulture circling above.
Hike report from Anne Altshuler:


Sunday, March 4,    provided an opportunity to enjoy a mile or so of late winter snowshoeing  following a 12-inch snowfall two days before. Our group of five (Anne Altshuler, Ted Robinson, David Sadler, Carol Smith, and Maryanne Weiss) met at the Oxford Dollar General store at 9:30 a.m., to begin the hike at 9:45 from Anne's home.  Under cloudy skies, with a light wind at 31 degrees F., we trudged up the hilly fields past trees and brushy edges still festooned with heavy snow. Underfoot snow depth was six to twelve inches..  Levelling off, the trail wound through the woods and other fields.  We stopped from time to  time to observe turkey tracks and admire the winter beauty and the Chenango River below.  Aside from occasional squirrel activity, there was scant other evidence of the usual wildlife, likely owing to the depth and density of this snow.  At the river, fresh ski tracks were found along the adjacent, currently unused railroad.  Heading back uphill through the woods, we welcomed the occasional  patch  of blue as the sky began to clear and illuminate the landscape.  A final push to the crest of the field, and it was all downhill by 11 a.m. to a warm, soft couch and mugs of hot chocolate! 

Thank you Anne for leading the snowshoe hike on this beautiful March day.

Hike – Tue 27 Feb 2018 – Ralph Brown Farm, Pitcher Spr SF



An exercise in flexibility resulted in our going to the ruins of the Ralph Brown farm in the Pitcher Springs State Forest on Tuesday 27 February 2018. We had 7 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Barb Bida, Pete Bida, Henry Drexler, Bob Smith, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 1.5 miles in 1.4 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour.

We parked on Pitcher Springs Road and hiked north on Ralph Brown Road to the farm. After examining the ruins, we backtracked to our cars.

The attached group photo by Henry Drexler shows us in front of one of the doors of what several hikers thought was a chicken coop. But, because it had 4 doors, it must have been a sedan.

The other photo shows the remains of a stone foundation of what was once a very large house. When see such structures it is as if I were suddenly arrested for compulsive loitering and am being imprisoned in a hazy dungeon of misplaced reverie. I was later jolted back to reality when Henry sent me his hike site research, which, due to size restrictions, is being sent as a separate message.
Henry Drexler reports on our hike destination site Tuesday 27 February 2018. 

In 1875 the farm on what is now affectionately referred to as Ralph Brown Rd belonged to Ralph Brown’s father, Ledyard Brown.  Ledyard was 49 years old in 1875 and lived on the farm with his wife, Eliza, age 39; their son, Ralph, age 16; their daughter, Flora, age 10 and two hired hands or servants, Edward Sanders and Julia Simpson.  All of them were Chenango County natives.  

Ledyard’s farm consisted of 140 acres of improved land, 45 acres of unimproved land and 40 acres of unimproved wood & timber land.  It was valued at  $6575 which would be the equivalent of $143,790.85 today.  He had 70Acres of pasture, 59¼ acres of meadow and plowed 10¾ acres in 1875.  He had 2 horses, 4 heifer calves, 5 bulls of all ages and 21 cows from which the farm produced 2,700 pounds of butter and no milk or cheese for market.  He owned chickens valued at $15 and 9 pigs.  His chickens would be worth $328 today, so he had quite a few chickens and that would make it likely that the last foundation we saw, with the window wells still showing, was the chicken house.  They harvested 100 bushels of apples from their orchard and made 4 barrels of cider.  They also produced 400 pounds of maple syrup, 4 gallons of maple molasses and 1400 pounds of pork.  Then, in their spare time, they put away 60 tons of hay and harvested 300 bushels of oats, 600 bushels of potatoes, 7 bushels of peas and a small amount of Indian corn for fodder.

You will note from the 1936 aerial view of the farm that we missed the foundation of a large building that was on the east side of the road across from the foundation of the dairy barn and south of the house.  That was probably the carriage house/horse barn.  Looks like we’ll have to make another trip.
I hope you will share this information with the rest of the group, since I don’t have their email addresses.     Attached is an aerial photo taken onSincerely, Henry
Sunday 2/25/18 Karen & Steve Ellsworth were the two lone hikers.  


We departed from Pucker St. and Co Rt 5 at 9AM walked 50 ft and saw bear tracks. The rain quit and we were blessed.
Then cut East into the State land and bush whacked to Pucker Pond where we found two beaver dams at the outlet,
continued through the State Land under the Power line and crossed Burkholder Rd. bush whacking through this part of the wood was slow 
because of the logging debris, freshets, and some snow 8"-10" in places.
We came to a wonderfully preserved stone wall that was about 5' high (shorter than I had remembered).
We headed uphill to Burkholder and then to Pucker and walked back to the truck. On the way we found an old 
cemetery with head stones from around the mid 1800's. More bear, deer, coyote, fisher tracks on the way back.
The trip was 3.8 miles when we returned to the truck at 12:15   
Until the next time,
Steve Ellsworth

"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir 
Hike report from John Nesbitt
Trip Report: February 18, 2018
Location and Conditions:  On a beautiful wintry day, John Nesbitt led two brave hikers, Dave Sadler and Anne Altshuler, on a 5 hr posthole-a-thon through Pharsalia Woods State Forest.  All trails were covered with several inches of fresh snow on top of crusty, breakable snow.  The total distance covered was approximately 6 miles. 
Hike Description:  The car was parked at the intersection of Center and Stewart Roads in North Pharsalia.  After a short hike on Stewart Road and a very brief hike on a blue-blazed connecting trail, the main FLT was accessed.  The hike proceeded on the main FLT in the direction of the eastern terminus.  Just after the site of the 2011 tornado, the recently cut blue-blazed trail was taken back to Stewart Road.  The group then headed south on Stewart Road and turned west onto Chenango 5 (Truck Trail 7) for a very short distance.  A “slightly longer than planned” bushwack took place until the main FLT was again sighted.  From there, it was a short walk to the Pharsalia Woods Lean-To for a well-deserved break.  The hike continued on the main FLT until another blue-blazed trail was encountered.  The group hiked on the blue-blazed trail for about 20 min and took a quick on-trail break.  The trail looped back to Stewart Road which was followed back to the car. 
Thank you John for leading the hike!

--
Peg


Feb 4 Hike Report



On a blustery Sunday morning, 4 hikers (Anne Altschuler, John Carhart, Warren Johnson and John Nesbit) trekked along the Greenway trail south of Norwich.  The initial plan for a hike in the Round Pond area was scraped because of treacherous road conditions.
The temperature was in the upper 20's and the the blowing snow was picturesque, but 2 hours wandering in the Jamba Flats cornfields was enough.  Early in the hike we approached a tree full of squawking crows, with many also on the ground.  They seemed lively enough, even flapping their wings, but didn't fly as we got closer and closer.  When we were about 20 feet away, a hunter appeared and informed us they were decoys.  Very sophisticated decoys indeed, but only succeeded in attracting hikers.
Hike Report – Tues 30 Jan 2018 – Skinner Hill SF, NB



The mellow hills were not only assertive, they were slippery. On Tuesday afternoon 30 January 2018 we 3 hikers were in the Skinner Hill State Forest in New Berlin: Anne Altshuler, Yvonne Wilson, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered about 1.2 miles in 1.7 hours for a speed of 0.7 miles per hour.

We parked on Dilly Hill Road by the narrow swath of state land that crosses it. We bushwhacked easterly to the unnamed stream and tried to cross it numerous times, but the water was too deep and the banks were too far apart. So we hiked upstream and then downstream and then back uphill to our car. It was a nice winter day with occasional blue sky and sunshine, lavishly festooned with cheerful snow flakes.


As the stream fanned out into a wide marsh we encountered a stand of about 2 dozen small leaved pines with small round or curved cones. See photo. I could not get a specimen because the branches were too high. I suspect Jack Pine.


What a beautiful day for a hike! 



The Bulllthistle Hiking club had 8
hikers (9 counting Luna) – David Sadler, Anne Altshuler, Yvonne
Wilson, John Nesbitt, Sarah and David Francis (& Luna), Maryann Weiss,
and Peg Fuller. It did start out icy, black ice on the roads getting
to the hike. Temps were about 31 degrees at the start and 41 when we
finished. The sun was bright and the sky was blue. We parked at Plank
Rd right off Rt. 42. We proceeded down Plank Rd to the Gorge. Some of
us walked all the way to the Gorge (see picture) and others waited on
the other side of the ice jam. Traction devices were most helpful. The
gorge was beautiful with ice and fast flowing water. We then went back
up Plank and turned onto Purse. We took Purse up (and up) to Clarence
Church. Walking briefly up Clarence Church, we then entered the woods
and hiked to the Perkins Lean-to where we enjoyed a break. We took the
spur trails back to Plank Road, pausing briefly for Luna to do some
trail maintenance (see picture). We walked back up the icy road to our
cars. We hiked 5.2 miles in 3 hours. This was Luna Francis’ (and her
family’s) first hike with us, she is a highly trained search and
rescue dog that can track people as well as animals, alive or dead.
She proudly showed her skill by finding 3 deer carcasses and was one
of the most well-behaved hikers!

This is only a partial hike GPS map (I forgot to tuen it on in the
beginning, duh).
https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/perkins--11

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

-Peg

Hike Report – Thurs 25 Jan 2018 – Pharsalia Woods, Plymouth

Another perfect winter afternoon in the woods, the Pharsalia Woods State Forest in Plymouth on Thursday 25 January 2018. See photo. We had 7 hikers: Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Bob Smith, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked on Doing Road just southerly of Brooking Road and headed easterly into the woods. Snowshoes were not needed, but some of us wore crampons. We picked up a snowmobile trail and stayed with it until we were enticed by what would make a great machinegun nest. We admired the view and then bushwhacked downhill easterly. We picked up another snowmobile trail and took it to Doing Road about 0.3 mile west of Reservoir Hill Road. See group photo.


We then turned back, up some strenuous hills. On the way we noticed some Phomopsis stem galls on bitternut hickory trees. See photo. The gall ball I brought home is about 3 inches in diameter. We also found these galls on our hike on 1 October 2017 along the FLT north of Buckley Hollow in Smithville.
On Jan. 21, 2018 

the BHC had 6 hikers (Sharron & Art Sandberg, David
Sadler, Maryann Weiss, Anne Athshuler, and Peg Fuller). We parked by
the Bowman Office and walked through the park to Bliven Sherman Road
and walked west until the kiosk and then proceeded north on the Kopac
Trail. We followed that trail around to the park trail and around
Bowman Lake. We then walked the park road back to the cars. We had
about 6 inches of snow in spots as we hiked, opted not to snow shoe.
We hiked 3. 8 miles in 2 1/2 hours with an elevation gain of 262 ft.
The GPS shows our course around Kopac and the lake. The weather was
enjoyable in the mid-30’s. Lots of animal tracks in the snow as well
as cross country ski tracks. We encountered only one other person as
we were almost back to our cars.

Here is the GPS link:
https://www.alltrails.com/ explore/recording/bowman--19

-Peg

Hike Report – Thursday 18 Jan 2018 – Airport ↔ Plasterville, NN


Our first snowshoe hike of the season was so nice that it could well become our best. Temperatures were far enough below freezing to prevent sticky snow and not low enough to make us feel cold. On Thursday afternoon 18 January 2018 we had 4 hikers enjoying ideal conditions: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Bob Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 2.9 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked at the Norwich Airport and hiked north to historic Plasterville. We then explored the remaining ruins of this former industrial site. See photos of an old concrete block building along the Chenango Canal. We hiked east on the bridge over the Canal to the very old bridge crossing the mighty Chenango River. See other photo. My son and I used to fish while seated on this bridge. There were once 4 bridges on this road that once connected Route 12 with East River Road. Only 2 remain.


Hike Report – Thurs 25 Jan 2018 – Pharsalia Woods, Plymouth

Another perfect winter afternoon in the woods, the Pharsalia Woods State Forest in Plymouth on Thursday 25 January 2018. See photo. We had 7 hikers: Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Bob Smith, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3 miles in 2.3 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked on Doing Road just southerly of Brooking Road and headed easterly into the woods. Snowshoes were not needed, but some of us wore crampons. We picked up a snowmobile trail and stayed with it until we were enticed by what would make a great machinegun nest. We admired the view and then bushwhacked downhill easterly. We picked up another snowmobile trail and took it to Doing Road about 0.3 mile west of Reservoir Hill Road. See group photo.


We then turned back, up some strenuous hills. On the way we noticed some Phomopsis stem galls on bitternut hickory trees. See photo. The gall ball I brought home is about 3 inches in diameter. We also found these galls on our hike on 1 October 2017 along the FLT north of Buckley Hollow in Smithville.
Hike Report – Thurs 11 Jan 2018 – Plymouth Reservoir


A day that makes winter enjoyable. Snow in the woods, but not on the roads. Clouds that appeared gloomy but bright enough to let the sun shine through. And warm, with no wind. On Thursday afternoon, 11 January 2018, we had 5 hikers in the Plymouth Reservoir area, bushwhacking, road walking, and pausing enough to enjoy the sights. Attending were: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Bob Smith, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.3 miles in 1.9 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.

We parked on Reservoir Hill Road along state land and bushwhacked southerly to Elmer Harris Road. We took that road to a trail in the woods to the Truck Trail. We hiked easterly and wandered in the woods and then took the TT again westerly to the Perrytown trail and then northerly to easterly to Elmer Harris Road and back to our cars.

We did not find the stone pile, probably because we did not take the proper trail. We verified the rumor that Bigfoot was missing. See the photo of the hikers lamenting his absence. We did encounter a smaller individual. See photo of his pugnacious stance. I took an opportunity to snap a shot of my favorite burl, a faithful guidepost during my Perrytown adventures.

The BHC hiked this Sunday (Jan. 7, 2018). 




We had four brave hikers –
Anne Altshuler, David Sadler, Art Sandberg, and Peg Fuller.  We met in
our usual spot at a later time – 9:30 and the temperature was still
only -1.  We headed out to hike West Hill. Art led the way. There were
several inches of snow on the ground and we hiked up and up to the
scenic view over Norwich. We saw many animal tracks along the way. The
sky was a beautiful crisp blue with some soft clouds. Ice crystals on
branches, stones, etc were beautiful. We stopped and read a few of the
signs around the area and at the ‘main’ gathering place. We observed
many birds (juncos most likely) enjoying the tops of trees in the
bright sunlight. We hiked 3.5 miles. When we returned to the car, the
temperature was 12 degrees, a huge improvement.  I am attempting to
send a video of the scenic overview in another e-mail, it may or may
not work. So many places we hike are beautiful and this one is so
close to Norwich and yet, most people don’t know it exists.
Photography and video never captures the complete beauty, but
hopefully you enjoy the pictures and the report if you were unable to
join us.

Peg



I thought you might like some pictures from another hike today. The
hike at Bowman State Park was led by Andrew Goeller (NY DEC) and
Thomas Brownell (Bowman Park Ranger). It was held on Jan. 1, 2018 at
11 AM. The start hike temperature was 4 degrees and the end
temperature was 10 degrees. We hiked Kopac Trail and the FLT spur
trail and the cross country skki trail, we did about 3 miles.

