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Hiking in Cortland County
Finger Lakes Trail System
Thanks to the hard work of dedicated volunteers from the FLTC, the area in and around Kennedy State Forest is quickly becoming a hiking hot spot with over twenty miles of trails to explore. What makes the area popular with hikers are the numerous loop hikes available in one location.
The Lithuanian Loop Trail, a 1.1 mile loop completed in June 2011, is located completely on private property off Babcock Hollow Road. This trail is part of the "International Trail Series" that was created in this area. The other "International Trails" include the Irish Loop Trail, Spanish Loop Trail and Swedish Loop Trail.
The green blazed Irish Loop Trail can be utilized with the Lithuanian Loop Trail and FLT/NCT to create numerous loop hikes in this one area. You'll also find the peach blazed 0.15 mile Brennan Bypass Trail in this area, that can also be utilized to create your loop hike.
The parking area is next to this scenic pond
The area also offers hikers that are looking for loop hikes, the Irvin Loop Trail, Dabes Diversion Loop, Virgil Mountain Loop and Finger Lakes Trail/North Country Trail, all located in and around Kennedy State Forest near Dryden, NY.
There is parking at a school bus turnaround located at a scenic pond (see panorama above) off Babcock Hollow Road for the Lithuanian Loop Trail. The start of the trail is across the road, where you'll notice a tree with three yellow blazes that marks the start/end of the trail.
The trail starts at this triple yellow blaze
The Lithuanian Loop Trail is split up by a western section and an eastern section of trail. It is highly suggested that you do this loop counter clockwise, leaving the steepest sections for your downhill return trip. This means hiking the western section first, which is how we describe this hike below. The overall elevation gain for this hike is 223 feet and the FLTC touts this loop as a family friendly hike.
After crossing the road and entering the woods, veer right following the yellow blazes. The trail climbs gently in the woods. At 0.25 miles you'll cross an old woods road. At 0.35 miles there is a perfectly placed stone ledge against a tree for nice rest spot on your very own stone chair. At 0.4 miles the trail reaches the white blazes of the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail.
The yellow blazed LLT following the white blazed FLT
Rock pile along the LLT/FLT/NCT
Turn left and now follow the white blazes and yellow blazes. You'll pass by an interesting rock pile on your left and then at 0.5 miles reach the eastern section of the Lithuanian Loop Trail. Turn left and follow the yellow blazes. The white blazed Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail continues on to Foxfire Lean To and on toward the Catskills or Adirondacks, depending on the route you choose.
Soon reach a green trail register located on a tree to your left. The trail will join a woods road and after a brief level walk, the trail begins to descend. There are a few side woods roads that are passed, so be sure your following the yellow blazes and remember your on private property so stay on the trail.
Following a woods road
At 0.8 miles you'll cross a woods roads, continuing straight and descending on the woods road. At 0.9 miles the trail turns left off the woods road entering a pine forest. Look for the double blaze on your left as the turn can be missed if your not paying attention.
After winding thru the pines, the trail begins to run parallel to the road and you may catch a few views of the pond through the trees. Soon you'll reach the start of the loop and at 1.1 miles the end of this hike. Carefully cross the road to the parking area and your vehicle.
Look below for trail maps and video of this hike.
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 left onto Babcock Hollow Road at stop sign. The parking area is about two miles on the right (remember that this is a school bus turnaround, so make space for the buses). The parking area has posted signs, however the parking area is on public land. The land beyond is private and posted (including the scenic pond).
The GPS coordinates for the parking area is N42 28.442 W76 11.543 for those who have a gps devise in their vehicle.
Hiking HOME PAGE
Spanish Loop Trail
Kennedy State Forest
Dabes Diversion Loops
Swedish Loop Trail
Virgil Mountain Loop
FLT/NCT in Kennedy State Forest
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