My wife and I are planning a short hike/walk tomorrow on the Virgil Mountain Loop Trail in the Kennedy State Forest of New York. In view of some recent fiascos of trouble finding the parking and trail heads for some of our past hikes, I thought a bit of recon would be in order for today.
In preparation I looked at maps of the area and read information from cnyhiking.com. Since the area is within e-biking distance I set off on my adventure early afternoon with a fully charged battery on my bike. It was a beautiful day and the ride to the trailhead was exceptionally scenic. Lush fields of green and great vistas of the hills of central New York. God's great gift of nature to warm a person's soul.
My directions were spot on for finding the trailhead and the location of the car parking area nearby. The cool shade of the trees made the ride to the trailhead on a gravel road a welcome relief from the sun. Mission accomplished for tomorrow's adventure.
The Kennedy State Forest consists of more than 4400 acres to explore. Not wanting to retrace my roads to the area, I decided to explore an alternative route that would take me through the Forest. As I headed East on VanDonsel Road there was a significant change in the road from gravel to more primitive shale rock and rutted dirt. I was thankful for my fat tire e-bike with front suspension that handled the rough terrain and ruts with ease. As I passed through the forest I enjoyed the greenery and variations in tree types from saplings to more old growth trees. After several miles traveling East, I expected to encounter a road to the North to start my return home. The road I expected to find just didn't appear or maybe I missed it because it was more primitive than I imagined. Finally I did encounter a road that I expected to return me to the main route 392. Nope! It was a dead end. Continuing on East eventually I came to a paved road that took me to an intersection that I failed to recognize. Fortunately across the intersection with Valentine Hill Road a kind gentleman gave me directions to get to Virgil via Rte. 392 and thus home.
My afternoon recon adventure took me many miles further than I expected to travel. My e-bike has a 745 Watt battery but since I am a geezer I don't pedal as much as I used to. Needless to say, during my trip home I began to have battery life anxiety. I was still several miles from home when the battery was down to two and then one bar of charge. Eventually about three miles from home the one bar began flashing to signal soon to be a dead battery. With some astute pedaling I managed to arrive home with about 100 watts of power remaining. That is a little bit of assist, but not much for the hills. Twenty nine miles travelled in a lot of hilly terrain.
Great adventure! We'll see what the hike brings tomorrow.