Inger-Hike: Celebrate Ingersoll’s Birthday

Sunday, August 9th 2015 at 9:00 am
The Alabama Swamps in Genesee County, NY

Celebrate the birthday of the great American humanist, Robert G. Ingersoll (August 11, 1833 – July 21, 1899) with a day of outdoor activities in the Alabama Swamps in Alabama, NY. We will meet at the CFI parking lot (1310 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY) at 9:00 a.m. and leave at 9:15 a.m. Carpooling is recommended.

Be sure to bring the following: camera, enough water for the day (no water fountains there), sunscreen, insect repellant, binoculars, and a hat. You may choose to bring a spare set of dry shoes and socks, just in case. Be sure NOT to wear sandals and to wear long socks if you plan to hike, as poison ivy is common in some areas. And If you have a kayak or canoe, bring it (or them) along to use on Oak Orchard Creek.

We will take the Thruway to exit 48A to meet up with some additional members and then drive to the shelter on Knowlesville Road in the town of Alabama (on the right, a half mile north of Oak Orchard Creek). We will park at the DEC's Education Center shelter and set up for a day of picnicking, hiking, photography, and kayaking. We should arrive at the shelter by 10:00 a.m.

If you like to hike, the Swallow Hollow interpretive trail is located about one-quarter mile from the shelter. This 1.3-mile loop consists of a long boardwalk and gravel trail through a diverse swamp and marsh. This is a great area for viewing and photographing wild flowers, birds, and wetland settings.

If enough people are interested, volunteer and experienced outdoorsman John Sander will lead a hike into the Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area to view an eagle nest the size of a small car. This is an 8-mile hike (round trip), with lots to see on the way in and the way out. Just make sure you're up for a long walk and bring lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat.

Alternatively, we could do a driving tour of the swamps, stopping at the observation tower, Ringneck Marsh overlook, the refuge headquarters, and the Kanyoo and Onondaga Trails.

If you would like to try kayaking, several attendees will have kayaks. The launch site for kayaks on Oak Orchard Creek is located about a half mile south of the shelter. This is the only way to see some of the more remote parts of this 20,000-acre wetland complex.

Food: Bring a dish to share and your own plates, utensils, and cups. A couple CFI–WNY members will bring grills and charcoal.

Click here for a map with directions to the shelter, and email if you have any questions.