Hiking the FLT on Black Bear Road



On Thursday, December 26th, I decided I wanted to hike along Black Bear Road near Round Pond despite the unexpected snow that was falling persistently! December had been a bad month for hiking with personal commitments and some poor weather. Brad and Krista were home for Christmas and Brad decided to take Pierce, their year old lab mix, with us on the hike which I thought was a good idea. Sheila and Pierce get along well and I thought they would both like to get out of the house. I chose Black Bear Road since it was the only piece he the Finer Lakes Trail that I had not hiked between Marathon and Table Mountain. In June 2012 I had joined a group hike from Black Bear Road to the trail’s terminus on the Table Mountain Trail. I had also hiked from the end of Black Bear Road to Tunis Pond. Brad and I got our gear and the dogs in the car a little after 10:00 Am and started for the trailhead parking area. The roads were barely touched with only a little plowing done and very little sanding. As we headed out the Debruce Road, it was obvious only a few vehicles had been on the road. At the turnoff for Mongaup Pond any plowing that had been done ended and we were on our own. The Lancer with all-wheel drive and the Blizzak tires is very good in the snow. We made it to Black Bear Road and turned left and drove up the hill to the parking area. There appeared to be one set of tire tracks on the road but they were completely covered in snow. I parked in the lot and we were ready to go by 10:45 AM. Continue reading

And the Rain Came!

The weather forecast proved to be accurate this time! It has been raining in Livingston Manor for several hours and the temperature is in the 40’s. Heavier rain and higher temperatures are forecast for Saturday and Sunday . After the weekend, the temperatures are supposed to plummet again leaving the possibility of some flooding follow by icy conditions.

Bryce’s First Snowshoe

Our grandson Bryce watched a television show about snowshoeing and decided he wanted a pair. I went to the local local hiking store, Morgan Outdoors and bought him a pair of MSR Tykes. I brought them home just as it started to rain but Bryce REALLY wanted to go outside to try out HIS snowshoes. They were a little bit big for his feet but we went out. I was surprised it didn’t take him long to get used to walking in them! He walked all around the back yard and managed to walk up and down the piles of snow without too  many problems. It was hard to get him back inside. Next time we have snow we will be going for a hike beyond the bounds of the backyard.



More Snow on Round Top

On Thursday, December 19th, I decided to head across the street and snowshoe on Round Top at about 10:30 AM. I wanted to get this in before the warmer weather and rain this weekend destroyed the snow! It was ion the high twenties when Sheila and I walked across the street. We headed up the hill by the cemetery and I was surprised that there were no sled or toboggan tracks on the hill! I guess it is a sign of  the times. At the top of the hill we turned right into the woods and found more snow than at the bottom of the hill. We followed then tracks that we had made a few days earlier as we climbed the hill and then took a right onto a woods road. We followed one road and then another until we, passed by the quarry and descended the hill right after it. We continued to follow our earlier route and climbed the next hill which is even a little  higher than Round Top. On the other side we descended steeply which was fun. The snow was much more compact than the light powder we had walked through the last time.  In fact, the snow was beginning to collect on the bottom of my boots and snowshoes. Soon we were making the turn to head back to town. After a walk along a flat area, we were back in the area where a left turn would take us back to the route we had followed out. We turned right to follow to get back to our original path and to avoid some private property where I did not have permission to hike.  We followed our path back to the trail out the the cemetery. It was a short walk down the hill to the church and across the street to the house. We were done at about 11:50 AM having hiked 3.1 miles in a hour and 50 minutes.

Snowfall Ends

The snow stopped falling in Livingston Manor around sunset. The total accumulation was about 5 inches and it was light. The forecast is still calling for temperatures to rise into the 40’s and 50’s for the start of winter. The heavy rains and snowmelt could result in flooding!

More Snowfall Today

Snow began falling in Livingston Manor just before dawn. While the amounts aren’t great, the snow does seem to be accumulating and making the roads slick. Most schools in Sullivan County are closed for the day. Unfortunately, the forecast for the end of the week and the weekend is for temperatures rising through the 40’s and heavy RAIN. With ning beginning o winter on Saturday, I would prefer snow, snow and more snow!

Round Top Snowshoe

On Sunday, December 15th, church was canceled after a late fall snowstorm dropped about 10 inches of snow on Livingston Manor. I spent the morning shoveling our walks and driveway. I headed over to the church to find nothing plowed! I shoveled all the walks and then returned home to call some people to see if I could find someone to plow. I asked Cindy if she wanted to go out to snowshoe immediately but she was busy so we decided to put it off until the afternoon. Around 1:00 PM we began to get ready and then headed across the street to hike a route on Round Top. The wind had come up which made my doubt my choice of light layers but I warmed up as soon as we started to snowshoe. Sheila could not have been happier even if she was belly deep in the snow! Her preferred means of movements was to take long 3 to 4 foot leaps through the snow! Her coat had grown out for the winter probably due to the Husky in her. Continue reading

Major Snowfall?

The snow is piling up in Livingston Manor and it is supposed to snow most of the day. I hope we get at least a foot! Even though I will have to shovel it, I want a significant amount to make snowshoeing interesting! It started last night with snow “lake effect” snow and seem to have been getting stronger throughout the morning.

Frick and Hodge Ponds




On Friday, December 13th I wanted to get out hiking somewhere after almost a week of other commitments and brutally cold weather. I decided to head for Frick and Hodge Ponds as the area is close and usually has some snow. I waited until Karl and Bryce arrived so that I could eat with them and give the temperature a chance to get into the double digits. As we left Livingston Manor a little after 11:00 AM the temperature was still in the low teens and the roads were passable but icy in spots. We arrived at the parking area to find no cars. There was a pretty good breeze blowing which made me want to get on the trail right away. I had not completely solidified our route in my head but knew I wanted to walk down to the new bridge at the outlet to Frick Pond and get a view of Flynn’s Point and the other higher elevations. There were some footprints on the trail as we headed out the trail to Frick Pond. Most of the trail was frozen with a covering of snow but there were some spots of open water. Continue reading

Snow, Ice and Rain

In Livingston Manor we got only a little snow but quite a bit of ice. The temperature is still below freezing so that the light rain is turning to ice on all exposed surfaces that are not treated. Route 17 was a mess earlier, at least until the upper Liberty exit headed east. We responded to one motor vehicle accident but there were several more in the county. All schools closed after starting with a two hour delay. I am hoping that the rain will stop and that I can make it to Frick Pond to take some pictures of the ice!