Tonight's destination is the top of Roger's Hill in the rural town of Catherine, Schuyler County, and then to rugged Texas Hollow State Forest.
If we have clear skies, the view to the north and east from Roger's Hill, our starting point, is dramatic: it reveals the little resort area of Cayuta Lake down in the valley below, and the hills of Connecticut Hill WMA beyond. After taking in the view, we have a 0.7 mile road-walk down Carly Rd. to Texas Hollow State Forest.
We then hike a gradual uphill grade through wet and rough terrain, and then down (we lose about 650 feet in elevation) to the small Texas Hollow Loop Trail. The loop reveals a small, rare bog, which features floating mats of vegetation and several plants more at home to the Adirondacks than to central New York. They include: wild cranberry, sundew, pitcher plant, lady slilpper, and, in the past, orchid. Next stop is Texas Hollow Pond, which lies in the center of bowl-like topography and is a very pretty spot. Adjacent to the pond is the major man-made feature of this hike, a set of puncheons that span a wet area, construction completed by Cayuga Trails Club volunteers.
Bring sturdy, broken-in waterproof hiking boots, water, and insecticide. Roger's Hill is about a 30 minute drive from Ithaca, so be prepared for a fair amount of driving and a car shuttle.
We will park cars at the Finger Lakes Trail-head on Texas Hollow Road in Schuyler County. From Ithaca, take Route 79 west for about 20 miles. Just before you enter the little hamlet of Bennetsburg, look for Texas Hollow Rd. on your left. Turn left on Texas Hollow Rd. and go about 1.5 miles. Small parking area and FLT trail-head are on your left. Look for cars and hikers gathering. A short car shuttle will take hikers to the starting point from there.
If you are unsure of navigation, email Gary. As a last resort, Gary will meet you at the EMS parking lot, 722 South Meadow Street, promptly at 5:00 pm to guide you.
This hike will qualify for the Hike 100 Challenge with the North Country Trail Association. Mileage will be calculated at the hike.
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