|Posted by kathy miles on June 27, 2017 at 5:40 PM|
Trip Report – Tassell Hill Hike
Sunday, June 25, 2017
9 Alpiners and 2 guests attending
Following some hot and humid weather earlier in the week, we were greeted with a much cooler morning, with the threat of some rain showers later in the day. The coolness made for a perfect day for a hike, and the sun was shining brightly on us through some puffy white clouds.
We started off from a parking area on White Street (which is really just a gravel town road where we were), and walked down the road, to where one of the mountain biking trails headed off uphill. The first ascent was a moderate grade, enough to get our blood flowing and muscles stretched out. After that, the rest of the trail was a fairly easy “walk in the woods”.
The Cardinals, Robins and Wood Thrushes sang to us and we meandered up and down switchbacks on the trail, passing by remnants of old foundation sites and crossing an old town road. We had a few Mushroom hunters in our group, and the area did not disappoint for any lack of fungi! We paused quite a few times to admire the mycological wonders.
We passed over the first, unmarked summit of Tassell Hill (there are two summits), and then finally reached the more well-known open summit. The area had once been home to a communications tower, which is long gone, and now an open grassy area, with some spotty apple trees, and vernal pools. The view wasn’t the greatest from the top due to trees having grown up over the years, but still, we had reached the highest point in Oneida County!
We ventured back into the woods after some group photos and some yummy treats from Marilyn, and then sat down to a communion of chocolate covered strawberries and Bailey’s Irish Cream. After our short respite, we started off again, heading down a different mountain biking trail on the way back. This time there were slabs of bedrock strewn here and there along the path, which were cool to check out.
With all the switchbacks on the way down, we decided to cheat, and cut across many of them (they are more geared towards the mountain bikers). This pleased Lucy greatly! We also decided to take a slight detour, off-trail, to a beaver pond that we spotted in the woods. That turned out to be a real treat. The beaver dam was an impressive one for its height, about 5 or 6 feet tall. Pooniel spotted a large turtle that descended into the depths as we approached the pond. Just a very neat and peaceful area.
We then headed out the rest of the way, dodging one mountain biker on the way out. And followed an old town road back to White Street, and our awaiting vehicles. Feeling a bit hungry, we all drove down Route 20 to Bouckville, and then proceeded to chow down on some very yummy Ray’s Brother’s BBQ, sitting outside on a pleasant afternoon. With our post-hike and post-lunch coma coming on, we all said our good-byes and parted ways, satisfied that we achieved our goal of a most pleasant way to spend a Sunday.