The Crooked Canes Journal


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Hennig Preserve hike ~ Dec 28, 2016

Journal entry by Fran Herve



Seventeen Caners met at the Hennig Preserve -a nice size group for a Wednesday.

After considering our options of a 3 mile  hike on the lower trails or 5  miles by combining the lower and upper  trails for a complete loop, those who chose a shorter  walk  left  their cars at the start and rode with the thru- hikers  about a mile further on Center Line road to the other end of the trails.

Most  decided to wear their microspikes but two of us put on our snowshoes and we entered the Homestead Forest, adjacent to  the Hennig Preserve. The majority of the group had already visited these beautiful woods several times  but for some it was their first time. We were fortunate to have Peter in our group today since  he knows the preserve so well, having  volunteered along with other Saratoga PLAN volunteers many days planning,  cutting and clearing  the trails, maintaining them, transporting lumber for  bridges and benches,  building them and  capping  an old well  so he was more than happy to tell us all about how this over 600 acre piece of land was acquired by the Hennig family (former Caners), lot by lot in the 1950's and how it was  donated to Saratoga PLAN.

The main trail meanders  through a mature forest of mixed hardwoods, large pines, hemlocks, beeches and oaks and it was obvious that there had not been any logging in more than 60 years. We crossed a couple streams on solid snow covered  bridges and soon arrived at the beautiful Cadman creek wetlands.  Peter was quick to direct us towards the sites of cellar holes and  stone structures: all that remained of long gone homes and  sawmills. After  imagining what this area was like 200 years ago we continued on our way to the intersection with the blue trail where 4 Caners with other plans for the afternoon left us to return to their  cars. The blue trail took us to the ridge of an esker (long narrow ridge of stratified gravel and boulders formed by glaciers) where we climbed to the top. Peter had promised us that we would want to have lunch there. We were pleasantly surprised to find an inviting  wooden bench , unfortunately too short for 13 people. Since there was no sun to warm us up it was a quick lunch and we descended the esker  to return to the yellow trail.  A short uphill walk took us back to Center Line road where 7 hikers returned to their cars. The 6 remaining Caners crossed the road to pick up the upper yellow trail that lead us for another 2 miles  through the woods in the northern section of the preserve . We discovered more history with several other  cellar holes, a  well and stone walls. We passed 4 spur trails that we wished we had time to explore but it was getting late and we completed our walk back to our cars.

The sun only made a few brief appearances during the day  and the temperature hovered around 32 degrees but we were mesmerized by the quiet beauty of the Hennig Preserve and pleased that this property has become free to all .

Thank you Peter and Linda, Tom, Don, Lynn, Margie, another  Linda F., Claire and Kirk, Joy and Mark, Jim and Ruth, Sandy and Bob and Denis for another wonderful day in the woods and thank you to the Hennig family, Saratoga PLAN, Peter and all the other volunteers for all the trail work and at least 7 bridges that made crossing the creeks so much safer! Peter, you were a great tour guide!

12/31/16 - Margie Litwin added 2 photos. 1/4/17 - Wanderer . added 8 photos.

13 photos



Lunch on the esker



The Cadman Creek



Going up the esker



An elegant icy coating bejeweled a lowly branch hanging over the stream. - added by Margie



More of nature's artistic ornamentation, making the woodsy outing ever more interesting at each turn. - added by Margie



Group pic sort of - it was like herding cats and not many were paying attention - oh well - you've seen them before - added by Wanderer



Round Pond outlet - added by Wanderer



Cascade on Cadman Creek - added by Wanderer



Fran, our leader, crossing the second bridge in the Saratoga County Homestead Forest - added by Wanderer



Cadman Creek meandering thru a wetland - added by Wanderer



Denis providing us with a Kodak moment - retrieving his hiking pole from one of the cellar holes - added by Wanderer



Lunch atop the esker - added by Wanderer



The thru hikers at the site of the Bronson's Homestead on the north side of the Hennig Preserve - Linda, Fran, Linda, Margie and Lynn - added by Wanderer




During the hike we walked on top of a glacial formation called an esker and for some, even had lunch on top of it. Here is just one link to a site that may clarify just what an esker is and how it is formed: http://landforms.eu/cairngorms/esker.htm  Peter

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