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Posts Tagged ‘finger lakes national forest’

by David Hill, Ithaca Journal, click here for original post & VIDEOS of building the trail as well as the completed trail

NEW Emerald Necklace boardwalk in Dresden NY.

NEW Emerald Necklace boardwalk in Dresden NY.

They call it the Emerald Necklace, a belt of green connecting 50,000 acres of public and preserved land in an arc around Ithaca, from the Finger Lakes National Forest near Trumansburg in the west to near the Dryden village limits in the east.

And on Friday, the Finger Lakes Land Trust held a grand opening for the first link of the dreamed-of greenbelt. The Ithaca-based nonprofit bought 169 acres along Irish Settlement Road, between Hammond Hill State Forest to the north and its own Roy H. Park Preserve to the south, in November 2010. The site also abuts the Cornell Plantations’ Slaterville 600 natural area. Together, the lands comprise 7,500 acres of publicly accessible and preserved wooded and open space.

There are bigger parts, such as the Connecticut Hill State Wildlife Management area in Newfield. But the site celebrated Friday is the first link the Land Trust has built. It was able to act quickly when the property came on the market because of donations from an array of individuals, businesses and organizations, Executive Director Andrew Zepp said at an informal ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes

Also speaking: Ken Lynch, regional director of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, who said the land is an example of the kind of links the state is beginning to aim for; Tompkins County Legislature Chairwoman Martha Robertson, D-Dryden, whom Zepp thanked as an individual conservationist and in her role with the county, which provided grants through its open-space and tourism-promotion programs; and Mary Ann Sumner, supervisor of the Town of Dryden.

Robertson said such lands draw both tourists and permanent residents. “It’s so critical to everything about why we live here, why we choose this place,” Robertson said. “This is the legacy that you all have created today that generations from now will enjoy.”

This past winter, the Land Trust built a hiking trail linked to the 20-mile multi-use trail network in Hammond Hill.

The Land Trust also acquired land across Irish Settlement Road from the Park Preserve that it plans to deed to the state as an expansion of Yellow Barn State Forest, Zepp said, and it may one day be possible to hike across all of them into a preserve along Ellis Hollow Creek Road.

Linking preserves on the whole arc may prove a challenge, as valley development blocks the most direct connections, but the Land Trust will persevere, Zepp said. “That’s the scope of this project,” he said. “We’re in it for the long haul. This is just one of the links in the Emerald Necklace.”

Zepp also announced memorials at the site. The trail and boardwalk will be named “Howard’s Walk” after Howard Hartnett, an active conservationist who recently died. An educational kiosk at the entrance will be named in honor of Ed Thompson, an Ithaca native whose siblings James, Bill, Mark and Ellen Fowler contributed in his honor. The overlook will be named in honor of Matthew Ruppert, whose family has supported the Land Trust.

To hike other local trails, pick up a copy of the guidebook “Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.”

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By Sue Freeman

Are you familiar with the Finger Lakes Trail? Are you sure? It continues to grow. There are now more than 950 miles of trail, including many side trails and loops. If you haven’t explored the Finger Lakes Trail for either a day hike or a backpacking trip, then you’re missing out on the best hiking that our region has to offer.

The main Finger Lakes Trail reaches from Allegany State Park to the Catskill Mountains, passing south of the major Finger Lakes. It continues west to North Dakota as the North Country Trail. In the east it meets the Long Path which connects to the Appalachian Trail. Closer to home, branch trails head north and south off the main trail. The Conservation Trail heads north to Canada. The Letchworth Trail heads east of Letchworth gorge providing a glimpse of some waterfalls. The Bristol Hills Trail (the one closest to Rochester) heads north to Ontario County Park north of Naples. The Crystal Hills Trail is being built to head south from Bath, connecting to the Great Eastern Trail. The Interloken Trail heads north into the Finger Lakes National Forest. The Onondaga Trail and Link Trail form a loop south of Syracuse. Each of these has smaller loop and spur trails attached.

The whole system amounts to an awful lot of trail mileage. How do you know where to go, where to park, what terrain you’ll encounter, when is a good time to go? The answer to these questions just got easier. The Finger Lakes Trail Conference recently unveiled their on-line, interactive trail map at www.fingerlakestrail.org.

You can zoom in and pan around on the map to focus on any specific trail area. Zooming in twice shows waypoints for trailhead parking, shelters, campsites (including primitive campsites), and hunting closures (red flag waypoints).  Clicking on a waypoint brings up more information about it such as dates for hunting closures, notices, and important infrastructure such as lean-tos are also shown. Clicking on the track of a trail, whether the main trail or any side trails, brings up an elevation profile for that area that can be enlarged.