It is important to know that the Kopac trail is now open (trail closed
sign taken down). It had been closed due to a blow down of large tree.
This has been cleared. Also the Bowman Nature Center will be open
daily. There is an open restroom by the office. For the rest of the
winter ony the main office area will be plowed for parking.

They had the fire going in the nature center and had hot chocolate and
coffee available before and after the hike.
It was a beautiful hike with the sun shining on the snow. A bit chilly!

Peg

Hike Report - NEW YEAR’S DAY – Mon 1 Jan 2018 – Greenway, Norwich

A very frigid morning but a pleasant sunny one had 6 hikers on the Norwich Greenway north: Anne Altshuler, Stan Benedict, John Carhart, Warren Johnson, Art Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We hiked about 2 miles in 1.8 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour.

We parked in the lot by Greenwauy Park (River and Rexford streets) and walked west on Rexford to the former O&W corridor then took it northerly, crossing Borden Avenue, and on to the Greenway northerly to the NYS&W railway. See group photo. Art is on the left and note how effectively his camouflaged jacket blends in. It was about -11 degrees at our start and about +9 degrees when we finished.

We saw 2 City police vehicles as we entered the industrial area. On the trail we encountered 3 policemen returning from the City Wells area. They were checking on homeless persons who might be camping. We followed their good advice as they recommended that we be careful. We did not find any campers. But did see a lot of large footprints.

===

On the first day of winter 6 hikers, Anne Altshuler, Art and Sharron Sandberg, Bob Smith, Carol Smith and Shelley Werner hiked the trails on the top of the old Colgate ski hill in Hamilton. We hiked about 2.5 miles. It was actually still fall when we hiked since we finished about 11am. There was no snow on the ground where some of us met in Sherburne but there was a nice covering in Hamilton. We came across a “Christmas” tree adorned in bird seed bells along the trail and the birds had found it and were enjoying the treat. It was a great winters day to be out in the woods.
Wishing all a great Holiday.

Carol
Merry Christmas everyone.

Four of us hiked on Christmas Eve day.
We hiked 4.8 miles in 3.5 hours in Whapuoaunaueau State Forest. Many
breaks and we wandered for a bit, which was enjoyable except for he
lost crampon (yacktax traction thing). Believe it or not we found it.
We also found a dead shrew. Anne was going to figure out the exact
species of it. Probably the smallest of them all. We parked by the
main parking area and walked up the road, veered off onto trail 3,
explored the north end while looking for the yacktrax. Hikers - Anne
A, Yvonne W, David s, and Peg F, enjoyed the light snow on the ground
and the comfortable weather as we hiked trail 13, 18, 17, 29. We
stopped at Clements lean-to and the DEC lean-to. We followed a
mountain bike track for many of the trails along with his obvious k-9
companion. With light snow, it is enjoyable to inspect the various
tracks – rabbits, deer, fox, squirrel, coyote, etc…

link:
https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/whaupaunaucau

On Sunday, Dec 17, 2017 we had 7 hikers 

(Sharron & Art Sandberg, Joyce

Post, David Sadler, Maryann Weiss, Anne Altshuler, & Peg Fuller). We
hiked on private property and then on the FLT. The sun came up over
the mountains as we began hiking and the sun was shining on the snow
and ice making lots of shinny dazzling lights. It was beautiful hiking
in the several inch-deep snow (approximately 5 or 6 in most spots). We
observed various animal tracks all over. We hiked 3.5 miles in 3 hours
(including breaks). We had an elevation gain of 594 ft. The elevation
of the area ranged from 1550 to 1800 ft. The attached link will show
the elevation of the entire path.

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/hike-12-17-17
Peg
Hike Report – Tue 12 Dec 2017 – Millbrook Reservoir, NB

On the 12th day of meteorological winter, 6 enthusiastic hikers walked in the Millbrook Reservoir in New Berlin: Anne Altshuler, Pepper Bida, Pete Bida, John Nesbitt, Bob Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 2 miles in 1.7 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked in the official lot and we ambled along the official trail around the lake, in a counterclockwise direction.

We had a cheerful hike on a gloomy day. All of us were pleasantly surprised by the rich sweetness of the repeatedly frozen and thawed apples. We prudently obeyed all the regulations, even the rather harsh one about no swimming.
Hike Report - "Misunderstood"
I thought when I was ask to lead a road hike because regular deer season is open I planned on driving the car with flashers ahead of the hikers, but soon found out I was hiking. We hiked five and one half miles in Pharsalia Woods from North Road east on nine Mile T.T.,south on Fred Stewart road, West on Schwarz, north on North road.We stopped at Pharsalia Lean-To where Sharron had a couple of thermos of hot chocolate and cookies.An enjoyable hike with light snow falling.We had six hikers,Peg,Anne,Dave,Joyce,Sharron and Art.
Hike Report - December 3, 2017


Today’s hike had 6 people (Joyce Post, Anne Altshuler, Sharron
Sandberg, David Sadler, Maryann Weiss, and Peg Fuller)
It was a beautiful day 
to be outside. Approximately 40 degrees with
almost no wind and the sun shining.
We parked at the Kiosk on Johnson St, right off Rt. 42. Another
vehicle was parked there. It belonged to hunters and we saw them in
the distance walking out of the woods. Our hike stayed on the roads.
We walked up Johnson to Game Preserve Rd (or Elmer Jackson Rd Part 2
depending on what map you look at) We proceeded north and then made a
left onto Clarence Church Rd (this is incorrectly labeled Mud Rd on
the GPS map). We walked west on Clarence Church and made a left on Mud
Lane where we took a short break. We walked south on Mud Lane, which
lives up to its name. We then made a right back onto Johnson St and
walked back to the cars.
We walked 5.8 miles in 2 hours, 20 minutes.

Link to All Trails hike map -

Hike Report – Tues 28 Nov 2017 – Dunckel Road, Preston.



Another mild sunny afternoon on Tuesday 28 November 2017 had 5 hikers on Dunckel Road in Preston: John Alksnis, Anne Altshuler, Bob Smith, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.8 miles in 2.0 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.

We parked at the north end of Dunckel Road and hiked south to Preston Center. Whereupon, with great fanfare, we turned around and hiked back.

We paused to pay our respects at the Chase cemetery and found a stone fence in a marsh to be somehow amusing (see photos). The windswept bleakness of this area struggles to exert its own rugged beauty, such as this ancient barn in repose as black locusts dance (photo). The old chicken farm buildings have been removed and only the egg shed remains to house a new specialty business (photo).
Hike Report – Tue 21 Nov 2017 - Hunts Pond SF, NB

A warm, sunny afternoon in November is great for hiking, so on the 21st, 5 of us did just that. Hiking around Hunts Pond in New Berlin were Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Bob Smith, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. (See photo.) We covered 2.2 miles in 1.6 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.

We parked at the entrance and walked around the pond to the dam, paused to view a flock of Common Mergansers, and then ambled back to our car.


On Sunday 19 November 2017


 we did a road walk due to gun hunting season.
We had six hikers (David Sadler, Anne Altshuler, Sharron Sandberg,
Maryann Weiss, Joyce Post and Peg Fuller). We used a old hike Don uses
for road hikes. We parked at Pryde Park in Preston on Tamarac Rd. We
walked Tamarac Rd to McDonough Rd to Griffin Rd to Bliven-Shermann Rd
back to the cars.
We had snow falling most of the hike, possibly mixed with rain at
times. There was a strong wind. We did lots of up hills. Surprisingly
there was a lot of traffic on Griffin Rd (seasonal and not great
shape). Apparently, the hunters were not enjoying the weather and quit
early. There were more hunters driving down the road then in the
woods! We did hear a few shots. The walk bordered Bowman State Park
land and someone’s private property that had unique posting signs.
There was also a moth flying around, perhaps looking for warmer
weather.
We walked 6.6 miles in 2 hours and 50 minutes with an average speed of
2.5mph.  We had an elevation gain of 696 ft.

GPS of hike:
https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/preston--16

On Sunday, 5 hikers (Anne Altschuler, John Carhart, Joyce Post, David Sadler and Sharron Sandberg) journeyed to Pharsalia Woods for a walk along the back roads.


We started at the kiosk on John Smith Road and proceeded north to Johnson Street, then headed east to Benedict Hill Road, then south to the intersection at Bear Wallow Road when we stopped for break.  We followed Bear Wallow west to where it meets the blue trail of the FLT and, there being no sign of hunting activity, we followed the trail to Elmer Jackson Road and looped back to the kiosk.
We saw no hunters in the woods, but did encounter 8 vehicles patrolling the roads, including a caravan of 6!
Starting temperature 28F, ending 31F.
Distance 7.4 miles.
Time 3 hours, 20 minutes.
John

Hike Report – Tue 14 Nov 2017 – FLT Tower Rd, McD




A nice cold afternoon illuminated by subdued sunshine on Tuesday 14 November 2017 had 4 hikers in the McDonough State Forest: Anne Altshuler, Stan Benedict, Bob Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.8 miles in 2.4 hours for a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.

We parked on Tower Road at the road to the Berry Hill Tower and hiked south to the FLT. Whereupon we hiked easterly then westerly, crossed Tower Road and continued on the FLT southwesterly to Preston Road. We took that east to Tower Road and that northerly to our cars. We then hiked up to the Tower, looked at the vista, and ambled down to our cars.

Our group photo shows us admiring the recently felled tree trunk which was sawed so as to leave a truncated pyramid at its cut. (We think we know the identity of the sawyer.) I was wearing my blaze orange vest and matching chapeau, but was not the only one. Another photo shows that cautious Jelly Fungi were also decked out in orange. Can’t be too careful during hunting season. The third photo shows Bob Smith clambering up the Tower, enjoying the high point of ouroutdoorsy escapade.

Bullthistle Hiking Club hike on Nov. 12, 2017. Sunday.


We had 7 hikers (Sharron & Art Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, Joyce Post,
David Sadler, Anne Altshuler, and Peg Fuller). We parked on Engaard Rd
at the DEC Truck Rd in Ludlow Creek State Forest (FLT Map 24).
The sun was shining, and the air was crisp but not unbearably cold. We
proceeded north on Engaard and then made a right onto Tucker Rd. We
walked to the entrance to the FLT and proceeded to the Ludlow Lean-to.
We took a break at the lean-to and enjoyed the scenic view of the
cascades of the creek. We continued onto the FLT passing some of the
stone piles and then began backtracking. We turned onto the DEC Truck
Rd and walked the road back to the cars.
We hiked 4.8 miles and had an elevation gain of 367 feet and took 2
hours and 20 minutes to enjoy the hike.  For a comparison, yesterday’s
hike to Mariposa was an elevation of over 1200 feet. So today’s hike
was leisurely and relatively flat. We had some branches and trees to
step over and small hills.

Here is the GPS link from the hike:

Peg

BHC Hike on Saturday Nov. 11, 2017 – Veteran’s Day.


The hike began with a stop on Mariposa Rd (DeRuyter) at the memorial
in honor of Veteran’s Day.  The display is on private property and
honors all branches of the military service.  The hike was on the FLT
(Map 22).  We then began the hike at Linklean Rd (Rt. 53). Observing a
vehicle parked at the beginning we wondered if it was a bow hunter. We
proceeded easterly on the trail in approximately 1 inch of snow and
around 15 degrees and no wind. We encountered two men hiking out. They
had spent the night at Paradise Hill Lean to and it was their vehicle
at the beginning of the hike. They acknowledged they stayed in the
lean to on the coldest night this season. We chatted for a few minutes
and continued our hike. We briefly stopped at the lean to. Continuing
was seemed like a constant uphill hike, we crossed Paradise Hill Rd
and Wood Rd. We continued upward and took a snack break (longer then
our numerous breathing breaks) near the top of Stage Coach Hill.  We
continued south, crossing Dublin Rd and ascending more hills
zigzagging along the FLT. Our drop car was on Mariposa Road and we
were happy to be at the car.  All along the hike we noticed human
tracks (most likely hunters and animal tracks (the dollar bill is in
the picture for size reference), deer, either fox or coyote or some
other canine, numerous bird tracks and very small tracks, perhaps mice
or voles. We climbed and climbed in an inch or so of snow and numerous
wet spots. The creek crossings were relatively easy. The hills
appeared to grow as we climbed, and we discussed words to describe the
hike, such as beautiful, invigorating, great, grueling, and strenuous.
We hiked 5.8 miles in 4 hours. We had an elevation gain of 1217 ft.
There were some branches and trees down along the way. The sun was
shining brightly, and the temperatures warmed up a bit and it was
enjoyable hiking weather. We had 4 hikers (Joyce Post, David Sadler,
Sharron Sandberg, and Peg Fuller. The FLT crossing in and out of
Madison and Chenango Counties in the area we hiked. Tomorrow’s hike
promises to be a bit shorter and less ‘grueling’.


This is a link to a GPS All Trails map of our hike. I think you just
click on it and it will open:

-Peg

SUNDAY 11/5/2017 HIKE REPORT



Today the Bullthistle Hiking Club went to Whaupaunaucau State Forest.
Originally scheduled to be led by Don, but circumstances changed and
the 'hike' was led by Peg instead.
We began at the parking area by the long-gone kiosk on Post Road.
There were 7 hikers (Maryann Weiss, David Sadler, Anne Altshuler,
Barbara & Pete Bida, Joyce Post and Peg Fuller). We hiked for 2 hours
and 45 minutes going 5 miles. We hiked Post Rd to the Pine Marten Spur
and then onto trail 9. We looped trail 9 (not necessarily on purpose)
and back tracked to trail 13, where we took a break. We hiked to
Clements lean to and then continued to trail 16 and the DEC lean to
and then back to the cars.
The area has numerous trails and allows hikers to walk in multiple directions.
Surprisingly we found a red eft, late in the season, but the warm fall
might be why the eft is still out. We saw turkey and deer scratchings.
We also found a cross bow arrow embedded in a tree.

We had an enjoyable hike and look forward to next weekend

Peg

This link is a map of our hike:
https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/wappa-hike

Hike Report – Sun 15 Oct 2017 – Pharsalia WMA


Whereas the fall foliage has been disappointing, the fall weather has been marvelous, so far. On Sunday morning 15 October 2017 we had 8 hikers in the Pharsalia Wildlife Management area: Anne Altshuler, Karen Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, Joyce Post, David Sadler, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.0 miles in 2.8 hours for a speed of 2.1 miles per hour.

We parked at the DEC lot along Cole Hill Road near Pigeon Hill Road and hiked westerly to Benedict Hill Road, then trekked that southwesterly and turned westerly onto Bear Wallow Road. We took our welldeservedbreak along the northern upturn of Bear Wallow Road. Refreshed, we trundled to Johnson Street and took that easterly to a large apple orchard.

Some of us sampled the fare. Most of the low hanging fruit was already gone. We had to reach for some of the tart treats. See photo of new member David Sadler adroitly nabbing a red delight. We then continued ambling easterly to Benedict Hill Road and took that northeasterly to Cole Hill Road and our cars, passing two horsewomen on the way. Their horses were wearing special hoof covers that prevented the horseshoes from detaching.

The DEC erected a new kiosk since our previous visit, which was on 2 October 2016. Last year, but seems like yesterday (or this morning even…).

  • We had a wonderful day on the trails with lots of dogs and people.

