Hiking 101

If you’ve ever wanted to get out and hike but felt like you didn’t know where to go or how to pack and prepare this is the perfect hiking series for you! The Finger Lakes Trail’s Hiking 101 series is designed for novice hikers of all speeds and ability levels. We’ll be in touch with you before the hike with tips about what to pack and how to dress for the weather. You will be led by experienced hikers who know the trails and want to share their love of hiking with you.

These hikes require pre-registration. They are designed for a new hiker or someone new to the area. The hike leader will explain the basics of the Finger Lakes Trail system and help familiarize the hikers to the trail. All participants should be aware that hiking trails may be slippery and have uneven terrain. Some of the hikes will have creek crossings and possibly mud. Proper sturdy hiking type footwear is advised. Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hikes are rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended based on your personal needs.

Registration is for each individual hike. The registration will open approximately 3 weeks prior to the hike. A couple of days prior to the hike, registrants will receive a confirmation email with details from the hike leader. If you would like to participate in more than one hike, you must register for each hike. 

Hike #1: April 27, 2024

Hike Date: April 27, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M23
Meet Location: Fred Stewart Road & Hoag Childes Road Pharsalia, NY 13815 (GPS: 42.56462,-75.69880)
Hike Leader: Peg Fuller
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles
Description:

The hike will be in Pharsalia Woods along the FLT to the Sidote Bench (and the Passport rubbing station # E05) and the Sandberg Pharsalia Lean-to where we will take a short break, and then back to the cars via Fred Stewart Rd. It is a mostly level hike with slight elevation (250 ft). 

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended. 

Hike #2: May 19, 2024

Hike Date: May 19, 2024, Sunday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: B3 & HBL
Meet Location: About three miles southeast of Prattsburgh. Meet at the FLT parking on Bean Station Rd, about 200 feet east of where the Bristol Hills Branch of the FLT crosses the road (Access point 16 on Map B3). Park on the grass on the north side of the road. We will carpool from there to the hike starting point on Glen Brook Rd (Access point 17 on Map B3). Parking is limited at both access points. (GPS: 42.477861, -77.242159)
Hike Leader: Christine DeGolyer
Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed on this hike.
Hike Distance: 4 miles
Description:

This is a Passport hike, and the trail is mostly flat. We’ll walk more slowly than most hikes, because we will use the nature guide to look at nature stops along the way. Highlights include bog plants, spring wildflowers, and vernal pools. The nature guides can be borrowed from the trail registers or downloaded for free.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended

Hike #3: May 25, 2024

Hike Date: May 25, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M16
Meet Location: In parking lot near radio tower (GPS: 42.385870, -76.668647)
Hike Leader: Bradley Benjamin
Hike Distance: 2.6 miles
Description:

Bob Cameron Loop Passport Hike

The Bob Cameron Loop at Connecticut Hill is a moderate 2.6-mile circle trail that goes up and down the tallest spots in Tompkins County, at nearly 2100 feet in elevation.  This hike can be extremely muddy and has significant (600 feet) elevation descent and gain, so make sure you are prepared with trekking poles and proper footwear.  

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #4: June 2, 2024

Hike Date: June 2, 2024, Sunday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: L1
Meet Location: Mount Morris Dam Visitor Center. Follow Visitor Center Road to the end and park in the visitor center parking lot. The trail leaves from access point B at the west end of the parking lot (to your left as you face the gorge). (GPS: 42.73058, -77.90445)
Hike Leader: Ann Bayley
Hike Distance: 1.8 miles
Description:

Central Passport book hike #1. Letchworth State Easy and level. This hike follows the east rim of the Letchworth gorge, with spectacular views of the gorge and the Genesee River below.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #5: June 8, 2024

Hike Date: June 8, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M6
Meet Location: Stickles Road, off County Route 3, Centerville-Hume Rd. (GPS: 42.471, -78.1974)
Hike Leader: Bob Schooley
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles
Description:

The hike will be in private forest, along the FLT. It’s a beautiful hike to a huge, old Black Cherry tree. We’ll stop for a snack break at a simple camp before hiking back to the cars. It is a mostly level hike with slight elevation.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #6: June 22, 2024

Hike Date: June 22, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M16
Meet Location: Next to the Old Mill in Upper Treman Parking Lot (GPS: 42.402078, -76.589437)
Hike Leader: Bradley Benjamin
Hike Distance: 1.8 miles
Description:

Passport hike – This hike will go past numerous historic landmarks including the remains of an old Civilian Conservation Corps camp and a 19th century grist mill. There are also numerous waterfalls along this out and back hike, including the 115’ Lucifer Falls.

