FAMILY HIKE – Deer Lick Conservation Area – 1/6/19

After the holidays, this winter hike was enjoyed by 11 hikers braving the brisk 35 degrees at the beginning of this Deer Lick/Zoar Valley hike.  The sun periodically made an appearance to help warm us up throughout the hike.

The group enjoyed this 3.2 mile hike through old growth hardwood trees, scenic overlooks to the Cattaraugus Creek canyon walls and the crossing of the creek near the Deer Lick Falls.

Hikers were treated to many large mature cherry, hemlock, tulip and maple trees as this property is maintained by the Nature Conservancy. While most leaves have fallen off, tree identification was done by the bark or finding the fallen leaves under the trees.

After the hike the group was invited to Dave and Wendy’s home to eat 2 different types of corn soup and a boiled cornbread. Dave and Wendy are Seneca traditional knowledge holders and shared information on the origins of corn and various corn foods made from corn grown on their farm. They also shared information on the “One Bowl One Spoon” treaty/wampum belt. This is an agreement/principle between two or more Nations/People for sharing hunting territory/food/environmental resources to take no more than you need. In principle, all People are all eating out of a single dish, which is the environmental resource (hunting, fishing, water, food). One spoon signifies that all People sharing the territory are expected to limit the game/resource they take and to leave enough for others for continued abundance and viability of the resources into the future. The soups, bread and conversations were enjoyed by all. Go to their podcast for more information on the important work the Brays are doing.

– Submitted by Trip Leaders Dave and Wendy Bray

The group not only enjoyed the outing, the socializing and the delicious food, but the lesson learned from Dave and Wendy will be a lasting memory. Their generous presentation of homemade food, hospitality and the pertinent metaphor of One Bowl One Spoon was a reminder of the necessity to respect each other and to work to lessen our impact on the environment from eco-safe farm practices to our own diets. Many thanks to David and Wendy for being an example of conservation in practice.

– Submitted by Mary Schraven

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HIKE – Royalton Ravine – 12/9/18

It was a stunning day with bright blue skies and crisp temperatures. The snow covered woods gave us the perfect environment to enjoy the waterfalls, trees, chirping birds, and our ADK friends. We tromped around the trails, then wandered through a Spruce tree grove into an orchard then followed a deer trail back down to the ravine. We lingered at the suspension bridge and the old foundation of the Belva Lockwood Homestead.

Make sure you visit this gem of a park in Niagara County!

– Submitted by Mary Schraven

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HIKE – Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve – 12/8/18

Bluebird skies and 30 degree temperatures provided ideal conditions for our 4-mile hike on snow-covered trails at this urban oasis, just minutes from hectic city life. Two new faces who recently joined ADK were part of our group.

We circumnavigated the entire Nature Preserve and then hiked a second loop inside the first one. The land was once owned and managed by Dr. Victor Reinstein, who planted over 30,000 trees and dug numerous ponds for his family to enjoy. Mature Norway spruce trees line some trails, providing beauty and a year-round habitat for animal residents. The largest living Beech Tree in NY State once resided at Reinstein, but it died after suffering extensive damage in the 2006 October snowstorm. It is still standing but is decaying naturally, and will eventually fall and fertilize soil to nurture new tree growth. The New York State Symbols trail, including the state fish (brook trout), gem (garnet), flower (wild rose, source of rose hips for Red Zinger Tea!), elicited interesting comments and conversation. Abundant animal tracks on fresh snow revealed that this nature preserve is far from inactive during the winter season. Coyote, fox, deer and rabbit tracks attested to animal activity.

It was a joy to savor this nearby gem during the busy holiday season.

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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HIKE – Beaver Meadow Audubon Center – 11/17/18

Early snowfall provided a delightful wintry setting for our 4-mile hike through the enchanting woods at this protected Nature Preserve. We traveled on a perimeter trail throughout the Northern portion of the property, starting with the Jenny Glen boardwalk, then climbing the Hawk Ridge Trail to the connecting Long Trail, to a fun lollipop trail on the Backwoods Loop, and returning to our start via the Rusty Stove and Kettle Pond Trails. Amidst the forest footpaths we enjoyed the red pines, white pines, balsams and hemlocks.

The tamarack trees (also known as larch) were at their gorgeous golden peak color, being the only conifer that loses all their needles in the Fall. On the fresh white snow we were treated to a golden carpet of the fallen tamarack needles.

 

You never know what beautiful sights Nature will provide! We enjoyed a snack break at the impressive Arboretum that holds many exceptional labelled trees including white and red oaks, redbud, and witch hazel. It was a wonderful way for our group of 9 to launch the winter hiking season!

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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ADK FALL OUTING – Finger Lakes Area – 10/26-28/18

One of the many benefits of ADK membership is the annual ADK Fall Outing, an opportunity to explore a new scenic part of New York State and be hosted by locals who know the surrounding terrain. The sublime Finger Lakes area around Watkins Glen provided glorious settings for this year’s Fall adventures. Numerous lakes, streams and waterfalls carved by ancient glaciers enabled nearly 30 hiking, paddling and biking options to choose from over the 3-day event. Since the ADK Finger Lakes Chapter has a small membership, our Niagara Frontier members provided invaluable expertise to organize the weekend.

