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Trip Reports - 2014

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November 29 - Hike Tremper Mountain
Although initially thinking we may be doing this hike on snowshoes, we found the trail hard packed and suitable for microspike use which was fortunate because this co-leader (Ellen) was not anxious for her first snowshoe hike of the year to be hiking up a mountain! It turned out to be a gorgeous day, the snow laden trees were beautiful and framed lovely views along the way. With virtually no wind to speak of, we were able to sit and enjoy lunch at the lean-to close to the fire tower. Companionship of like minded hikers, as always, added to the overall enjoyment of the day.

  Co-leader: John Tifft, Ellen Kozlowski, John Tifft, Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Jean Laverdure, Jean Laverdure

November 12 - Trail Work with the Rensselaer Land Trust
Once again we worked on clearing the Deer Run Trail in the Capital District Wildlife Management Area near the Cherry Plains Preserve along with volunteers from the Rensselaer Land Trust. As in deja vu, we found a number of large trees that we were able to maneuver with our saws and sheer man and woman power out of the way of potential cross country skiers coming this winter.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher, Dave Esmond

November 5 - Trail Work with Rennselaer Land Conservancy
Undaunted by the prospect of more laborious sawing, three of our members continued the work started the previous week of clearing the Deer Run Trail in the Capital District Wildlife Management Area of blowdown that might act as a deterrent to potential cross country skiers this winter. This was done in partnership with the Rensselaer Land Trust.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher

Deer Run Trail,  Capital District Wildlife Management Area

November 1 - Cat and Thomas Mts, Bolton Landing
Despite the weather forecast, nine hearty highers started off on a 7+ mile hike to Thomas Mountain via the blue trail with viewpoint to the west (Crane and Gore Mts). After a rest at the cabin, we descended and followed the blue trail up and down and eventually up to Cat Mt. By that time, the weather had closed in and the sun was gone, but Lake George and its surrounding mountains were as glorious as always. We desended via the blue and yellow trails.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Amy MacDonald, Randy MacDonald, Ellen Kozlowski, Nikki Flynn, Jim Flynn, Sue Jordan, Barb Esmond and Scout, Tom Esmond

Cabin at Thomas Mountain

October 29 - Trail Work with Rennselaer Land Conservancy
In partnership again with the Rensselaer Land Trust, we ventured forth on a rainy day and cleared the Deer Run Trail in the Capital District Wildlife Management Area near Cherry Plain State Park of trees and stumps to aid future cross country skiers to easily negotiate the trail.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: David Esmond

October 18 - Overlook Mountain
This day started out in a crazy fashion, but ended very nicely. When making a determination as to whether to cancel the hike due to the possibility of rain, one of the leaders decided that it would be best to cancel, based on reports of 70% chance of rain. However, in trying to reach our hiker coming from Connecticut, this leader found that she was not responding. Therefore, the hike was officially back on since we didn't want her coming all the way from Connecticut for nothing. The only rain we had was a slight five minute drizzle while we were eating our lunch at the summit. We were glad we started fairly early as it was virtual parade of hikers going up as we were going down. When we got down, thanks to a suggestion from our visitor from Connecticut,we decided to join the other gawkers walking around Woodstock. We enjoyed some ice cream and two of our participants got very good deals at a sidewalk sale. We also had a chance to see a rickshaw going up the street.

  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski, John Tifft  Participants: Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther, Chris Simson Boucher, Mike Boucher, Andrea Hadzimichalis

the group at the top of Overlook

October 15 - Schoharie Creek Preserve hike
After meeting at a park and ride on route 20, we drove to eh Schoharie River Center on Burtonville Road in Esperance. We were met by John McKeeby, who runs the center. He told us all about the educational activities that go on there. We were also met by Sadie McGuiness and her 18 month old daughter, who accompanied us on the hike. She had read about it on the River Center's web page. We hiked through the River Center's grounds, and then, because the creek was so low, we were able to walk on the rocky, dry river bottom to the Schoharie Creek Preserve. We did the steep, 1.3 mile loop there, looking out from the cliff edge at the waterfalls which are now mere trickles. We then returned along the river bottom back to the River Center, where we had our lunch.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther  Participants: Gerry Weber, Anne Finch, Bob Fakundinny, Larry Sloman, Sadie McGuiness and baby Maggie

At lunch at the Schoharie River Center after the hike

October 12 - Albany Outdoor History Walk
On a beautiful sunny fall day, we walked the streets of Albany, taking in th historic plaques and memorials that document Albany's place in history. We saw landmarks noting the lives of famous and infamous Albanians, from Herman Melville and Joseph Henry to Legs Diamond. We followed history from the landing of Henry Hudson on the half-moon (seeing the replica on what may be its last visit to Albany) to the sign dedicating Jennings Landing.