After we finish the passport hike, some hikers may want to join me doing a loop on the Gorge Trail and Rim trail.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #7: July 13, 2024

Hike Date: July 13, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M6
Meet Location: Stickles Road, off County Route 3, Centerville-Hume Rd. (GPS: 42.471, -78.1974)
Hike Leader: Bob Schooley
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles
Description:

The hike will be in private forest, along the FLT. It’s a beautiful hike to a huge, old Black Cherry tree. We’ll stop for a snack break at a simple camp before hiking back to the cars. It is a mostly level hike with slight elevation.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #8: July 13, 2024

Hike Date: July 13, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M18
Meet Location: East Side of Shindagin Hollow Road South of FLT Bridge (GPS: 42.321387, -76.332299)
Hike Leader: Bradley Benjamin
Hike Distance: 2.8 miles
Description:

This out and back hill will have some significant elevation changes and mud is a real possibility. We will pass by the Shindagin hollow Lean-to and some refreshing waterfalls. Some of the highlights of this hike are the mysterious rock piles located in the middle of the forest.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #9: July 27, 2024

Hike Date: July 27, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M19
Meet Location: Park on the the West side of Daisy Hollow Road, there is a grassing section near the FLT Sign. Carpooling is recommended. (GPS: 42.463267, -76.232398)
Hike Leader: Bradley Benjamin
Hike Distance: 2.2 miles
Description:

Spanish Loop Passport Hike – This section of the Finger Lakes Trail is one of my personal favorites. I’ve hiked these trails numerous times, and yet they continue to surprise me. There is a significant amount of elevation change about 400 feet and at times the trail can be muddy in spots.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #10: August 17, 2024

Hike Date: August 17, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M17
Meet Location: Finger Lakes Trail parking lot (GPS: 42.398156, -76.545866)
Hike Leader: Bradley Benjamin
Hike Distance: 2.8 miles
Description:

Lick Brook Sweedler Preserve Loop.

This is where my hiking journey and curiosity about the Finger Lakes Land Trust began. I remember being 18 years old and thinking I knew all the “big” waterfalls in and around Ithaca. The first time I came to Lick Brook I was blown away!

This 3 mile loop begins at the lowest elevation point found on the Finger Lakes Trail at around 400 feet above sea level. After a relatively short .5 mile walk through fields of wildflowers we’ll pass our first 40’ waterfall. The trail then climbs up (the Blue Trail) 400 feet out of the valley alongside Lick Brook Creek. (Note: there are switchbacks, but it is still a strenuous climb) We will reach Sandbank road and return back down the hill, this time taking the Finger Lakes trail down the hill and returning to the parking lot.

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.

Hike #11: September 7, 2024

Hike Date: September 7, 2024, Saturday
Start Time: 10 AM
FLT Map: M23
Meet Location: Fred Stewart Road & Hoag Childes Road (GPS: 42.56462, -75.69880)
Hike Leader: Peg Fuller
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles
Description:

The hike will be in Pharsalia Woods along the FLT to the Sidote Bench (and the Passport rubbing station #E05) and the Sandberg Pharsalia Lean-to where we will take a short break, and then back to the cars via Fred Stewart Rd. It is a mostly level hike with slight elevation (250 ft).

Recommendation: Wear sturdy hiking type footwear (there are tree roots, uneven ground, creek crossings, possible mud). Wear weather appropriate clothing, the hike is rain or shine. Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen. A snack or lunch is also recommended.