Have you ever seen an Allegheny Ant Mound? Join us for this Sunday’s hike and you will observe several. Experience one of the Finger Lake Land Trust’s finest nature preserves, 794 acres of recovering forest. In the 1970’s this tract was severely damaged by extensive logging, so much so that the town closed it to the timber companies, a legislative first. As we explore the deep ravines and enjoy the wide variety of hardwoods and hemlocks, we will be providing a service for the Land Trust. The donor of this land has stipulated that each year, during hunting season, it must be patrolled to inform any hunters that they must stay outside the boundaries of the preserve. Not to worry. In the numerous times I have patrolled here, I have yet to encounter a hunter.
Description of Hike
Steege Hill contains 7 miles of trails with varying terrain. Most are abandoned logging roads. All groups will begin their journey at the small parking area on the east side of Steege Hill Road ascending approximately 1/2 miles to the top of the preserve. A map of the trails is included with this description and also can be accessed at the FLLT website.
Naturalist Hikers will bear right onto the yellow trail and make a counter clockwise loop, returning to their starting point. It is a fairly level loop of approximately 2 miles with a few minor uphill sections. This group can spend time at a small pond and admire the several species of trees. The forest is quite open.
Tourist Hikers will bear left on the yellow trail then drop down to the left on the blue loop. The terrain is rocky in places with some ups and downs. Depending on time, this group may continue on the Blue loop and rejoin the Yellow trail, completing the loop in a clockwise direction. If a longer walk is wanted, they may bear left on the Red trail and follow it to connect with the Yellow loop. This hike will be about 3.5 miles.
Climbers will circumnavigate the trail system. Starting out on the White trail, climbers will drop down the hillside and back up for a 2 mile loop. The trail could be quite muddy so boots and/or gaiters are recommended. Climbers will then traverse the Blue and Red trails back to the Yellow loop. Plenty of climbing involved with some steep spots.
Getting There Parking is VERY LIMITED. Roadside parking is not advisable. Please carpool from the Springwater Town Hall, leaving at 12:30. Drive time is about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Directions: Take 390 South to I 86 East. Take Exit # 48. Turn Right on NY 352. Go 1.5 miles. Turn right on S. Corning Rd. (Chemung CR 10). Go .7 miles. Just after bridge turn left on Steege Hill Rd. Go 1 mile. Slow down. Parking is on left. Preserve sign is difficult to spot.
Social There is a great little joint called Tags, recommended by local folks. to get there, retrace your steps back to Rte 352. Turn right and travel about .6 mile. Restaurant is on the right. Menu is full of salads, burgers, wraps and apps. See it at tagsrestaurant.com