  Leader: Mary Folsom  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Marie Canty, Larry Anderson, Dawn Doccola

Enjoying Albany Landmarks at Empire State Plaza

October 5 - Zim Smith Trail
A bright, blustery October afternoon found seven of us on the Zim Smith Trail that runs through Malta, Round Lake and Ballston Spa. We took our time, dodging pedestrians with their dogs. Mary M. cycled to and from her home too for a total of 45 miles.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Mary MacDonald, Jim Torriani, Anne Finch, Bob Fakundiny, Doris Bindl

Round Lake round table

October 1 - Trail Work with Rennselaer Land Conservancy
Mike Boucher and myself along with five people from the Rensselaer Land Trust continued the work that was started the week before. We were able to clear all of the rest of the trees that we saw along and back from the trail that were being suffocated by invasive vines.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mike Boucher

September 27 - Fall Outdoors day at Lake Taghkanic State Park
On September 27, 2014 we enjoyed perfect weather for an afternoon outing at beautiful Lake Taghkanic State Park. After a BYO lunch together, we split up to enjoy separate outings, with some hiking around the Lake while others paddled. For some, it was their first time at the Park, while others hadn't been in a long time. All were impressed by the beauty of its setting.

  Leader: Mary Folsom, Martha Waldman  Co-leader: Sharon Bonk, Nancy Crowther  Participants: Cliff Prewencki, Devid Esmond, Pat McPhee, Mike Boucher, Chris Boucher, Mary Haasch, Ed Smith, Paul Esmond, Anne Finch, Bob Fakundiny

Paddlers Enjoying sunny day and fall colors at Lake Taghkanic

September 24 - Trail Work with Rennselaer Land Conservancy
In cooperation with the Rensselaer Land Trust, we worked at one of their preserves located within Troy called the Staaleson Preserve. We were led by Fran Egbert, who is a member of the board of the Renssealer Land Trust. She pointed out some invasive plants which were smothering some of the trees and we cut out as much as we could. Mike Boucher, using his power saw, cleared many of the trees along the trail from encroaching vines. There was some garbage removed as well. Our crew along with the crew from the RLT finished up about 11:30 with a good feeling of having helped the folks from RLT in helping to maintain one of their preserves.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher, Dave Esmond, Sharon Bonk

September 13 - Table Rocks hike, Mohonk Preserve, New Paltz
We met at the Spring Farm trailhead, and hiked toward Bonticou Crag. We did a fairly steep climb up to the top of the ridge and walked along the ridge, which would have had beautiful views except for the clouds and rain. The trail came pretty close to the edge of the cliff. We then reached the carriage road and had our lunch by a stream. Some of us went back to the cars and more than half of us continued to Table Rocks. By then it was raining and Table Rocks was somewhat slippery. It was an out of the ordinary hike. We had one person from the Meetup group join us, and one brand new member from NYC.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther, Sharon Bonk  Participants: Larry Sloman, Dave Corderman, Edwin Smith, Nancy Slack, James Torriani, Mary Folsom

September 2 - Attean Lake Maine
On September 2nd a group of 15 met at the landing of Attean Lake for 5 days of fun and adventure. Brandon met us with the boat shuttle transporting all the gear to the island. The group hiked up Sally Mountain and across the ridge where
the lodge had spotted our motor boats so we could find our way back to the island.
Number 5 Mountain proved to be a favorite with it's panoramic views and the climb up the fire tower .Mt. Kineo in Rockport was also a fun time as we had to catch the water shuttle across Moosehead Lake to get to the island to start
the hike. We went up the Indian Trail and down the Bridal Trail for the well rounded experience. A viewing tower at the top provided the views we were all looking for.
A paddle down Attean Lake to the Moose River and up to the Attean rips, proved to be a bit of a challenge as the wind was quite strong. We made it however and Maria had the opportunity to paddle down the rips laughing all the way. We also enjoyed swimming in the lake, jumping off the docks, working on the puzzle in the main lodge, social hour on the porch of Westport and the accommodations and delicious food the lodge prepared for us.
It was a delightful time and enjoyed by all. When the group departed, the lodge commented on how we took all the energy with us.
Thanks for a great time!

