FLT Connect

FLT Connect is a FREE series of workshops and presentations designed to educate, inspire, and connect trail users. Unless otherwise noted, all FLT Connect events are conducted via ZOOM. All FLT Connect events are recorded and made available through the FLTC’s YouTube Learning Library. Scroll down for a full list of previous presentations.

2022 Schedule of Events

Don’t Get Ticked, NY!
Thursday, February 3 at 7 pm

Back by popular demand! Avoiding Lyme and other tick-borne diseases requires avoiding a tick bite! Join the New York State Integrated Pest Program’s Joelle Lampman as she talks about the different ticks in our area and their biology, the diseases they carry, and how to protect yourself from being bitten.

Joelle Lampman is a Community IPM Extension Support Specialist with the New York State IPM Program at Cornell University. With a degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University, Joellen is a lifelong environmental educator. At the New York State IPM Program, she utilizes the clear knowledge-based, decision-making process of IPM to tech ecology and made a difference, one property at a time. In some circles, Joellen is also known as “The Tick Lady.”

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FLTC Hike Leader Training
Thursday, February 10 at 7 pm

The FLTC offers many opportunities for group hikes across the state: Cross-County Hike Series, Hiking 101, and Hike & Happy Hours. We’re working to develop more group series and programs, but we need Hike Leaders!

We’ve developed a new Hike Leader Training to provide the basics of being a Hike Leader. The training was developed by Tori Andruczyk, a NYS/DEC Hiking Camping Guide and a Girl Scout Leader who is Wilderness First Aid certified; Steve Ellsworth, a Hike Leader with Bullthistles Hiking Club and the FLTC, a chainsaw certified Trail Maintainer, and a Youth Group Leader; and Peg Fuller, President of the Bullthistles Hiking Club and Program Chair for the FLTC Board of Managers.

We’ll talk about how to prepare to lead a group hike and how to help hikers prepare themselves. We’ll address difficulty levels of various hikes, seasonal considerations, and tools and resources that are available for hike leaders to plan and successfully lead a hike.

While this training was designed to train Hike Leaders for the FLTC – and we will talk about how the FLTC group hikes are planned, promoted, and supported by the FLTC – this training is also appropriate for Hike Leaders with affiliate clubs and for individual hikers looking for information about how to thoroughly plan for a hike.

We hope you will join us for this exciting educational opportunity and consider becoming a Hike Leader with the FLTC!

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FLT Ambassador Training: Intro to the FLTC
Thursday, February 17 at 7 pm

We’re launching an exciting new FLT Ambassador Program to strengthen our trail community. This program is designed for people who spend a good amount of time on the FLT, and who’d like to help other trail users about FLTC resources and about ethical and responsible trail use.

To become a FLT Ambassador, you must attend two trainings, offered via Zoom. In the first training we’ll provide an overview of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference and the resources we have for hikers and trail users. In the second training we’ll do an overview of the seven Leave No Trace Principles and how you can help other trail users to leave the trail better than they found it.

FLT Ambassadors are asked to spend a minimum of 12 hours per year on the trail. Once you’ve completed the first two trainings, we’ll equip you with info to hand out to other trail users, and some FLT swag to identify you as an official Ambassador. Additional trainings will be offered throughout the year, and FLT Ambassadors will be recognized in Footnotes, FLT News, and on the FLT’s website and social media channels. This is your opportunity to get more involved with the FLTC while doing what you love to do – spending time on the Finger Lakes Trail!

Register Now!

Heather Houskeeper: Edible and Medicinal Plants on the FLT, Winter and Spring
Thursday, March 10 at 7 pm

Join Heather Houskeeper, a.k.a. The Botanical Hiker, for an exploration of the edible and medicinal plants that inhabit the Finger Lakes Trail. This program will focus on cool weather plants, specifically those that can be found in late winter and early spring. Many of these same plants also inhabit your own backyard. Heather will share tips for identifying these easily recognizable plants and how to discern them from plants that may look similar. Learn how to harvest and prepare these wild plants at home or on the trail, incorporating them into simple, tasty dishes and useful medicines.

Bio:
Heather Houskeeper, a.k.a. the Botanical Hiker, is an herbalist, long-distance hiker, and author. She has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, Mountains to Sea Trail, the Long Path, Florida Trail, Mid State Trail, and holds the record as the first person to hike the Finger Lakes Trail and its six branches in one continuous journey. When not woods rambling or pulling back the petals on a botanical find, she guides others into the natural world through educational nature-inspired seminars, workshops, and plant walks. She is the author of two books about foraging, including A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Finger Lakes Trail. Her third book, Love and the Long Path is newly released. To follow her adventures and research, or to book an experience visit the: www.TheBotanicalHiker.com

Books can be purchased from my website: www.TheBotanicalHiker.com

Register Now!

FLT Ambassador Training – Leave No Trace
Thursday, March 24 at 7 pm

We’re launching an exciting new FLT Ambassador Program to strengthen our trail community. This program is designed for people who spend a good amount of time on the FLT, and who’d like to help other trail users about about FLTC resources and about ethical and responsible trail use.

To become a FLT Ambassador, you must attend two trainings, offered via Zoom. In the first training we’ll provide an overview of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference and the resources we have for hikers and trail users. In the second training we’ll do an overview of the seven Leave No Trace Principles and how you can help other trail users to leave the trail better than they found it.

FLT Ambassadors are asked to spend a minimum of 12 hours per year on the trail. Once you’ve completed the first two trainings, we’ll equip you with info to hand out to other trail users, and some FLT swag to identify you as an official Ambassador. Additional trainings will be offered throughout the year, and FLT Ambassadors will be recognized in Footnotes, FLT News, and on the FLT’s website and social media channels. This is your opportunity to get more involved with the FLTC while doing what you love to do – spending time on the Finger Lakes Trail!

Register Now!

Volunteer Opportunities with the Finger Lakes Trail Conference
Thursday, April 7 at 7 pm

The Finger Lakes Trail was built and is almost entirely maintained by volunteers. The Finger Lakes Trail Conference – the organization that supports the FLT – was founded in 1962 and for most of the last 60 years it has been operated by volunteers. We are fortunate to have a very active Board of Managers – all volunteers – who continue to govern the FLTC and guide the growth and development of the Trail and the Trail Conference, but we are growing.

In the last few years the FLTC has created two new full-time positions – Director of Marketing and Communications and Director of Trail Development. These two positions are charged with moving the organization forward in exciting ways, but volunteers continue to be the lifeblood of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference.

There are so many ways to volunteer with the FTLC – and we need your help! Join Christy Post (Director of Marketing and Communications) and Michaela Aney (Director of Trail Development) for this special FLT Connect event and learn how you can get involved. We’ll discuss opportunities both on and off the trail, and everything from entry level opportunities to leadership positions.

Register Now!

Previous Events

Safety on the Trail: A Panel Discussion for Women, January 2022
Terrestrial Invasive Species and FL-PRISM, June 2021
End-to-End Panel Discussion, May 2021
Trail Essentials at Gear for Adventure, April 2021
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the FLT with Heather Houskeeper, March 2021
Winter Stories in the Snow with Linda Spielman, February 2021
Navigating the FLT: A Guide to FLTC Maps and Map Tools, September 2020
Responding to Wildlife Emergencies, July 2020