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Hiking in Tompkins County
North Country Trail
This 7.7 mile stretch of the North Country Trail features Willseyville Creek and Shindagin Hollow State Forest. The Shindagin Lean To is located at a scenic location within the state forest. This section of the NCT coincides with the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail.
This section begins off Ridgeway Road on private property. Remember it's the generosity of the private landowners that allows the trail to cross through their property. Respect their property and stay on the trail. Soon the trail turns right onto a old railroad bed. This is the old Lehigh Valley Railroad. There is a second old bed from the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. The trail is now following what is known as the Ridgeway Trail.
There are great views from the old railroad bed and if you look really close you'll see the remnants of the old tracks. The FLT/NCT turns away from the old railroad bed and follows the edge of a field on the journey toward White Church Rd. There are some real nice views of the surrounding hills from the field (see above) before the trail crosses White Church Road and continues on private property. The trail ahead is closed for hunting from Oct 10 - Dec 22. Please respect the landowners request and stay off the trail during those dates. The trail then enters Shindagin Hollow State Forest.
The trail crosses seasonal dirt Braley Hill Road, soon passes a trail register, descends and reaches the Braley Campsite near a small stream crossing. Cross an old jeep trail then the NCT descends into Shindagin Hollow. After crossing seasonal dirt Shindagin Hollow Rd, the trail crosses a footbridge and ascends toward Shindagin Lean-To. Look below for a panorama of this popular lean to and camping area.
Before reaching South Road, there is an interesting rock formation on your left. This must have taken someone hours (days?) to create. There is a picture below of this piece of artwork. The trail continues across South Road and eventually leaves the state forest onto private land. The trail reaches Old 76 Road and the end of this section. Look below for a few pictures, detailed description and maps of this section of the North Country Trail.
Directions: From Ithaca, NY 96B to E. Miller Rd. Turn left on E Miller Rd. Turn right on Coddington Road. Turn left on Ridgeway Rd. There is shoulder parking along the side of the road. The GPS coordinates for the shoulder parking is N42 20.264 W76 23.780 for those who have a GPS devise.
Waterfall near Shindagin Lean To
Rock pile along the trail
Mile Elevation North Country Trail Description 0.0 1050 feet
Trailhead parking area on Ridgeway Rd. Follow the white blazes.
0.65 968 feet
Turn right onto old railroad grade. This is the Ridgeway Trail.
1.25 967 feet
Turn left off old railroad grade
1.45 1038 feet
Cross White Church Road
1.7 1094 feet
Cross stream. NOTICE: Trail is closed from 10/10 - 12/20 for HUNTING FROM THIS POINT to Shindagin State Forest Boundary.
2.3 1613 feet
Enter Shindagin Hollow State Forest
2.95 1518 feet
Cross seasonal dirt Braley Hill Road, trail register, descend and find the Braley Campsite near stream crossing.
3.6 1464 feet
Cross old jeep trail
4.6 1206 feet
Turn left on seasonal dirt Shindagin Road, then veer left off road. Parking
4.75 1197 feet
Trail crosses seasonal dirt Shindagin Road and then crosses a footbridge. Parking
5.4 1395 feet
5.7 1537 feet
Rock art to the left of trail.
6.0 1725 feet
Cross South Road
7.25 1384 feet
Leave Shindagin State Forest
7.7 1342 feet
Reach Old 76 Road. The FLT/NCT continues across road following the abandoned section of McGrath Rd, eventually entering Potato Hill State Forest. For a continuation of the trail, see Potato Hill State Forest.
Shindagin Lean To
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