Thursday Morning Hike: Van Lone Loop

Thursday, September 21, 2017  •  8:30 am
  • Hike rating: Distance - 5.8 miles; Terrain - Moderate; Pace - Slow; Overall rating - Moderate
  • Carpool meeting place: 8:30 a.m. - EMS Parking Lot at 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: 9:00 a.m. - Cayuta Gulf FLT trailhead on Gulf Road, just off of Schuyler County Road #6 near the Cayuta Lake outlet, south of Cayuta Lake. There is a small parking lot about 200 yards down Gulf Road (click for map).
  • Contact: Sigrid Connors   607-227-3786

Our hike takes us to the Van Lone Loop, which is on the white-blazed Finger Lakes Trail and the orange-blazed trail in Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area. We will begin and end at the Gulf Road trail-head. The primary natural features of this hike include the beautiful, narrow and usually shade-shrouded Cayuta Outlet, which could be running with fast water. We will pass through a small stand of old growth trees of various species, some up to 150 years old. Connecticut Hill has abundant bird life and wildflowers, and we are likely to see, or hear, both. A long footbridge built out of black locust is a highlight, along with the site of an identical bridge lost a few years ago.

The Connecticut Hill Wildlife Managment Area is owned by the people of New York and managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation. At 25,000 acres, it is one of the largest contiguous natural areas within easy driving distance from Ithaca.
Bring water and a snack and wear comfortable hiking shoes, bug spray for ticks is also recommended. Hiking sticks are helpful as there are some steep sections.
The Gulf Road trail-head is about a 30 minute drive from Ithaca. I'll be at EMS at 8:30 for anyone interested in carpooling. Please let me know if planning on joining the carpool. Plan to meet at trailhead at 9 am. 

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