Ken's Sunday Hike Topo Maps
Plus other miscellaneous hikes--don't sue me

ADK-GVC hot line: 987-1717

Sunday hikes are option #3
Saturday hikes are option #8

Accesses since 3/16/2008: 12270



Hiking the Interlochen Trail

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A very nice place to hike

A note about our volunteer leaders

These hikes are led by volunteers, who spend their time scouting locations and routes, and then lead us so that we can enjoy a day of hiking. Be sure to thank your leader for the great hike!

We need more volunteers to lead hikes. It isn't difficult, and it feels good to be contributing to the hike series that you've enjoyed. If you'd like more information, just ask any of the leaders. They'll be glad to help you, or even co-lead a hike with you so you can see first hand what is involved.


Topo maps of recent hikes, by date


Topo maps of recent hikes, by park

Black Creek

Braddock Bay

Cobbs Hill & Washington Grove

Corbett's Glen

Crescent Trail

Durand Eastman

Ellison

Genesee Valley

Greece Canal

Highland

Irondequoit Bay East

Irondequoit Bay West

Mendon Ponds

Northampton

Oatka Creek

Pancake Hike

Powder Mill

Rifle Range

Seneca

Tryon

Turning Point

Webster Park


Topo maps of recent hikes, by leader

We cannot thank our volunteer hike leaders enough! Below is a list, started on 3/15/2009, of the hikes led by each of our volunteer leaders (at least the hikes that I was on).

Brad A.

Dave B.

Bob C.

Tom & Donna D.

Judy I.

Frank J.

Bob K.

Jim K.

Joanne M.

Derek P.

Jeff P.

Ken & Margaret R.

Larry R.

Gretchen S.

Dick S.

Doug S. and Sue D.

Bruce T.

Carol T.

Karin T.

Larry T.

Marty T.

Dan W.

Jack W.

Nathan Y.

Mikhail Z.


Background information about the hikes & maps

For many years, the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club has sponsored Sunday hikes in the parks of Monroe County. Occasionally we do an all day hike outside of the county. In November 1999, Margaret and I started going on these hikes. The next Christmas Margaret gave me a GPS and I've been bringing it on the hikes ever since. At first I used it mainly to see how far we were from the cars. Then I bought Topo!, a fantastic computer program that has digitized topo maps of all of New York and seven other northeastern states (they also offer topographic maps for other states as well--see their web site for details). Now I transfer the positions that the GPS records to Topo! and it interpolates our trail from them. If the park is hilly, I use another great feature of Topo! to compute an elevation profile of the hike: a sideways look at the ups and downs. If you like looking at topographic maps, I highly recommend Topo!

Then Margaret got me a new GPS for Christmas 2001! It can record far more track points than my old one could, so starting with Sun 12/30/2001, my maps will be much more accurate than they were before. In addition, this unit has WAAS, a technology that (potentially) increases the accuracy of the GPS system to just a few meters. As if this weren't enough good news, National Geographic released a new version of their Topo! program that has an improved display of the elevation profile. To see the difference, click here for an old profile and here for a new one.

The latest in the continuing saga: In May of 2008 I bought a new Garmin GPSmap 60CSx. It records about three times more track points than my old Magellan, and it is more sensitive so it can compute better position fixes. For an example, take a look at this Oatka Creek Park hike. The blue track is from my Magellan, and the red track is from the Garmin. Note where the two tracks disagree--in the upper right corner, the blue track shows us walking out into the creek, which we obviously did not do. If you look closely, you will see several other places where the Magellan claims we took a shortcut compared to what the Garmin recorded. The additional positions recorded by the Garmin allow the Topo program to compute the length of the hike more accurately than it could with data from the Magellan.

NOTE: the GPS records positions as we hike, but not every step of the way (a few hundred positions for an entire hike used to be typical, but my new Garmin records a couple hundred positions per mile). Topo! "connects the dots" to estimate our path, but this process omits many little zigs and zags that we may have taken. Therefore, the distances given are only approximate, and probably underestimate the actual distance hiked--though starting on May 31, 2008 the distances reported by my new Garmin will be more accurate--it appears that they may be within 1% or 2%!.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: In theory, the GPS system can determine your position to within 22 meters. However, the actual accuracy achieved depends on the GPS receiver itself. It is fairly easy to compute a rough idea of a location, but to refine that estimate further and further requires vastly more computation. (For example, to get an estimate that is twice as accurate might require 10 times more computation; an estimate that is four times as accurate as that might require 100 times more.) The accuracy of a GPS unit is limited by the speed of its processor--newer units are better than older ones in this regard.

To see one example of what can go wrong, take a look at the map for the Zoar Valley hike. On the afternoon part of the hike we walked up the riverbed to a waterfall and then walked back down the riverbed. But the positions recorded by the GPS for the return trip are well away from the riverbed--as much as 0.2 miles away from our true location. It was raining on the return trip, and the frequency used for the GPS signals (1.5 GHz) is susceptible to interference by rain (and fog, tree leaves, etc.). It is possible that the rain contributed to the error. Moral of the story: Do not rely on a GPS as your sole source of navigational information!

For additional technical information on the GPS system, see http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/gps/gps.html.


Miles in Style

For a couple of years now, Margaret and I have been hiking "Miles in Style" together. On Sun 11/18/2001, we led our first ADK "Miles in Style" hike on the Finger Lakes Trail. The idea of MIS is to break the day's hike into two parts, and go to a restaurant for lunch in between. The only drawback is that you need two cars. Here's how it works:

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