  • One Oct. 14, 2017 we hiked 3.2 miles on private property and on the
    FLT in South Otselic. The weather was mid-60s and no rain.
    We had 20 people (Claire, Leonard, Janet, Joann, Dennis, Jane, Nike,
    Joe, John, Rainer, Donna, Ariel, Pete, Barb, Anne, Ted, Suzin, Kalvyn,
    Abbie and Peg) and 13 dogs (Heidi, Layla, Cece, Frida, Dusty, Edie,
    Sam, Hanna, Pepper, Maddox, Stitch, Hoot and Tripp).
    We hiked groomed trails, uphill and down. While on the private
    property some of the dogs ran off leash and happily followed Tripp
    exploring the property. We had some muddy spots. The leaves were past
    peak but we still had enjoyable views. We had several water breaks,
    especially for the dogs. We hiked part of the section of the FLT from
    Stage Road to Warner and crossed Warner Rd onto the FLT, hiking to the
    registry box before turning back. The apples trees still had plenty of
    apples for people to enjoy.
    Once back to the start some hikers stayed for some snacks and hotdogs
    and hamburgers, allowing human and animal to relax after the great
    hike.
    Special thanks to Abbie Tamber for assisting with this hike.
    I am already looking forward to the next dog hike!

    -Peg Fuller
      • Hike Report – Sun 8 Oct 2017 – Joe and other Lincklaen Roads

        Sunday morning, 8 October 2017, looked like November but felt like August, with foreboding clouds and warm temperatures. Fall foliage colors were disappointing generally, but quite brilliant in particular instances. See photo of a red maple. We had 5 hikers in the Lincklaen State Forest: Anne Altshuler, John Nesbitt, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. See group photo. We covered 6.5 miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 2.0 miles per hour.

        We parked on Joe Road just north of Bowen Hill Road and hiked south on Joe, turned west on Neal Road and then northerly on Murray Road. We turned easterly on Husted Road, where at the top of the hill, we took our welldeservedbreak. Refreshed, we trundled down to Joe Road and took it southerly to our car.

        At the north end of Joe Road we encountered a patch of Japanese Knotweed (=”Bamboo”). Most flowers of this plant do not result in fruit, but bushes here were loaded with the tetrahedral seedpods. See photo. While the colors were disappointing, the hike was not. This loop provides beautiful scenery.

      • A few pictures from today, Oct 7, 2017 at the YMCA Camp.



      • Beautiful sunset.
        Don Windsor will receive his award at the next hike meeting. It is for
        all his hikes he leads.

        Larry Chesboro received awards for tril maintance and for completing
        the 2017 BHC challenge by hiking the FLT in Chenango County in July
        and August.

        Peg

Hike – Sun 1 Oct 2017 – FLT, Oxford+Smithville




Foggy, cold start to a sunny, warm Sunday morning on the FLT in Oxford and Smithville on 1 October 2017 had 7 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Karen Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, Joyce Post, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.3 miles in 4.3 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.

We parked by the railroad tracks on South Oxford Bridge Road and hiked the FLT westerly to Buckley Hollow Road and the northerly to the top of the hill. Whereupon, we took our welldeservedbreak. Refreshed, we turned around and backtracked to our cars.

Just prior to reaching our cars we followed the old Chenango Canal northerly to Lock 99, the crown jewel of what remains of the canal. (See attached photos) Opened in 1837, the canal ceased in 1878. Along the FLT just north of Buckley Hollow is a long stretch of Bitternut Hickories, its nuts lavishly strewn over the ground. Plenty of Shagbark Hickories too.

The Bullthistle Hiiking Club (Peg Fuller, Art & Sharron Sandberg) led


a hike for Norwich Middles School Art teacher, Matt Wilson, and 13 of
his Photograpghy class. Five parents also hiked. The group set out
from the new DEC parking on Johnson St and hiked up the road to the
FLT entranace. Hiking south on the FLT we enjoyed photographying
everything - trees, mushrooms, flowers, bugs, chipmunks, etc. We
stopped at Jackson Pond for more pictures. We continued on the FLT
crossing John Smith Rd to Elmer Jackson Rd. We hiked down Elmer Jackon
to Lower Pond and the DEC kisosk. Additional pictures were taken at
the pond while drivers were shuffled back for the cars.

We hiked 2.8 miles in 1 hour 40 minutes. It was a beautiful afternoon
for a hike with weather conditions near perfect.

-Peg

Hike Report – Sun 24 Sep 2017 – German Roads



The End was supposed to come yesterday, but we found it today. Peg has a photo of it. On a beautiful summer-like Sunday morning 24 September 2017 we had 5 hikers on the roads in German: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.7 miles in 3.5 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.

We parked in the place on Gramch Road with the NO PARKING AT ANY TIME sign. It is on state land but is not a state sign. And we hiked south on Gramch, then southeasterly on Shingle Street. We took our welldeservedbreak at a logging stage. Refreshed, we ventured into a nearby barn and house foundation. See photo. We turned north on Pheasant Farm Road to Birdlebough Road, where we turned west to Gramch and north to our cars.

We found a large patch of blooming Nodding Lady Tresses in a field drainage ditch. We were disappointed at the leaf foliage, especially their falling. The colors were subdued and many trees are leafless. This autumn may be barren, bereft, and bewildering.

3rd Thursday hike report

On Thursday, 21 September we had 6 hikers, Anne Altshuler, Bob Smith, Janet Little, Nancy Ritzel, John Alknis and Carol Smith, hiking the Link Trail in Mueller Hill State Forest. We skipped the car shuttle and did an in and out hike. The trail was marked fairly well but still hard to follow in places because the trail is seldom used but we found our way. Some of us turned back early due to time constraints but the rest of us did a total of 3 miles in about 2 hours. We enjoyed the beautiful weather and being in the woods.

Carol

Sent from my iPad Hike Report – Sun 17 Sep 2017 – FLT Oxford, Guilford, Bainbridge



What a difference a week makes. On Sunday 17 September 2017 the autumnal colors were way more widespread and brilliant than last week, with goldenrods and asters in peak bloom. We had 7 hikers on the FLT in Oxford, Guilford, and Bainbridge: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Gina Wotasek, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.7 miles in 2.9 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked at the trailhead on Cooper School House Road and hiked southerly on Case Road to the trailhead south of Searles Hill Road. We then took that east and then northerly back to our cars. We took our welldeservedbreak near Searles Hill Road. The trail was in good shape and dryer than expected.

Two photos are attached: our group shot in front of a wide tract of goldenrod; the other of New England asters.

Hike Report – Sun 10 Sep 2017 - Balsam Swamp SF, Pharsalia


Another ideal-for-hiking, early autumn, sunny Sunday morning had 5 hikers in the Balsam Swamp State Forest in Pharsalia: Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered about 4.8 miles in 3.4 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.

We parked in the DEC lot by the dam and splashed through the spillway and through the woods to the dam. As we hiked westerly on the dam we spotted an adult Bald Eagle and several Great Blue Herons. At the end of the dam we went into the woods and bushwhacked along the Balsam Pond shore, eventually veering west to higher ground. We paused for a group photo with an old car that was becoming part of its environment. Art identified it as a 1954-57 Plymouth. See photo; look for Art in the front window. Another photo shows a young birch tree growing on the car roof in soil generated by fallen leaves.

We continued northerly, following DEC blazes. When the blazes turned west, we took our welldeservedbreak at the stone fence corner. Refreshed, we trundled through the ferns, coarse woody debris, and thick understory vegetation to County Road 7. We followed 7 northerly walking in the forest. We then turned onto Fultner Road and hiked easterly, turning south onto Harrington Road, and then to Balsam-Tyler Road southerly to our car.

The dam spillway hosts a large growth of the Nodding Lady’s Tresses orchid, the largest tract I have ever seen. See photo. Fall wildflowers festooned our entire hike. I dutifully ate my annual hawthorn and enjoyed a feral apple. I can now begin slouching toward winter by becoming one with the Earth.



Hike Report – Sun 3 Sep 2017 – Whaupaunaucau SF, NN



A perfect morning for a gloomy, rainy hike! So, on Sunday 3 September 2017, we 3 hikers ventured into the Whaupaunaucau State Forest in North Norwich: Anne Altshuler, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. (Note group photo.) We covered 3.4 miles in 2.8 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked in the lot at the lower gate and hiked up the Truck Trail, past the T, and then picked up Trail 12, which we took to the Clement leanto. We pause for our break and then followed trails 16 and 20 back to our cars.

As indicated by our speed, this hike transcended to a botanical excursion. We found the Bottle Gentians first discovered by John Carhart several years ago. (See other photo.) They now form a lush growth stretching over a hundred feet. The prize of the day was a vigorous growth of Rattlesnake Plantain orchids displaying 6 flowering spikes and about 3 dozen small plants. We encountered a family of Wood Ducks as well as a herd of slugs devouring a road-killed Red Eft. We also found many other early autumnal delights. The rainy woods on a gloomy day offer a unique perspective on ecosystem aesthetics.


Hike Report – Sun 27 Aug 2017 – FLT, Otselic








Another fantastic Sunday morning 27 August 2017 had 9 hikers in the woods of Otselic: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Tripp Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Robin VanWagner, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.7 miles in 3.5 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour. Our elevation gain was 876 Feet.



We parked at the Fuller residence on Stage Road and Peg guided us around the trails she and Mike built. We then picked up the FLT and hiked it northerly, crossing Will Warner Road, and through the Otselic State Forest. We took our welldeservedbreak on Winston Braxton’s bench. See photo.

Refreshed, we continued northerly until we crossed Partridge Road (=Truck Trail). We then took said road southerly, crossed Will Warner Road again, and picked up Peg’s trail and headed to our cars.



An old legend has it that any hiker who sits on the Braxton bench and makes a wish will get good luck. I wish every time that I may be allowed to sit on this bench again. So far, this wish has been granted.
Hike Report – Sun 20 Aug 2017 – Mariposa SF, Lincklaen+Georgetown


A beautiful Sunday morning 20 August 2017 had 4 hikers in the Mariposa State Forest in Lincklaen, Otselic, and Georgetown: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.4 miles in 4.5 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked on Mariposa Road (=County Road 13) and hiked easterly on the FLT, crossed Bamberry Road, and continued to the Link Trail. We then trekked northerly on the Link to Madison County Road 58. We took our welldeserved break prior to CR 58. We then turned around and backtracked to our cars.

The Mariposa State Forest is a nice place to hike and the FLT is in good shape. Our slow speed indicates how we paused many times to see the sights. The highlight for me was the old stump serving as a nurse for 4 yellow birch. See photo. We had plenty of stream crossings but the water levels were low. One stream did have a bridge; see other photo.
Poker Run Hike Report


This was a hike --poker run --cook out at the Pharsalia Lean-To.We had eight Bullthistle Hikers. Anne,Allen,Joyce,Peg,Pete,Colleen,Sharron and Art. After a short hike we had a cook out of hot dogs,chips cookies and cake but these calories were offset by a dish of fresh veggies.Colleen had the highest total of five cards to win the hiking throphy,Pete had the lowest total to win a hiking stick.We loaded up our wagon and backpacks and called it another good day in the woods.

Hike Report – Sun 13 Aug 2017 – Perkins Pond SF, Pharsalia


A beautiful morning for hiking on Sunday 13 August 2017, but we had only 2 hikers: Anne Altshuler and Don Windsor. We decided to forgo the Mariposa hike and instead hike in a place where a pack of hikers might be too hasty to enjoy the local discoveries, the Perkins Pond State Forest in Pharsalia. We covered 4.8 miles in 3.9 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked on Beardsley Road just off County Road 42 and hiked westerly to George White Road. We then trekked northerly to Northwest Corners, where we paused to take our welldeservedbreak. Group photo shows hiker contemplating in the Gladding Cemetery. Refreshed, we ambled up and back on the same route.

Our slow speed reflects our many pauses as we noted many items of interest. One photo shows a portion of what looks like a plank road. Note the staggered ends, which allowed wagon wheels to regain a purchase if they happen to veer off and sought to get back on. The section of planks was about a rod across (16.5 feet) and about 51 feet long. An adjacent section was partially buried.

The Plank Road from the Village of Norwich to the hamlet of South Otselic followed what is now State Route 23, County Road 42, and Plank (Gorge) Road. Were these sections from that mid 1800s road, or what? I will have to research this. Note the doll's eyes staring at us in the photo.


Hike Report– Sun 6 Aug 2017 – McD+Genegantslet sfs




This week in August is the midpoint of summer, but the cool weather was more like fall on Sunday 6 August 2017 when 7 hikers trekked through the McDonough and Genegantslet state forests on seldom-traveled roads: Anne Altshuler, Trip Fuller, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.6 miles in 3.1 hours for a zippy speed of 2.1 miles per hour.

We parked on Pooler Road just south of State Route 220 and walked southerly on Pooler and southeasterly on Chestnut Road and then southwesterly on Shore Road to Waldon Road. We then headed back on the same route, pausing for our welldeservedbreak up hill from our turn around.

These three roads were in excellent shape and provide some diverse habitats. See attached group photos, one in front of a prairie and one in a dark, wet hemlock swamp.

On Saturday Aug. 5, we hiked 3 miles in Norwich (West Hill area).


We
had 4 hikers (Anne Altshuler, Mariann Weiss, Hollie Huff and Peg
Fuller). The hike was short but a good workout - up hill both ways.
We hiked for 2 hours. We stopped at the star light, bell, bullhorn
thing and also crossed the bridge, but we avoided the main shrine like
area and hiked the woods exploring the many mushrooms, red efts,
slugs, and toads. We even saw a purple mushroom thanks to Anne
spotting it. The hike was enjoyable on a cool summer morning.

Peg


Hike Report – Sun 30 July 2017 – Long Pond SF, Smithville




Superb weather for being outdoors was relished by 8 hikers in the Long Pond State Forest in Smithville: Anne Altshuler, Nancy Brienza, Peg Fuller, Jeanne Jensch, Mike Messere, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.2 miles in 3.4 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.



We parked at the DEC kiosk on State Route 41 and walked southeasterly, crossed the bridge, and then hiked south and westerly on the snowmobile trail. Upon reaching the Chenango-Broome county line, we took our welldeservedbreak on the nearby bridge.



Refreshed, we posed for a group photo (attached). and then backtracked. Toward the end we veered over to check the Long Pond outlet bridge and the floating island. Superb weather indeed!
Saturday July 29, 2017 was a beautiful day for a hike. Absolutely
perfect for the Annual Ed Sidote FLT hike. The hike was on FLT Map 23
in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest (aka New Michigan State Forest).
We kicked off the event at 9 AM at Nine Mile Truck Trail and Fred Stewart Rd.
We had a total of 30 hikers and one person (Mike Fuller) that stayed
to maintain the campfire and lean-to area for the picnic.
The shorter hike was led by Art & Sharron Sandberg with Donna Coon as
the sweep. There were 11 hikers on the 3.9 mile hike that looped down
Fred Stewart Rd westward into the woods on the FLT, passing the old
foundation of Fred Stewart's house, and looping onto the blue trail
and back to the Pharsalia Lean to.
The longer hike originally scheduled for 8 miles was cut to a 5.5 mile
hike which accommodated the picnic and appeared to please most hikers.
The longer hike was led by peg Fuller with Bruce Coon as the sweep.
There were 19 hikers on the long hike. That hike proceeded down Fred
Stewart Rd and went east to the FLT and north to the blue trail,
looping back to Stewart and heading north on the road and west to the
FLT and ultimately to the lean to. The hike went thru the blow down
area where many briar bushes are sure to produce a huge crop of
berries very soon.
Both hikes noted the muddy sections of the trail with all the recent
rain and the abundance of various fungus.
The hikes ended at the Ed Sidote "Mr. FLT" bench and at the Pharsalia
Lean to where hotdogs, salads, chips, veggies, fruit, and water were
bountiful and enjoyed by happy hikers.
Special thanks to Carrie Williams for the short hike pictures included
in this e-mail. Long hike by Peg Fuller.
Pictures and an article coming soon to the FLT News magazine (hopefully)!

