Making peace with the great outdoors, especially in Winter

Living in Central New York, winter often seems longer than the other seasons even though each is technically three months long. Rather than let it get the better of me, I've learned to embrace it by engaging in outdoor activities, most recently snowshoeing. We have some amazing hiking areas in the town of Skaneateles ready for exploring, whether you have snowshoes or not. Recently, I had the pleasure of exploring three trails.

The town of Skaneateles website (townofskaneateles.com) has a tab for Conservation Areas. On that page there is information about the area adjacent to and just beyond the Transfer Station on Old Seneca Turnpike known as the "federal farm" and lands on Gully Road, including Guppy Falls. There is also a link for a map of some of the trails in those areas.

My first hike was on the O'Loughlin property on the east side of Gully Road. I was with my family and we all strapped on snowshoes. We trekked into the woods and started on the yellow trail. We crossed a footbridge and ventured into the woods. This particular property is nicely wooded and reminds me of the Adirondack foothills. We followed the yellow trail markers up the hill until we came out of the woods at the edge of the Town's closed landfill. The trail actually winds behind the closed landfill and connects to the "federal farm." The "federal farm" has over 200 acres to explore but we decided to turn back since our car was parked on Gully Road.

On the return trip, we followed the red trail markers. We came across signs for the Bob Sykes Bog Trail.

We heard a number of birds and saw some unusual tree species, but we did not see any wildlife that day.

The Bob Sykes Trail brought us back to Gully Road, but we missed where the trail rejoins the yellow trail that we started on. Unfortunately, some people like to take the trail markers as souvenirs. We ended up about 1/4 - 1/2 mile from the parking lot and had to walk along Gully Road but still enjoyed our time on the trails.

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