Tug Hill outings slated through spring

Winter hikers enjoy the Whetstone Gulf in southern Lewis County during a December walk while looking for the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid insects that have been destroying hemlock trees throughout the state. None of the invaders were found. The hike was sponsored by the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust. Facebook photo

LOWVILLE — With snow on the ground, the new year underway, a pandemic still in full swing globally and “normal” life feeling to many like a long-ago dream, long walks in beautiful places may be just what a person or family needs.

Organizations like the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust and the Great Lot Sportsman’s Club have some options planned through the spring.

The land trust’s Owl Prowl is a guided evening walk through the Joseph A. Black Wildlife Sanctuary in search of the wide-eyed birds. The sanctuary is located on Middle Road in the town of Rutland near the intersection with County Route 89.

Participants are asked to bring a flashlight or head lamp and to dress for the weather with sturdy, warm boots or shoes. The organization has some snowshoes available for use, but supplies are limited.

Required reservations for the walk and the snowshoes can be made online at wdt.me/OwlProwl or by calling 315-779-8240.

Participants will meet at the sanctuary gate at the walk start times. Owl Prowls will take place on:

— Jan. 15 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

— Feb. 22 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

— Feb. 26 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

— March 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

— March 26 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tug Hill Tomorrow is also sponsoring three hikes focused on detecting the invasive insect that kills hemlock trees, the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Hikers will learn how to spot HWA and help the monitoring effort by reporting their observations using smart phones and a community science tool through a free mobile app called iMapInvasives.

A video tutorial and links to download the app and create a user account are available on the event listings on the organization’s webpage, where hikers can also register for the events.

Each Hemlock Conservation Hike will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon:

— Jan. 20 at Forest Park in Camden

— Feb. 15 at Salmon River Falls in Altmar

— March 10 at Trenton Greenbelt in Holland Patent

Snow dates for each hike are listed on the Tug Hill Tomorrow website.

In the southern Tug Hill area of Lewis County, free “guided snow shoe expeditions” are again being offered by the Great Lot Sportsman’s Club, 4277 Osceola Road in West Leyden.

Snowshoers will meet at 10 a.m. at the club and can either continue with the guide or use the maps provided to plot their own adventure.

Great Lot will provide a complimentary lunch after the guided tour is complete.

Expeditions will be held on Jan. 15; Feb. 12 and 26; and March 12 and 26.

Required reservations can be made by calling 315-378-7592.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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