-Peg

Saturday July 29, 2017 was a beautiful day for a hike.



Absolutely
perfect for the Annual Ed Sidote FLT hike. The hike was on FLT Map 23
in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest (aka New Michigan State Forest).
We kicked off the event at 9 AM at Nine Mile Truck Trail and Fred Stewart Rd.
We had a total of 30 hikers and one person (Mike Fuller) that stayed
to maintain the campfire and lean-to area for the picnic.
The shorter hike was led by Art & Sharron Sandberg with Donna Coon as
the sweep. There were 11 hikers on the 3.9 mile hike that looped down
Fred Stewart Rd westward into the woods on the FLT, passing the old
foundation of Fred Stewart's house, and looping onto the blue trail
and back to the Pharsalia Lean to.
The longer hike originally scheduled for 8 miles was cut to a 5.5 mile
hike which accommodated the picnic and appeared to please most hikers.
The longer hike was led by peg Fuller with Bruce Coon as the sweep.
There were 19 hikers on the long hike. That hike proceeded down Fred
Stewart Rd and went east to the FLT and north to the blue trail,
looping back to Stewart and heading north on the road and west to the
FLT and ultimately to the lean to. The hike went thru the blow down
area where many briar bushes are sure to produce a huge crop of
berries very soon.
Both hikes noted the muddy sections of the trail with all the recent
rain and the abundance of various fungus.
The hikes ended at the Ed Sidote "Mr. FLT" bench and at the Pharsalia
Lean to where hotdogs, salads, chips, veggies, fruit, and water were
bountiful and enjoyed by happy hikers.
Special thanks to Carrie Williams for the short hike pictures included
in this e-mail. Long hike by Peg Fuller.
Pictures and an article coming soon to the FLT News magazine (hopefully)!

-Peg

Hike – Sun 23 July 2017 – FLT Basswood SF, Oxford









A nice warm Sunday morning, 23 July 2017, had 10 hikers in the Basswood + Wiley Brook State Forests: Anne Altshuler, Elizabeth Fahey, Andie Fuller, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Gene Poulin, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.4 miles in 4.3 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour. See attached photos.





We parked at the DEC kiosk on Dr. Crouch Road and hiked up the Truck Trail to the FLT. Whereupon we hiked southerly, passing Shapley Road on to Mud Pond. We the ambled close to the pond for our welldeservedbreak. Refreshed, we backtracked to our cars.





The FLT is in good shape and, as is customary, we flicked deadfall off the trail. The trailhead at the Truck Trail needs an official trailhead sign.





Of particular note is the number of large (greater than 6 inch diameter) tree trunks that are over the trail. Between the Truck Trail and Shapley Road are at least 4 dozen. Between Shapley and Mud Pond there are about a dozen. Chainsawing all of these trees would be a major project. Some work has already been started just north of Shapley. Some of these fallen trees have our FLT blazes on them. These fallen trees are not victims of a logging operation; they are just trees that were blown down. They are not all in one place, but are evenly distributed along the trail.

On a warm Thursday, 20 July we had 8 hikers in the Pharsalia Woods. Hikers included Anne Altshuler, Sue McVaugh, Nancy Ritzel, Mary Ritzel, Art and Sharron Sandberg, Bob Smith and Carol Smith. We hiked about 2 miles in about 1.75 hours. This included a nice long break at the Lean-to. It was so nice there and everyone was so impressed that we just made ourselves at home. Don't tell anyone, but it looks like there will be lots of blackberries in the blowdown. It was really a nice day to be in the woods.

Carol


Hike report – Sun 16 July 2017 – Mariposa SF, Lincklaen+DeRuyter



On an ideal Sunday morning, 16 July 2017, We hiked the FLT in the Mariposa State Forest. Although we had only 3 hikers, we did encounter 12 Apostles and their Fearless Leader along Paradise Hill. (See Carol’s photos.) Hiking were Anne Altshuler, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.6 miles in 3.1 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We parked on Wood Road and hiked the FLT west. We took our break at the Paradise Garden Leanto and continued to the Reliable Stream crossing. The water was so swift and deep that we decided to hike the Orange Trail back to the main FLT and backtrack to our car. This shortened the intended distance of our hike.

The Orange Trail is a real mountain goat path, steeply up hill. Our group photo is attached. It was taken on the Orange Trail along a tributary to Reliable Stream. The woods were very wet, but the FLT was well marked and the part above water was in good shape.

Hike report – Lyon Brook SF, Guilford+ Oxford



A sunny, pleasant Sunday morning 9 July 2017, perfect for hiking, had only 2 hikers: Anne Altshuler and Don Windsor. So, rather than driving all the way to Mariposa, we decided to go into the Lyon Brook State Forest in Guilford and Oxford. This place is too short for our regular hikes, but Anne and I like to wander around looking for unusual stuff. We ambled for about 2.5 miles.

We parked at the kiosk and walked the truck trail to its turn-around and then backtracked. At the rock city we encountered a lush growth of Goldie’s Fern. Farther along the TT we noticed many Hop Hornbeams flowering (see photos). At the hemlock swamp atop the hill we explored what we could. Many of the older trees have blown down and the swamp now has much more light (photo).

After returning to the kiosk we took a break at the old barn foundation. This barn and its farmhouse foundations are among the best in the county. Grumpy old men (such as yours truly) are just young boys at heart. Attached is an action photo of me sliding down the silo chute.
Hike Report - 8 July 2017






I was worried about thunderstorms and it turned out to be a beautiful
afternoon for a hike. See the blue skies, just spectacular. We had 5
hikers (Carrie WIlliams, an O'Shea, Brenda Thorna, Yvonne Wilson, and
Peg Fuller) on Saturday, July 8, 2017. We hiked from Stage Road (463)
on private property lopping east and then west, crossing Thompson
Creek and through the woods onto the FLT. We proceed north on the FLT
to Warner Rd and into the Otselic Forest to Partridge Hill Rd. We
walked south on Partridge Hill to Warner and back onto the FLT. We cut
back east onto my property and back across the creek and around the
trails back to the house. We completed 6 miles on one GPS (Cellphone
app) and 6.5 on anothr GPS (handheld). We are agreeing it felt like at
least 6.5 miles. We started at 3 PM and ended at 6:30 PM. The hills
were not bad, but there are numerous hills as is typical for Chenango
County. The mud was there, but wasn't as bad as last week. The creek
wasn't bad except for when I lost my footing and almost fell in. The
funnest was walking in the upper meadow and a grouse jump up out of
the weeds about 2 feet from me and made me jump sky high. We
encountered a toad while taking our break at the Braxton bench. He
just sat there posing for pictures, or perhaps he was taking a break
too. We made sure he started to hop away when we started hiking again.
If anyone ca identify the purple flower, I would appreciate

Hike report – Sun 2 July 2017 – FLT Bainbridge


Hike the FLT or bushwhack? Hey, on the FLT from Neff Hill Road to the powerlines you can do both, simultaneously. This section of the FLT has several large trees down blocking the trail and has several stretches severely eroded.

On a pleasant sunny Sunday morning we had 4 hikers on the FLT between Neff Hill Road and Route 206: Anne Altshuler, Dan O’Shea, Carrie Williams, and Don Windsor. We hiked 3.0 miles in 2.7 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour.

We left a car on Route 206 and drove to Neff Hill Road and parked at the trailhead. See photo of Sidote Country sign. We then sloshed up the overgrown FLT to the Powerlines, where took our well-deserved break. See photo. Refreshed, we climbed up the Camels Back, pausing to enjoy the nice vista of the mighty Susquehanna River, the old Delaware & Hudson Railroad bridge, and the Sidney airport. See photo. Upon reaching the top of the Camel we hiked down to Route 206 and drove to get our other car.


Hike report – Sun 25 June 2017 – Mariposa SF, Lincklaen+Deruyter





A strenuous hike on a beautiful summer morning in the Mariposa State forest, Lincklaen+Deruyter had 6 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, Yvonne Wilson, and Don Windsor. We hiked 6.8 miles in 5.1 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour. Elevation gain was 678 feet.



We parked at the trailhead on County Road 13 and hiked the FLT westerly, crossing Dublin Road and continuing to Wood Road., where we paused for our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we backtracked to our cars. Attached Photo.



This stretch would be better done in the reverse direction, west to east, so that the long, steep climb would occur prior to the midpoint break. The largest white ash I haver ever seen is on the FLT just west of Route 13. The FLT is in great shape and we, as per custom, flicked off the few pieces of deadfall. 

Hi All,
Mucho hills! Don wasn't kidding. I got home and found out I blew out one of my gel insoles!
Too many photos for one email so there will be another with more.
Thanks for a good hike Don- the weather was perfect.
Maryann






Hike Report 24 June 2017


Prior to today's hike, there was a presentation at the Norwich YMCA on
the Basics of Hiking at 9 AM. Fifteen people attended the presentation
and 8 people went on the hike afterwards. The hike began at Fred
Stewart Rd and Truck Trail 9. The weather was beautiful. Mushrooms
are growing all over. The creek was running high and the trails were
wet from the overnight heavy rain. Red Efts were numerous. After
hiking north on Fred Stewart Rd we entered the FLT on the blue spur
trail and then continued onto the main FLT, ultimately hiking south tp
the Pharsalia Lean to and the Ed Sidote Bench. We took a break at the
lean-to and continued on the FLT back to our cars. The hike was
approximately 3.5 miles. The hike bgan at 10:30 and completed at 12:45
PM.
Hikers were: Yvonne W, Jacqueline M, Nicole R, Bonnie G, Art S,
Sharron S, Alice M, and Peg F.

Hike report – Sun 18 June 2017 – Bobell Hill SF, Coventry





A warm, humid Sunday morning, 18 June 2017, had 6 hikers in the Bobell Hill State Forest in Coventry: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, Yvonne Wilson, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.7 miles in 3.9 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.

We parked at the vandalized kiosk on Wylie-Horton Road and hiked northeasterly on the snowmobile trail, crossing Cueball Road we continued to the DEC boundary. We then paused for our well-deserved break (see photo). Refreshed, we followed the DEC blazes east until we encountered a grassy road festooned with wildflowers. We took this road east and stayed on as it veered southeasterly. Upon reaching a herd of cows we turned west and picked up the DEC blazes and followed them south to Wylie-Horton. We then went westerly to Cueball and took that south to the Chapel Cemetery, where we paid our respects. We then headed north on Cueball to Wylie-H and took that back to our cars.

This route is a nice loop through many different habitats, high grasslands, hemlock swamps, and upland forests.
Hike report 6/8/17


This was another truck trail hike because the trails are so wet and muddy. We had two hikers A.@S. Sandberg with a plan of five and half miles across Brookfield Stateland from Moscow Hill to Shawler Brook Road.We had no complaints so we went two more miles just to enjoy somemore of the 13,000 acres available here.We took a short side trip to Lost Pond and to the waterfalls and to Cherry Ridge campsites.These campsites are very clean and no charge.With tables, fireplaces and portajohns this place gets very little use.A great place to hike but expect it to be wet with a few hills----but it's still better than a treadmill.
 

Hike report – Sun 4 June 2017 – FLT Pharsalia+Otselic


A trail so nice, we hiked it twice! In a grand loop we hiked our new Perkins Trail to begin and to close our hike on Sunday 4 June 2017 in the Perkins Pond State Forest and the Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area. We had 8 hikers: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, Yvonne Wilson, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.9 miles in 3.2 hours for a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.

We parked at the lot across from Perkins Pond and hiked north on Plank Road. We picked up the new trail (built yesterday) and took it easterly to the blue Leanto trail, continuing on that until the main FLT. After admiring some Pink Ladyslipper Orchids, we took the FLT southerly to Johnson Street. To our mutual surprise we encountered John Carhart and Stan Benedict working on the FLT. We continued easterly on Johnson Street to Mud Lane, where we took our well-deserved break, noting the raindrops starting to fall.

Refreshed, we gingerly plodded northerly to the Mud Lane Extension and took that westerly past the FLT trailhead to the green-octopus parking space and then southerly to the Perkins leanto (see photo). We then hiked the Perkins Trail westerly to Plank Road, as the rain fell more heavily. We then took Plank southerly back to our cars, in a heavy downpour.






The Bullthistle Hiking Club built a section of trail that connect
Plank Rd to the blue trail going to Perkins Lean to on Map 23. The
distance is .45 of a mile.
We had a great group of volunteers and we finished the trail in 2
hours. Final touch ups will be completed soon (such as signs and
paint). The hard working crew consisted of: Art & Sharron Sandberg,
Pete & Colleen Stapleton, Peg & Mike Fuller, Larry Chesboro, Warren
Johnson, Rich Breslin, Claire Ders, Don Windsor and Anne Alsthuler.
The new section will allow interesting loop hikes.
Hike report– Sun 28 May 2017 – E German + 5-Streams SF



A nice morning on Sunday 28 May 2017 had 3 hikers in the Five-Streams State Forest near East German: Joe Angelino, Dominic Shea, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.5 miles in 4.5 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour. Vertical ascent was 373 feet.

We parked on Loomis Road and hiked south on Townline Road to Jones Road. We then hiked west, crossing Skillman Road, and taking the trail up to the lovers leap (see attached photo). We then hiked upstream (northerly) on the eastern bank of Five-Streams until we found a place to cross to the west bank. After we did, we continued westerly to an ATV trail and took that to Seymour Road. After checking out the lush vegetation on the 2015 fire site (attached photo), we took our well-deserved break. We acknowledged Memorial Day by recollecting that we represented three branches of the military: Army, Navy, and Marines.

Refreshed, we continued northerly on Pucker Street up to Cross Road. We then headed easterly, bushwhacking to investigate an intriguing land formation and then crossing Five-Streams again and easterly to Skillman Road. We took that road southerly to Jones and then east to Townline and Loomis east to our car.

Naturewise, we noticed a porcupine den and encountered a tiny newborn Red-bellied Snake.



We had a fun four legged good time on the dog hike on Sunday May 28th.
The hike had lots of legs - 58. There were 13 humans and 8 dogs. The
hikers were - Claire Ders and Heidi, Gary Bustas, Art & Sharron
Sandberg, Robin VanWagner and Rudy, Janet & Leonard Suda and Layla,
MaryAnn Weiss and Troy, Anne Altshuler, Carol & Erin Lawrence & Max,
Abbie Tamber and Hoot and Stitch, and Peg Fuller and Tripp.

We parked on Stewart Rd and Nine Mile Rd in Pharsalia Woods. We hiked
north on Stewart Rd and went west into the woods on the FLT. We
followed the blue trail to the main FLT trail. Continuing on the FLT
we crossed a creek and the dogs had a great time. We stopped at the
Sidote Bench and took a break at the Pharsalia Lean-to. We continue on
the FLT back to our cars.

