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Hiking in Chenango County
Finger Lakes Trail System
Pharsalia Woods State Forest
This is one of the official side trails of the Finger Lakes Trail System. This trail system has over 900 miles of hiking trails in New York. The 2.6 mile Plymouth Loop Trail has blue blazes while the Finger Lakes Trail has white blazes. This 4.6 mile loop hike utilizes both trails. This loop hike is located in Pharsalia Woods State Forest. The area is located north of Bowman Lake State Park. We have a feeling that this trail will be getting a new name soon.
The highlight of this loop is the new Pharsalia Woods Lean To, constructed in 2013. The loop also features the Ed Sidote Memorial Bench. He is known as Mr. FLT. The loop also features many old stone walls as well as some old foundations. You will also see two old CCC water holes used to collect water. The trail used to visit the old Plymouth Lean-To. This lean to was rather old and we are unsure if it still stands. This loop is not as popular as other loops in the Finger Lakes Trail System, but don't let that deter you from hiking here.
We suggest starting this loop hike from the Nine Mile CCC Truck Road at the FLT crossing west of Fred Stewart Road. The description below starts from there and takes you in a clockwise direction. This loop hike has an elevation change of 346 feet and is a very easy hike. The loop utilizes two miles of the Finger Lakes Trail and 2.6 miles of the Plymouth Loop Trail. Look below for directions, a description of this hike, a few pictures and a map.
DIRECTIONS: From Lafayette take US 20 EAST to NY 91 South. In Fabius turn left on NY 80 East. Just past entering Madison County turn right on East Lake Rd. Turn right on NY 13 South and in DeRuyter turn left at the stop sign onto Albany Street. This road now turns into Crumb Hill Rd. Turn right on Maripossa Rd, then in South Otselic, turn right onto NY 26 South.
After you pass the Otselic Fish Hatchery, turn left on County Route 42 (sign for Norwich & Bowman Lake State park). Now turn left on NY 23 North. In just about one mile turn (veer) right on North Rd. Pass by the dirt Center Rd and continue on North Road. The next intersection is a dirt forest road known as the Nine Mile CCC Truck Trail. Turn left here onto the forest road and drive 0.8 miles to where the Finger Lakes Trail goes north into the woods. There is shoulder parking. The GPS coordinates are N42 35.378 W75 42.736 for those who have a GPS devise.
Old stone wall next to Finger Lakes Trail
Pharsalia Woods Lean To
Mile Elevation Trail Description (Plymouth Loop) 0.0 1781 feet Finger Lakes Trail turns north into forest. Follow white blazes.
Shoulder parking GPS N42 35.378 W75 42.736
0.15 1789 feet Reach the Plymouth Loop Trail. Turn right and follow the blue blazes. 0.6 1818 feet Reach the seasonal dirt Fred Stewart Road. Turn right and then a quick left off the road. 1.4 1827 feet A side trail on the left goes 0.1 miles to Coy Road. 2.0 1919 feet Highest point along the Plymouth Loop Trail. 2.6 1860 feet Trail reaches dirt Nine Mile CCC Truck Trail. Turn right and a quick left. 2.7 1799 feet Reach the Finger Lakes Trail. Turn right and follow the white blazes. 2.95 1755 feet Trail turns left onto Nine Mile CCC Truck Trail. Shoulder parking. GPS coordinates N42 34.926 W75 41.713 3.15 1752 feet Trail goes straight off the dirt road. 3.2 1778 feet Cross season dirt Fred Stewart Road. 3.55 1776 feet Ed Sidote Memorial Bench. Side trail on left travels to the Pharsalia Woods Lean To. 4.15 1720 feet Cross small stream. Picnic area. 4.55 1781 feet Reach dirt Nine Mile CCC Truck Trail. Turn left and follow dirt road. 4.6 1781 feet End of loop.
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