  Co-leader: Randy MacDonald, Amy MacDonald  Participants: Sharon Getman, Jan MacLauchlin, Maria Rawson, Sharon Bonk, Ann Wood, Mike Boucher, Chris Boucher, Dave Cedar, Rita Cedar, Al Harding, Martha Hardinf, John MacDonald, Paula MacDonald

Group at Attean Lake

August 30 - Elbow Trail to AT to Jug End
On a clear cool day, eight of us ventured out. The leaders, mindful of the length, difficulty of some of the rock scrambles, and time limitations, made provision to turn back if it was the consensus of the group that they'd had enough. However, everyone gamely went on with a little encouragement, and were rewarded with a view that made their extra effort worthwhile. Thanks are certainly extended to those among us who silently felt a little reluctance to continue but went along with what appeared to be the majority opinion for continuing on. Lunch was enjoyed at one of the viewing spots. We were reminded of the sad fact of Summer's end by the influx of new students at the Berkshire School where we started from and a group of students from Smith College out for an Orientation outing. We had seven members and one non member participating.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski, John Tifft  Participants: David Esmond, Blanche Nelson, Deborah Richards, Kathleen Helfrich, Blanche Nelson, Lorraine Smith

August 20 - Shawangunks Trapps Hike
This was a modified repeat of the same hike done on Saturday Aug 16, which had a long waiting list. We walked on the Overcliff road to an unmarked trail leading to the top of the ridge, where we enjoyed the view, watched the vultures, and ate our lunch. We then went back down the same way and returned to the cars on the Undercliff road, watching the rock climbers. No one wanted to go on to the swimming hole so we returned home at that point. People enjoyed going to the new location.

  Leader: will crowther  Co-leader: nancy crowther  Participants: Anne Finch, Bob Fakundiny, Kathleen Helfridge, Gerry Weber

The group on the Undercliff Road near climbing rocks

August 16 - Shawangunks Trapps Hike
We visited the Trapps rock climbing area of the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, NY. It was very crowded but we all managed to get parking spaces, and headed for the Undercliff carriage road. After a short distance on this road we headed up a steep rocky unmarked trail to the top of the ridge. We looked down on the countryside and soaring vultures and hawks. We walked the length of the ridge, then descended back to the carriage road and returned on that, watching the rock climbers above us. After returning to the cars we found out that the parking lot at the Coxing Kill swimming hole was full, so most of us hiked over there and some returned home at that point. Some of us waded and otherwise enjoyed the water, then we hiked back and returned home.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther, Sharon Bonk  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Dorothy Russell, John Tifft, Regina Urban, Anneliese Lawson, Marcia Hopple, Josey Twombly, Amy MacDonald

at the top of the Shawangunk Ridge

July 24 - Peebles Island Picnic Walk
This late afternoon circuit of the Peebles Island State Park was part of the chapter picnic. Chapter members and their guests walked the yellow trail which provided us with views of the Mohawk River, the dam, a small falls, and the town of Waterford. The group returned to the pavilion, past the battlements erected to forestall Burgoyne's army during the Revolutionary War.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Martha Waldman, Barbara Howard, Jill Nagy, George Nagy, James Torriani, Dorothy Gray, Harry Willis, Sandy Willis, Mary Ann Jones, Michael Perry, Brad Mohr, Susanna Hatch, John Tifft, Enny Dufur

July 23 - Wolf Creek Falls Preserve and Christman's Sanctuary
Wolf Creek Falls Preserve and Christman's Sanctuary, July 23, 2014
Both of these preserves, which are only about 10 minutes apart right outside of Altamont, are true gems. Wolf Creek Falls has a musical bridge in which 8 boards of the bridge itself can be used as a xylophone and a few of us enjoyed "playing" the bridge. Christman's Sanctuary is just a wonderful secluded little spot that we all enjoyed.
We had a fairly large group of 12 hiking on a very hot and humid day, but with plenty of water breaks and a primarily shady hike through beautiful woods and alongside lovely burbling brooks, we endured the weather and enjoyed the scenery and good company.