We traveled 3 miles in 2 hours. We saw blooming May Flowers along the way.

Peg


Hike report – Sun 21 May 2017 – Headwaters of the Ludlow Creek, McDonough 
 

We 6 hikers traced two of the Ludlow Creek headwater streams on Sunday morning 21 May 2017 in McDonough: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Joyce Post, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.3 miles in 3.7 hours for a speed of 0.9 miles per hour.

Why so slow? Because this hike was mostly bushwhacking.

We parked at the CCC camp on State Route 220 and hiked south on, and along, the former utility corridor to an unnamed abandoned road. We then turned west and ambled over to Pooler Road. We took Pooler southerly to a headwater marsh and followed the Stream southeasterly to the powerline. We then followed DEC boundary blazes north a short way and then east to another headwater stream. We paused on the way at some bedrock outcrops for our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we continued east until the stream. Whereupon, we trekked upstream to Route 220. We then stayed in the woods going northwesterly to our cars.

Maryann spotted a porcupine den under the ledge we were perched on for our break. All along these streams we were on the lookout for stone piles, but (alas) we found none. We did notice that the western land along where we took our break was stepped and had rock outcrops, very similar to the stone pile sites farther south. So, further investigation of this area is warranted. The attached photo shows our weary group sitting on the hearth of the old CCC mess hall fireplace after our hike.


Hike report – Sun 14 May 2017 – McDonough SF 
 

Our seemingly daily rain held off until we finished hiking as the first rumble of thunder greeted our emergence from the woods. On Sunday morning 14 May 2017 we had 7 hikers in the McDonough State Forest: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered 7.1 miles in 3.6 hours for a speed of 2.0 miles per hour.

We parked on Sherman Road near the FLT trailhead and hiked the FLT southwesterly to East McDonough. We crossed State Route 220 and the little park and took the FLT southwesterly to the Rucker homestead, where we veered westerly to Shortcut Road and continued going westerly and then northerly to the powerlines. We then hiked east along the powerlines until we took our well-deserved power break and then veered into the woods when we saw water ahead and bushwhacked southeasterly to the FLT. Once back on the FLT we backtracked to our cars.

We had hoped to find the parking area and handicap accessible trail that appears on a DEC map. We did not find it. Toothwort was everywhere and dwarf ginseng was plentiful. Blueberry bushes were blooming. The hand-painted homemade FLT signs cast a special ambiance to this stretch. The attached photo shows our group admiring one.

Hike report – Sun 7 May 2017 – Basswood SF, Oxford


Cold temperatures allow spring to dance in slow motion, so on Sunday morning 7 May 2017 we took a prolonged view of a stage of vernal development in a sylvan environment. We had 4 hikers in the Basswood State Forest in Oxford: Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.9 miles in 4.1 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.


We parked on Quarry Road near Gospel Hill Road and gingerly hiked southerly up Quarry Road. We veered westerly into the woods to view some very old sugar maples and then returned to the road and up to the Truck Trail. Whereupon, we took that southwesterly to the FLT, where we went north a short distance and then enjoyed our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we continued on the FLT through the many different habitats. This section is always a treat to traverse.


Crossing the swift currents of the widened Shapley Brook turned out to be rather daunting, We had to follow it upstream to find a suitable place, which was almost to Brooksbank Road. We then took Brooksbank to Quarry and that northerly to our car. The attached two photos were taken prior to our brook crossing. I did not take any during the crossing.


Hike report – Sun 30 Apr 2017 – Frenchmans Road, Plymouth + Bigfoot


A very unusual hike indeed. We not only encountered Bigfoot, we took a group photo with him. See attached.

On Sunday morning, 30 April 2017, we had 15 hikers in the Plymouth portion of the Pharsalia Woods: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Peggy Carlin, Julie Fleming, Tom Fleming, Peg Fuller, Susan Pasachnik, Amanda Phillips, Joyce Post, Nancy Ritzel, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.6 miles in 3.8 hours for a speed of 1.7 miles per hour.

We parked in the DEC lot at the end of Elmer Harris Road south of the Plymouth Reservoir. We hiked southerly to the Truck Trail and then easterly to the private parcel trailer park. At the appropriate spot at the end of state land, we turned southerly into the woods to an old foundation. We took our well-deserved break and then hiked westerly on Frenchmans Road to the former Noble house and then through the plantation northerly to the Truck Trail and then backtracked to our cars.

While in the parking lot, just ready to embark, Jonathan and Dawn Pugh walked by. Jon identified himself as the person who put up the Bigfoot effigy. We then all rushed over to take a group photo with this famous denizen of the forests. See attached photo. We ran into Bigfoot again while on the Truck Trail. See other photo.




We did a presentation at Rogers Environmental Center on the basics of hiking.
We then went to Adams Farm for a 2 mile hike. There were 7 of us
(Susan Pasachnik, Sarron & Art Sandberg, Joyce Post, Peggy Carlin,
Carol Smith and Peg Fuller).
We hiked for an hour and had an excellent time looking at the
beautiful spring flowers. If you get a chance to hike this section
(easy hike) in the next few days, I recommend it. I have never seen so
many Tirullium in bloom (red, white, and what appeared to be pinkish).
The flowers don't last long, so go and enjoy now.

Peg Fuller


On Thursday, April 27th, Abbie Tamber and I along with 4 dogs, hiked
from Basswood Rd trail head by Coventry Rd west towards the Basswood
rd trail head by Wilcox Rd. We are planning for our dog hike on May
13th and we wanted to see if this spot would be a good dog hike.
Couple thing - no it will not work for a dog hike. The terrain is a
bit tough and with dogs on leashes pulling it made the creek crossings
hard, there are some narrow trail spots, rocky areas, and there is
some trail maintenance to be done beforehand. The spot is my faviote
on the FLT in Chenango county and it was beautiful with the creek
running. We stopped before we got to the end and then backtracked. We
stopped because one of the downhills to cross the creek would have
been very difficult for me with my one dog pulling the way he was (he
loves water and was overly excited). So we will not do this section
as a official dog hike. I do encourage hikers to go out and I will do
a short hike over there soon without dogs.
The other reason I am telling you is we came out with deer ticks.
Abbie found them on her and at least one of her dogs and I found one
on me. So they are out there and I urge you to use repellant and wear
light colored clothing.

Peg

Hike report – Sun 23 Apr 2017 – Beaver Meadow SF, Otselic+Smyrna 




Frustrated. Those large spruce trees so clearly visible from County Road 16 could not be found on our hike on Sunday 23 April 2017. Nevertheless, we 5 hikers had a perfect spring morning bushwhacking through the Beaver Meadow State Forest in Otselic and Smyrna: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.3 miles in 4.1 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour.

We parked on Reit Road south of Ivan Stannard Road and hiked southerly on Reit. At what I thought was the proper place to head east into the woods we moseyed northeasterly to the DEC boundary around an inholding and then north along the boundary until the boundary turned east and downhill to the Experimental Forest water weir. Thereupon, we took our well-deserved break and confronted the outlet creek, which posed a challenging crossing. Actually, it turned out to be as easy as falling off a log.

We then marched up the DEC weir road to Bliven Hill Road and took that westerly. We paused at the Experimental Forest Headquarters foundations and hiked southerly on the Handicap ATV trail. At its terminus, we bushwhacked southwesterly to our cars.

On the way home we drove under a low-flying adult Bald Eagle near Irelands Corners.


saturday's hike report and pictures



We hiked the FLT today, Map 23.
We had 6 hikers (Art Sandberg, JoLynne Fenger, Anne Altshuler,
Patricia and Robert Walberg, and Peg Fuller).
We parked on Peg's property and walked down Stage road to the trail
head. We went south on the FLT towards Clarence Church Rd. We hiked to
the upper portion over the creek to see the waterfalls, before turning
around and return on the same path.
The creeks were running high after much rain and we did some fancy
footwork to get across a few sections.
Spring flowers are starting, but the many trillium flowers were not
ready to bloom, perhaps another week. Yellow violets were blooming.
The trout lilies were not blooming yet. The 'babbling brook' was
flowing fast and there were many scenic cascades. Later in the summer
the creek will be drying out, so today was a wonderful day to see the
waterfalls.
We hiked for 3 hours with several breaks to get across creeks and take
pictures. We traveled 2.9 miles and our highest elevation was 1785 ft.

Peg

Hike report – Sun 16 Apr 2017 – Whaupaunaucau SF, NN





The Whaupaunaucau State Forest in North Norwich was indeed glorious on Easter Sunday morning 16 April 2017 as 8 hikers tromped along enjoying the earthy delights of spring: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Jo Lynne Fenger, Peg Fuller, Joyce post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.4 miles in 3.6 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.



We parked at the lower gate and trudged up the Truck Trail to Jeffery Pond. We crossed over the dam and Joyce spotted a Daphne in bloom. We bushwhacked up the hill to the quarry. On the way, Peg found a vigorous clump of blooming Daphne with 5 stems. Joe uncovered a Red-backed Salamander.



We crossed the quarry and continued on the TT around the hairpin turn to Trail 7. Hearing turkeys midway along, we paused for a moment (see photo) and then continued south to Pine Marten Spur and took that to the TT and then Trail 13 to Clements’ leanto, where we enjoyed our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we continued south on Trail 13 to Trail 15 and took that northeasterly to Trail 17 and northerly past the DEC leanto to Trail 20 and easterly to the TT and our cars.



On Trail 17, just past the view of Bloom’s Tomb, we hiked through a long patch of Spring Beauty in bloom. A wonderful assurance that spring is indeed here and certainly is beautiful.
Hike report – Sun 9 Apr 2017 – Stone piles, Melondy Hill SF, Afton


Spring is indeed here! Wood frog eggs in vernal pools, sapsuckers tapping, coltsfoot in bloom, and 6 hikers wandering through the Melondy Hill State Forest in Afton: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Julie Fleming, Tom Fleming, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor, all on a sunny Sunday morning 9 April 2017. We covered 3.6 miles in 3.5 hours for a speed of 1.0 miles per hour.

We parked on the Truck Trail about 1.43 miles east of the bridge down from Melondy Hill road. We then hiked northerly on the logging trail. At a multi-pool wet spot north of the hemlock swamp we veered too far west, so we had to bushwhack northeasterly to arrive at the stone pile site. We took our well-deserved break among the stone piles (see photo) and then departed on the proper trail.

We encountered a small creek and the attached photos show that crossing a creek can be easier than falling off a log (and much drier). The stone piles seemed to be ok, but the mystery of who built them, when, and why, still persists.


 

Hike report – Sun 2 Apr 2017 – FLT, Pharsalia Woods


On Sunday morning, 2 April 2017, we 10 hikers stomped along the snow covered FLT in the Pharsalia Woods: Anne Altshuler, Julie Fleming, Tom Fleming, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.4 miles in 2.8 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked on Center Road at Stewart Road and hiked southerly on Stewart to the FLT and then took it westerly through the 2011 tornado blowdown to the Truck Trail. We then hiked south a short distance and turned west into the new section of the FLT. See photo. We took that trail to the Lean-to, crossing a stream (see photo) and pausing at Ed’s Bench. We took our well-deserved break in the Lean-to, declaring it to be the best kept and well appointed lean-to in all of these here parts. Refreshed, we continued on to Stewart Road, and went northerly to our cars.

I was quite surprised by how much snow was still on the FLT. It was frozen snow that crunched under every step. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day to be in the woods.

Hike report – Sun 26 Mar 20 17 – Bowman Lake loop, McD


Our first hike in spring sure seemed like another winter hike (see photo). On Sunday morning 26 March 2017 we had 11 hikers in the McDonough State Forest doing a Bowman Lake loop: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Tom Fleming, Peg Fuller, Trip Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.8 miles in 3.7 hours for a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.
We parked on Sherman Road just south of the Park entrance and hiked westerly on Sherman to Tice Road, where we went northwesterly to Whaley Road. We then took that northerly to Preston Road and that easterly to Gale Road, and that southerly to Sherman and easterly to our cars.
Sherman and Tice roads were plowed and walking was normal. However, Whaley, Preston, and Gale roads were not and their snowmobile trails were still above the wet snow. Hiking was arduous, because we had to stomp through up to a foot of snow. Joe introduced us to his version of the Mount Fuji climb: walk a hundred yards and then rest; then do another hundred yards, rest, et cetera. This was not a good way to get anywhere in a hurry, but it really is a good way to get there. Even with all the agonizing clomping, we came in with a respectable speed.
Scenery was beautiful, but the overwhelming white hue is getting overbearing. Spring usually arrives when we need it the most. Indeed!

Hike report – Sun 19 Mar 2017 – Pharsalia Woods SF




Our last snowshoe hike on the last day of winter had 7 hikers snowshoeing in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest on Sunday morning 19 March 2017: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Peg Fuller, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. See photo. We covered 4.1 miles in 3.1 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked on Hoag Road and hiked up Coy Street to the Truck Trail. We went westerly on the TT until we were overcome by an irresistible urge to take our well-deserved break. We went into the woods to sit on a fallen tree trunk and savor our goodies. Refreshed, we trundled up the backtrack to our cars. See photo of Coy Street after we stomped a trail.

Fortunately, Coy Street had snowmobile tracks after the first quarter-mile. The Truck Trail was snowmobiled too, so we had an easier hike than it could have been. Snowmobiles were buzzing around earlier than usual, 09:30. They normally do not come out until 10:30. They, as we, realize that the end is near. From a hiking perspective, this was a splendid winter. But enough already.

Hike report – Sun 12 Mar 2017 – Ambler SF, NB


 

Cold+sunshine = NICE! On what could be our final winter hike, on Sunday morning 12 March 2017, we had 4 hikers in the Ambler State Forest in New Berlin: Anne Altshuler, Art Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered at least 4.2 miles miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked at the DEC kiosk off Pat Farley Road and hiked north and then west to to old, very abandoned ATV trail. We took said trail northerly as far as we could recognize it and then followed the well-faded DEC boundary blazes until I could notice something familiar. When we saw the Truck Trail running north-south we took our overdue well-deserved break (photo). Refreshed, we descended to the TT and took it back to our car.

In spite of the cold temperatures (5 to 12 degrees) and windy home stretch, it was an enjoyable hike. The abandoned ATV trail is so strewn with blowdowns that it is not reliable. This hike was mostly bushwhacking. We did visit the fascinating bedrock outcrops. The photo shows Anne enjoying the comfy protection of a large rockshelter. Our search for porcupine dens was negative, but Art found signs of the quilly beasts. We look forward to our next final winter hike.

 

Hike report - Sun 5 March 2017 – South Hill SF, Guilford 
 

Cold+sunshine+calm = NICE! On what could be our final winter hike, on Sunday morning 5 March 2017, we had 7 hikers in the South hill State Forest in Guilford: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Dan O’Shea, Dale Utter, Tina Utter, Carrie Williams, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.5 miles in 2.9 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked at the DEC kiosk on Charles Wicks Road and hiked east to Hohreiter Road. We then paid our respects in the “Dead End Cemetery”, officially the South Hill Cemetery. (See attached photo.) We then hiked northerly on Hohreiter to Ives Settlement Road, where we paused at the Ives Cemetery. (See attached photo of an authentic trade mark signature of the famous Coffinman.) We the hiked up Parker- Smith Hill Road to a sunny place with a great vista to take our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we continued southwesterly until the urge to bushwhack could no longer be resisted. We then entered the woods on a southerly wander back to our cars.

