Winter Break

Reading Time: < 1 minutes Now that late fall is here that means colder weather and hunting season are here.  I usually end my hiking season in October and take a break until March or April.  November and December finds many sections of the FLT closed for hiking by hunting which interrupt my continuing end-to-end trek on the FLT.  It also […]

First Hike of 2016

Reading Time: 8 minutes The first hike of 2016 had finally arrived. I had spent the previous days obsessing over the weather forecast and as the weekend got closer settled on Sunday for the day of the hike. Earlier in the week Saturday had looked to be the better day, but as the weekend got closer the weather turned. It was a good choice to delay the hike until Sunday because Saturday was a cloudy and blustery day; it would not have been a very good hike day.

I left my house just as the sun was beginning to rise above the horizon. It was cold still, only about 29, but the sky was clear and the forecast was for the temperatures to rise into the low 60s by mid afternoon.

May 23, 2016

Reading Time: 11 minutes As I usually do, I began checking the weather a week before the weekend of my planned hike. The prediction for Saturday was clouds and rain showers, but Sunday looked to be decent. As the weekend drew closer the weather for Sunday began to turn worse. By Thursday both Saturday and Sunday were predicted to be cloudy and rainy, however the weather for Monday looked nearly perfect – of course. Rather than hike in chilly and rainy weather I decided to take Monday off work and take advantage of the great weather.

I left for the long drive to the trailhead around 6:15 am. It was still cool and foggy out, but it was predicted to warm into the mid 70’s. The drive was uneventful and the fog had burned off by the time I arrived. Sunlight was filtering through the trees and it already felt warm.

June 12, 2016

Reading Time: 11 minutes I set out on the long drive to the trailhead, heading west on NY 17 / I-86. The wind whipped at flags I saw along the drive and pushed my car around on the road as higher gusts blew up, but the sun was bright and the temperatures were warm. I arrived at the trailhead shortly before 8 am; the same place I had parked at for my last hike, but this time I was heading west.

On this hike I would meet a thru-hiker, walk/jog a long road walk of nearly four miles one-way, descend 700 feet through numerous switchbacks on my way down to Urbana, NY, and then climb back up and do the road walk once more. And although the day was warm and sunny, the wind was wicked, gusting over 30 mph at times. On top of the hill it was so constant that my ears started to ring from the sound.

Rainy Hike

Reading Time: 14 minutes This hike was a rainy hike. Both Saturday and Sunday were not ideal hiking days, but Saturday seemed to the best of the two days. The rain was not supposed to start until later in the day, but the weather had its own plans. Rain started as I left my house at 5 am and continued on and off all morning.

I started my hike across vineyard fields, over a bridge across a stream, and then on to an abandoned railroad bed. From there I hiked up along a deep gorge. I took a short detour to climb down into the gorge to a waterfall. After leaving the waterfall rain started and I got wet as I crossed CR 13 and climbed to the top of a hill.

The trail wound along through and near fields for much of the hike. I saw expansive views, fog clouds hanging in the valleys below, and a strange circular structure in one field.

I picked some wild raspberries along Newton Road, encountered several orange efts and a few toads. Most of the hike the woods were quiet except for the patter of falling rain drops. The skies remained dark and gray.

Fields and Country Roads

Reading Time: 13 minutes Sun, blue skies and big puffy white clouds accompanied me on this hike through fields and along country roads. I pushed through overgrown sections and lost the trail several times. Vast and expansive views opened around me at the top of Brooks Hill. Quiet country roads wound along through the valleys. Fields criss-crossed the trail and I found myself more often in fields than in woods.

Early End To My Hiking Season

Reading Time: < 1 minutes I had hoped to get one more hike in before the cold weather and my pause in hiking.  My plan was to take one last hike in the middle of October and get in some of the fall colors.  Three days before my planned hike I fell while rollerblading with my son and dislocated my shoulder. […]

Mud and Wind Farms

Reading Time: 11 minutes The first hike of 2017 on the Finger Lakes Trail. I picked up where I left of last year – McCaddam Road on M11. The morning started bright and sunny, but brisk. The first 2.5 miles were road-walk and took me along fields, over hilltops with great views, and past massive wind turbines. After the road-walk I returned to the woods and slogged through many muddy spots. A short hike down an even muddier tractor path along a field and then I climbed up to the top of Spencer Hill to find a small pavilion and some information signs about the wind farm. I descended down through Burnt Hill State Forest and reached my turn-around at Wind Fall Road. The hike totaled 15 miles and was a good “warm-up” for coming hikes.

Big Views On Memorial Day

Reading Time: 15 minutes My hike on Memorial Day started out under cloudy skies, damp and humid. A quick climb up to the top of a hill and then back down the other side greeted me on my first mile. The trail continued to climbed and descended on my way from Hornell to Windfall Hill Road. At the top of many of the climbs big views opened allowing for some great panoramic pictures. I passed by an old barn falling into ruin. The skies cleared and the weather improved a few hours after I started; blue skies, sun and a nice breeze. I discovered a Hard Cider shop and found a footbridge built by BOCES students. I reached my turn around under beautiful blue skies and looked out on a great view.

Christmas In July

Reading Time: 13 minutes Perfect weather greeted this hike. I set off from the Econo Lodge in Hornell as I had on the last hike, but this time headed west on map M9. I walked through the quiet Sunday streets of North Hornell and discovered a new rail trail. From the rail trail I climbed up about 500 feet to the top of Bald Hill before heading back down the other side. After leaving Bald Hill I began a road walk that took me across I-86. I left the road and passed through several fields of tall grass. I walked up a tractor path along side of rows of Christmas trees. Another long road walk waited for me after and I passed by two more tree farms. After 10 miles I finally found myself on top of another hill on Karr Road, my turnaround. And then I did all of it in reverse