  Leader: John Tifft  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther, Dave Esmond, Donna Farber, Jim Torriani, Gerald Weber, Sharon Bonk, Barbara Howard, Margaret Castle, Doris Bindle

July 18 - Kyak Weekend West Brookfield Mass
Flat Water Kayak Weekend West Brookfield Massachusetts. We stayed on the river at the Copper Lantern Motor Lodge. Saturday: Paddled 8.5 miles on the Quaboag River happening upon a duck race where we promptly bought a duck and cheered
it on. Alas, no winners in our group. That evening we had dinner at the Salem Cross Inn. Sunday: Paddled Quinebaug River Canoe Trail Holland Pond to East Brimfield Lake followed by 7 miles on the Swift River. Monday: Paddled the Housatonic River from New Lenox Road to Woods Pond ending up at the Lenox train station where we enjoyed our picnic lunch. Special thanks to EB Flatts for the breakfasts and lunches, Salem Cross Inn for dinner and The Copper Lantern Motor
Lodge for the accommodations and to Sharon and Steve for the wonderful Sangria.

  Co-leader: Randy MacDonald, Amy MacDonald, Randy MacDonald, Amy MacDonald  Participants: Sharon Davis, Sharon Davis, Steve Lucas, Tom Esmond, Barb Esmond, Dave Esmond, Alice Esmond, Lynn Larrabee, Jum Larrabee

Brookfield Mass Kayak Weekend

July 12 - Ulster-Dutchess Rail Trails Cycle
We cycled the Hudson Valley Rail Trail from Tony Williams Park in Lloyd, NY (near Highland), the Walk Way Across the Hudson connected with the Duchess County Rail Trail to Manchester Road and returned the same way for approximately 22 RT. Lunch was at Morland Lake on the Duchess path.
Joining in were a member of the NYNJ chapter, and 3 guests.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Jim Torriani, Peg Grogran, Blanche Nelson, Elyssa Respaut, Jill Respaut, Lorraine Smith

Midpoint- Walkway across the Hudson; photo by M. Grogan

July 9 - Olana Carriage Roads Walk
Although there were warnings of flashfloods in the county, Olana's hilltop location offered protection as well as wonderfuls of the property's formal and agricultrual landscapes and of the Hudson and Catskills. AND, it was sunny.

June 21 - White Rock Mountain
Our group's hike was an easy ridgeline walk along the Taconic Crest Trail (TCT) to the Snow Hole. On this first day of summer, the Snow Hole was empty of snow (unlike many former years) but was also enjoyed as an otherwise glorious day of sunshine in cool forest air. An early start meant returning to meet many hikers following in our steps appreciating this ridgeline of views. Our small group's lunch was near summit and vista looking out to an horizon of southwestern hills which included the quite amazing sight of a pair paragliders hovering up over Petersburg Pass. We later met a large group of these New England Paragliding & Hang Gliding Club members at their landing field & vista just above the Pass, alongside the TCT enjoying their excitement and flight. A quite enjoyable converse and outing for us all!

  Co-leader: Jean Laverdure, John Tifft  Participants: Ellen, Donna

June 20 - Vermont Hiking Weekend
A wonderful group of people, eighteen in all, got together for a weekend of hiking. Most of us managed to start the weekend off a little early by hiking
up Bald Mountain Friday afternoon. We found the hike a great warm up for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday found us on the AT for national nude hiking day. None of our group decided to partake nor did we see anyone on the trail taking advantage of that
opportunity. We did eight miles total stopping at three shelters along the way. The final shelter was on a spur trail with a sign telling us about the small town, sawmill, etc. that once stood there.
Sunday saw up summiting Stratton Mountain, including the fire tower. We had a nice chat with the summit stewards. When we arrived at the top, we had lots of company from those who took the gondola up but by the time we had finished our lunch, all had departed allowing us to really enjoy the moment.
Nine of the group extended the weekend by another day, giving us the opportunity to paddle Somerset Reservoir. We were delighted and surprised
by the eagles, loons and families of ducks we came upon. What a wonderful, peaceful place. The wind started to pick up in the later afternoon giving us a bit of a challenge in the return paddle.
The weekend was wonderful in every way from the weather, accommodations, food, Sok's unexpected and yummy treats, social hours and the great company. Special thanks to the Colonial House Inn and Motel for taking care of us once again. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Co-leader: Amy MacDonald, Sharon Bonk, Mary Folsom  Participants: Dave Cedar, Rita Cedar, Mike Boucher, Chris Boucher, Phil Van Sandvoort, Mona Berg, Blanche Nelson, Jim Larrabee, Lynn Larrabee, Derek Anspach, Edie Buechner, Sok Ng, Karen Lin, Kong