Just before the Ives Cemetery we encountered a flock of male Red-winged Blackbirds honk-a-reeing on their way north. On the way back to Norwich we got some great views of a Rough-legged Hawk on County Road 35 in Oxford. In the City of Norwich we saw 3 migrating Turkey Vultures. Spring is, literally, in the air.

Hike report – Sun 26 Feb 2017 – Whaupaunaucau SF, NN 


Winter wonderland is still here! Sunday morning, 26 February 2017, had the Whaupaunaucau State Forest, in North Norwich, once again draped it its most exquisite snowy lace as 6 fortunate hikers enjoyed the final hike of meteorological winter: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Peg Fuller, Art Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We hiked about 5 miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.
We parked in the lot at the lower gate and hiked up the Truck Trail to Trail-8, then took that to the TT, adroitly dancing around all the water hazards. On the TT we continued to the open fields beyond the upper gate. We took in the vista, turned around, and enjoyed our well-deserved break at the upper gate. Refreshed, we jauntily ambled down, and up and down, Trail-6, dodging more water pools. At Pine Marten Spur, we headed easterly to the TT and took it to Trail-13. We paused at the Clements’ leanto to sign in and then took Trail-16 to Trail-20, past the DEC leanto, and back to our vehicles.
Most of the snow was only 1 or 2 inches deep, but some places had up to 7 inches. Some snow flurries floated around us as sunshine and hazy blue skies reminded us that, overall, it was a fine winter for hiking.


Saturday, February 25, 2017 



we had 7 hikers (Art & Sharron Sandberg,
Anne Altshuler, Judith Yahna, Carol Smith, Elizabeth Fahey, and Peg
Fuller). We covered 5.5 miles in 3 hrs 15 minutes. Temperatures we in
the mid-50's. Some parts of the hike was in 6 inch deep snow and some
parts were no snow. There was still ice along the seasonal roads. A
pick up truck was parked by Jackson Pond but we watched as he drove
alway slipping and sliding down John Smith Rd. We watched as another
pickup started up Elmer Jackson Rd (past where we parked) and a couple
minutes later he was backing down due to the ice or snow. The snow
melt has resulted in some spots with large puddles and the creeks were
flowing fast.
We parked on Elmer Jackson Rd by One-eyed rd. We walked south on Elmer
Jackson, west on Rt. 23 and north onto the FLT (Map 23). We crossed
the bridge which had a high fast running creek underneath. We
continued on the FLT on and off Elmer Jackson Rd, stopped at Lower
Pond to observe the water, continued on the FLT to Jackson Pond where
we took a break. We then walked back to John Smith Road and took that
south to Rt. 23 and back to Ellmer Jackson to the cars.
We finished before the rain started. The hike was enjoyable and the
temperatures were noticably different as we walked in and out of warm
pockets of air and cold pockets of air.

Peg Fuller


Hike report – Sun 19 Feb 2017 – FLT Bear Brook, Oxf


The end of winter should be a joyous occasion, but our snowshoe hike today has me wishing that it would last just a little longer. Bright sunshine, deep blue skies, and melting snow tend to render me too enthralled to let go.
On Sunday morning 19 February 2017 we had 7 hikers on the FLT along Bear Brook in Oxford: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Steve Ellsworth, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.4 miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 1.0 miles per hour. Vertical ascent was 226 feet, but it sure seemed like more.
We parked on Basswood Road, just east of Wilcox Road, and walked the FLT to the large white pine, where we took our well-deserved break. We measured the circumference of that huge tree and then backtracked to our cars. We started in crusty snow and returned in sloppy snow.


HIKE REPORT 2/16/17


On Thursday, 16 Feb three hikers, Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller and Carol Smith snowshoed on the Colgate x-country trails at the top of the old ski hill in Hamilton. We snowshoed 2.3 miles in 2 hours for a remarkable speed of 1.15mph. Slow but beautiful with snow on the trees and in the air and sun peeking out now and then.

Get out and enjoy the snow before the thaw this weekend.
Carol 


Hike report – Sun 5 Feb 2017 – Snowshoes – Bowman L SP, McD

First snowshoes in 2 winters! And it was a nice day for it. Snow stayed dry and did not stick to the shoes, with some sunshine and a roaring finale draped in a windy snowflake crescendo. On Sunday morning 5 February 2017 we had 9 hikers in the Bowman Lake State Park: Anne Altshuler Karen Ellsworth, Steve Ellsworth, Peg Fuller, June Granz, Art Sandberg, Dominic Shea, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.6 miles in 3.1 hours for a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.

We parked in the Park near the booth and snowshoed westerly to the Lake, over the dam, and onto Gale Road. Gale had been tramped down by snowmobiles but we plodded along northerly to Preston Road, where we turned east to the FLT and once in the woods, took our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we then headed southerly on the FLT back to the Lake and then easterly to our cars.
It felt good to be back on snowshoes. I now wonder if we will get more chances this winter. The groundhog did see its shadow, so there is hope.


Hike report – Sun 29 Jan 2017 – Perkins Pond northeast Otselic+Pharsalia



People in New York City would pay thousands of dollars to have an experience like this. So said Joe after we had just hiked through a very heavy snow drop on the FLT between Johnson Street and Clarence Church Road in Pharsalia and Otselic. It was indeed a beautiful experience, but one impossible to schedule in advance.

On Sunday morning 29 January 2017 we had 8 hikers in the woods northeast of Perkins Pond: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, Peg Fuller, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.9 miles in 2.7 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.

We parked on County Road 42 across from Perkins Pond and hike on Plank Road for a short way and then turned easterly on a snowmobile trail and followed it as it turned southerly to Johnson Street. The elevation at this intersection is almost 2000 feet. We hiked easterly on Johnson Street and turned north on the FLT as the snow was dropping heavier. We continued on the FLT northerly to Clarence Church Road as the snow let up and sunshine and blue sky congratulated us. We punched our way westerly to the former truck entry and plowed along to the Perkins Leanto, where we enjoyed a well-deserved break. Refreshed, we bushwhacked southwesterly to Plank Road and took it southerly to our cars.

Snow was dry and deep, at least 10 inches, more in drifts. Snowshoes would have helped. Perhaps next week. Chenango County has 6 hills exceeding 2000 feet. Three of them are in this area; the other 3 are in Afton. Our county is saddle-shaped.


Hike report – Sun 22 Jan 2017 – German 




Fog may have crept in on little cat feet, but we hikers clomped through it on sturdy hiking boots. It soon dissipated and welcome sunshine shone softly for the rest of our trek through the Five Streams State Forest in German on Sunday morning 22 January 2017, where 7 of us sloshed along on ice, in snow, and with running water: Joe Angelino, Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.1 miles in 3.8 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked on Bentley-Gremch Road and hiked south to Shingle Street, whereupon we turned east and hiked on Shingle southeasterly to Pheasant Farm Road. Being at the halfway point, we took our well-deserved break and then continued north on Pheasant Farm to Birdlebough Road. We then went west, diverting to check the US Geological Services benchmark medallion. It was encased in a sheath of moss, but Sharron found it. We then descended to the road and continued west to Gremch and north to our cars.

Coincidentally, we encountered a dead cock pheasant on Route 23 in Pitcher as we turned around to enter Bentley Road. Ominously, because we were about to hike on Pheasant Farm Road. Fortunately, we made out better than our forlorn feathered forewarner.

In the woods we noticed several logging “roads” being installed. These will become dandy hiking trails in the near future. An extracted culvert on Shingle Street was resting at roadside, but only one Bullthistler dared to stand within it. I found the debarking mechanisms on the monstrous logging machines to be a compelling omen of life

Hike report – Sun 15 Jan 2017 – FLT Pharsalia Woods

Seasonal temperatures, no wind, cloudy with a few snowflakes, all atop frozen snow provided 12 hikers with a pleasant stroll through the Pharsalia Woods on Sunday morning 15 January 2017: Anne Altshuler, Joe Angelino, John Carhart, Riley DeForest, Peg Fuller, Tripp Fuller, Gunner Krom, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.9 miles in 3.6 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked at the corner of Hoag and Stewart Roads and hiked the FLT northerly to the Blue Trail and then followed the blue blazes easterly, crossing Coy Street, to the Plymouth Leanto, where we took our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we backtracked to Coy and then walked south to the Truck Trail. Some of us continued westerly on the Truck Trail while the rest of us took the new stretch of Blue Trail. Both parties arrived at the convergence simultaneously. So, the new stretch of the Blue Trail provides a good alternative.

At the intersections of the Blue Trail and Coy Street we paused to view the house foundation, the stone fence cubicle, and the 3-sided barn foundation. On the way home, we viewed the Scumbag sign on Stewart Road. This unusual message has become a local landmark.

Hike report – Sun 8 Jan 2017 – FLT Basswood-Wiley Br SFs, Oxford 

 

Privileged to prowl through the frozen woods on a frigid winter morn were 7 determined hikers: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. On this Sunday 8 January 2017 we covered 4.5 miles in 3.2 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.

We parked on Dr. Crouch Road by the DEC Kiosk and hiked the Truck Trail easterly to the FLT. We then went southerly on the FLT to Shapley Road. Whereupon we went back into the woods for our well-deserved break and then backtracked to our cars.

We did experience some on and off, and on again snow showers, exerting our inevitable right to be snowed upon.


Hike report – New Years Sun 1 Jan 2017 – Norwich Greenway

Happy New Year and off to a good start. On Sunday 1 January 2017 we had 11 hikers on the Norwich Greenway around the Jamba Flats cornfields: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Nancy Ritzel, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Janet Suda, Maryann Weiss, Matthew Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 3.2 miles in 3.0 hours for a speed of 1.1 miles per hour. This was a flat hike, except for crawling up the rail bed.

We parked at Tractor Supply in the south plaza and hiked around to its rear, taking the railroad north to the Black Bridge. We then followed the Canasawacta Creek diversion ditch and the Chenango River downstream. We pause for our well-deserved break along the riverbed and continued downstream to the railroad tracks. We then walked the tracks northerly to our cars.

This was a sun-drenched hike through packy-type snow about ankle to shin deep. The low angle of the sun presented a view that we see only between the solstice and Epiphany.

My biggest surprise was the rampant growth of Japanese knotweed (“bamboo”). This invasive alien was everywhere. Our most worrisome surprise was gunshots. A winter-camouflaged blind was placed by hunters on the access road to the river. More shots punctuated the morning by nearby target shooters. Fortunately, all’s well that ends well. (But, the new year is just beginning.)






Merry Christmas! Indeed. Our merry little band of 5 festive celebrators enjoyed a pleasant hike on the FLT in the McDonough State Forest on Christmas morning 25 December 2016: Anne Altshuler, Stan Benedict, John Carhart, Joyce Post, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.2 miles in 3.6 hours for a speed of 1.4 miles per hour.

We parked on Tower Road near the Berry Hill Tower and walked southerly to the FLT. We took that trail southerly, crossed Tower Road, and continued westerly into the woods, crossed Preston Road, and continued southerly to the Bowman Lake State Park Boundary. After signing the register, which needs a new notebook, we took our well-deserved break and then ambled west to Gale Road. We took that northerly to Preston Road and took that east to the FLT crossing. We then backtracked on the FLT to Tower Road and took that northerly to our cars.

Snow on the FLT was up to 10 inches deep, but we did quite well without snowshoes, because we took turns breaking trail. Backtracking was much easier. While other Christmas celebrators everywhere were finding presents under their trees, we were finding snowfleas under ours.
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Hike report – Sun 11 Dec 2016 – Preston Roads




Cold enough for mittens! On Sunday morning 11 December 2016 we enjoyed an opportunity to remember what is was like to dress for the cold. We had 7 hikers on a loop of Preston roads: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We hiked 6.3 miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.

We parked at Pryde Park in Preston and hiked west and south on Tamarac Road. We then went up (and up, and up) McDonough Road westerly, past the Solitude retreat, to County Road 18. We continued westerly on McD turning onto Griffin Road and taking that northerly. We paused for our well-deserved break and then carefully (but boldly) crossed the perpetual wet spot, and slogged up to Sherman-Bliven Road. We paused briefly to enjoy the sunshine and then turned easterly and hiked this superbly plowed road back to Tamarac and then to our cars. McDonough and Griffin roads are seasonal and unplowed.

Hike report – Sun 4 Dec 2016 – Ravine roads, Upper + Lower, Norwich




Sunny and mild on Sunday 4 December 2016 as 7 Hikers walked the roads to avoid being in the woods with gun toting hunters: Anne Altshuler, Bruce Coon, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.6 miles in 2.6 hours for a speed of 2.1 miles per hour.



We parked on Upper Ravine Road, just off Manley Road, and hiked southeasterly to Lower Ravine Road. We then took that northwesterly back to Manley Road and easterly to our cars.



On Upper Ravine we passed the Center for Intensive Treatment (CIT), the Chenango County Jail, and Lowes. The vehicular traffic on Lower Ravine Road was more than I expected. Even more unexpected was that one of the vehicles was driven by Joe Angelino. At the end of our hike we paid our respects at the Harris Cemetery, one of my favorites.
Hike report – Sun 27 Nov 2016 – Button Hollow loop, New Berlin


On Sunday morning, 27 November 2016, we had 5 hikers doing the Button Hollow loop in New Berlin: Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.5 miles in an astounding 2.4 miles per hour.

We parked on Bida Road at West Brook Road and hiked up Bida, past the old (~1838) stone house and the defunct mink farm. At the T we hiked northerly on North Shore Road, pausing to take our well-deserved break amidst the snow covered trees as more snow fell. We then turned northeasterly on H-D Road to Button Hollow. We then continued southeasterly on West Brook Road back to our car.

This is a wonderful hike, with great views. But, it is strenuous. Surprisingly, we did not hear any gunshots.


Hike report – Sun 13 Nov 2016 – Long Pond SF, Smithville



A cold frosty morning on Sunday 13 November 2016 had 6 hikers in the Long Pond State Forest in Smithville: Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.3 miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked at the DEC kiosk on State Route 41 and hiked southeasterly to the bridge over the Tarbell Creek and over the field to Tarbell Road and then westerly on the snowmobile trail to Cortland County. We took our well-deserved break at the beaver pond. Refreshed, we backtracked a short distance and then bushwhacked north to an open field, paid our respects at a memorial site with a superb view, and then veered southerly to pick up the trail again and continued backtracking to our cars.

In the woods we saw two hunters and met a pedestrian. At the pond we encountered a man and woman pulling out 4 dead large beavers from their traps. They were called by the DEC to do so, because the pond was flowing over the trail. The hike itself was uneventful, just a beautiful morning to be in the woods.

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Hike report – Sun 6 Nov 2016 – Whaupaunaucau SF, N

The larch were gold; the beech were too. The winds were cold; the skies were blue. The woods were great; the hikers were eight: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller; Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weise, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.3 miles in 3.6 hours for a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.


We parked at the lower gate and hiked up the truck trail to the quarry. We then took Trail 5 to the truck trail and took that northerly to the great vista. We then backtracked and took Trail 6 southerly to Pine Marten Spur, the truck trail, and Trail 13 to Clements’ leanto, where we took our well-deserved break.

