View Full Version : Why so few people on the FLT?

2008-04-09, 14:52
I was out on the FLT on Sunday afteroon on Stage Coach Hill. I read the trail register and the last person to sign was two months ago. Over the past year I think I have seen maybe 2 people on the trail and I hike at least for a few hours on the weekend 2-3 times a month. It is a beautiful trail although the shelters are very limited for overnights.

BTW, there was still several inches of snow at 2,000 ft.

Any other FLT folks out there?

2008-04-09, 17:41
I used to hike on parts of the Finger Lakes Trail around the South Bristol area and many other side trails. I always appreciated that many days and nights I was the only one out there.

2008-04-10, 18:51
Although I first hiked with my dad I discovered backpacking and the trail community with the FLT growing up between Cortland and Ithaca. In, oh gosh, over 25 years of backpacking and day-hiking the FLT I remember very few encounters with other hikers and those only within about 15 miles of Ithaca.

I remember when the Ithaca EMS opened they had maps for the Adirondacks and the A.T. well down thru Virginia but none for the FLT System that reached Buttermilk Falls S.P. only a mile from their door. I was there again recently and noted that the local FLT maps have since arrived.

After hiking elsewhere I realized the FLT is different from many other hiking opportunities. The FL is half on private land, vs. the A.T. that's 99% public land. For those for whom backpacking means camping anywhere in the green tunnel, the FLT is just not that way. But for those who appreciate the evidence of history, culture, and quirks, the green tunnel can honestly be a bit boring.

The Great Eastern Trail portions completed in PA through VA are kind of a middle ground between the FLT and the A.T. overall. It's good to be undiscovered by the hordes as long as a few more come out to hike and to value some of the alternative long trails besides the A.T.

But getting the attention of the hiking and the local communities seems to be an uphill battle. The FLT's "county series" of bus-shuttled hikes does help bring locals out to the trail in their backyards.
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