Display Yesterday, thirteen hikers were treated to a lovely walk in the woods at the Houghton Preserve in Corning. The Finger Lakes Land Trust has created more than 35 of these conservation areas that are open to the public for quiet enjoyment of nature.
The abundant shade and a refreshing breeze kept us all comfortable as we meandered along the well marked and maintained trails. Three naturalists enjoyed a gentler walk along the lower trails and a peaceful meadow, although they did cover quite a bit of ground. The bobolinks did not put in an appearance except on a smart phone.
Ten tourists/climbers traversed the upper and lower loops, listening for a cuckoo and searching for evidence of porcupine, when they had an unexpected sighting. A black bear loped through the forest just uphill from the trail. Thanks to Pinock ( on his first hike with our group) for his quick reflexes in alerting us, as we might never have gotten a glimpse. Our noise and numbers frightened the little critter away too quickly for John to snap a photo.
Our after hike social at the Market Street Brewing Company was most enjoyable, despite the slow service. Good food, good prices, good beer.
This was Springwater Trails first outing at Houghton. Hopefully we will return to enjoy it in other seasons. If you wish to explore on your own, this is a very user friendly area: ample parking, kiosk with maps and information, well blazed trails. Keep and eye out for bears!
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Wish I had a photo to capture the hygge (Danish for coziness) of tonight’s gathering. John and Sue provided the comfort of their gorgeous home. We enjoyed a perfect variety of nutritious and delicious foods. The music was lively and eclectic (Don’t Jump Off the Roof Dad). Most of all, old friends got to relax and chat. Thank you all, for an invigorating hike and a lovely evening., especially to John for orchestrating it all.
The seven hikers who ventured out to Big Flats Sunday afternoon were rewarded with a glorious walk in the woods. Sunny and mild weather, plus dry trails. The photos tell it all.
Our host, Bob C. met us at the trailhead with his usual cheerful welcome and helpful information. His wildlife account about a cinnamon bear, got us all excited at the prospect of seeing this black bear of a different color. After the initial hike up to the trails, Bob left us to explore on our own, cautioning us about the LONG hill on our selected route. The climbers (our only group on this hike) were not to be deterred.
For those who have not been to this preserve, It is about 800 acres of newer growth trees, overlooking the Chemung River. The 6 miles of trails are meticulously maintained by the aforementioned Bob C., the steward of the property. Each year during hunting season, volunteers patrol the preserve for the Land Trust to assure that no hunters stray into its borders. We encountered none.
Our route took us through some new territory, the northeast corner of the preserve. Conditions were perfect for this hike down then up, up, UP to the top of Steege Hill. Our group then traversed some gentler terrain on the hilltop along a steep gully to a small pond. By then it was near sunset and time to head out of the woods.
Off we went to Tag’s Restaurant, a cozy little eatery nearby, with friendly service and a sizeable menu. There we were welcomed by Bob, three other Steege patrollers, and the famous Irene S., trail builder extraordinaire. It was a pleasant ending to a perfect day. Do not hesitate to visit Steege Hill on your own. You might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of that bear.
Thanks to all the folks who joined us for the Sunday Hike on Robinson’s Loop. We had about 15 hikers. The terrain was more challenging than usual due to recent logging and the consequent muck and fallen branches.
The groups today got more than they bargained for. Most of us did three hours on the trail due, to map and memory confusion. However, these intrepid folks still gave the hike a thumbs up. Must be they are hardened hikers, ready for anything.
The tourists really did take a “tour” of the whole area. They hiked the blue trail and then some. John did a masterful job of getting everyone back to base camp. Climbers made a perimeter hike of the orange and blue loops which entailed some bushwhacking over fallen trees and through a few multiflora bushes. Undaunted by mud and bugs, they persevered until the final mile when they opted to take the downhill route through the ski trails, which afforded a cool breeze and fewer insects.
The Sierra Inn was a welcome refuge for all after this challenging hike.
Check out the Facebook photos as well as those contained in this post.