Refreshed, we continued on Trail 13 to Trail 15 northeasterly to Trail 17 and that northerly to the DEC leanto and Trail 20 north easterly back to our cars.


The vista at the upper gate is superb. To my pleasant surprise, the windmills at Middleburg were visible to the left of Hunts Mountain (the tall pole with flashing light). The windmills at Madison, right of Hunts Mountain, have been visible for a decade


Hike report – Sun 30 Oct 2016 – Grog Hollow, Basswood+Wiley Brook SF, Oxford


First time ever, I came out of the woods with fewer hikers than I went in with. On Sunday morning 30 October 2016 we had 6 hikers in the Basswood and the Wiley Brook state forests in Oxford: Anne Altshuler, Katharine Gibson, Joyce Post, Sharon Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.1 miles in 3.1 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked on Quarry Road, north of Gospel Hill Road and hiked southwesterly then southerly, then easterly, following Quarry Road. When we got to the Wiley Brook state land we cut into the woods and bushwhacked southerly to Grog Hollow. At the spot where we encountered the Grog Hollow Monster “Groggy” back in 2008, we took our well-deserved break. (See attached photo of remaining hikers pointing to where they suspect Groggy may be lurking.) Refreshed, we bushwhacked easterly then northerly to Quarry Road. We then headed east to inspect a foundation. We then did an about face and backtracked on Quarry Road to our car.

The hiker who entered the woods with us voluntarily departed after just going a short distance. Alas, Grog Hollow is not for everyone. Attached are photos from 23 March 2008 of Groggy pounching on us and escaping with a hiker. He soon released her

Hike report – Sun 23 Oct 2016 – Pharsalia Woods


Sometimes I just become spellbound in the woods. This Sunday morning, 23 October 2016, I was. I could have just stayed there forever, staring at the astounding beauty surrounding us. We had 6 hikers who, I assume, shared my reactions: Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.1 miles in 2.9 hours for a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.
We parked on Center Road at Stewart Road and hiked west to Camp Pharsalia. After a brief perp-walk through most of the camp, we took our well-deserved break in the camp bus stop, surrounded by the woeful remains of the once vibrant institution. Refreshed, we continued to the Truck Trail and took it southeasterly to the FLT trailhead, pausing at the quarry. On the FLT we hiked northeasterly, through the blowdown to Stewart Road and the northerly to our cars.
In the quarry we encountered a coyote drinking from a road puddle. In the air we had 2 ravens and an adult Bald Eagle. The eagle soared over us and we got a terrific view. Later, we had a vulture over the FLT in the blowdown. Tornadoes get a bad rap, but nature thrives on disruption and the resulting increase in biodiversity is marvelous.
Invasive aliens also get a bad rap, but someday they may save the Earth. An attached photo shows sprouts of Giant Reed (Phragmites australis) punching up through asphalt pavement near the bus stop. What's not to admire?

Hike report – Sun 9 Oct 2016 – Joe Road loop, LincklaenSF




Some foliage coloration was indeed spectacular, but most was still green. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, 9 October 2016, for the 7 hikers on the Joe Road loop in the Lincklaen State Forest: Anne Altshuler, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, Robin Vanwagner, and Don Windsor. We hiked 6.2 miles in 2.9 hours for a speed of 2.1 miles per hour. This was fast, considering the lung-busting hills and the several pauses along the way.

We parked on Joe Road just north of Bowen Road. We then hiked south to Neal and took that down to Murray Road. We then hiked Murray northerly to Husted Road and took Husted to the top, where we took our well-deserved break while admiring the vista (see attached photo taken by Art). We then descended Husted to Joe Road and took that southerly to our cars.

I remain enthralled by the woods in Lincklaen, one of my favorite towns. See photos by Maryann.  

Hike report – Sun 2 Oct 2016 – Bear Wallow Loop + Apples, Pharsalia WMA





On a dark, moist Sunday morning, 2 October 2016, we had 8 hikers in the Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area in Pharsalia and Otselic: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 7.7 miles in 4.1 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.

This hike was relatively flat (as announced), although the flat stretches were punctuated repeatedly by some invigorating hills.

We parked in the DEC lot on Cole Hill Road and hiked north westerly past the cemetery, turning westerly on Mud Lane Road and veering off southerly to Bear Wallow and then back northerly to Mud. We continued westerly to Game Preserve Road where we paused for our well-deserved break. Refreshed we continued southerly on Game Preserve to Johnson Street. After checking out the largest Black Ash in the county, we hiked easterly on Johnson Street to Benedict Hill Road, then northerly on that to Cole and easterly to our cars. All along the way we noticed the poor apple crop this year.

Flowing south just east of Game Preserve Road is a stream that had 3 historical dams built by the CCC. They are gone!

We visited Bear Wallow; see attached photo. Guilford Lake was once called Bear Wallow. Art Sandberg, an experienced bear hunter, said he has never seen a bear wallowing. Could skinny-dipping be considered bare wallowing?

Hike report– Sun – 25 Sep 2016 – Genegantslet SF, Smithville












A cold, foggy Sunday morning soon brightened to a glorious, sunny day as 9 hikers tread through the Genegantslet State Forest in Smithville: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Peg Fuller, Kate Hooks, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 4 miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.



We parked on Raymond Decker Road at Whitting Road (2013 map; Whitling on 2001 map) and hiked north on Whitting. We stopped at an old foundation and dug well and hiked an old road that soon petered out. We backtracked to Whitting and continued north. We then hiked east on Nidley Road to its dead end and backtracked to Whitting, resuming our northward progression. Encountering an enticing dirt road heading westerly into the woods, we took it.



Good choice, as we came across some interesting old trees, one with several faces seen by some of us in its gnarled, twisted trunk. We followed this road until it petered out and then bushwhacked to the western border of state land. We follow the yellow blazes north and turned with them east, pausing for our well-deserved break in the dappled shade of a dry hemlock swamp. Refreshed, we continued east until the blazes ran north and followed them to Collier Road.



Pleasant surprise. A picnic table, concrete fireplace, parking lot, and a dandy pond with emerging vegetation and frogs galore. John Carhart spooked a Northern Water Snake basking on the shore. What a beauty! About 3 feet long and curious. As the snake watched us, we took several photos. After that we hiked easterly on Collier to Whitting and took that south to our cars. The pond is part of Whittling Swamp on the 1950 topo map, so I suspect Whittling is what the road should really be named.



The dug well was covered with a sheet of rotten plywood overlain with leaves. Very unsafe. Someone stepping on it could fall through into the well, which was at least 15 feet deep. The proper way to indicate a well is to place long tree poles in it to make people aware of its presence. We did that and tied colored ribbons on the poles.


Hike report– Sun 18 Sep 2016 – Bucks Brook SF, Otselic



Rain at the HoJo lot stopped by the time we reached the Otselic lot, so we 7 hikers had a rain-free hike on Sunday 18 September 2016 in the Bucks Brook State Forest in Otselic: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.0 miles in 3.8 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked the fishing lot where State Route 26 crosses the Otselic River and walked north along 26 to Valley View Road then took that to Bucks Brook Road. We then hiked up that road northwesterly to Ridge Road. Whereupon we hiked Ridge north to the FLT trailhead and got on the FLT for our southeastern trek. A short distance into the woods we paused for our well-deserved break, basking in sunbeams while rainwater dripped from the overhanging foliage. We continued on the FLT to where it deviates near the southern end from the old town road. We took the town road because I wanted to see where it comes out. On Route 26 across from the Seventh Day Hollow Cemetery. We then ambled back to our cars via Old State Road to avoid the dangerous midday traffic.

We looked for foundations but the foliage obscured vision. We found only one. The old abandoned town road will be explored this winter. When coupled with the FLT it could make a dandy loop hike by avoiding Bucks Brook Road. 

Saturday Sept. 17, 2016:




We had great weather for a hike.
Thankfully Art Sandberg agreed to lead the hike for me today.
We hiked West Hill, Norwich - a most fascinating hike.
We parked in McDonald Park, next to the cemetery. We walked the road
through the cemetery and entered the trail in the back. We immediately
encountered two other hikers who proclaimed they hike there every
weekend and a discussion ensued as we walked to the first ‘stop’.
There was a handmade walking stick and a note with it and a sign
titled “the hill”. We took the lower road and the two gentlemen took
the steep incline trail. Our next stop was the bullhorn. The powered
star apparently has dead batteries, but we rang the bell and stopped
for a photo op. We continued on and eventually crossed the bridge
that was built by avid mountain bikers (as well as their many bike
ramps we saw). Several deer stands were spotted in the woods, so it
would be best to avoid the area during hunting season. Two of the
stops were at what were obviously hang out areas. One had a house like
structure with the roof removed and a sign on the tree indicated that
several individuals will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the
area/structures/hang out spot and that next summer will be the huge
cleanup effort (in case you want to help). The other area had a
‘throne’ and stone lined walk ways. Both spots had areas for cooking
and bonfires. One thing I noted was the lack of garbage so kudos to
those that maintain the area. Everything has handmade signs,
including some etchings. The area has been an ongoing creation of many
or perhaps just a few. But either way it is interesting. As we were
walking the two guys we spoke to earlier walked toward us, led by a
third man. A conversation included talk of a reflecting pond and other
interesting sights. Without asking, we believed the ‘leader’ of the
group was one of the curator of much of what we encountered. He had
feathers in his hat, spoke very proudly of the area and carried 2
carved hiking stocks that are being left at various spots to assist
hikers. Passing on his invitation to hike with them, we continued on.
We hiked to the quarry, which in itself is historic and many of us
have walked the stones of the quarry as sidewalks in Norwich. Many
years ago the quarry was active and the stones were shipped elsewhere
in addition to supplying Norwich and the immediate area. The topper of
the hike was the scenic overview of the city of Norwich. We took our
break here and enjoyed the clear view and picked out the various roads
and buildings. As with every Bullthistle Hiking Club hike we enjoyed
some uphill climbs and the down hills. We returned to our cars where
numerous bicyclists were preparing to depart on a 45 mile bike ride,
one gentleman stopped to talk to us about our hike and informed us
that he hikes the hill and his brother helped build the bridge we
crossed. We completed 5 miles in less than 3 hours. The hikers were:
Art & Sharron Sandberg, Joyce Post, Grace Holmes and Peg Fuller. I
hope you enjoyed the extra-long hike report. Obviously, I have never
hiked the area and found it very interesting and I look forward to
future hikes there. Credit is given to those who moved stones to make
the areas that resemble something out of a novel and to those who have
a very creative imagination to entertain those who dare to hike “The
Hill”.

Peg Fuller



On Thursday, 15 September 4 hikers hiked the new FLT reroute near North Pharsalia. We hiked in on the blue trail from the parking area on Fred Stewart Road to the main FLT to Center Rd, Rt 23, across the new bridge, crossed Elmer Jackson Rd then went back to Elmer Jackson where we walked to our second car near the pond on Elmer Jackson. This is a great trail and the bridge is beautiful! Thanks to all who worked hard to build this trail and bridge. Attached is a picture of the beautiful adornment that apparently Pete and Colleen commissioned to put above the new bridge. At least Art and Sharron didn't confess to putting it there so our next guess was Pete and Colleen. Thanks to whomever commissioned this. The signature looks like it says "Cheryl Manwarren" So thanks too to the artist. What a nice crown to a truly royal bridge.

Carol

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Hunts Mountain in Sherburne is privately owned and one of its owners, Al Marsters, led us on a fascinating hike up, down, and around this high hill on Sunday 11 September 2016. We covered about 5 miles in 4 hours for a speed of 1.2 miles per hour.

We had 9 hikers: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Al Marsters, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Robin Vanwagner, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor.


As we ambled along, Al pointed out the various historical places and provided us with their interesting backstories. We took our well-deserved break at his rustic cabin. The spectacular vista of the Chenango River valley was memorable. After crossing under the power line, we stood at the base of the 330 foot tower and felt energized. The high point of the hike was when Al showed us the US Geologic Service monument at the pinnacle, as well as the triangulation monuments pointing to it. From there on, the rest of the hike went downhill.

On Sept. 7 at Pharsalia Lean-To we had a picnic style cook out .It was a short notice, mid week, hot day but we still had 13 participants come through the woods from different directions looking for calories.Warren,Rich,Chris,Coleen,Pete,Larry,Stan,Allen,Joyce,John,Joe,Art,Sharron all helped fill the picnic table and then worked at cleaning up the goodies. All had a good time and left no trace.



Hike report – Sun 4 Sep 2016 – Hyer+Upham, Lincklaen SF


A “lovely hike” Joyce called it and I agree. On a cool, sunny Sunday morning, 4 September 2016, we had 6 hikers in the Lincklaen State Forest: Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 7.4 miles in 3.3 hours for a speed of 2.2 miles per hour.

We parked on Hyer Road at its junction with Upham Road and hiked northerly higher and higher on Hyer. We took our well-deserved break just short of Springer Road at a very old stone foundation surrounded by a lush stand of periwinkle. This structure appears on the 1855 map as belonging to Joel Burdick. We paused at Springer Road to admire the great vista and then sprang down Springer to Factory Gulf Road. We took that southwesterly to Johnson Road and traveled that southerly and easterly to Upham. We then ambled down Upham southerly to our cars.  Group photo by Maryann.

Signs of early autumn were especially vibrant in open fields, where the goldenrod were absolutely dazzling, punctuated by Joe-Pye, red clover, New England asters, and chicory. Autumn in New York indeed!
September 3


We had a good hike today. Art & Sharron Sandberg, Joyce Post and Peg Fuller.
We went from Hoag Childs & Fred Stewart Rd to Rt. 220 (Out Post) - all
on the FLT.
Joyce needed to hike for the 2016 BHC Chenango County Challange. So we
joined her.
We hiked about 7.8 miles from 7:15 AM to 10:30 AM.
It was a beautiful day for a hike.

Peg


Hike report – Sun 28 Aug – Genegantslet SF, Smithville









A cool morning became hot as the sun beat down on 6 hikers in the Genegantslet State Forest in Smithville on Sunday 28 August 2016: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Joyce Post, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 7.2 miles in 3.8 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour.



We parked on Stone Quarry Hill Road near the snowmobile trail and hiked east to Waldon Road. Whereupon, we ambled up Waldon north to the second creek, pausing for our well-deserved break. We then backtracked on Waldon south to Art Lake Road and took that to the snowmobile trail. We then trekked back southerly to our cars, gingerly sidestepping the numerous pesky mud holes.



We paid our respects at two cemeteries, the Eddy west of Waldon and the Perkins south along Art Lake. A dead Star-nosed Mole on Waldon provided a splendid photo op and John Carhart's close ups of the star tentacles are thought provoking.


pictures and report hike Aug 26th




We hiked the 9th and final hike of the Bullthistle Hiking Club 2016
Chenango County Challenge.
The hike went from Rt. 206 Bainbridge to Butts Rd - all on the FLT Map 26.
We hiked approximately 7.5 miles in 3 and a half hours. The elevation
gain was 1476 ft according to GPS.
The hikers were Peg Fuller, Sharron & Art Sandberg, Joyce Post, and
Allan Strong. Bruce & Donna Coon accompanied us for the first mile or
so of the hike to kick us off on this last official hike for the
challenge.
To date Peg, Allan, Sharron and Art have completed the 2016 challenge
hiking all the FLT in Chenango County this year. Others will continue
to complete missed hikes before the end of the year.
Today's hike started with a little drizzle which quickly turned to hot
and humid. There was not a lack of hills to climb on this hike. We
also had a couple blow down areas and the washed out ditch to hike
around and through. The recent rain and warmth have brought out briar
bushes and we were all happy we had long pants on.
Mushrooms are still abundant Blackberries are dwindling.

