#17 – Eastwood Meadows Trail

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We got a late start, so decided to tackle what we thought was a 2.4 mile loop, based on the information in the Allegany 18 packet. Odd that the trailhead sign says it’s 4 miles. My GPS says we hiked 3.9 miles. With this hike under our belts, we are half way through the Allegany 18 challenge!

It was a hot day after some days of rain, so there were lots of ‘shrooms! Indian Pipes were also up in several places, some starting to turn their heads upward to form the seed pods. Lost count of Red Efts. Gypsy moths laying eggs. Pretty pink Smartweed in the open areas.

Pictures

The Hike

#11-Patterson and #12-Ridge Run

Well, we intended to do Ridge Run and Snowsnake trails today. When we arrived, however, a kind gentleman warned us that “they” are not mowing Snowsnake this summer in an attempt to control some invasive species… not sure what. Wearing shorts in long grass during peak tick season did not sound appealing, so we heeded his advice and revised our plans.

We hiked about 9 miles and completed both Patterson and Ridge Run. In order to do all of Patterson, we had to hike an extra mile, backtracking back up to Ridge Run. No biggie.

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We couldn’t find either of the wooden markers for the Allegany 18 Challenge. Hopefully these photos will provide enough proof that we actually hiked it!

 

The Hike:

A Wolf Run Meander

I don’t know if you can call what Terry and I do “hiking.” It’s more like meandering. Because we are never in a hurry and stop for 1 or 2 coffee breaks and lunch and photos, we often manage an average speed of 1 mile per hour. Today, .9 miles per hour.

We also rarely stick to the designated trails and love to go “bushwhacking.” Today’s meander started on Wolf Run Road, scooted into a Norway Spruce plantation, picked up the Finger Lakes / North Country Trail, then back to the truck via Wolf Run Road.

Norway Spruce Plantation

I wonder how much life is left in these Norway Spruce trees and what will happen to this section of the park when they give up the ghost…

Norway Spruce Plantation

Many of these trees have giant squirrel middens under them.

Maidenhair Fern

I think Maidenhair Fern is my favorite of all the ferns.

Wolf Run Creek

There is a bridge over this creek on the FLT/NCT.

Milkweed

The fields were full of milkweed. We saw many kinds of butterflies, including a few Monarchs.

Black-eyed Susans

I love the look of wild Black-eyed Susans. They seem more delicate than the cultivated ones you find in gardens.

One of my favorite trees

I can’t seem to resist photographing this tree. I wonder how many photographs I have of it now?…

Glock

It was warm. He found a way to cool off.

The Hike:

7 – Osgood Trail

Emily and Gretchen and I continued our progress on the Allegany 18 by hiking the Osgood Trail today.

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Trail Head Sign

The loop is fairly steep on the way up and more gradual on the way down – if you take it counter-clockwise, which we did. We passed several other groups that chose to do it the other way around. My knees prefer to do the steep part going up!

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Emily and Gretchen

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Emily and I – proof that we hiked trail #7.

There is no vista at the summit, but that didn’t make it any the less stunning up there.

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The light coming through the canopy at the summit was beautiful.

On the way way down, we came upon several groups of large rocks.

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There are some awesome rocks along the way! (I’m not sure how this photo came out so green. Hmm….)

There were also some very large, old trees.

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This picture does not do justice to how large the trees were.

 

Here is our Hike: (I forgot to turn my GPS on until we had climbed a bit of the first part of the trail. Ooops.

5 – Bear Springs Trail

My daughter Emily, her dog Gretchen, and I have begun hiking the original trails at Allegany State Park with the goal to complete them all this summer. This challenge, the Allegany 18, was put out by the Park. I sort of tricked Emily into it by leading her to believe there might be a patch at the end of it. I never said patch. But the logo for the contest looks like it would make a good patch and so she leapt to a false conclusion. Not my fault. Haha.

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Bear Springs is an easy out-and-back half-mile trail. I say easy, and it was on this dry, almost summer day. But it is obvious there are sections that would be very sloppy in the spring after snow-melt and rain. There are several places where clever built structures help you over seasonally wet areas, though not all mucky areas have them.

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The spring itself is pretty neat, covered by an igloo-shaped stone structure. I’m not sure why the water coming from the spring is orange. I suspect iron.

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There are other structures nearby, too, that look like they were grills/ovens at one time.

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A pretty little moth.

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A plant! At first I thought it was a fern. But those seed heads seem to be coming from the fern-like foliage.

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Obligatory selfies!

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4 – Three Sisters

I retired from job at Audubon. Friday, June 12 was my last day.

Today, on my first official would-have-been-work-day of retirement, my daughter Emily, her dog Gretchen, and I started the Allegany 18 Challenge. This challenge put out by Allegany State Park is to hike and document all 18 of the original hiking trails. We started today with two short ones so we could see how Gretchen would do. Turns out, she’s a trooper and I think she’ll be fine, even on the longest of the trails.

Three Sisters is “hike #4” of the challenge, a 2.5-mile loop that starts very near the Quaker Administration Building.

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We did the loop “clockwise.” When we got to this sign, we went straight (left).

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This took us into a camping area which was a little confusing. We found a trail marker on a high on a tree leading us up a gated road. That road led to a mowed power line and no indication of where the trail picked up. Hmm… We found it eventually by going right and headed up the steep woodsy trail.

At the top of the hill we found the engraved number 4 where we took our obligatory selfie.

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There weren’t many wildflowers in bloom. Lots of Virginia Waterleaf on the descent, but my picture didn’t turn out. ūüė¶

This Wood Sorrel turned out pretty good though:

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There were areas on the descent that are obviously very wet in spring, but were dry on this almost summer day. It was a perfect first hike of The Allegany Challenge.

 

Irish Settlement Hike

I had been hearing for a long time about the Irish Settlement at Allegany State Park, and even tried to find it once a while back. (See: “Not What I Planned“)

After some digging around on the Internet, I finally found what looked to be an easy way in. Horse Trail #3.

(I didn’t clean up the track from my GPS… you can see all my meanderings and stops for coffee and lunch.)

I’m sure there are more ruins to be found. But we were quite pleased with what we did find.

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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:

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

And my new thermos worked!  Hot soup for lunch.

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

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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.

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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:

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

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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:

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

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

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

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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