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Hiking in Cortland County
North Country Trail
Woodchuck Hollow, Snyder Hill, Howe Creek
This section of the Finger Lakes/North Country Trail begins off Carson Road near Greek Peak and NY 392. Take a look at the view toward Virgil Mountain before heading on the trail. The trail enters Tuller Hill State Forest at this point. The trail climbs to 1880 feet before descending toward Woodchuck Hollow.
There are three access trails that lead out of the hollow. Two of the trails lead to seasonal dirt Cortland 9 Road and the other leads to seasonal dirt Pipeline Road. Also within the hollow is Woodchuck Hollow Lean-To (see panorama above). A very nice shelter just off the trail. The trail leaves the hollow and crosses Cortland 9 Road then travels along the state forest boundary winding up Snyder Hill.
The trail crosses seasonal dirt Pipeline Road and begins its descent toward the Tioughnioga River. The trail crosses Snyder Hill Road and enters private property. Please respect the landowners rights and stay on the trail. It is due to the generosity of the private landowners that the trail is allowed to pass through this area.
The trail crosses Howe Creek on a footbridge then continues through a farm field with views toward the I-81 Hoxie Gorge Bridge. The trail continues down hill until reaching West River Road and the end of this section.
NOTE: The FLTC announced a new reroute on 11/11/2014. From the FLTC announcement -->The trail has been rerouted between West River Road and Hoxie's Gorge, SUNY Cortland. This change improves the road walk, although not much shorter it is mostly on dirt roads now, and the small section still on Route 11 is in an area with a wide shoulder, behind a guard rail. It also adds 5.5 of new trail. Special Thanks to Alley Cat Crew #3 for getting it done.
To follow the new trail, at West River Road turn Right and follow it South to Route 392, about 4 miles. Turn Left on to 392, follow Route 392 East 1/2 mile, over the river to Route 11. Follow Route 11 south for a 1/2 mile to Steve Russell Road. Stay on the Right (west) shoulder, there is a wide flat area behind the guard rail (and a family of bald eagles is nesting in the area just downhill). Careful not to miss Steve Russell Road, its a single lane dirt road on the left. Follow Steve Russell Road up hill under route 81, past 81 bear left to stay on Steve Russell about 1 mile, enter the woods on the left at the border of State Forest Land. The trail heads north through Hoxie Gorge State Forest, traversing 3 gorges, before crossing Freetown Hoxies Gorge Road in about 4 miles. The trail continues north before intersecting the existing trail at the stone bridge on SUNY Cortland property.The old main trail from Hoxie Gorge Road to the stone bridge has been reblazed as a Blue access trail.
Directions: From Cortland, I-81 south to Exit 10. Turn left on US 11 south. Turn right on NY 392 West then right on Carson Rd. The Finger Lakes/North Country Trail leaves the road on the left in just under a mile.
Small waterfall in Woodchuck Hollow along the FLT/NCT
Mile Elevation Description 0.0 1664 ft
Trail leaves Carson Road on left. Follow white blazes and ascend. Enter Tuller Hill State Forest. This is the continuation of the trail from Kennedy State Forest.
1.0 1616 ft
Junction on right with blue blazed access trail that leads to Cortland 9 Road
1.4 1517 ft
Woodchuck Hollow Lean-To on the right
1.6 1544 ft
Junction on right with another blue blazed access trail that leads to Cortland 9 Road
2.2 1661 ft
Junction on left with blue blazed Neal Brook Trail that leads to Pipeline Road. Ascend.
2.4 1753 ft
Cross seasonal dirt Cortland 9 Road.
3.2 1917 ft
Snyder Hill and the highest point in Tuller State Forest along the FLT/NCT.
3.6 1877 ft
Cross Pipeline Road
4.0 1726 ft
Cross Snyder Hill Road and enter PRIVATE PROPERTY.
4.3 1486 ft
Junction on left with blue blazed access trail that leads to parking on Snyder Hill Rd. Cross Howe Creek on footbridge.
5.2 1148 ft
Trail reaches West River Road and the end of this section. Trail continues after a road walk in Hoxie Gorge State Forest.
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