November 8, 1998

After running 12 miles at Highland this morning, I decided to hike part of the Onondaga Trail, a part of the Finger Lakes Trail system.  I drove the first 1.3 miles of the trail and parked where the trail enters the woods.  I hiked from Herlihy Road to Tinker Falls, then turned around and came back.  Overall, I took 1:55 on the way out and only 1:43 on the way back.

1.3 to 1.9 miles - Herlihy Road to Fellows Hill summit

This 0.6 miles was a good introduction to the trail.  There a re a couple of places where the trail goes up very, very steeply.  The rest of the way, though, it's even steeper than that.  You start at elevation 1410' at the Herlihy Road trailhead and go up to the top of Fellows Hill at 2019' (609' gain) in this .6 mile.  16 minutes going up, 13 minutes coming back down at the end of the hike.

1.9 to 3.2 miles - Fellows Hill to Onondaga One Road

From there, the trail rolls down, then up to another local maximum, then down quite a bit to where it crosses the Onondaga One Road.  This section took 30 minutes on the way out and on the way back.

3.2 to 3.3 miles - Onondaga One Road to Herlihy Road

You go across the Y between Onondaga One and Herlihy Roads.  There are about 400 signs nailed up saying "no camping."  Less than 2 minutes in each direction.

3.3 to 3.4 miles - Herlihy Road to Spruce Pond Dam

This is the dam across the Spruce Pond.  On the way back, I noticed (from above) how olive green this lake is.  Less than 1:30 in both directions.

3.4 to 4.8 miles - Spruce Pond Dam to Hang Glider Takeoff

Supposedly you cross an old Scout trail at 3.8 miles, but I didn't see this trail in either direction.  When you hike south from the Spruce Pond dam, elevation 1700', you go up.  And this is steeper than any part of the first leg of this hike.  This is almost like going up a ladder.  When it levels off, you think you are at the Scout Trail elevation, 1940', but I didn't see a trail.  You cross an old road after a while, and then start looking for the white blazes off to the right.  I only saw one, but the guide says there are four.  The hang glider is pretty impressive.  The drop-off is incredible, with the wind blowing at you (from the west).  Labrador Pond is below.  According to the map, there's a road between you and the pond, but the drop is so steep you can't see it.  This section took 38 minutes on the way out, and 33 minutes on the way back.

4.8 to 5.75 miles - Hang Glider Takeoff to Tinker Falls

The trail starts down very steeply, and could be dangerous in the winter.  I thought about turning around, as my knees were getting a little sore on the downhills, but then it leveled out a little, and so I kept going.  Part of this section is on an old logging road.  Then the trail goes down very steep,  probably the steepest yet, and arrives at Tinker Falls.  There, I ate a little lunch and viewed the falls.   The trail across the creek is really steep going up, so I didn't even think about seeing where it went.  After a few minutes, I started back.  This section took 28 minutes on the way out, and 23 minutes on the way back.

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