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…

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What would YOU Do?

So, I want a little camera to take with me on hikes.

Then I went hiking with my friend Barb who has an iPhone with the Map My Hike app, and I thought that was kinda cool.

But I’m pretty cheap and those phone plans are more than I want to spend.  I have a tracfone for calls and texting and I spend about $40 every 3 months or so and that’s fine for me.  I have a landline at home which also provides access to the internet.  I don’t want to pay for more services than I plan to use.

So I started wondering… do you have to have a phone plan?  Or can you use a smartphone for everything BUT phone?  Would the GPS work without a phone plan?  Could I upload my pictures when I have wifi access and be satisfied with that?  Would Map My Hike work without a phone plan?

I’ve been looking around on the internet to see if anyone is doing this.  Sounds like it’s doable, though not necessarily a super easy seamless thing to do.  I found this article, for example:

http://readwrite.com/2012/11/07/from-smartphone-to-mindphone-cheaper-smarter-not-always-on

And of course, when you find the perfect phone for this solution, the price is high!  They sell you the phones cheap when you are also getting a phone/data plan.  But “phone” only is pricey!

So I started looking at gps-enabled point and shoots… turns out they are similarly priced to the “unlocked” smart phone.

What to do?

Do any of my readers have suggestions?

Stress Relieving Walk

I’ve been putting all my brain power into a big fundraiser for the Nature Center where I work. On Thursday afternoon, just an hour before we had to drive down to set everything up, I took a much needed nature break. Here’s some of what I saw.

Staghorn Sumac:
IMG_6973 Sumac
I love Staghorn Sumac. Much of it is more brilliantly colored than this one at this time of year, but I didn’t find any fiery ones on my walk. This deciduous shrub produces fuzzy red berries on the female plants which persist all winter and provide food for birds, and can be used to make tea. It spreads like crazy from the root system, so you often see big patches of the stuff that are tall in the middle and shorter as you move out from the center. Click here for lots more info from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Red Maple against a background of Red Pine:
IMG_6989 Maple and Pine
After checking the forest service website (which you can visit by clicking here), I’ve decided Red Maple is the Superlative Tree. Consider these quotes:

  • one of the most abundant and widespread trees in eastern North America
  • the greatest continuous range along the Atlantic Coast of any tree

I’m fond of Red Maple in all seasons. The spring “flowers” are very interesting.

The Red Pines in the background are not native to our area. They were planted when the Jamestown Audubon Society first got the property – a vast goldenrod field – in order to provide wildlife shelter. If you pay close attention to our Red Pines, you will notice they are always growing in straight lines! If that’s not a clue that they were planted by humans, I don’t know what is. Read more about Red Pines by clicking here.

White-tailed Doe:
IMG_7010 Doe
This little lady was nibbling away in one of our bird banding net lanes. I took several shots through the brush and while she noticed me, she did not seem concerned with my presence. So, in order to get a better shot, I sneaked down the “steps” and into the net lane with her. She let me snap the above shot, then turned up her tail:

IMG_7009 White Tail
White-tailed deer are very common in our region. And this is the season of the rut. The males’ antlers are quite impressive at this time of year. After mating they will shed them and I will search for the shed antlers and probably not find any, if past experience is any indicator… (sad face) Read more about White-tailed deer by clicking here.

Swamp Rose:
IMG_7011 Swamp Rose
I wish we could eliminate some of the non-native Multiflora Rose that grows like crazy at the Nature Center and replace it with native Swamp Rose. It’s a much prettier, if less prolific plant. Its blooms in spring are showy and pink, and in fall the hips are big and the leaves so colorful. You can learn more at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website by clicking here.

Some Leaves on the Surface of the Pond:
IMG_7015 Pond Surface
Those little round ones are Frogbit, an non-native that we discovered in our waterways at the Nature Center back in 2006. It has since spread to all the ponds. It makes really pretty little flowers, which is why it was brought here from Europe – to decorate backyard ponds. But it sure makes thick mats, which isn’t good for native wildlife… It doesn’t look bad in this photo, but boy can it grow fast! Read more about it by clicking here.

