Today I hiked a very short section of the Allegany State Park – Finger Lakes Trail – North Country Trail.
Eventually, I plan to hike the entire stretch of FLT-NCT that goes through the Park in four consecutive days staying at each shelter. For today, this was all I could manage – in to a shelter, eat lunch, and out again…
The sign at the trailhead notes that this trail is for foot traffic only. No bikes. No horses. No ATVs. It is a hikers’ trail – and a really gorgeous one at that. The first bit of the trail from Bay State Road takes you through an open clearing. From the top of this clearing, you have a pretty view of the round-topped Allegany mountains with Route 86 – the Southern Tier Expressway – winding its way among them.
As you approach the edge of the woods, the trail gets steep, and in the woods it is pretty rugged until you reach the top of the ridge. In the woods, I was very grateful for the freshly painted white blazes. With all the newly fallen leaves, it would have been impossible to see where the trail goes without them!
Your descent on the other side of the ridge will be steep at first, then gentle. Eventually, you seem to be on level ground for the rest of the way to the shelter. The best part of topping the ridge is that the traffic noise finally fades, then is completely silenced.
I have now visited all three shelters on the trail. They are all relatively new and in good shape. The folks that use them seem to take pretty good care of them.
There are privies at each and a water source, though signs warn that you should treat the water. I don’t know when I’ll be able to do the 4-day. But I am really looking forward to it! This is a gorgeous trail and well-maintained.