Vermont Hiking Weekend

June 18 - Inspiration Point and Hudson River Valley Overlook
Six of us began a hike on a clear day with cooling winds, so welcome when a hot, humid day was anticipated. The Catskills did not disappoint as we walked through woods with many mountain laurel not quite in full bloom and with beautiful views of the Escarpment Trail. Although we had only a 200 ft. elevation gain, due to many descents, we did this 200 ft. gain several times over. Overall, a great hike with great companions.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Larry Sloman, Lynn Weaver, John Tifft, Mary Folsom

Group after enjoying great hike at Inspiration Point

June 16 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
Our work at this greatly expanded preserve consisted of clearing the newly created trail and marking it. Along the way we gained an appreciation of what Peter Bakal of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy enthusiastically described as possibly the prettiest of all their preserves. Keep an eye out for the possibility of a snowshoe hike next winter.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, David Esmond

June 15 - Ashulowiltocook Bike Trail
A cool, cloudy morning lead to a sunny and clear afternoon for nine participants.
The trail was mercifully uncrowded so we were able to "amble" and "coast" amd socialize.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Randy MacDonald, Amy MacDonald, Blanche Nelson, Anne Finch, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Peg Grogan, Grethcen Gedroiz

June 7 - Trails Day at Thacher Park
There were a great deal more volunteers than anticipated for Trails Day. They were divided up into three different ventures. Mike and I joined the group clearing the Long Path from the back of the main office where the brush was especially thick until we were almost parallel with Hailes Cave. After the clearing work we all checked out Hailes Cave and wandered back to the Horseshoe I pavilion where the Friends of Thacher Park provided a BBQ lunch.

  Participants: John Tifft, Mike Boucher

June 2 - Trai Work With the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
The work started out with filling in a rut scarred portion of the Blue Trail. We utilized stone that was left over from the creation of a parking area. We then took a look at a possible relocation and finished up by clearing the trail by the river and on through to the end.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Dave Esmond, Ellen Kozlowski

May 28 - The Dome
The three of us climbed the Dome trail with an elevation gain of 1715 feet. We saw several varieties of wildflowers along the way including one solitary Lady Slipper. The "long abandoned truck" noted in the book has since been dismantled and is no longer recognizable as a truck. The quartzite summit was beautiful and we lingered there for an early lunch. On the way down, it was cooler and windier. We kept on our extra layer most of the way down. It was a great hike.

  Leader: Michelle Filiault  Co-leader: Martha Waldman  Participants: Kendra Pratt

On the summit of the Dome

May 24 - Path Creation in Conjunction with the Underground Railroad History Project of Albany
Five of our members along with several volunteers associated with the Underground Railroad History Project of Albany deigned to take on what seemed at the outset a daunting prospect of creating a garden path leading from Livingston Ave. to Third Street We were able to do about three quarters of the work until both weariness and a thunderstorm intervened late that afternoon. Mike Boucher and I completed the work the following Wednesday. Our hope is that our contribution will aid in the Underground Railroad History Project's continuing efforts to educate the public through their newly established Abram Johnson Garden (a pioneering abolitionist active in this area in the 1850's) through which our path goes.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Betty Nash, Mike Boucher, Chris Simson Boucher, David Esmond

Photos from the Underground Railroad History Project work day

May 7 - Albany Pine Bush Great Dune hike
This was a nice spring hike in a new area for many of us -- the Great Dune trails, area 8, of Albany Pine Bush. There was no mud since it was sandy, and lots of trilliums, birds, flowering shad, and skunk cabbage. Ten of us started off and did the yellow and blue loops, and mid-morning met up with the late-comers. Half of the group went home at 11:30, and the rest did the additional red loop for a total of almost 6 miles. We had several new members. Leader: Nancy Crowther. Participants: Ron and Margaret Whitford, Sharon Bonk, Anneliese Lawson, Gerry Weber, Anne Finch, Chris Grossman, Kevin Sheehan, Mary Helen McComas, Dinah Farrington, Mona Gupta.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Chris Grossman, Anneliese Lawson, Gerhard Weber, Anne Finch, Kevin Sheehan, Ron Whitford, Margaret Whitford, Dinah Farrington, Mary Helen McComas, Mona Gupta

