Local trails, and can you identify what these are?

I belong to the REI coop and they send me emails. A few days ago they sent me one that included a national listing of hiking trails, complete with an app. I wondered if there were any around here and, as it turns out, there are, in a state forest just over a dozen miles from here. 

Yesterday was a beautiful, pleasantly warm Fall day here in the Southern Tier of New York State, so I looked up the local trails, put Mabel in the car, and drove over, through some pretty rural scenery surprisingly close to the house. I found the forest, clipped a leash to Mabel's collar, and started down one of the trails. These are pretty easy, not very hilly, but I had to watch where I stepped as a lot of the trail was roots under dead leaves. 

I might have considered having her off leash because she's friendly and doesn't jump on people, but her recall isn't dead reliable - she would chase deer, as I found out in my own front yard recently, I think the laws might be an issue, and I found out years ago why loose friendly dogs can be a problem. At the time, we lived in Columbia, MD, and we were hiking around one of the local lakes with Whiskey, our first Akita. She was fine around people, if sometimes standoffish, but she was a bit dog-aggressive as Akitas are prone to be. I had her leashed and some big friendly dog, a lab or a golden, bounded toward us, with her owner shouting "Don't worry, she's friendly." I replied "Mine's not," and suddenly this guy realized his lack of control over his dog could turn into a problem in a hurry. He got to his dog before anything happened.

The woods here are pretty open. Where the trails are is usually obvious. 

There's a pond on the first trail.


The trails are marked. Not everywhere, usually it's obvious.

Sometimes it's not obvious. This looks like the path, but it's not.This, a little to the right, is the path. 

This is how the trail is marked when it is:

On the drive home, I saw a sight which really struck me. The hills were covered in deciduous trees with turning leaves but in one spot I saw a dense grove of evergreens, so dense that the entrance to the woods there looked eerily dark and threatening. 

That was yesterday. Today I drove my wife to work at Binghamton U. because my car's in the shop and that way I could use hers. She had me drive her up the hill above most of campus where the buildings are more sparse. It's pretty up there:

She had me drive up there to show me something. The cutaways line both sides of the road

which look like this up close

I'll come back later to either explain what they are for or to confirm it if you happen to know. 

Views: 307

Comment by Token on October 23, 2017 at 9:28pm

My Grandparents dairy farm was just outside of Nichols, NY ( Owego, Tioga county seat.) Spent every summer and most holidays up there running through the woods ( usually chasing cows... did your route take you through there?

Comment by koshersalaami on October 23, 2017 at 10:36pm

I don't think Nichols. I took a wrong turn on my way home and went through Owego, which is quite close to where I live. I'm in Tioga County on the Eastern edge, so Vestal schools. I go to Owego for the DMV and such. 

Comment by Rosigami on October 24, 2017 at 12:19am

Beautiful pics, Kosh. I really like the pond images, but I think my favorite is the one with the stand of dark trees. It has secrets.

We're having a lovely fall here in my neck of the woods, by the Puget Sound. Lots of glorious fall color, which isn't always the case. 

Are the road edge cutouts for rain runoff? Probably not, unless you want the water to go into the road. Hmmm.  Maybe ramps for short animals like possums? 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on October 24, 2017 at 3:51am


Comment by koshersalaami on October 24, 2017 at 4:20am


I'll give it at least a few more hours but one of your answers is on the right track.

By the way, I agree as to favorite. I couldn't not photograph that stand of dark trees. It looks like the entrance to the underworld or something. 

Comment by Arthur James on October 24, 2017 at 7:51am


I can't comment on Rabbi

Radio Our Salon's post.

Good photos. Ya's no

forget to take camera

lens off. Help the Box 

Tulle? Turtle go Free.

I CURSE auto drivers

who squash Turtles.

I stop and pickup

Turtles and let my

Grandchildren keep

for three days. Then,

the Turtle is set free

to go feed babies.


Comment by Ron Powell on October 24, 2017 at 7:53am

Comment by Arthur James on October 24, 2017 at 7:57am



Ron Powell?

no smash ducks

& cook duck soup.


No cook Turtle Soup.


A child heard` If Ya's

complain to 5-star

eateries the Jewish Chef

spits on Ya's Beer? Need.

Her Father sent a Sirloin

Steak back to the Cook

Four Times. Gads Ugh.


Comment by koshersalaami on October 24, 2017 at 8:11am

I assume you meant lens cap. If you take the camera lens off, you get no pictures. But I'm lucky because IPhones don't have lens caps. 

The answer isn't turtles, but that's the closest yet. It's yellow spotted salamanders. 

My wife volunteered to serve on a committee at Binghamton U, called something like Committee for the Campus Environment. Being in student affairs, she assumed that was a reference to social environment, as in how hospitable the campus climate was to women, minorities, etc. But no, they meant Environment as in Green, the physical environment. She attended a meeting where they talked about these cutaways. 

These are big salamanders that average seven inches in length (and can reach nine or ten) and can live up to twenty years. In the winter they burrow into the ground and in warm weather they go to ponds. Migrations are in November and March. That road is between the burrows and the pond.

November isn't a problem but they now close that portion of the road in March, the reason being that road conditions around here in March entails salting the roads and salt is terrible for the salamanders. 



Comment by Arthur James on October 24, 2017 at 8:14am


yup... lens cap...


moki icom walks

into the woods in

search of morals?

no. Morrel Mushrooms

and he staggers into

`Wendy' with a T-shirt

that read ` I hate kale.



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