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Friday, March 19, 2010

Burt Hill State Forest- Featured Location

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by JHY

Burt Hill State Forest is located in New York's Southern Tier, on the Finger Lakes/ North Country Trails, between Bath and Hornell. In the video above, Ed Ressler takes you on a quiet walk from Windfall Road, east through Burt Hill to Spencer Hill Road. He is accompanied by Scrappy the dog on a lovely October day.

Burt Hill is in the town (township) of Howard in Steuben County. Agriculture was attempted by early settlers in the 1800s. But by the Great Depression and the crash of 1929, the rocky soil had been abandoned. The 403-acre forest was acquired by New York State in the 1960s. Steep terrain is common, with flat hilltops. Most of the area is accessible only on foot. The FLT/NCT passes through the northern edge.

I hiked this section in April 2002, and passed my 2000-mile mark on the NCT near here. This hike was my dog Maggie's one overnight on the NCT. It was easily determined that she was not a hiker dog! In the chapter of North Country Cache, "Thousands of Miles," I wrote:
"This is Maggie's first overnight hike. Sleeping outside is certainly nothing this comfort-loving dog has ever longed for. We reach Burt Hill Lean-to early on our first day; the woods are warm and quiet. Maggie is nervous; she chases the woodchuck, ignores the whistles of the tufted titmouse, and doesn't see the turkey, but she is not at all happy about the hammering of the pileated woodpecker. She woofs and paces and is happiest when we finally snuggle in to the sleeping bag for the night. She is bigger than Chips [my first hiking dog] was, and leggier too. She would like to be inside the sleeping bag, but there isn't room for the both of us. So the compromise is that she curls into my chest, as I lie on my side, and we pull the flap of the unzipped bag over both of us."

This segment is on FLT map M10

See NYDEC map
See Books Leaving Footprints to order North Country Cache. (one chapter is available free as a download)

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