Route: Finger Lakes Trail (NY)

Location
New York, US
Description

Wikipedia says:

The Finger Lakes Trail consists of a network of trails in New York. The trail system is administered by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, Inc. (FLTC), a non-profit organization, composed primarily of volunteers.

The FLT is primarily designated as a footpath only trail. The main trail (FLT) is 584 miles (939.9 km) long and extends from the New York-Pennsylvania border from Allegany State Park in southwestern New York to the Catskill Forest Preserve in eastern New York. There is an additional 400+ miles (643+ km) of branch and loop segments that branch off the main FLT -- six branch trails and several loop and side trails. The FLT is part of the 4,600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) and affiliates with the North Country Trail Association as a partner organization. The NCNST uses approximately 424 miles of the FLT as it crosses New York from Allegany State Park and into Madison County.

The Trail System passes over a mixture of public and private land, and also public roads where there is no public or private land available. The main FLT crosses through many New York state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas. The FLT also crosses through the only national forest in New York State and over an additional 400 private landowners property.

It is maintained by volunteers from 15 organizations and approximately 60 individual and family trail sponsors, except for personnel of the NYSDEC Operations Crew who maintain the trail in the Catskills. The US Forest Service maintains the Interloken Trail in the Finger Lakes National Forest.

The highest elevation on the entire FLT is 3660' near Balsam Lake Mountain in the Catskills. The lowest elevation is 430' where the FLT crosses the Cayuga Inlet near Ithaca, NY. There are also five fire towers located along the trail. The first is the abandoned Mt. Tuscarora Fire Tower in Allegany State Park. The second is the Sugar Hill Fire Tower outside Watkins Glen State Park. The Berry Hill Fire Tower is located outside Bowman Lake State Park. The fourth is the Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower and the fifth is the Rock Rift Fire Tower. Both are located in the Catskills.

As of August 10, 2016 the Finger Lakes Trail has been completed 413 times (including continuous and section hikes). Joe Dabes ("Java Joe") has hiked the entire trail ten times. Frank Bianco's second of four hikes was completed in 24 days on June 26, 1997. The six branch trails have all been completed 92 times as of February 14, 2016. The FLTC gives out patches for completing both the main trail and all its branches. Then on August 3, 2015, Heather Houskeeper ("Botannical Hiker") completed the first continuous hike of the main trail and all branch trails in 62 days.

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