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Hiking in Cortland County
Finger Lakes Trail
North Country Trail
Baker School House
UPDATE FROM THE FLTC (April 23, 2013) - Due to a recent land sale in Cortland County that a section of trail traverses, the new landowner does not want the trail on his land. It is the section on map M20 accessed from route 41 southeast of Solon and goes through Baker Schoolhouse Forest, terminating at Baker Schoolhouse Road. Since the ensuing former section was also closed several years ago, it will require about a 7 mile alternate road walk to reach the next access point at Stone Road or Underwood Hill Rd. Travelling east to west, after reaching route 41, hikers must proceed south on route 41 to Baker Schoolhouse Rd (about 2 1/2 miles), turn right and follow the road to its termination at McGraw Marathon Rd, turn left and continue to Adkins Rd, then follow Adkins Rd to the next trailhead at Stone Rd or Underwood Hill Rd, dependent on whether it is hunting season . Travelling west to east would follow the same route in reverse.
After a 2.4 mile road walk the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail enters Baker School House State Forest heading north off Baker School House Road. If you look closely here to the south you will see the old trail heading back into the forest. This is a short 0.1 mile trail to a stream to check out a circular stone pool built by the CCC in the 1930's. This is a very popular camping spot in the state forest.
Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail at Baker Schoolhouse Rd
The main trail through Baker Schoolhouse seems that it does not get much traffic, however is a well maintained trail. After crossing the seasonal state forest road, the trail ascends to the top of Nottage Hill (elevation 1883 feet). This hill is also known as Solon Hill.
The trail then begins a 569 foot descent toward Trout Creek and NY 41. Soon you will be hiking on private land. Please respect the landowners rights and stay on the trail. The trail briefly follows an old railroad bed before turning away and crossing Trout Creek on a footbridge. It's another quarter of a mile before the trail reaches busy NY 41.
Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail in Baker Schoolhouse State Forest
Look below for a map and description of this section of the trail.
Reach Nottage Hill and begin to descend.
Leave state forest, entering PRIVATE LAND. Descent becomes steeper.
Turn right on old railroad bed, soon turn left into woods.
Cross Trout Brook on footbridge.
Reach busy NY 41. FLT/NCT continues across road and in 0.2 mile will enter Taylor Valley State Forest.
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