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Hiking in Cortland County
North Country Trail
Finger Lakes Trail
Mount Tego, Mount Roderick
This 8.8 mile stretch of the North Country Trail features beautiful Taylor Valley State Forest. The NCT coincides with the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail during this section of trail. The trail starts off NY 41 near Solon at the start of this section. The first 0.2 mile of the trail is on private land and is CLOSED for hunting from October 1 to December 22nd, before the trail enters Taylor Valley State Forest. The trail climbs Mount Tego (elevation 1810 feet) and then drops to a footbridge over Pritchard Creek.
The trail then crosses Telephone Road and climbs to the summit of Mount Roderick (elevation 1909 feet). You'll pass the foundation ruins of an old home and a grave site for the old landowners from long ago. Soon there are winter views on your right through the trees. This is a very scenic section of the trail and is one of the best sections of the NCT in New York. The trail passes Hill Top Pond on your left before beginning a long descent toward Cheningo Creek and crossing the creek. Currently there is no bridge over the creek and it can be a difficult & dangerous crossing in high water. A new crossing was built in 2009 that utilizes large boulders to cross the creek (see panorama above) at a very scenic point along the creek.
The trail reaches the DEC Cheningo Day Use Area after climbing old stairs, passing a kiosk and crossing Taylor Valley Road. There is a picnic pavilion here and is a popular spot for camping. The trail now begins a 700 foot ascent toward Allen Hill. Soon the trail reaches private land for it's descent toward Cheningo Solon Road. This section of trail is CLOSED during hunting season from Oct 1 to Jan 1. Please respect the landowners request and stay off this section of trail during those dates.
Check below for a map and description of this section of the trail. There are a couple of loop hike options utilizing the NCT and seasonal dirt roads in the forest. Check out the Mount Roderick Loop and Seacord Hill Loop.
Footbridge over Pritchard Brook
North Country Trail on Mount Roderick
Mile Elevation North Country Trail Description (west to east) 0.0 1352 feet
Continuation from Baker School State Forest. The North Country Trail leaves NY 41. Some Parking. Start of this section is on PRIVATE PROPERTY and is CLOSED for HUNTING from Oct 1 to Dec 22. Begin ascending. Follow white blazes.
0.2 1488 feet
Entering Taylor Valley State Forest.
0.3 1514 feet
Trail veers left and follows an old DEC logging trail.
0.7 1810 feet
Mount Tego summit.
1.0 1699 feet
Very Steep descent.
1.2 1457 feet
Cross Pritchard Brook on a log bridge.
1.4 1500 feet 2.1 1730 feet 2.7 1900 feet
Mount Roderick summit. Some winters views on your right as you continue along the trail toward Hill Top Pond.
3.1 1833 feet
4.2 1802 feet
Pass Hill Top Pond on right, then reach Cortland Two Road and follow the seasonal dirt road downhill. Parking.
5.3 1253 feet 5.8 1217 feet 6.2 1179 feet
Cross Chenango Creek on large boulders. No bridge. Can be difficult during high water times. The trail follows an old woods road, then turns right following another woods road.
6.3 1223 feet
Trail veers right off old road, goes up old stairs, pass North Country Trail Kiosk, then cross Taylor Valley Rd. Reach Cheningo Day Use Area. Parking, picnic pavilion & tables, camping. Look below for a video from YouTube and a few pictures.
6.4 1230 feet
Begin ascending on switchbacks.
7.8 1933 feet
Cross old grassy road.
8.1 1871 feet
Trail veers right.
8.5 1748 feet
Leave Taylor Valley State Forest. Entering PRIVATE PROPERTY. NOTE: Trail is CLOSED BETWEEN OCTOBER 1st and JANUARY 1st for HUNTING on this land.
8.8 1439 feet
Cross Cheningo Solon Pond Road. End of this section. For a continuation see Cuyler Hill State Forest.
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