The forest is always calling me. I want to be on some trail somewhere and not see another soul for hours. I want to see the sun shining through the treetops. The mud splashing up my calves. I love the smell after a rain. The silence of your surroundings.
A trip to the Finger Lakes National Forest gives me all of these things. As if I was a crazy person, I jetted out of work on Friday to set up my tent on the edge of Teeter Pond. I had previously hiked half of the Interloken Trail, and this was the weekend I wanted to finish what I started and see the entire thing. I did some research before I set out - my favorite site for maps and trail information for the FLX National Forest is CNY Hiking.
Teeter Pond is a nice area for primitive camping (free), though if you want to stay at a traditional campground, the Blueberry Patch Campground is available for $10/night. There are several pastured throughout the Interloken trail that provide amazing lake views - here's a nighttime/daytime shot. It was the night of the blue moon and the photos don't even do it justice.
I fell asleep to the sounds of cows in the pasture next to the pond, and crickets. Such a beautiful way to drift off. After waking up in the wilderness, I started the run south. The trails are well maintained for the most part, and very easy to navigate. Following the orange trail markers along the Interloken trail, I saw several lakes, pastures, and beautiful quiet forest. Many parts of the trail are multi-use, for horses and bikes, and those portions are pretty muddy, sloppy, and difficult to keep up your pace as you are trudging through muck. But it's a trail run, what do you expect I guess.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon some yellow foot mushrooms, which I may or may not have taken home with me for dinner. They do stock several of the ponds there in the late spring, so you could probably be pretty self-sufficient. The trails were very flat which made for a nice, easy run though, even as the temperatures rose throughout the day.
I would recommend this trail for anyone who wants to enjoy the forest. Young or old. Hiker or trail runner. It's a slice of heaven in the Finger Lakes where you won't see anyone for hours. Where you can catch up with yourself, hear your own thoughts, breathe the freshest air, and take in amazing Seneca Lake views.
See you on the trail?