The track colors represent the blaze colors for that segment of trail. The main trail is depicted in black for better visibility on various map backgrounds, but it is white blazed. (A blaze is a rectangle of paint on trees and structures used to denote the route of a trail.)

This interactive map can be very useful in quickly finding relevant information about a specific segment of trail. For instance, if I’m thinking of taking a hike from Ontario County Park into Naples on the Bristol Hills Trail, I can quickly see that I better go now or postpone my trip because a segment of the trail is closed for hunting from November 15 through December 22. Maybe I’ll plan a Christmas Day hike. I see my hiking partner can leave a car at the DEC lot on Route 245 and shuttle us to the start at Ontario County Park and we can hike the distance one way. And, I can see from the topo and terrain versions of the map that we’ll be in for some rugged terrain. Maybe we’ll need snowshoes if the snow is deep.

Once you decide on where to hike using the interactive map, it’s best to buy a Finger Lakes Trail Conference map for that area to use on your hike because of the detailed mile-by-mile information on the back of each map and so that you’ll have a quality printed map with you on the hike. Having a good map with you is one of the most important safety precautions you can take while hiking. Happy Trails.

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tyb-fl-cover1“Take Your Bike – Family Rides in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region” is now on sale for only $12.00 on-line only at www.footprintpress.com.

Use it to enjoy biking on rail-trails, former canal towpaths, dirt biking trails and former roads – all safe places to take your family for a bike ride. It’s also useful as a source of trails for running.

Trails included are:

Rides in Orleans, Genesee, & Wyoming Counties
1. Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area
2. Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area
3. Genesee County Park – Outer Loop
4. Genesee County Park & Forest – Inner Loop
5. Groveland Secondary
6. Silver Lake Outlet
7. Letchworth State Park – Trout Pond Loop
Rides in Livingston & Monroe Counties
8. Letchworth State Park – Big Bend Loop
9. Genesee Valley Greenway – Portageville to Nunda
10. Genesee Valley Greenway – Cuylerville to Avon
11. Rattlesnake Hill – Bike Loop
12. Rattlesnake Hill – Linear Bike Trail
13. Genesee Valley Greenway – Scottsville
14. Mendon – Lehigh Valley Trail
Rides in Ontario County
15. Victor – Lehigh Valley Trail
16. Auburn Trail
17. Ontario Pathways Trail
18. Canadice Lake Trail
19. Harriet Hollister Spencer Memorial State Recreation Area – Sidewinder Trail
20. Lakeshore Park/Seneca Lake State Park
Rides in Yates, Wayne, & Seneca Counties
21. Middlesex Valley Rail Trail
22. Keuka Lake Outlet Trail
23. Canal Park Trailway
24. Sampson State Park – Lake Trail
Rides in Schuyler & Tompkins Counties
25. Finger Lakes National Forest
26. Sugar Hill State Reforestation Area
27. Queen Catharine Marsh
28. Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area
29. South Hill Recreation Way
30. East Ithaca Recreation Way
31. Dryden Lake Park Trail
Rides in Cayuga & Onondaga Counties
32. Bear Swamp State Forest – Short Loop
33. Bear Swamp State Forest – Long Loop
34. Auburn-Flemming Trail
35. Casey Park
36. Howland Island
37. Cayuga County Erie Canal Trail (Port Byron to Jordan)
38. Erie Canalway Trail (Jordan-Camillus)
39. Erie Canal Park
40. Charlie Major Nature Trail

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Stargazette.com, link to original article

The Finger Lakes National Forest will not restrict horse use on snowmobile trails this winter.

In late December, District Ranger Michael Liu made a request to restrict horses on these trails because of safety concerns.

“In low-light conditions, it can be difficult to see a horseback rider from a snowmobile, and many snowmobile riders do not expect to encounter horses during the winter,” Liu said. “The narrowness of some trail sections was also of concern.”

Following a meeting with both horseback and snowmobile riders, these safety concerns have been addressed through additional signing, trail brushing and requests for horseback riders to wear high-visibility colors, such as blaze orange, when riding on the forest.

Snowmobile users are reminded to use caution on the trails and are advised they may encounter horse riders when riding on the Finger Lakes National Forest.

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“that which rolls” questions the wisdom of the town of Lodi wanting to limit the growth of the Finger Lakes National Forest. Good Question? Please note the link to the Finger Lakes Times article where you’ll find information on a Sept 18 town hall meeting. Maybe some of us who LIKE forests can chime into the discussion.

