A sloggy rain in November. Let’s wander the trails of Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve outside of Ithaca, New York.
The trailhead is easy to find—just a few feet from the parking lot.
At several points, the trail splits into prongs. When you take the red trail to the top, you are rewarded with a nice descent to the creek.
An early snow has thawed, and the creek is wide. Footfalls are quiet on a carpet of mushy leaves.
Even as winter arrives, life is vibrant.
The creek is rushing with the first melt. Your sweet nothings can’t be heard above the din.
Steady yourself as you cross the water. It is driving hard.
There is still plenty of green to be seen. Not only conifers, but ferns and mosses.
Hooligans painted emoticons on the trees. Or is this a trail marker?
“Gandalf’s Pipe,” filled with fresh-fallen herbs and spices.
On your way back to the lot, you can pick up the blue trail—fording the creek in your knee boots.
At the kiosk, grab a copy of our newsletter, The Land Steward, or get the colorful quarterly by mail when you become a member. See our profile of Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve to learn the natural history and download your trail map.