The group on the Great Dune, under flowering shad

April 28 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
After initially helping to clear out an alternate route around a wet area, and helping place some "corduroy logging" in another wet area, we helped Mike clear out some very nasty invasive brush. Mike's generous offer to help with this problem by using his weed whacker saw was much appreciated by the MHLC. While Mike did most of the most irritating work by getting in amongst the thorny brush and cutting it, Ellen, Dave and I helped to clear the brush that he had cut.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Dave Esmond, Mike Boucher, Ellen Kozlowski

April 27 - Trail Work at Dyken Pond Enviromental Center
Lisa Hoyt, the Director of the Dyken Pond Enviromental Center organized work to be done in celebration of Earth Day throughout the Center. Mary and I gravitated towards the installation of several Mosaic signs done as a community art project several years earlier there and placed thoughout the Center yearly. After some initial stops and starts, we were able along with two other very capable particpants to install the signs. We then helped put the planking down for the seats in their ampitheatre.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: mary folsom

April 26 - Trail Work with Rennselaer Land Conservancy
After being outfitted with garbage bags, the four of us struck out to attack the refuse in an area alongside the Tomahnnock Resevoir. The rain held out long enough for we four to gather some expected and not so expected garbage. Our efforts were very much appreciated by the sponsoring organization: the Rennselaer Land Trust .

  Leader: john tifft  Participants: mary folsom, chris simson boucher, mike boucher

April 21 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
Along with trail workers affiliated with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, Mike and Dave worked on the new parking lot there, along with clearing a new path.

  Participants: Mike Boucher, Dave Esmond

April 19 - Yokun Ridge North
Yokun Ridge North was an all AMC member hike represented by the Boston(1) Connecticut( 1) and Berkshire chapters with our own Mohawk Hudson Chapter (3) arriving to meet those other hikers together at the Olivia's Overlook trailhead. Our group of seven enjoyed a beautiful, brisk, spring day which warmed as the day's hiking approached to our warming restful lunchtime and vista stop. In a leisurely four hours we hike a loop of under five miles chatting, studying the greenery, an 1800's farmhouse site, snowy tracks in the remnants of winter, a Yokun Glade's geocache, and even to guessing at scat. Our Mohawk Hudson group followed up our hike with a visit to the Arcadian shop trailhead to Kennedy Park in Lenox to acquire ourselves area maps.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Donna Blodgett, Sara Hart, Allison Sanders, Jim Torriani, Roger Dietlin

April 18 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
Our group of three helped representatives from the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy at the Wolf Creek Preserve do several things. They cleared a lot of brush, widened the parking lot, and helped clear a new trail.

  Participants: Jim Torriani, Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher

April 17 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
This small preserve across from the Bethlehem High School required some renewing to its many wet areas. A new bridge was installed. The old bridge was taken apart and part of it layered over other wet areas. New planking was also put in place replacing some old planking.

  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher, Dave Cedar

April 16 - Huyck Preserve, Rensselaerville
We were surprised by an overnight snowfall of 4-5" which covered any signs of spring that might have been on the trails. The group proceeded briskly up the west side of Lake Myosotis. We sheltered out of the wind on the porches of buildings of Frog Camp on Lincoln Pond, and returned via the Wheeler-Watson, Ordway, and East Side trails for a total of 6 miles. We were treated to rushing waters and a full cascading set of waterfalls.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Karen Ross, Lorre McCarron, Charlie Beach, Dave Esmond, Audrey Wyman, Ellen Kozlowski, Kendra Pratt, Chris Grossman, Mary MacDonald, Mary MacDonald

Photo by Charlie Beach

April 12 - Rochester Hollow, Shandanken Wild Forest
A great warmish day for a delightful 7 mile walk through the estate carriage roads and two newish DEC trails. We saw few signs of spring although we heard peepers in loud chorus and watched a pool of other frogs jumping and sunning. A treat was being joined by Alan Via, author of the recent Adirondac article on Rochester Hollow, so he was able to fill us in on more details and history of the place.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Roger Dietlin, Dorothy Russell, Amy MacDonald, Chris Boucher, Mike Boucher, Stacey Michon

Burroughs Memorial

March 8 - Huyck Preserve
What was presented to us as participants for the terrain starting out led to a guessing game as to what footgear to wear. Two of the participants chose microspikes thinking that the trail would be packed hard enough. Unfortunately the trails turned softer after about a mile and a half, therefore we turned around. The hike to that point was very pleasant, and presented enough incentive for us to return at a future date to explore this marvelous preserve.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: ellen kozlowski, mary folsom

