Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekly Summary: August 1-7

Mon and Tues: rest and recovery from Escarpment.

Wed: Wilderness-Bog Loop at Lime Hollow (~6 mi)
I felt really fantastic on this run- apparently two days was the perfect amount of rest after Escarpment. The trails at Lime Hollow were in great condition, totally dry and no overgrowth. See this previous post for a map and description of the route.

Thurs: Road run, Carr Hill loop (10 mi, 1:30)
I spontaneously decided to go for a 10 mile road run in the evening, and I wanted to run somewhere I'd never been before. This didn't leave many options, but I made a loop that went over the prominent hill across the river to the east of Cortland using Ames and Carr Hill Roads.

The first and last few miles weren't too pleasant, passing through urban and industrial areas, but the middle portion was very nice, traversing the rural countryside and rolling hills that make central New York a pretty if unspectacular place.

Fri: rest

Sat: Trail run in Morgan Hill State Forest (15 mi, 2700 ft. gain, 2:55)
Again wanting to try something new for my weekly long run, I headed up to Morgan Hill State Forest, which is a fairly large tract of land between Truxton and Fabius. The main path through this area is the Onondaga Trail, which is part of the North Country Trail as it works its way from the Finger Lakes Trail up to the Adirondacks. 

My route today was a figure 8, consisting of a big loop on the Onondaga Trail and Morgan Hill/Rowley Hill Roads and a smaller loop up Fellows Hill on the Herlihy Spur Trail and Herlihy Road. Check out this page from for nice maps and descriptions of both loops. Shackham Road intersects the Onondaga Trail twice, and I aimed to park at the southern intersection. I somehow missed it and ended up at the northern one, which I didn't realize until I had been running a while and found myself nowhere near where I expected to be. Eventually I figured things out and was able to complete my planned route.

I've found that state forests in central New York are often lacking in points of interest, but Morgan Hill has several and this run hit them all- a couple nice ponds (Spruce and Shackham), a waterfall spilling off an overhanging cliff (Tinkers), a pretty little glen (Hemlock), and even an old cemetery in the middle of the woods. The scenic highlight, though, is definitely the view from the hang glider launch on Jones Hill. This is one of the outstanding views in the region, looking across Labrador Hollow, a narrow, steep-walled, 800-foot deep valley gouged out by the glaciers. Unfortunately, I encountered this magnificent viewpoint in the middle of a mad dash from a swarm of vicious deer flies. Stopping to fully enjoy the scenery was not an option, but I'll try to come back and check it out in the fall.

Sun: Road run in Cortland (3.4 mi)
Up Owego Street, across Starr Road, and down Page Green Road/Main Street.

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