Winter Walk

Well, sort of winter. Forty degrees. The ground under foot was mushy under the melting snow. The creek that was probably frozen a couple of days ago was clear of ice today.


American Beech


Eastern Hemlock


Oak (and other leaves if you look closely)


Black Cherry


Yellow Birch


Hawthorn


White Pine

Nice walk with wonderful company.

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January 8, 2017

Why do we wake up some days in lethargy with little interest in or desire for the day’s unfolding? That was me this morning. And then the light began to reveal a perfect winter day fresh with powder. I knew I didn’t have the energy for a full day of hiking. I also knew I would regret it if I didn’t get out there.

2017-01-08-terrys-backyard-hike

Just under 1.5 miles with elevation change of around 100 feet, it was a good length and it refreshed my soul. We were only “lost” for a short distance. We’ve walked this trail dozens of times and know it well. Conversation and playing with the dog got us slightly offtrack.

glock

Snowshoes were a must. In some spots the powder was quite deep. The return trip was by road without snowshoes.

1.4 miles
+ another 1 mile loop with Lolli after supper.
#365MileChallenge

###

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.

2nd Attempt

I’ve gotten it into my head that I want to find the USGS marker at the top of the hill that is labeled “Brown.”  All I have to go on is this US Topo map:

Mark on Topo

The first time we tried to get there, we came up Browns Hollow Road and intended to try following the ridge around to the marker.  But it was late, I was sick, blah blah blah…

Yesterday, we tried again.  This time, we came up from the NY-PA line – a steep 1.1 miles along the North Country Trail.

DSC00543Terry at Sign

We pulled out the topo map and compass to take a bearing and headed toward … something.  We didn’t even really know what we were looking for.

Part way in, we found that someone had marked trees with paint!

DSC00547Paint Spots on Tree

The markings were pretty inconsistent.  Some squares, some circles.  Sometimes gray, sometimes white, sometimes blue.  We abandoned the compass and map and decided to follow the paint, believing they would take us to the marker.  Why else would there be paint on trees?

Along the way, we saw some fun evidence of animals.

DSC00546Mouse or Squirrel Activity

This hole in the tree was too small for a squirrel.  There were lots of mouse tracks on the snow, so that’s my guess.

We also found some Pileated Woodpecker action:

DSC00549Pileated Woodpecker

Eventually, we stopped for lunch.  When we started up again, the paint marks that were in the same general direction that our compass had originally pointed us ended.  We backtracked to this marker:

DSC00548Big Turn

And there we found a sharp turn going in the opposite direction we thought we should be going.  We wanted to follow to see where it goes, but the sun was setting, so we retraced our steps back to the car instead.

It was a really nice hike… even though we never found the marker.  Here it is, on Map My Hike:

Map

We’ll try again, no doubt.