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North Country Trail
Danby State Forest
This 5.1 mile section of the North Country Trail features the western part of the 7100 acre Danby State Forest located south of Ithaca. This stretch of the NCT coincides with the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail. The Chestnut Lean To is located in the western half of the state forest along the NCT.
This section of the NCT begins off Comfort Road and enters the 7100 acre Danby State Forest. After a level walk the trail crosses Bald Hill Road and begins its descent toward Michigan Creek. It is during this section where you will pass Chestnut Lean To. Just prior to Michigan Creek is the junction of the western terminus of the orange blazed Abbott Loop Trail. This loop trail leads to the spectacular views of Thatcher's Pinnacle and is a very popular 8 mile loop hike via the NCT.
The footbridge that crosses Michigan Creek is called "Diane's Crossing". After crossing Michigan Hollow Road the trail begins a steep ascent before descending again, only to climb again then descend again before reaching the junction of the eastern terminus of the orange blazed Abbott Loop Trail. The trail continues it's up and downs, while crossing two seasonal dirt roads. The trail has one last descent as it winds toward South Danby Road and the end of this section. Look below for a map and a detailed description of this section of the trail.
DIRECTIONS - From Ithaca, NY 96B south, then right on W Miller Rd. Turn left on Comfort Rd. Take Comfort Road to the State Forest boundary (just prior to left bend in road). You will see the yellow Finger Lakes Trail sign on left. There is some shoulder parking here. The GPS coordinates are N42 19.757 W76 30.217 for those who have a GPS devise. There is better parking south of the Bald Hill Road trail crossing at the corner of Comfort and Bald Hill Roads. GPS coordinates are N42 19.573 W76 29.887.
Chestnut Lean To in Danby State Forest
Mileage Elevation Trail Description 0.0 1599 feet
Trail turns left off Comfort Road and enters Danby State Forest. Parking. GPS N42 19.757 W76 30.217
0.1 1615 feet
Trail turns right.
0.2 1605 feet
Trail veers left.
0.4 1559 feet
Cross Bald Hill Road. Good parking south of this trail crossing. GPS N42 19.573 W76 29.887
0.9 1379 feet
Chestnut Lean-To is to the left on side trail. FLT/NCT turns right.
1.8 1267 feet
Junction on the right with the western terminus of the orange blazed Abbott Loop Trail. Soon cross Michigan Creek on the footbridge called "Diane's Crossing".
1.9 1294 feet
Cross Michigan Hollow Road. Parking. GPSN42 19.036 W76 28.658
2.0 1305 feet
Cross seasonal dirt Smiley Road.
2.2 1298 feet
Begin steep ascent.
3.15 1579 feet
Cross seasonal dirt Hill Road.
3.4 1479 feet
Junction on the right with the eastern terminus of the orange blazed Abbott Loop Trail.
3.65 1567 feet
Cross seasonal dirt Curtis Road.
3.9 1398 feet
4.5 1649 feet
Highest point along this section of the trail.
4.9 1387 feet
Cross Fisher Settlement Road.
5.1 1345 feet
Reach South Danby Road and end of this section. DEC parking lot to the north. GPS N42 18.492 W76 26.596 For a continuation see the Eastern Section of FLT/NCT on Danby State Forest.
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