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Hiking in Cortland County

Finger Lakes Trail

North Country Trail

Taylor Valley

Mount Tego, Mount Roderick

 

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The Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail crosses 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 FLT/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 FLT/NCT and seasonal dirt roads in the forest.  Check out the Mount Roderick Loop and Seacord Hill Loop.

While in the area check out Alice's Dowry Bed & Breakfast in Cincinnatus.  It's conveniently located for those looking to hike the Finger Lakes Trail.

http://cnyhiking.com/HPIM1329.JPG

Footbridge over Pritchard Brook

http://cnyhiking.com/HPIM1312.JPG

Finger Lakes Trail/North Country Trail on Mount Roderick

 

 

Mile Elevation Finger Lakes/North Country Trail Description (west to east)
0.0 1352 ft

Continuation from Baker School State Forest.  The Finger Lakes Trail/North Country Trail crosses NY 41.  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 ft

Entering Taylor Valley State Forest.

0.3 1514 ft

Trail veers left and follows an old DEC logging trail.

0.7 1810 ft

Mount Tego summit.

1.0 1699 ft

Very Steep descent.

1.2 1457 ft

Cross Pritchard Brook on a log bridge.

1.4 1500 ft

Cross Telephone Road.  Parking at bus/snow plow turnaround 80 yards to the west.

2.1 1730 ft

Cross seasonal dirt Cortland Two Road.  Limited parking.

2.7 1900 ft

Mount Roderick summit.  Some winters views on your right as you continue along the trail toward Hill Top Pond.

3.1 1833 ft

Trail register.

4.2 1802 ft

Pass Hill Top Pond on right, then reach Cortland Two Road and follow the seasonal dirt road downhill.  Parking.

5.3 1253 ft

Trail veers right off the seasonal dirt road. 

5.8 1217 ft

Views of Taylor Valley & surrounding hills on your left.  

6.2 1179 ft

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 ft

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 ft

Begin ascending on switchbacks.

7.8 1933 ft

Cross old grassy road.

8.1 1871 ft

Trail veers right.

8.5 1748 ft

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 ft

Cross Cheningo Solon Pond Road.  End of this section.  For a continuation see Cuyler Hill State Forest.

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