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Finger Lakes Trail System
Kennedy State Forest


Swedish
Loop Trail

 

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In 2010 the FLTC announced the creation of the 1.4 mile blue blazed Swedish Loop Trail in Kennedy State Forest as a new addition to the Finger Lakes Trail System. The Swedish Loop Trail begins off the main white blazed Finger Lakes Trail 0.9 miles east of the Daisy Hollow Road trailhead and loops back to meet the North Country Trail further east, creating a 5.2 mile out and back hike.

The Swedish Loop Trail travels through many large and beautiful hemlock trees.  A short 100 yard yellow blazed side trail leads to a high bank overlooking a stream.  This moderate 5.2 mile hike has an overall elevation gain of 682 feet.  This hike has a few minor stream crossings and the first 1.9 miles of this hike is a steady climb (for the most part).

There are other, shorter or even longer loop options utilizing the Swedish Loop Trail.  The trail travels along seasonal dirt Bell-Hilsinger Road for a short while, as well as ending at the North Country Trail crossing of this road.  There looked to be a few parking spots along the side of Bell-Hilsinger Road.  This would create a shorter 3.4 mile loop with the NCT starting from Bell-Hilsinger Rd.

The NCT as well as the Swedish Loop Trail also crosses seasonal dirt Owego Hill Rd. Parking is very limited, if not non existent near the trail crossings.  Owego Hill Road looked very muddy and rutted at the Swedish Loop Trail crossing. Owego Hill Road is a rough seasonal road at spots.

One could also utilize the Spanish Loop Trail, Swedish Loop Trail and the NCT to create a long 7.2 mile loop. The information below is from our hike starting from the Daisy Hollow Rd trailhead. There is a DEC parking area off Daisy Hollow Rd near the junction of Carpenter Hill Road. We did the 5.2 mile option of the Swedish Loop.

 Look below for description, pictures, video and map of the 5.2 mile Swedish Loop hike. We will be updating the map and info soon to reflect the Stockholm Cutoff Trail and the reroute of the Spanish Loop Trail.

Directions:  From I-81 exit 11 take NY 13 south into Cortland.  Follow NY 13, then take a left on NY 215.  Take NY 215 into Virgil and go straight at 4-way stop sign onto NY 392 west.  Soon turn left on Owego Hill Road.  Turn right onto Daisy Hollow Rd.  Stay straight at 3-way stop sign.  After climbing hill reach Carpenter Hill Rd on right.  Turn left on the dirt road that travels a short distance to the DEC parking area. GPS is N42 28.235 W76 13.880


North Country Trail and Swedish Loop Trail at Bell-Hilsinger Road with yellow Finger Lakes Trail System sign

Park your vehicle at the DEC parking area off Daisy Hollow Rd, just south of the intersection of Carpenter Hill Road. You will see the green Finger Lakes Trail System sign near the road. Follow the white blazes and enter Kennedy State Forest. The trail follows an old ATV track briefly before veering right into the forest.  At 0.2 miles you'll notice Rowland Creek below you on the right.  At 0.4 miles reach the first of three trail registers during this hike. At 0.6 miles cross a logging road.

At 0.95 miles reach the western end/start of the blue blazed Swedish Loop Trail. See the North Country Trail emblem on the large tree in front of you?  Continue straight, following the white blazes of the NCT and soon descend on earthen steps to cross a small stream.  You'll cross a wet section of trail before climbing quickly and then turning left on top of the embankment. On your right is Two Creek Campsite, which looks like a nice camping spot.

The climbing becomes more evident as you cross an old ATV trail at 1.35 miles and reach the rough dirt Owego Hill Road at 1.65 miles. Cross the road and continue following the white blazes of the NCT, reaching the second trail register in a few hundred feet on a broken tree.

The trail climbs one last time, reaching the top of this hill at 1.9 miles and the highest point along this loop hike at 2032 feet on the summit of Owego Hill.  The trail descends on several long switchbacks as it winds its way toward Bell-Hilsinger Road.  At 2.7 miles pass a nicely built small rock wall along the trail at the end of the last switchback.

At 2.8 miles cross a small stream and soon after reach Bell-Hilsinger Road.  Here turn left and follow the blue blazes on this seasonal dirt road as the Swedish Loop Trail coincides with the road briefly.  At 3.3 miles the blue blazed Swedish Loop Trail veers left off the road into the forest.  At times you'll notice yellow boundary paint as the trail follows close to the state forest boundary.

At 3.4 miles the trail crosses a rough, wet and muddy Oswego Hill Road.  At 3.5 miles reach a trail register for the Swedish Loop Trail.  There is information in this register about the trail steward, who happens to be the person who built the trail (as well as the Spanish Loop Trail and Irvin Trail).  Be sure to sign the register!

The trail descends to a stream crossing at 3.8 miles.  At 4.0 miles reach the junction of a yellow blazed trail that travels a few hundred feet to a bank high above a scenic stream.  A nice spot to sit and relax for a few minutes.  Retrace your steps back to the blue blazed Swedish Loop Trail and turn left.  At 4.2 miles reach the end of the Swedish Loop Trail at the junction of the white blazed North Country Trail. Turn right and retrace your steps 0.95 miles to your vehicle.

This is a well marked, maintained trail that includes a popular section of the North Country Trail.


 

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