March 8 - Wilton Preserve X-C Skiing
A fine day for spring skiing. The snow softened so the icy trails were easy to maneuver and we could go off into the woods to explore a bit without encountering crusty conditions. Six(?) miles; lunch at a lean too. Home early.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Charlie Beach, Linda Neil

Wilton Preserve, the end of the trail.  Photo by Charlie Beach

March 5 - Shaker Mountain
Seven of us hiked & snowshoed a 6.5 mile loop around Shaker Mountain. On this nearly perfect twenty-something degree day, five of us began the trek on microspikes, with two opting to wear snowshoes from the beginning. A little over halfway, we all had to put on snowshoes due to softer, deeper, more unbroken snow. Though we couldn't see most of the sights due to snow, we enjoyed looking for fenceposts or a glimpse of stone wall and discussing the history of the area. Four of us stopped at Blueberry Hill Cafe for a hot drink and a snack on the way home.

  Leader: Michelle Filiault  Co-leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Mike Boucher, Martha Waldman, Ellen Kozlowski, Anneliese Lawson, Gerry Weber

March 1 - Peaked Mtn
Peaked Mountain March 1,2014-It was a great day for a hike. The temperature was 6 degrees. The trail was easy to follow, although the snow filled in the trail in parts. The trail to the mountain is steep near the top. The footing in the deep snow was difficult. We stayed on the summit, briefly. Afterwards, we had lunch near the pond. From there, we retraced our steps and got back to the truck. A great time was had by all.

  Leader: Kevin Cox  Participants: Sue Jordan, Myra F.

February 26 - Featherstonhaugh State Forest (Nordic Skiing or Snowshoeing)
We had planned a cross country ski trip but snow conditions dictated that people might feel safer on snowshoe, so we opened the trip to snowshoers. We ended up with two skiers and 5 snowshoers, and we all stayed together. We did one side of the figure eight shape on the north side of Lake Road, crossed the road, and did the big loop on the south side of Lake Road, then back to the cars. Although cold, we were all warm enough due to lack of wind and the exercise.We then went to the leaders' nearby house for lunch.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther  Co-leader: Will Crowther  Participants: David Esmond, Gerry Weber, Sue Jordan, Kathie Armstrong, Jack Daniels

February 19 - Grafton State Park X-C Skiing
Grafton Park snow was ideal for skiing as all the rocks and logs were deep beneath the snow. We skied the Spruce Bog Trail from Mill Pond to Fire Tower Road, then skied down the road to the NIMO trail, returning to Mill Pond via Long Pond Rd which was also skiable rather than taking the shorter but tricker skiing of the Cutover Trail. During the ski we experienced high winds. sleet, and snow, but had a great time.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Michelle Filiault, Mike Boucher, Dave Cedar, Mary Folsom

February 15 - Peebles Island State Park
All participants in this hike, excepting perhaps one, were gratified that some pioneering snowshoe packing work had been done the previous day on most of the trails at Peebles Island State Park. Even if the day was a rather dismal grey, the views of the rivers were still grand, and one had to agree with someone we met along the Perimeter Trail that it "was still a glorious day". What made it even more special was seeing a Pileated Woodpecker, along the way, foraging for edibles without any seeming notice of our presence. In all we did 3.7 miles of leisurely snowshoeing.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Co-leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, David Esmond, Esther Sosman

February 12 - Dyken Pond Snowshoe
Bitter cold temperatures caused several registrants to cancel the morning of the snowshoe. Seven hearty souls met at the Environmental Center entrance where the sky was blue, the temperature at brisk 4F, and the snow deep and fluffy. The Long Trail parking lot was unplowed so we started out at the end of the road and went out on the pond before we began on the forest trails. An auto emergency necessitating several calls to and from AAA resulted in shortening of the planned hike, but spirits were high with agreement to come again to finish the trail, perhaps in the spring between the mud and bug seasons.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dale Blanchett, Mary MacDonald, Marthal Waldman, Katie Henriksons, Dave Cedar, Mike Boucher

February 8 - Thacher Park
February 8, 2014 Thacher Park
We had a beautiful winter day for our 5 mile snowshoe. It was sunny, with a brilliant blue sky, very little breeze and temperatures in the teens. We quickly warmed up as we made our way along the Fred Schroeder Trail. We stopped briefly at High Point for a great view of the Capital District area and we could see our next destination Hang Glider Point. As we made our way to Hang Glider Trail we found that no one had yet broken trail through the snow on the Long Path Trail which would connect to the trail we needed. Cliff enthusiastically took the lead and broke trail. At Hang Glider Point we again enjoyed the views as well as a snack. We then made our way back to the cars. The birds were also enjoying the weather, along the way we heard a raven and a couple chickadees.

