May 26, 2014

FLT Map: Beech Hill Rd (M31) east to Mill Brook Ridge Trail (M31)

Memorial Day was a great day for a hike. Getting closer to the eastern end of the FLT. This hike was between Beech Hill Rd and Alder Lake.

May 11, 2014

FLT Map: Tower Rd (M16) west to Todd Rd (M16)   Authors Note: I am re-posting some previous hikes.  I may go back and write up a longer narrative in the future.   A short hike, only 11 miles, but it was a gorgeous day for a hike. Broke out my hiking/camping hammock and relaxed […]

April 27, 2014

FLT Map: Layen Rd (M17) west to Hines Rd (M16)   Authors Note: I am re-posting some previous hikes.  I may go back and write up a longer narrative in the future.   Another hike on my E2E. This one started out cloudy, chilly and drizzly, not great hiking weather. The sun did finally break […]

First Overnight: September 7 – 8, 2013

My first overnight hike on the FLT. I had planned out my hike well in advance. I would start from Beech Hill Rd and head west to Campbell Mountain lean-to. My previous hikes that year had been 16 – 20 miles so I expected that I could hike the 14 miles to the lean-to. The week leading up to the planned hike I checked and re-checked the weather forecast. The weather looked to be good with no rain in the forecast and nice temperatures.

“Marathon” Hike: July 1, 2012

After my first few hikes on the FLT I decided that I wanted to complete the entire trail; an end-to-end (E2E). I knew that it would take me years to complete the entire trail, so by the end of my second year of hiking (2011) I added some short-term goals to accomplish along the way. I wanted to do an overnight hike and I also wanted to try to hike a “marathon”, 26.2 miles, in a single day. My first overnight hike would wait until September 2013, but I had already started increasing my mileage in 2011. My first 20+ mile hike was June 2011 at 21.82 miles, and the next in July at 24.57 miles. Although, that was an unplanned distance and I was left hurting after.

During the cold winter months of the beginning of 2012 I began planning; I decided I would do my marathon hike that year. I knew I needed to build up my endurance and distance. I would need to keep increasing the mileage with each hike. My first hike in 2012 was my “warm-up” and was only 16.23 miles. The next hike in May I increased the mileage to 21.18 and then 24.38 in June. I was ready.

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Further Than Planned

A beautiful summer hike, blue skies and sun. I planned and mapped out 18 miles from Baker School House Road (M20) to Cheningo Day Use Area (M21). I arrived at my turn-around point much earlier than I expected. Most of the FLT access points are usually less than two miles apart, so I decided to continue on. Over 2.5 miles later I reached the next access point. Instead of an 18 mile hike it became a nearly 25 mile hike. The additional section was also quite hilly. Combined with the warm summer day, only packing enough water for a shorter hike, I was hurting and parched by the time I returned to my car.

Under The Interstate

A long, nearly 22 mile hike, from Blodgett Mills (M20) to Baker School House Road (M20) and back. The hike marked a milestone crossing under interstate I-81; my east/west split. Clouds and fog dominated the hike, with periods of light rain making for a damp and somewhat miserable hike.

I started my hike with a long road-walk down US 11 before crossing under the massive twin bridges of I-81. Fog shrouded a field in mystery and created the impression of another world. Another long road-walk book-ended the hike as I made my way along several different roads before arriving at Baker School House Road. I planned to continued on east from Baker School House Road, but light rain began to fall again and I called an end to the hike and turned back.

Curious Canine

My friend Tim joined me for another hike through some steep climbs and deep descents.  The trail took us up over Snyder Hill.  We crossed over the small dirt-tracks of Cortland 9 Road, Pipeline Road, and Snyder Hill Road.  We made our way down along a stream as it tumbled down the hill heading for West River Road.  A waterfall offered a good photo opportunity as we descended.  West River Road took us on a long road-walk to Blodgett Mills.  Along our road-walk a dog decided to join our adventure and continued to follow us all the way to the town.  We took our lunch break at the Post Office in Blodgett Mills before turning and heading back.  After another long road-walk and steep climbs and descents we finally arrived back at my car.  On the first attempt to start my car the engine refused to turn over.

A Gray And Misty Hike

Although the weather was not ideal I planned a new hike.  I also had a new “toy” – a handheld hiking GPS unit – that I wanted to test out.  My hike started with a steep climb up from Babcock Hollow Road (M19).  The trail brought me up across Van Donsel Road; the same road Tim and I had gotten stuck on the previous hike.  From there I made my way up to the top of one of the ski runs at Greek Peak and then descended over 750 feet down to Tone Road.  A road-walk took me up the busy NY 392 and then up Carson Road (M19) to my turn-around.  I turned back and struggled up along the ski run, sore and tired by the time I reached the top.  Shortly before reaching the final steep descent to Babcock Hollow Road I twisted my knee painfully and limped my way slowly down.

An Unplanned Delay

A short late-winter hike of eight miles did not go as planned. Tim and I challenged fate by driving past a seasonal limited use road sign and lost. As Tim pulled his car to the side of the road on what appeared to be solid packed snow the car broke through a thick layer of ice and sank. Despite our best efforts we could not free the car. Our only recourse was to call for a tow truck. The tow truck nearly got stuck trying to rescue us, but finally the car was free. We still had a few hours of daylight left, so we set out and hiked a much shorter route slipping and sliding through the snow.

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