-Peg

Hike report – Sun 21 Aug 2016 – Pitcher Springs SF 



A nice, bright Sunday morning 21 August 2016 progressively deteriorated into a gloomy, rainy one as 8 hikers ambled through the Pitcher Springs State Forest: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Peg Fuller, Tess O'Brien, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.9 miles in 2.9 hours for a speed of 2.0 miles per hour.

We parked on Calhoun-Davis Road, just east of Kinney Road, and hiked west, pausing to pay our respects at the Soper Cemetery. Upon spotting an inviting snowmobile trail on the south side of C-D road, we yielded to the urge and took it. Good choice, because it was a dandy hiking trail. It veered southerly and then easterly and then formed a loop with the trail we had been on. We then returned to C-D and took it east to our cars.

The easterly snowmobile trek was on an old abandoned town road that once stretched between Mott Cook Road and Kostenko-Sutton Road. It appears as a dotted line on the 1944 topo map. We will investigate this stretch the next time we hike here, because it might afford a splendid loop.
hike 8 19 report


We hiked the FLT on Friday August 19th from Shapley Rd (Map 25) to
Bainbridge, Rt. 206 (Map 26). We went 9.2 miles in 5 hours, inlcuding
breaks.
The weather was great, low 80's and partly sunny. Our elevation gain
was 1182 feet. The woods were cooler and there were plenty of
mushrooms and red efts on the hike. We encountered a few high grass
areas and minor tree down areas, but nothing we couldn't get around,
over, or under. The creek crossings were fine and most of us kept our
feet dry going rock to rock. We had some slippery spots and a few of
us fell on a slippery slope, but the mud was soft and broke our fall!

We saw 'doll's eyes", first this year for me. We climbed over barbed
wire fences using the wood stiles along the trail. A one point the
cows in one of the fields were on the trail and quickly trotted away
when we approached, one cow took a short cut through the pond to get
away from the group of happy hikers. Several times we startled
partridge (or grouse) that quickly flew away. The waterfall was very
pretty and pictures cannot capture how majestic the area was. We saw a
white puffy ball, it resembled a rabbit's tail. A closer inspection
and it was decided it was a fungus. I do not know what kind of fungus
it was.

Hikers were from the Bullthistle Hiking Club and Triple Cities Hiking
Club. The nine hikers were: Peg Fuller, Art & Sharron Sandberg, Allan
Strong, Joe Jackson, Larry Blumberg, Chris Rounds, Dorel H. and Donald
J.
Hike report for Third Thursday hike

On Thursday, Aug 18th 4 hikers hiked the Finger Lakes Trail in the Bucks Brook State Forest. Anne Altshuler, Mindy Eldred, Tyler Gessling and Carol Smith. We enjoyed a lovely 3 mile walk through the woods in roughly 2 hours. Although I was the official leader, I slacked off and Tyler took charge and did a great job leading and not missing any turns. There were a couple that I might have missed if he hadn't been there to lead the way. We enjoyed looking at a few mushrooms but it sounds like not as many as were seen Saturday.

Thanks for joining me on a nice woods hike.

Carol
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Hike report – Sun 14 Aug 2016 – Beaver Meadow SF, Smyrna






The Beaver Meadow State Forest in Smyrna on Sunday morning 14 August 2016 was soaked from the storm the previous evening. Nevertheless, we had 4 hikers: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Peg Fuller, and Don Windsor. We covered 6.8 miles in 3.6 hours for a speed of 1.9 miles per hour. Our elevation gain was 1071 feet.



We parked in the quarry on Bliven-Coye Hill Road, east of Boos-Law Road, and hiked westerly to the state land. We then took the abandoned road, now snowmobile trail, south to George Crumb Road. We hike that west, but saw a lot of activity at the Y camp, so we took our well-deserved break on George Crumb and then took it northeasterly to our cars.




Rain held off until after our hike and the woods seemed almost bug free. Mud puddles were ample but not too daunting. Actually, it was a rather pleasant hike.
sat aug 13th hike





OK, I know I attached a lot of pictures. It was a very mushroom and
waterfall kind of hike, excellent.
A 10.1 mile hike according to the FLT map (closer to 11 in my world).
We hiked from 8:49 AM until 3:40 PM. We departed Buckley Hollow Rd and
traveled to Shapley Rd - all on the FLT. Temperatures were hot and
humid - probably mid 80's most of the hike with humidity that made it
feel like the 90's. We had a little thunder and very little rain.
The hikers were: Peg Fuller; Larry Blomberg, Mindy Jo Eldred, Linda
Gessling and her son, Tyler who is hiking for his Boy Scout hiking
badge. We were much appreciative of our sag wagon compliments of Marie
Inglee.
We encountered red efts at almost every step. Mushrooms were all over
and many different kinds. The rain we had earlier in the week resulted
in beautiful flowing creeks and waterfalls. This resulted in a few
creek crossings and some mud puddles with toads jumping. We also saw
chipmucks and deer.
Due to the heat we took several breaks and Mindy, Linda, and Tyler
stopped at Basswood Rd near Coventry, more than half way, great job!
Larry and I continued to Shapley Rd. We found some ripe black berries
along the way. At this point I managed to step deep in the creek due
to crossing in the wrong spot, so wet feet. Then I found a wrong step
and the muck almost went over my hiking boots, luckily we were almost
done.
Anyone hiking this trail in the near future I recommend long pants,
the briar bushes are biting. Pay attention at the blow down areas, you
will see trail markings on the other side.

Peg Fuller
Hike report – Sunday 7 Aug 2016 – CE Baker SF, Columbus, Brookfield


Baker State Forest covers 9414 acres of woods punctuated by ponds, laced by streams, and knit together by several miles of horse/hiking trails. On Sunday morning 7 August 2016 we had 9 hikers in the southeastern chunk: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Warren Johnsen, Joyce Post, Art Sandberg, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered about 5 miles in 3.5 hours for a speed of 1.4 m...iles per hour.
We parked in the lot on County Road 24 (=Shawler Brook Road) and hiked northerly to TT-1. We then trekked on T-17 to T-16 to Morrow Road, where we enjoyed our well-deserved break. Refreshed, we embarked easterly up a hill on what appeared to be an unmarked logging trail, but turned into a bushwhack through a horrific stand of vigorous blackberry canes growing up through the very coarse woody debris of cut off tree tops. In here I suffered a painful fall when a log I was clambering over suddenly snapped and I landed on more large branches. Score was now bush = 1, bushwhacker = 0.
We continued stumbling through until we reached T-15 and took it south and west to Morrow Road. We then went south to T-14 (=Pope Hill Road) back to our cars, posing for some group photos at the new kiosk and sign.
Hike report – Sun 31 July 2016 – Hunts Pond SF, NB


A rainy Sunday morning, 31 July 2016, following a rainy hike yesterday, resulted in a low turn out. We had only 3 hikers in the Hunts Pond State Forest in New Berlin: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, and Don Windsor. We covered 4.0 miles in 3.0 hours for a speed of 1.3 miles per hour.

We parked at the park entrance and hiked on the park road. At the south end we turned onto the snowmobile trail and went north to the northeastern corner boundary. We then bushwhacked south, trying to follow the elusive DEC border. Frustrated by the lack of blazes, we bushwhacked southwesterly back to the park road where we took a well-deserved break in the well-drenched woods. Refreshed, we then went southerly on the snowmobile trail downhill to a low wet curve, turned around and hiked northerly back up hill. We crossed over the dam and bushwhacked through the tall, wet vegetation to Hunts Pond Road and then northerly to our car.

My most memorable encounter was the lush mullein forests. One specimen was 12 feet high! Many bullthistle bushes were 10 feet high. Several pasture thistles were found. The red efts were so plentiful that Anne was very busy shepherding them off the trails. On the drive back to HoJo we passed 3 turkeys getting rained on in a wet, grassy field. “This is like looking in a mirror”, I mumbled.

 

July 30, 2016 - Sidote Hike

We had 23 people attend the Sidote hike.
There was a short hike and a long hike.

Donna Coon led the short hike. The hikers were: Donna Coon, Anne
Altshuler, Larry Chesebro, Kallie Cole, Bianoca Levene, and Margaret
Griffin

The long hike was led by Bruce Coon. The hikers were: Bruce Coon,
Joyce Post, Art & Sharron Sandberg, Dot Rice, Peg Fuller, Theresa &
Jay Evans, Cathleen & Rich Maggi, Larry Blumberg, Tom Harvey, Warren
Johnson, Rich Breslin, Peter Fleszar, Scott Brooks and Lynn Andersen.

Both hikes began at John Smith Road, Map 23. We walked east to Elmer
Jackson Rd and southward onto the new section of FLT. We crossed the
new bridges over the creek. The short hike ended on Rt. 23, at the 3
mile mark. The long hike continued uphill across Rt. 23 and south
crossing Center road, turning east and then south crossing the Nine
Mile Truck Trail. The goup stopped at the Ed Sidote bench and took a
break at the Pharsalia Lean-to. We then continued on the FLT south to
Hoag Childes Rd & Fred Stewart Rd, completing our hike of 8.8 miles in
4 hours and 20 minutes (including breaks). The hiker's GPS ranged from
8.4 to 9.0 miles. The FLT lists the hike as 8.3 miles.

Temperatures were cool, approximately 65 degrees. The rain arrived
early and most of the hike was in the rain. The pace was brisk, but
even in the rain we paused for a few pictures of mushrooms and
flowers. The rain stopped when we ended the hike.

An enjoyable hike was had by all dispite the rain. We encountered a
father and son hiking from Bowman towards Pharsalia lean-to (weekend
camping trip) so we were not the only ones out in the rain.

 

Peg Fuller

 

Hike report – Sun 24 July 2016 – Buddhist temple, Smithville


Most fascinating hike ever! A Buddhist monk gave us a guided tour of the Palyul Temple in Smithville on Sunday morning 24 July 2016. Monk Tashi was indeed a wealth of information and a loquacious host. We asked him a lot of questions and he patiently answered them.

We 8 hikers (Anne Altshuler, Peg Fuller, John Nesbitt, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Robin Vanwagner, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor) covered 6.0 miles in 3.7 hours for a speed of 1.6 miles per hour.

We parked in German on Pucker Street between Burkholder and Cross roads and hiked southerly on Pucker. We paused briefly to view the regeneration after the forest fire on 7 May 2015. We continued to Hollow Road and took it southerly to the Buddhist Temple. After the tour we took our well-deserved break and backtracked to our cars.

This was a very enlightening and memorable hike. View the photos posted by some of our hikers.

Hike 7/23/16 report and pictures


 

 Today's Bullthistle Hiking Club hike was hike #6 of our 2016
Challenge. The hike was led by Bruce Coon. We traveled M24 to M25. Rt.
220 to Buckley Hollow Road all on the FLT. We logged 10.1 miles in 85
degrees, but the woods felt cool. We averaged 2.3 mph, including
breaks for a total hike time of 4:23 hours.
Hikers were Bruce C, Art & Sharron S, Rich B, and Peg F.
We encountered a few downed trees and a fallen Passport Box (E07). The
breeze was light. Note the picture where everyone seems happy standing
in the shade...

Peg

On a warm Thursday morning we had 8 hikers at Millbrook Reservoir in New Berlin. Anne A., Mindy E., Tyler G., Joe J., Donna M., John J., Carol S. and Abbie T. all took a leisurely hike on the trail around Millbrook Reservoir. Mileage was reported as between 2.1 and 2.5 miles which we did in a little less than one hour. So it was a short hike as planned but we were all happy to be done before the heat of the day.

Stay cool!
Carol

Hike report – Sun 17 July 2016 – McDonough SF

 

Hike report – Sun 17 July 2016 – McDonough SF

Nice, comfortable Sunday morning to be outside as 8 hikers ambled around the outer boundaries of the Bowman Lake State Park in McDonough: Anne Altshuler, John Carhart, Joe Jackson, Joyce Post, Sharron Sandberg, Carol Smith, Maryann Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.3 miles in 3.0 hours for a speed of 1.8 miles per hour.

We parked at the FLT trailhead on Bliven Sherman Road and trekked easterly to Steere Road. We then took that road northerly to Preston Road, where we headed west to the abandoned Gale Road. Whereupon we then walked southerly to the foundations of Galeville for our well deserved break. Refreshed, we continued onward, past Bowman Lake, across Bliven-Sherman, and onto the maintained section of Gale Road. We picked up the FLT and trod northeasterly back to our cars.

On Steere Road we encountered a healthy stand of Sassafras trees, one about 30 feet tall with at least a couple dozen saplings. A large foundation was just north of the stand. The attached group photo shows our hikers backdropped by the Sassafras. Note the 3 different leaf forms: the fingerless mitten, the standard mitten, and the 2-thumbed mitten. We also found a large, about 26 inch across, Chicken-of-the-Woods mushroom in Galeville. We paid our respects at the Steere Cemetery and at the Gale Cemetery.

Hike report – Sun 3 July 2016 – Stonepiles, Ludlow Creek, Smithville

 

Hike report – Sun 3 July 2016 – Stonepiles along the Ludlow Creek, Smithville

On a cool, sunny Sunday morning, 2 July 2016, we had 6 hikers bushwhacking along the Ludlow Creek in Smithville: Peg Fuller, Charity Moore, Allan Strong, Maryann Weiss, Matthew Weiss, and Don Windsor. We covered 5.5 miles in 5.3 hours for a speed of 1.0 miles per hour. Our vertical ascent was 857 feet.

We parked on Tucker Road near Joscelyn Road and followed the DEC blazes south and then west. We crossed Ludlow Creek at the spectacular rock outcrops and ventured onto the high ground northwesterly to some stone piles. We paused for our well-deserved break and then bushwhacked northwesterly to the FLT leanto. We then took the FLT to the small stonepiles and then backtracked to Tucker Road. We then took Tucker east, back to our cars.

Matthew and Charity are both professional archaeologists from West Virginia, with an interest in stone piles, so it was enlightening to have them along. Stone pile sites extend from Ohio to the ocean and to Maine and Georgia. My botanical highlight was the superb growth of Angelica along Tucker Road.

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hike report and pictures


 

 We had a great day for a hike. There were 7 hikers, from both the BHC
and ADK. Joyce P, Sharron S, Peg F, Ed O, Tony R, Richard S, and Sigi
S.
The hike started on Johnson St traveling south on the FLT to Jackson
Pondacross John Smith Rd to Lower Pond, down Elmer Jackson, into the
woods, crossing the almost dried out creek and across Rt. 23. We then
took a short break. Proceeding south we continued on the FLT across
Center Rd, crossing truck trails, stopping at the Ed Sidote Bench and
the Pharsalia Lean-to. We tookk a break at the lean-to along with Art.
S, Pete & Colleen S who were enjoying a break from trail work. We
continued on the FLT back to the cars on Hoag Childs Rd and Fred
Stewart Rd.
The map says it is 9.4 miles, but everyones pedometer and GPS units
read over 10 miles. So I say we did 10 miles.