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By Greg Munno (gmunno@syracuse.com or 470-6084), Staff writer, The Post-Standard – Syracuse.com
Link to original article.

Let’s give the sport of running a little tweak.

We’ll keep the endorphin rush and nix the endless pavement pounding in favor of a twisting trail through the woods. We’ll maintain the simplicity and low cost but jettison the cars and fumes. We’ll hold on to the amazing aerobic workout while vanquishing all of the “I-was-born-looking-good-in-spandex” attitude.

Give that potion a stir, utter a bit of hocus-pocus and presto: Trail running!

Central New York is home to a growing number of trail runners, which is no surprise given the abundance of great off-road terrain, strong organizations that promote trail-running events and the benefits of trail running over road running.

Trail running encompasses a huge variety of activities, from running on mellow, unpaved surfaces at places like Green Lakes State Park and on the Erie Canal Trail; to mountain-running races up the side of Greek Peak in Virgil; to endurance feats like this past weekend’s Finger Lakes 50s which featured races as long as 50 miles in the Finger Lakes National Forest in Hector.

At its most basic, such as running along the Canal Trail, trail running and road running have a lot in common. There’s no need for special trail shoes. The chances of getting lost are slim. And you should be able to hit speeds similar to the ones you can achieve on a paved surface.

But there are still benefits to stepping off the road and on to that dirt path.

“I always try to stay off the road because it puts you on a softer surface and limits the pounding,” said Ken Hammond, a 23-year-old from Kirkville and a sales associate at Fleet Feet, the specialty running store in DeWitt. “And it is safer and more enjoyable because you get a way from the cars.”

The differences between road and trail running become more stark as you hit more technical terrain, like the rock-and-stump-filled paths in Highland Forest; or the narrow, steep, “single-track” trail that comes up the backside of Greek Peak; or the slick, twisting route through Fillmore Glen.

To deal with these conditions, your running speed needs to drop and your focus needs to increase, according to veteran trail runners like Joe Reynolds, 63, of Newfield, Todd Baum, 50, of Fayetteville, and Mark Driscoll, 49, of Syracuse.

“You need look where you are headed and really stay focused, keeping a connection between your mind and your foot,” said Driscoll, who organizes trail runs at Highland Forest through the Syracuse Charges Track Club. “It’s a bit counter-intuitive. You can’t look straight down at your foot, you have to look ahead of you, absorbing the terrain in such way that your foot knows what’s coming even if you aren’t looking right at it.”

Driscoll said this type of technical running builds strength in the core and legs in a way that road running doesn’t. The terrain forces the running to vary their stride, limiting repetitive-use injuries and building smaller support muscles.

But it comes with risk of different types of injuries, such as turning an ankle or bruises and breaks from taking a fall. The key is to stay focused and slow down, even during a race, Reynolds says.

“The only time I turned my ankle trail running was during the Virgil Mountain Half Marathon, at the end when I hit the pavement and lost my concentration,” Reynolds said. “Trail running is not a sport to ‘space out’ during like you can road running. Speed doesn’t count as much. Even during a race, the competitors are less intense, friendlier, than at a road race. There’s no shame in walking up the hill. It’s less about time and more about having a good time.”

The increased focus on concentration, and the physical obstacles that force runners of all abilities to slow down, often allows older, slower athletes to place better in a trail race than they would in a road race, Reynolds said.

But even runners like Baum who competes in extreme events like the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney in California said finishing in the front isn’t what attracted him to the trails.

“It’s just so enjoyable to be on a trail,” he said. “You’re away from the traffic and barking dogs. You have shade. You have the sights and sounds and smells of nature. Running heightens your sense of this beauty. It really gets you dialed in.”

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For easy trails to run use the Take Your Bike guidebooks : “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in New York’s Finger Lakes Region,” Take Your Bike – Family Rides the Finger Lakes and Genesee Valley Region” and “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in the Rochester Area.”

For more challenging trails to run use the Take A Hike guidebooks : “Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region” and “Take A Hike – Family Walks in the Rochester Area.”

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The Thrifty Blogger writes about a family camping trip to Finger Lakes National Forest and Taughannock Falls – with lots of good photos.

Take along a copy of Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region and you can enjoy the trails of Finger Lakes National Forest. With a copy of 200 Waterfalls in Central and Western New York – A Finder’s Guide you can search out the waterfalls in and around Finger Lakes National Forest.

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