Trip Report – Boutwell Hill Hike – August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010, was sunny and warm as 13 of us caravanned from our meeting point (Bob Evans restaurant on Route 60 in Fredonia) to Housington Road, which bisects the Eastside Overland Trail in northern Chautauqua County. The hike was split into two parts (people seem to like this): the first part was from Housington Road north to Ruttenbur Road and back, a distance of about 3.5 miles. On this portion of the hike, the trail wound through majestic stands of hardwoods on rolling terrain and we encountered several beautiful waterfowl ponds, a footbridge over a small stream (with incredible numbers of fossils in the stream bed), and a wide variety of brightly colored fungi.

After a short lunch break back at our vehicles, about half of us headed south toward Boutwell Hill Road; we turned back shortly before reaching the road because the area was being clear cut and was a dismal mess. This second part of the hike also covered about 3.5 miles. The terrain was similar to the first part of the hike, but there were far more pines along the trail. We encountered another man-made waterfowl pond, which t had been taken over by a beaver who had constructed an impressive lodge and was doing a fine job of keeping the berm repaired.

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