Hikers experienced what it meant to “bushwack” and “cross a creek” this past Mother’s Day as they explored the Canadice Outlet into the DEC Hemlock/Canadice State Forest. Hikers split at the creek where the old steel bridge once spanned the outlet, one group taking the high ridge trail to find the Canadice Hollow cemetary and the other taking the low trail along the creek into the historical village called Dixon Hollow. All hikers experienced a truly memorable hike, full of stories, laughs, and hopefully an “outward bound” adventure.
The water of the creek was somewhat low this time of year and tourists got their feet wet as they crossed the creek by either rope, stones, or downed trees into the historical hamlet called Dixon Hollow in search of the Mather family homes and mill. Old foundation remains of bridges, mills, and houses were explored along a small foot path following the old Dixon Hollow Road. Wild violets served as a snack along the way, and periwinkle, fringed polygala (an orchid like flower), jack-in-the pulpits, wild geraniums, true and false solomon seal, blue cohosh, bloodroot and trilliums were plentiful in an area that has been untouched for over 100 years. Much to Marty and Don’s surprise, the Mather homestead was located and surrounded by an unidentified plant. A broken cement dam helped the tourists to locate the old Mather mill which was dismantled and relocated to Clay Street in Hemlock in the early 1900’s. For more information look up Dixon Hollow, Hemlock, New York.
The climber hikers explored the high ridge on the west side of the Canadice Outlet Creek. Using GPS coordinates, their destination would take them into an unknown area to locate the logging trail next to the Canadice Hollow cemetary. Everyone craved for Pati’s apple when they finally came upon the logging trail after smelling bear odors, finding an old open well and foundation, and crawling on their hands and knees through a dense multi-flora rose patch. With some help from trail builders and maintenance workers this path could serve as a great connection into the Canadice Outlet area.
Thanks go out to neighbor Todd for helping to lead the Naturalists and Pam for hosting the after hike social which included dandelion blossom drink and samples of other wild edibles, maple pulled pork, strawberries, and hiker dishes to pass. Welcome to our new hikers, and the return of Marty and Amy!