Tuesday Evening Hike: Connecticut Hill West

Tuesday, August 22, 2017  •  4:30 pm
  • Hike rating: Distance - 6 miles; Terrain - Difficult with steep uphill pitches; Pace - Moderate; Overall rating - Strenuous
  • Carpool meeting place: 4:30 p.m. - EMS Parking Lot, 722 S Meadow St. (click for map). Please park in front of the store but at the end of the lot furthest away from the store.
  • Event/Trailhead location: 5:00 p.m. - Gulf Rd. trail-head of the Finger Lakes Trail, Town of Alpine, Schuyler County (click for map).
  • Contact: Gary Mallow   garymallow2004@yahoo.com   607-339-5131

If you like walking alongside a shady brook, then this hike on a section of the Finger Lakes Trail is for you. Our hike takes us to the western section of Connecticut Hill, a 25,000-acre Wildlife Management Area owned by the people of New York and managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation. This hike requires about a thirty minute drive from Ithaca.

Connecticut Hill is one of the largest contiguous natural areas within easy driving distance from Ithaca. This is an out-and-back hike starting from the white-blazed trail-head of the Finger Lakes Trail on Gulf Rd. in the Town of Alpine, Schuyler County.

Among the natural features are two streams, one of them the Cayuta Outlet. We hike along it for 20 minutes on an abandoned road and later see a number of trees at least 100 years old that escaped the loggers. A man-made feature of this section of trail is a footbridge made of black locust lumber and steel fasteners. Black locust is naturally rot resistant, locally grown and locally harvested. The bridge was built by volunteers using this sustainable lumber resource.
Bring water, waterproof hiking boots and insecticide if you use it. Highly recommended gear is a headlamp or a flashlight, or both, as we exit the woods at dusk.
If you are driving directly to the trailhead, set your GPS for 5701 Gulf Road, Alpine, NY. (Although not the exact location of the trailhead, it will get you close). For those unsure of their navigation, contact Gary by email. As a last resort, Gary will stop at EMS promptly at 4:30 p.m. 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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