Report by Janice Downie. It was a cool, crisp, cloudy October 4th when eighteen ADK hikers began ascending to the “Deserter’s Hiding Place” on Upper East St. in Oneonta. Bruce Downie gave a brief history of the legend of the Civil War Deserter who, in 1864, supposedly spent the winter in this cave. It was a walk through mowed fields and a steep incline on the back of the Downie property. A few chose to walk the fields in an easier abbreviated hike. The upward trail is an old logging road with dense forest in abundance. The Hiding Place is nestled in a shale rock ledge. It has an opening large enough to enter and once inside, standing room for one person. Porcupines occupy the cave as well as other wildlife critters. None were evident today.
We continued to walk on colorful cushioned fallen leaves through the forest to an electric transmission line running east and west through a neighbor’s property. The hike extended across meadows, descending to another nice trail along the Lower Reservoir Creek. This is a level path through overgrowth and a cathedral of Tamarack trees. The babbling brook made for a peaceful journey. The two hour hike was approximately 2 ½ miles.
Photos by Janice Downie and Jendy Murphy.