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The Finger Lakes Trail through Potato Hill State Forest and the Summerland Farm Preserve

Tuesday 02/14/2023 10:00 am

Hike rating:

Distance – 4 miles; Terrain – Moderate; Pace – Moderate; Overall rating – Moderate

Event/Trailhead location:

Take Rt 79 east from Ithaca, through Slaterville Springs, to Level Green Rd. Turn Right on Level Green Rd. The trail head is on Level Green Road, 1.1 miles from where Yaple Rd and Blackman Hill Rd meet Level Green Rd. Park cars on shoulder of road. (click for map).

Hike Leader:
Gary Mallow


Hike leader contact information will be sent in the email acknowledging that you have registered for this hike. 

Hike Details:


Brief Hike Details

This is a 4 mile out-and-back hike rated moderate in Potato Hill State Forest and Summerland Farm Preserve.

Depending on conditions, this could be a bare boot hike, it might require microspikes, or if enough snow cover is available, snowshoes might be the gear for the day.

Wear layers appropriate for the weather, sturdy waterproof boots, bring water and a snack or sandwich.

If you will have trouble navigating to the trailhead, contact the hike leader at the address above.

Check this space the morning of the hike for any changes or a cancellation.


Detailed Hike Description

This is an out and back hike of approximately 4 miles.

We will follow the Finger Lakes Trail/North Country Trail north-east for 1.1 miles, beginning at the FLT juncture on Level Green Rd, through Potato Hill State Forest to Blackman Hill Rd. This pleasant, meandering trail has a slight elevation but is not too strenuous. There are two creek crossings, so bring hiking poles. We will then cross Blackman Hill Rd. and continue on the recently rerouted Finger Lakes Trail through the Summerland Farm Preserve,  The trail takes us up a hill of open fields for spectacular views on a clear day. The FLLT recently built a memorial circle where earlier generations enjoyed the land, a nice place to take a snack break.

Potato Hill State Forest is comprised of 915 acres which includes a five acre pond. It is reforested farmland acquired by NYS DEC in 1938 and 1940, with two additional purchases in 1975 and 1980.  It was originally cleared for pastureland by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans and the name of this forest attests to the large scale planting of potatoes in the area by early Irish Immigrants.  

The 140 acre Summerland Farm Preserve, a recent generous donation to the FLLT for preservation, is a mix of forest and meadow, home to bobolinks and meadowlarks.

Registration is closed!