Ice Skating (February 17) – Is it possible for those over 50 to re-enter the world of ice skating and enjoy themselves as they had in earlier years? YES! Under the guidance, encouragement, and friendship of ADKer Paul Kochmanski, our outing in February has proven just that for 5 skaters at the North Buffalo Rink. One skater used to be a figure skater in her youth, but hasn’t been on skates in 25 years. You should have seen the joy on her face as she rediscovered her turns by the end of the evening! Another skater used to play hockey, but hasn’t been on skates in 15 years; he was proud to have not fallen the entire evening, though somewhat swarmed with pre-teens! The season is over now, but keep it in mind for next year as we explore different indoor rinks and different times, and not have to worry about the weather. Submitted by Judy Catalano.
Eighteen cheerful hikers enjoyed a 4-mile scenic gorge hike, starting at the trailhead on South Creek Road in Hamburg. At the 2-mile turnaround point there was a comical sign: TRAIL ENDS HERE. The Creek’s name is based on the distance between its Lake Erie terminus and the Niagara River. There is another Eighteen Mile Creek in WNY that flows into Lake Ontario, which is named for the same criteria. I never realized this until I researched the Creek before our hike…. Cool!
Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski
Tom Burkman had a wonderful breakfast for us hikers of bacon, eggs, coffee, and juice. Participants added fresh fruit, English muffins and exotic flavors of yogurt. Yummy! With our bellies full and a feeling of camaraderie, we set off for a lovely hike around the creek, woods, and wet lands adjoining Tom’s property. Our first adventure was crossing the mostly frozen creek over a bridge that made us wonder what we were getting ourselves into. But following our brave leader, everyone made it across safely. We saw footprints that may have been coyote and many wild turkey tracks. Crossing the wetland ponds and hearing the ice groan and splinter under our weight was also a thrill, though no one got a wet foot. After about 90 minutes, we warmed up around the fireplace with hot cocoa. It was a great way to visit with a new and well known ADK members, get some exercise and enjoy the lovely wilderness of Grand Island. Thank you Tom for sharing your home and woods with us all!
Here’s what Tom wrote: On February 4, seven members including new ADK member, John Melithoniotes went for a winter hike in Grand Island. They gathered at the home of Tom Burkman for a hearty breakfast for which several brought food. Snow cover amounted to only a couple of inches, so hiking boots were sufficient in what was originally marketed as a snowshoe outing. The group hiked into the woods along Gun Creek. Then along trails and a pipeline and fields ending back at Tom’s house for hot chocolate around the fireplace. The cold temperatures of the preceding week made it safe to cross the creek and wetland areas. The snow cover was a graphic display of deer, coyote and turkey tracks. A good time was had by all.
Beth Hartz led a friendly group on a beautiful winter hike through scenic Stiglmeier Park. We we treated to several bird sightings, including a Red-bellied Woodpecker! We also savored the wide variety of Old Growth trees there, including ash, black cherry and beech. We saw evidence of some busy beavers too! This well-maintained park is a local gem, with benches, boardwalks, and several miles of well-marked wooded trails.
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No -Snow – Walk at Knox Park – January 11, 2017
On a cold & dry winter morning four of us walked almost all of the perimeter paths at Knox Farm. We made a brief stop at the ‘little library ‘, went around the outermost trails where we could look across the road to the seminary, the path to the waterfall and the polofields. Found a ‘letterbox ‘ under a tree stump. (Google it. Letterboxing is a less technical version of geocaching ). Then we peeked in the windows of the mansion & the Polo barns.
FYI Knox is a busy place on the weekends. Many happy canines cavorting in the dog park area. By noontime, cars were parked on the grass all along the exit road, right next to the ‘do not park on the grass’ signs.
Kim Newland treated us to a fantastic afternoon hike in one of Western NY’s little-known wilderness gems. Eight hikers enjoyed serene woods filled with spring wildflowers including several patches of spectacular Pink Lady’s Slippers (aka Moccasin Flowers). After hiking along the ravine rim, we descended for a creek walk, savoring several refreshing small waterfalls. It was a delightful Sunday afternoon hike!
ADK members celebrated 2016 Earth Day weekend on Saturday, April 23 by participating in a cleanup of Unity Island in Buffalo. Members joined forces with volunteers from Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper on a beautiful, sunny day to comb the island’s Niagara River shoreline for debris, removing a total of 19 bagfuls of paper, plastic, bottles and cans, fishing line, and even a pair of old dress shoes (size 10). The enthusiastic ADK clean-up team included Teresa and Pete Corrigan, Nancy Hanavan, Mike Weimer, Janet and David Kowalski, and Lee Clukey
Feb. 13th, the coldest day this winter had 6 crazy people, a combination of ADK’ers and Buffalo Nordic members brave the sub-zero temps and XC Ski out at Elma Meadows. Originally, the plan was Bryncliff, but even with the lake-effect snows of Friday, the 12th, there wasn’t good enough conditions to justify the drive and the fees for Byrncliff. We were the only ones on the trail but the employees lit the fireplace and opened the snack bar for us! While not very fashionably dressed, the face mask and goggles really worked well! Hand warmers also came in handy. Submitted by Mary Schraven
On January 17 our enthusiastic group enjoyed Cheryl’s classic Figure 8 snowshoe hike on the beautiful snow-covered Erie County Forestry Trail near Sardinia. After over 3 miles of gentle hills, majestic tall trees and scenic flowing streams we finished our outing with a fun lunch gathering in the rustic sugar shack. Submitted by Janet Kowalski
Seven hikers enjoyed exploring Franklin Gulf, Erie County park in Eden on November 8th. It was a beautiful fall day, with temperatures above normal for November, but perfect for hiking. Most of the trees were bare, which allowed for the sun to filter through the forest. The water level was low in the creek ,so a portion of the hike included walking in the creek bed. Here we enjoyed seeing the layered shale cliffs, crystal clear water pools, and shale ledges filled with oak leaves and acorns. Thanks to all who attended this hike. Submitted by Kim Newlands