Adventures in Hiking, Wild Foods, Herbal Medicine, and Gratitude
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Hittin' the trail!
The Finger Lakes Trail through the Catskill Forest Preserve
Whoop whoop! I am hittin' the trail in less than three days. Earlier this week, I had the chance to check out the trail a lil early. I visited the eastern end in the Catskill Forest Preserve, hiking several miles in either direction from NY route 206, near the Campbell Mountain Lean-to. This is just a couple of hiking days from where I will complete the trail at the end of July.
Dog Violet Viola conspersa
Let me tell you...this trail is gorgeous. The woods were filled the remains of moss covered stone foundations and crumbling stone walls. Birch (Betula), Oak (Quercus), and Maple (Acer) prevailed as did Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis). The wildflowers were abundant. The Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) was laden with fuzzy buds, the Wood Nettle (Laportea canadensis) was shin-high and perfect for ushering the hiker along with its shuddery stings, Canadian Violet (Viola canadensis), Dogtooth Violet (Viola conspersa), and Marsh Blue Violet (Viola cuculatta) shone their faces from the tall green grass, while the maroon leathery-looking cups of Wild Ginger (Asarum) hid beneath its heart-shaped leaves.
Wild Ginger (Asarum)
My father will be joining me once again on the trail, hiking with me for the first three days of the trek. On Tuesday (6/2) we will drive nearly 300 miles to the western end of the trail in the Allegany State Forest and begin our journey on Wednesday (6/3). I was surprised by the steep ascents and descents along the trail here in the east as well as reminded of the northeastern rocks after having grown accustomed to the red clay and mica trails of the southeast. Ah! We will see what this trail has in store for me! Either way, I am so looking forward to hiking across New York State. Home turf.