FLT Map Day 2: Buck Settlement Lean-to (M14) to Sugar Hill Fire Tower
I woke in the semi-darkness of pre-dawn feeling cold, I wrapped the blanket that I had been using as a pillow around me inside of my sleeping bag and felt warmer (5:00 am). Unfortunately nature called and I had to leave my new-found warmth. I hurried back to my hammock and I drifted off to a partial sleep for about an hour before finally deciding to get up. Although the sun was not quite up yet, the sky had lightened. I checked my phone and found that the battery had drained more than I expected overnight, I was down to 30%.
FLT Map Day 1: Templar Rd (M14) east to Watkins Glen State Park (M14) back to Buck Settlement Lean-to
The first day of my overnight hike started out a little foggy on the drive to the trailhead, but by the time I reached the parking area the fog had lifted (9:15 am), although it was still overcast as the fog had not yet burned off. I parked just off Vanzandt Hollow Rd, at the intersection of Templar Rd. I planned to hike east to Watkins Glen State Park and then back and camp at the Buck Settlement Lean-to, which was about one mile up the trail from the Templar Rd access point.
FLT Map: Logan Rd (M15) west to Watkins Glen State Park (M15)
Third hike of the season, Logan Rd (CR 4) to Watkins Glen State Park and back. The day started off sunny and bright with temps in the mid 60s (mile 0.0 – 8:15 am). The trail started off leaving Logan Rd and heading down around a small field before turning into the woods. Shortly after leaving the field I met an Alley Cat crew getting ready to repair a bridge over a stream. I stopped to talk and thank them for the great work they do on the FLT. The bridge definitely needed some TLC, parts of the railing were broken and missing and the far side was a bit wobbly, which they warned me about.
FLT Map: Steam Mill Rd (M15) west to Logan Rd (M15)
My second FLT hike of the season I hiked from Steam Mill Rd (M15) west to Logan Rd (M15) and back. I decided to take a day off of work and go hiking; the weekend weather and schedule didn’t work out. The day was very much a changeable day, when I woke up it was bright and sunny, while I was driving to the trailhead it clouded over only to clear up again once I got to there and parked. The rest of the day was the same, sunny and blue sky one minute and then cloudy the next. The temperature was nice, started out in the low 60s and rose into the mid 70s by the end of the day, although it did get a little humid as the day wore on.
FLT Map: Steam Mill Rd (M15) east to Todd Rd (M16)
First hike of the season on Sunday. Weather was gorgeous. Got started on the trail at 9:43 am and it was already warming up nicely. Blue skies, bright sun, and not a single cloud. Temps started out in the low-mid 40s, but were into the mid 60s by the end of the day. I had originally planned only around 15 miles, but ended up doing a bit more. This hike I headed east from Steam Mill Rd (M15) to Todd Rd (M16) and back.
Hiking season 2015 is almost here. I am getting ready for the first hike of the season in about a week. Last year I completed the east half of the Finger Lakes Trail, so now I begin working my way west from around Ithaca. The first hike will be a little over 15 miles. Check […]
FLT Map: Tower Rd (M16) east to Hines Rd (M16)
I decided to take a day off work and go hiking and hopefully get some of the fall colors. I had looked at the long-range forecast the previous week and Monday looked to be a decent fall day, crisp in the morning and warm by mid-day. As the weekend came the forecast became more unsettled and uncertain.
Monday morning dawned cold, but bright and sunny. After eating breakfast, loading my pack and supplies into the car I set out on the one hour drive to the trailhead. The sun chased me most of the drive, but as I neared the trailhead a wall of dark clouds began to build.
Many of my hikes are solo hikes, but on occasion my friend Tim has joined me. Since this was the hike to the Eastern Terminus of the FLT he decided to come along. In comparison to many of my hikes this one might not seem very “interesting” at first look. The hike was nearly all road walk, 19 miles of road and 2.6 miles of trail. It was also a very flat hike since it was mostly road; the total ascent was only 652 feet over nearly 22 miles, but even long flat road walks can offer some good photo opportunities.
My previous hike in July had left me with one more hike before I would reach the end of the FLT. I decided to leave that hike for the fall and hopefully get some great pictures with the leaves changing color, unfortunately that hike was still a little too early and the leaves had not changed much. Since I was holding that hike for later I needed another hike. The route on M28 had recently undergone a major change so I decided this was a good time to go back and work on that reroute. The entire reroute would take two hikes, but I could get part of it done this time.
This hike would take me from the Apex Boat Launch on NY 268 near the Cannonsville Reservoir, up to the old O&W Railroad bed and down along old NY 10. I would criss-cross the new NY 10 at several points before joining up with my previous track that went up Beers Brook Rd.
My second attempt at an overnight hike on the FLT. My first attempt had not gone as I had planned and I wanted to redeem the overnight hike. This hike would take me up Balsam Lake Mountain and over the highest point on the FLT, 3660 feet. My camp destination would be Beaver Meadow Lean-to a little north of Alder Lake. The weather was perfect, highs in the low 70s and an overnight low in the low 40s. I also got a bonus side trip to Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower complete with incredible views.