  Leader: Martha Waldman  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Kaaren Caron, Pat McPhee, Cliff Prewencki

High Point on the Fred Schroeder Trail

February 6 - Notchview X-C Ski
Rescheduled from February 5 when the snowfall was too heavy to drive to Windsor MA. We began skiing at about 10:15 amidst the groomers and very few other people. Five participants skied the intermediate trails in the woods to the shelter where we saw the notch. In the afternoon we sought the sun in the open fields and doubled back on the new Berkshire Trail. The visitor center has recently been renovated and includes a snack bar and waxing room and upstairs lounge area.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Lore McCarron, Karen Ross, Vicky Singer, Sabine Prather

January 29 - Schenectady County Cross Country Ski
We changed the venue of this easy cross-country ski trip to Schenectady County Forest, where we knew the snow to be OK. It was cold (12 degrees) but sunny and not windy, and we were fine due to actively moving. We skied the main loop at County Forest, then moved to our nearby house, where we had a warm-up break inside. We then skied on newly completed trails in our woods. At both locations we could have used more snow, but it was acceptable. After the skiing we had a lunch of hot soup and bread, and then had a surprise music playing session with Chet on fiddle, Nancy on bass and Will on recorder!

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: David Esmond, Kathie Armstrong, Chet Harvey

Three of the five of us, with brilliant blue sky and nice snow

January 17 - Vermont Winter Weekend
A group of 22 gathered at the Colonial House Inn and Motel in Weston Vermont for a winter weekend of fun. The plan was to play in the snow but as there was not a lot of it, we hiked on the AT instead. Friday afternoon, we hiked the AT to the White Rock Cliffs overlook. Saturday found us hiking up Okemo Mountain on the Healdville Trail. We had lunch in the summit lodge giving us
shelter from the weather although a bit crowded. Many skiing that day could not believe any one would hike up the mountain in the winter. On Sunday, we were back on the AT from route 140 to the Clarendon Gorge. On lunch spot that day was the Minerva Hinchey shelter where Maria tried toasting her sandwich on the fire Randy prepared. At the end of the hike, we crossed the suspension bridge over the gorge. The weekend ended with Monday's hike into the Lye Brook Falls.
Thanks for all that attended and especially The Colonial House for their hospitality.

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Co-leader: Amy MacDonald, Sharon Bonk  Participants: Maria Rawson, Edie Buechner, Tom Esmond, Barb Esmond, Mike Boucher, Chris Boucher, Rita Cedar, Dave Cedar, Sok Ng, Richard Farley, Art Fontijn, Mary Folsom, Stacey Michon, Bryan Michon, Dee Wind, Frank Wind, Sharon Davis, Steve Lucas, Lynn Larrabee

Vermont Winter Weekend January 2014

January 8 - Catskill Outing
It was cold and there was little snow left, so the snow shoes rested in the car. There were patches of ice but our stabilizers and micro-spikes took care of that. So six of us started hiking at about 10:30. The lakes were frozen and the sun was pleasant. Near the North beach somebody decorated some balsams with Christmas decorations. We looked and found some striations from last ice age thanks to Dr. Titus who taught us at our annual meeting. The view of the Hudson Valley was spectacular, one could really see the icy ribbon of the river. Lunch was at the Mountain House or what is left of it. This hotel has gone downhill, there service was lousy. The only disappointing thing was that there was not enough snow.

  Leader: Gerry Weber  Participants: Wil Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Ellen Kozlowski, Josie Twombly, Darcy Dyer

January 1 - Schodack Island State Park
An unexpectedly sunny 20 degree New Year's Day greeted us for this 4.1 mile trip. The flat trail was icy, but no one had troubles. With the leaves gone we had good views of the Hudson

  Leader: Arthur Fontijn  Co-leader: Frank Wind  Participants: Ellen Koslowski, David Esmond, Chris Boucher, Mike Boucher, Gerry Weber, Dee Portzer, Lena Weber, Rolf Weber, Anne Finch, Paul Esmond, Claire Esmond, Thomas Camingo, Rosemary Camingo

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