 

NFC Outings Chair Mary Schraven did a formidable job organizing 28 outings. Our Webmaster Rob Laing oversaw the website for outreach and registration, and our Treasurer Doug Gaffney handled the finances. Many of the outings were enthusiastically led by Niagara Frontier members including Rob Laing (Sugar Hill Fire Tower, Goundry Hill hikes), Janet and David Kowalski (Finger Lakes National Forest and CT Hill Wildlife Management Area hikes), Mary Schraven (Watkins Glen and Taughannock State Park hikes, Richard Schraven (Chemung paddle), Teresa and Peter Corrigan (Cornell Ornithology Lab visit), and Cheryl Peluso (Tanglewood Nature Center hike). Over 130 ADK members attended, with the diehards from the Niagara Frontier Chapter having the highest participation.

The 3-day event included 28 outings, a Winery Reception on Friday, and Presidents Banquet on Saturday. An impressive eclectic list of outings were offered, including hikes of various mileages, and casual visits to Ornithology Labs and Nature Centers. Hardy and prepared ADK hikers were unfazed by rainy Saturday weather, with cheery optimism and enthusiasm to explore new trails overpowering wet conditions.

Of course the best perk of all was meeting and getting reacquainted with the congenial, terrific ADK folks from other chapters across the state. It was a joy to engage with others who share similar interests and values in the beautiful outdoor settings. Look forward to the 2019 ADK Fall Outing that will be held September 6-8 in the Poughkeepsie area.

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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HIKE – Deer Lick Conservation Area – 10/14/18

Glorious weather sustained an ideal Autumn outing amidst old-growth trees, scenic ravines, and a sparkling waterfall. Our enthusiastic group of 11 hiked about 4 miles altogether, ascending the gorge rim to a lookout point exposing views of canyon walls and the South Branch of the Cattaraugus Creek below.

We were treated to many large mature hemlock, tulip and maple trees, thanks to the dearth of logging in this area. This donated property is maintained by the Nature Conservancy, which is wholeheartedly committed to conservation, plant diversity and sustainability. Efforts to invigorate the vanishing American Chestnut tree, a victim of blight, were inspired here and we found many spiny nut husks under a lone tree. We saw milkweed plants that attract and sustain Monarch butterflies. Our group identified a hickory nut tree, and butternut and black walnut varieties.

After descending to Deer Lick Creek and viewing the beginnings of a waterfall, we climbing out of the ravine, and descended a steep side trail for excellent views of Deer Lick Falls, its airborne spray sparkling in the sunlight.

Following a steep ascent on the return trail, we paused for a fun swing on a strong old grapevine hanging down between two trees.

 

 

 

Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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PEDAL & PADDLE – Niagara Parkway and River to Niagara on the Lake – 10/13/18

With a very iffy weather forecast of 40-50 degrees, chance of water spouts and scattered rain, it seemed likely to cancel but when our fearless and optimistic trip leader proposed a modified version launching from the beach of N.O.T.L. everyone who signed up heartily agreed to come. This was a trip requiring careful planning and much time and effort selecting the appropriate gear for biking and paddling in mid-October. Richard and I packed it all, waterproof jackets, hats, insulating layers, windproof gloves, wool socks, wadding boots, wicking layers, plus a complete change of clothes in a dry bag. But there was one among us with blue jeans, and a sweat shirt (yes! Cotton! Can you believe it?!). He didn’t get wet, but I did get to test out my wonderful protective clothing just as I was getting out on the rocky shores of Lake Ontario. Luckily, my dunking was at the end of the outing and I could quickly change.

In spite of the iffy forecast, the group agreed to follow the original plan of boating from Queenston to Niagara on the Lake, and biking on the Niagara Parkway. The day turned out to be lovely, no rain but with ever-changing skies from sunny and blue to heavy clouds. We really enjoyed the shared conversations, adventure, fall leaves and a hot meal at the Epicurian Restaurant.

 

Thanks to everyone for being patient, flexible and good natured, a great time was had by all!

– Submitted by Mary Schraven

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BIKE – Wilson-Tuscarora State Park – 9/16/18

Bicyclists set out under beautiful blue skies and gentle breezes on a 21 mile round trip ride from Wilson to Olcott. The riders looped through Wilson-Tuscarora State Park before following the Ontario lake shore past apple orchards to Olcott. Upon arrival in Olcott the bicyclists were treated to bag pipers and Celtic music at the Niagara Celtic Festival. Back roads provided a further view of the lake, sailboats, & charming cottages, The bicyclists maintained a 12mph touring pace perfect for conversation and views of the Ontario Shores.

– Submitted by Mike Lex

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Great Camp Sagamore Weekend – 9/21-24/18

Nineteen members of ADK NFC & Bell Ski Club hiked and paddled on the historic grounds of Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondacks during the first weekend of Fall.

Others enjoyed a guided nature walk, a boat tour on Raquette Lake or Blue Mountain Lake, or a trip to nearby museums.

 

 

Delicious food and conversation around a fire brought each day to an end.

— Submitted by JoAnn Zurek

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Conservation Trail through Hunters Creek – 9/22/18

Setting off through the brisk morning air of the first day of Autumn, made this hike quite comfortable and enjoyable.  Going at an easy pace, 3 nature appreciators noted various fungi and identified trees within the second growth forest.  Straying from the Conservation Trail, us hikers found our way down to the creek to watch tiny fish in the water, watch the beautiful (and already changing) leaves float down stream.  We found fossils, a geo-cash, and spoke of the different rocks along the trail – including coal  … much speculation of how it founds its way there.  All in all, a wonderful 6 miles along the Conservation Trail, looking forward to spending more wonderful Autumn days on this trail finding even more to appreciate!

-Submitted by Mary Kay Noack

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