New Year’s Day 2017

Terry says my jaw dropped when he turned onto the unplowed Holt Run Road. “The road less traveled is seldom plowed,” he said. New snow tires and 4-wheel drive got us to the trail head – and back out again after the hike.

Last time we came out this way, we found the foundation of a building which we later learned had been a school / orphanage. We wanted to find it again, this time with a camera. I had forgotten to load the waypoints into the GPS, but we remembered the general area and found it.

The most perplexing thing to me is a vine that grows all over the area. Just about all the new growth coming up on the forest floor is this plant, and just about every tree near these old foundations is covered with the stuff.

I will HAVE to go back in spring to see what it looks like when it’s in bloom… if it blooms.

3.7 miles

Fine Day for a Walk

The only bad thing about a day like today is knowing how to dress. Highs predicted to be in the upper thirties with the “real feel” the same. When in doubt – go with layers.  I picked well.  The extra layers I carried in my pack were never needed.  Go me.

We had to pick a section of the park north of France Brook Road to avoid the hunters.  The Park used to always be “no hunting” on Sundays.  This year, though, hunting IS allowed on the Quaker side, south of France Brook.

We parked at a new (or at least new to me) marker commemorating the location of the first capture and release program of turkeys in the park.

dsc03099-new-landmark

According to the plaque, this is the site of the first trap and transfer program.  The sign reads, “Allegany State Park – Founding site for the N.Y.S. Conservation Dept. Wild Turkey Transfer Program. Birds trapped at this site helped reintroduce the Eastern Wild Turkey to the northeastern U.S. & southeastern Canada. 1959.”

DSC03058 Roads.jpg

We walked France Brook to the Horse/”Jeep” trail, then headed uphill.  After getting tired of walking roads, we headed toward the sound of a gurgling creek and followed that all the way down to Horse Trail 11 up above Camps 10 and 12, then followed it to Camp 12, and roads back to the truck.

dsc03084-orange-and-green

There was no snow down at France Brook.  But as we climbed, the hills were covered.  Saw lots of colorful fungi, as well as some deer and coyote tracks.  But my favorite was the bear:

DSC03064 Bear Footprint.jpg

The walk was about 5 and 1/2 miles.  It was a good day.

And my new thermos worked!  Hot soup for lunch.

DSC03068 Lunch.jpg

(No, the color isn’t off.  It’s vegetarian borscht!)

Map.png

elevation-profile

P.S.  I love the new GPS I bought myself for my birthday last month.  It’s fun to turn it on and track my hikes.

Lunch in Pennsylvania

I planned a 6.25 mile hike.  Of course we didn’t do the whole thing.  At our less-than-one-mile-per-hour speed (you gotta stop for coffee, and lunch, and pictures…) and given our desire to end the day with a beer at a favorite watering hole, we turned back before the planned half-way point.  Still, it was a beautiful hike on a beautiful day.

DSC00965 bright sunny day

There’s a Wolf Run Road in Allegany State Park, and another in Pennsylvania south of the Park. The goal was to walk the length of one until we got to the other. Inside the park, Wolf Run Road is pretty wide open until it meets with the North Country Trail intersection. Then it becomes less well-kept – wide with meandering run-off in some parts as pictured above, narrow and overgrown with the remnants of ditches in other parts:

DSC00973 Wolf Run Road//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We knew we had reached the NY-PA state line when we found a stone marker.

DSC00961 Stone Marker - PA Side

The photo above is of the south side of the marker. You can see the “PA” engraved into it pretty well. The engraving of NY was much more worn on the north side of the marker:

DSC00959 Stone Marker NY side

There were also signs indicating the boundary of the State Park:

DSC00963 Park Boundary Sign

There was plenty to catch my eye on this beautiful nearly-spring day:

DSC00964-Shadows

DSC00976-Ice

DSC00988 Dogwood Branches

And finally… everytime I walk this trail, I cannot resist photographing this tree:

DSC00983-Tree

I don’t know what kind of tree it is… I’ll try to remember to pay attention to the leaves… if I ever hike here when there ARE leaves!

There were footprints of many kinds: deer, squirrel, mouse, chipmunk, vole or mole, coyote, fisher, grouse… for a change, I didn’t photograph any of them. hahahahah

Crick’s Run

Shortly after entering the woods at the end of the road, we found orange ribbons marking the trail.

