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Our 2010 Hikes - April 1 - Hike #2North Country Trail
Rowland Creek, Rowland Ridge, Bud Brook,
Field Spur View and the Panoramic View
Date: April 1, 2010
Mileage hiked: 2.3 miles to last view point (4.4 miles round trip)
Location: off Daisy Hollow Road near Virgil, NY
Trailhead: Along the west side of Daisy Hollow Road
Trailhead Coordinates: N42 27.792 W76 13.944
Name of Trail: Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 516 feet
Trail Conditions: Well marked, easy to follow, some wet spots, extremely muddy section at new power line ROW. Rowland Creek can be difficult to cross at times.
Features: Power line view, scenic streams, a couple of panoramic views.
Links: FLT/NCT Kennedy State Forest
For our second hike on Thursday, we decided to cross Rowland Creek and climb Rowland Ridge. Rowland Creek will test your "waterproof" hiking boots (mine passed). Expect to either take off your hiking boots and wade across in your bare feet or know that you have waterproof boots or have wet feet. Your hiking along the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail and this whole hike is located on PRIVATE PROPERTY. The trail turns left after crossing the creek and follows the creek briefly before beginning a sometimes steep ascent of Rowland Ridge. How steep? There are steeper trails, however you'll be happy to have a nicely placed rope to help pull yourself up (and down) the trail on one short section.
Utility vehicle making its way up the power line ROW
You'll pass under power lines up above the trees and then reach a trail register at 0.3 miles. At the register the trail turns and follows an old logging road. At 0.4 miles enter Cotton-Hanlon lumber company land. The trail in Cotton-Hanlon property is CLOSED for hunting from May 1-31 and mid October to mid December. Reach and cross a power line ROW. This section was extremely wet and muddy when we hiked this on 4/1. If you watch our video (coming soon) you'll see one of the heavy duty track vehicle pass by us while we were hiking.
Construction on a new power line has destroyed part of the trail and it can be tough to follow (as well as wet and muddy). The FLTC volunteers have done their best to keep the trail marked and clear, however the construction continues. Once you make one last ascent, you'll reappear at the power lines with views toward the west. You are on Rowland Ridge. The trail turns back into the woods and soon you have a pleasant walk along another old logging road.
Construction on the new power lines along the Finger Lakes Trail on Rowland Ridge
The FLT/NCT will eventually turn right off the pleasant logging road. The trail winds its way through the forest and at 1.2 miles you'll leave Cotton-Hanlon lumber company land. The trail continues to wind its way through the woods, crossing numerous small streams on this section of trail. At 1.75 miles you'll reach the junction of the 0.1 mile blue blazed Field View Spur Trail. Turn left for a short detour to a fence and nice view at the end of this trail. Retrace your steps back to the white blazed FLT/NCT and continue on your journey to the main panoramic view.
Crossing Bud Brook along the FLT/NCT
You'll reach a stile at 2.2 miles and soon after cross Bud Brook on large rocks. The trail soon ascends back up from the stream and will reach a field at 2.3 miles. The views are immediate as the area opens up around you. Continue to walk along the edge of the field until just before the next stile. Soon Dryden Lake will be visible in the lower right of your view. That's Star Stanton Hill on the right and Hammond Hill with the one microwave tower on top. It's the same tower that the FLT/NCT passes close by in Hammond Hill State Forest. The view here is awesome and worth the trip.
Scrappy enjoying the view
From here, simply retrace your steps back to Rowland Creek and then your vehicle at Daisy Hollow Road. We have listed this section as one of the "Best of the North Country Trail in New York" and you'll see why when you explore this great section of trail. Just explore it during "non" hunting season. You can help support this hiking trail by purchasing official maps & guides from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference website. Look below for a map & video.
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