Even more Swamp Rose because it’s so pretty at this time of year:
IMG_7019 Swamp Rose

And the Big Sugar Maple; I just can’t resist a photo every time I pass it:
IMG_7028 Sugar Maple
This great, old sugar maple was on the property when Jamestown Audubon Society acquired it. It is a massive tree and I have a hard time walking past it without snapping a few photos. I worry about our sugar maples in this era of global climate change. You can read about sugar maples in general by clicking here. And you can read about the effects of climate change on sugar maples by clicking here.


The auction was a great success. Many thanks to all the volunteers, donors, guests, and to the venue staff for making it so much fun.

And many thanks to Mother Nature for the stress relieving break she gave me while in preparation for it all!

###

Chautauqua Gorge…

… it’s just so beautiful.

I said to my sister, “I sort of want to take my camera out, but I have so many pictures of this place already.”

I couldn’t resist.

First I practiced with slow shutter speeds on a water fall:

IMG_5359 little waterfall slow shutter

Then I just had to capture this 1970s color palette!

IMG_5370 mini waterfall from above

Panama Rocks

I got to spend Mother’s Day at Panama Rocks with my family.

IMG_4542 Mother's Day 2015

It’s not an easy place to photograph. If it is a sunny day, the contrasty light makes it very challenging. It was quite sunny when we arrived, but clouds rolled in as our hike continued.

IMG_4490 My Girls

It was a hot day. But the rocks still held on to winter’s cold… quite literally in some spots where there was still ice.

IMG_4510 Panama Rocks

Even though my girls are in their early 20s, they adopted the spirit of 6-year-olds to do the park’s scavenger hunt.

IMG_4545 Emily IMG_4523 - Fat Man's Misery - Maddie

The hunt teaches both natural and human history.

IMG_4576 overhead opening

I didn’t really attend much to the facts. I was too entranced by the rocks and trees and play of light.

IMG_4549 Tree on Rock IMG_4567 Passage

IMG_4604 nice scene

IMG_4579 Through to the Light IMG_4598 Ice

Maddie was most excited by the scavenger hunt and did find the the treasure in the end!

IMG_4607 - Found the Treasure!

It was a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Thank you!

IMG_4584 - Painted Trillium

France Brook Road

It was a gray and rainy day, but we never let that stop us from a nice hike!  I took the opportunity to shoot a bunch of photos some of which might end up as my Assignment #2 for the photography class I’m taking at Jamestown Community College.

FranceBrookRoad
In winter, France Brook Road in Allegany State Park is closed to car/truck traffic and groomed for snowmobiles. We have learned that snowmobilers tend to sleep in and come out in the afternoon. So we had France Brook Road to ourselves most of the time. Toward the end of our walk, we waved at quite a few people on “sleds.”

BeechAndRedPine
It was a gray and rainy day. But I managed to find some color. Loved the aqua-colored lichen/moss/fungi? on the Red Pine behind this Beech, still clinging to leaves.

Goldenrod
These Goldenrod were swaying in the breeze and the rain was thicker – almost snow!

HillsBehindSpruce
I don’t know what species this tree is, but isn’t the green spectacular?

LichensOnGuardRail
This bridge is closest to ASP2. The guardrail was covered with lichens.

MapleAndRedPine
I just loved the combination of colors and textures with this small Maple growing right up next to a Red Pine.

NettelsTrailSign
We discovered TWO trails that we didn’t know exist. We’ll be going back to see where they go! I suspect they are horse trails that go to one or the other of the Group Camps.

Willow
The color of the Willow was spectacular against the darker background. I love the layering of the hills.

Witchhazel
This picture didn’t come out very sharp, but I like it anyway.

YellowBirch
The branches of the Yellow Birch are so delicate against the sky. The little catkins add a nice touch.

Solstice

Today marks the solstice.

Tree: looking up

It was a gray, heavily overcast day. Dark at night. Dark in the day. Well, at least not bright. There was a bit of snow on the ground, but not much. A perfect blend of autumn and winter to mark the solstice.

Leaves and snow

Much as I would love to see a lot more snow, the scant dusting let some pretty colors show through.

Pine needles, moss and snow

As the days get longer and we move into the frenzy of the holidays, be good to yourself. And get outside!