DSC00654 Orange Ribbon

We followed them and eventually discovered that in addition to orange ribbons, there were also reflective markers, the likes of which I had never seen before. Some were plain round dots.

DSC00652 Reflective Trail Marker

Others were “flag” types.

DSC00651 Reflective Trail Marker

They led to what appeared to be an old logging road that climbed up and up to a lovely old forest at the top of a hill. The view was well worth the climb.

DSC00663 Coffee Break View

Along the way, there was plenty to see, including intricate lichens and mosses on trees.

DSC00657 Moss on Tree

And footprints. I’m guessing this one is fisher. My glove could just barely cover this set of prints:

DSC00665 Fisher perhaps

The fox must have been very slight, not even breaking through the snow. Because the track wasn’t deep, it was difficult to get a decent picture of the track.

DSC00670 Fox Foot print

Squirrel tracks were equally difficult to photograph.

DSC00678 Squirrel Foot Prints

I didn’t even try to get the mouse tracks!

I couldn’t resist arranging these leaves that Glock (the German Shepherd) dug up while we ate lunch.

DSC00680 Just some Leaves

And after lunch, we chose a route that took us in the same direction as a bear!

DSC00682 Bear Foot Print

The hemlock-lined creek was running fast, making for wonderful water noises.

DSC00687 Ice in the Creek

The upturned tree was fascinating. I took several pictures, but was never really able to capture its essence. This is the closest I came:

DSC00694 Rocks and Roots

I started this post back in January when I originally took the hike. WordPress started misbehaving, so I abandoned it. Now WordPress is back… but I can’t remember what else I intended to share about the walk! It was definitely beautiful. Can’t wait to go back.

Browns Hollow / Wolf Run Road – 4.3 Miles

Browns Hollow Wolf Run Road Loop

I’m always looking for loop hikes. I’ve hiked this one 3 times in the last month. Well, that’s not exactly true. The first time, we were searching for it. The second time, I hiked it out Wolf Run and back Browns Hollow. The third time, we went out Browns Hollow and back on Wolf Run Road.

This trail is inside of Allegany State Park, but not any of the areas that are on the park maps.

The Wolf Run Road area was a busy saw mill community in the 1800s.  I imagine all the hillsides were “shaved” off as all the usable timber was harvested and farms were established.  It wasn’t until the 1920s and later that reforestation projects were undertaken.

As you hike today, you sometimes come across remnants of the hand of man in the park.

IMG_7072 Brown Run Creek
The Creek in Browns Hollow

IMG_7075 Foundation
I can’t imagine what this structure might have been used for. Here are more views of it:

IMG_7079 Hardware

IMG_7083 Wall and Windows

IMG_7087 Foundation

This stump was interesting:
IMG_7091 Stump

Views of the creek and the old road:
IMG_7097 Brown Run Road

IMG_7099 Concrete in the Creek

IMG_7100 Road and Creek

Did you notice this in the previous photo?
IMG_7103 Rock Art in Tree

We recognized this fork from the first time we got “lost” in this area:
IMG_7104 Fork in the Creek

The road climbs toward the North Country / Finger Lakes Trail:
IMG_7113 Brown Road

The section between mile 2 and 3 is very muddy and slippery. It gets a little better when you are back on Wolf Run Road. Here’s a few just before coming out of the woods and into the more open area:
IMG_7134 Wolf Road

All along Wolf Run Road, you can see places where there must have been homes, businesses, and even a school.

IMG_7137 Apple Tree

This is my favorite picture from the last hike:
IMG_7144 Tree Skeletons

The end…

Science Lake – Allegany State Park

I took the road through Allegany State Park to get to a teaching gig in Bradford. I stopped at Science Lake to eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

IMG_7059 Science Lake

A park history (click here) says the lake was created in 1926, along with the Allegany School of Natural History.

IMG_7057 Exposed Roots

A roadside parking area makes access easy to the lake. Many feet on the shore have exposed the roots of the trees that hug the shoreline.

IMG_7064 Trees on Shore Line

I find myself becoming more and more interested in the history of Allegany State Park.

IMG_7067 Quick Sunlight

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