Kristina and I went for what turned out to be a long hike in Danby State Forest. The relevant guidebooks claim it is 8.4 miles, a lot of which is up and down steep hills.

The first part of the hike is to an area called Thatcher's Pinnacles. It is above a steep cliff looking down over the Biodiversity Preserve (where we have been previously). Down in the valley below all water drains north to the Great Lakes, in front of me it drains south to the Susquehanna and the Chesapeake Bay.
Thatcher's Pinnacles

It is still early enough to have wild flowers, this is Fringed Polygala:
Fringed Polygala

It was a grey and windy day which made the trees rustle. The trail continues down and follows a meandering stream for a while:
meandering stream

We kept going until we got back to the road, and possibly foolishly decided to keep on the loop instead of taking the road as a shortcut back to our car.

We almost passed by this bird which had a nest at eye-level. We think it is a Solitary Vireo:
solitary vireo

Not long after the wind blew something into my eye which I couldn't get out until a few hours later. That was pretty painful. The trail continues for a while in pretty scenery until it meets up with the Finger Lakes trail, which took us back to our car.

In the State Forests near Ithaca you get scenery like the below. The government bought up marginal farms back in the 1930s and planted trees, so your trail suddenly intersects with these old tree plantations:
regular trees

Here is out route:
Abbot Loop GPS

The following week was busy, and the weather was very much like early-Spring, not at all like late May. The rainstorms followed by bright sunshine were perfect for rainbows; here is a nice double one viewed from out our front door:

Over Memorial Day weekend, while waiting for Kristina's family to visit, we went for a walk in Shindagin Hollow State Forest. It was a nice forested walk, although there was a menace of catepillars dropping from the trees onto us. This Forest is actually famous for its Mountain Bike Trails, and we're not sure how anyone survives some of the steep trails.

Our book described a loop that started on the Finger Lakes trail but then looped off of it (on unmarked trails) and for once the GPS came in handy because we completely missed where we were supposed to pick up the FLT the second time.

Here's a waterfall near the start of the trail:
Shindagin Waterfall

Here's a GPS track of our walk:
shindagin map

And all too quickly, now the semester is over and Summer will (hopefully) soon begin.
Back to late spring adventures