Each year, the FLTC cooperates with affiliate organizations to sponsor a Cross-County Hike Series. The series includes several organized hikes, about one per month, that are intended to promote hiking on the Finger Lakes Trail. Many members use these hikes in their quest for End-to-End awards. When you register for a series and participate in all of the hikes, you will have crossed a major section of the Finger Lakes Trail. There is a modest registration fee that covers the cost of transportation between the ends of each hike.

2014 Steuben County Hike Series

by Jet Thomas, Steuben County Hike Series Coordinator

The 2014 FLTC County Hike Series, “Hiking the Hills of Dairy Country,” will cross the 66.5 miles of trail in Steuben Countyin seven hikes from April through October.  The Series will begin in April on Pennsylvania Hill Road, which is located just over the county line at the eastern edge of AlleganyCounty, and will continue eastward for seven hikes, finishing the trail at the eastern edge of the county on Monterey/Sexton Hollow Road where last year’s County Hike Series began in Schuyler County.  The final hike will be followed by a picnic and awards ceremony in Birdseye Hollow County Park, where we will celebrate the completion of the Series.

Steuben County is the largest county south of the Adirondack Mountains and, like other counties in the Southern Tier, is noted for its abundance of farmland and number of dairy farms.  Many streets, towns, rivers and lakes in this region of New York have names that reflect the influence of the Seneca Indians who lived here long before 1854 when the county reached its current size.  Corning and Hornell are the largest centers of population, and the FLT passes through the outskirts of both the Village of Bath and Hornell.

The trail passes ponds, swamps and beaver ponds; farms and old barns; foundations of old houses and stone walls; and an old cemetery.  Occasionally, the trail will follow hedgerows, old tractor lanes, logging lanes and old, abandoned roads in forests, while sometimes crossing railroad tracks and many creeks and streams, often on bridges.  You will walk through red pine plantations and hemlock forests, climb many hills and admire magnificent views.  The trail will even cross the Canisteo and Cohocton Rivers, plus the inlet to Keuka Lake.  During July’s hike, you will pass the southern terminus of the Bristol Branch and also experience a spectacular descent through Mitchellsville Creek gorge.

Most of the trail is on private land, with occasional road walks.  Only three State Forests will be traversed:  Burt Hill, Birdseye Hollow and South Bradford.  Hikes will vary in length from 4.1 to 11.9 miles, with four of them between 10 and 11 miles, and will occur rain or shine.  If you have not been exercising yet during this winter, please begin conditioning your muscles soon to prepare for the hilly terrain and long distances.

With three exceptions, the series is scheduled for the third Saturday of each month on the following dates:  April 26, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 13 and October 4.  The fee will remain at $40 and covers transportation by bus, a completion patch and certificate, supplies for the SAG wagons and the picnic.

Participants will be able to select their hiking pace from slow to fast. Buses will shuttle hikers from their cars to the beginning of each hike.

If you have any questions, please contact the hike coordinator, Jet Thomas, at [email protected] or by phone at 585-671-8949.  And remember:  It’s always a glorious day to be in the woods!

Registration CLOSED