Most of the time when we hike Wolf Run, we explore south of Wolf Run Road. Recently I heard of the possibility of finding foundations and other signs of human activity on the north side, so that is where we meandered.
Google Maps shows a road labeled simply “Allegany State Park” that forks off from Wolf Run Road. You could walk right by it if you didn’t have a GPS telling you where to turn, or a piece of orange ribbon placed there by some other explorer.
Near the end of the road, we found a few artifacts, but no foundations. Maybe in early spring we’ll come back when there aren’t so many plants.
From the road’s end, we headed toward Wolf Run Creek which we followed to the bridge (part of the Finger Lakes / North country Trail), then returned to the truck by way of the road. We walked almost 5 miles… but you will see if you examine the Google Map link below, we were in no hurry and spent a good deal of time taking in the beauty and coolness of the creek. So peaceful.
Our tenth hike in the Allegany 18 Challenge was #6, Beehunter. The weather was perfect, the bugs were minimal. Gretchen, the dog, did find a ground bee nest and got stung in the process, though.
The trail has a lot of variety. It crosses a creek or two. There are uphill climbs and descents, but a lot of level hiking, too. We parked at the picnic area near Red House Lake and walked over the grassy field to enter the trail (where the sign claimed the trail is 5.5 miles long). (The sign at the other end was more accurate, claiming 6.5 miles. The GPS says we walked 6.2.)
As with many of my other hikes this summer, there were lots of different fungi. I didn’t photograph very many different kinds. Also saw lots of stinging nettle and bee balm. There was a blow-down near the middle of the trail we had to pick our way through/around. I appreciated the cairns at the creek, because the the original fording place had logs down and the water was deep there. The cairns pointed out a better place to cross.
Distance: 6.2 miles
Duration: 4 hours, 2 minutes, and 21 seconds
Average Speed: 1.5 mph
Minimum Elevation: 1425 feet
Maximum Elevation: 2217 feet
Total climb: 1060 feet
Total descent: 1061 feet
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
Many of these trees have giant squirrel middens under them.
I think Maidenhair Fern is my favorite of all the ferns.
There is a bridge over this creek on the FLT/NCT.
The fields were full of milkweed. We saw many kinds of butterflies, including a few Monarchs.
I love the look of wild Black-eyed Susans. They seem more delicate than the cultivated ones you find in gardens.
I can’t seem to resist photographing this tree. I wonder how many photographs I have of it now?…
It was warm. He found a way to cool off.
Emily and Gretchen and I continued our progress on the Allegany 18 by hiking the Osgood Trail today.
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!
Emily and Gretchen
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.
The light coming through the canopy at the summit was beautiful.
On the way way down, we came upon several groups of large rocks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are other structures nearby, too, that look like they were grills/ovens at one time.
A pretty little moth.
A plant! At first I thought it was a fern. But those seed heads seem to be coming from the fern-like foliage.
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.
We did the loop “clockwise.” When we got to this sign, we went straight (left).
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.
There weren’t many wildflowers in bloom. Lots of Virginia Waterleaf on the descent, but my picture didn’t turn out. 😦
This Wood Sorrel turned out pretty good though:
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.
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.
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.