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FINGER LAKES AND NEW ENGLAND IN THE FALL - October 6-12 (this is a new trip)
This trip (I assume you will be driving) will begin on Saturday, October 5th and wrap up on Saturday, October 12th with the 5th and 13th considered travel days. We will start at the Finger Lakes in central NY, then move east to Hyde Park on the Hudson River and then it is on to New England, wrapping up in Providence, RI. You can do as much or as little of this trip as you wish. Here is a tentative agenda:

Saturday, October 5th - Monday, October 7th: Watkins Glen, NY - we will Hike Sugar Hill on Saturday afternoon, visit Farm Sanctuary and Hike Watkins Glen SP on Sunday
Monday, October 7th - Wednesday, October 9th: Hyde Park & Poughkeepsie, NY - Hike walkway over the Hudson on Monday afternoon, visit FDR Presidential Library and hike Vanderbilt mansion to FDR property on Tuesday
Wednesday, October 9th - Friday, October 11th: Boston, MA - Hike Freedom Trail (TBD), Visit JFK Presidential Library on Friday, Additional walking tours (TBD)
Friday, October 11th - Saturday, October 12th: Providence, RI - Hikes TBD, Visit Plant City (Eatery/Group Dinner)

I will be sending out a Broadcast email inviting anyone interested in joining all or part of this trip to attend an informational meeting, which will be held sometime in mid-August. Driving directions and hotel and dining recommendations will be provided at the information meeting and in the next schedule. In the meantime, if anyone has any questions Kelley Hale the trip organizer can be reached at kelley2475@gmail.com or by phone at 973-985-3916.

Plan to join us during mid-October for the following back-to-back hiking trips to Ohio:

Hocking Hills State Park October 14-15: October 13 is considered a travel day to Ohio's most popular state park with 25 miles of hiking trails, rock formations, waterfalls, and recess caves. It is especially beautiful in the fall. There are seven main scenic attractions in Hocking Hills State Park, and we will try to hike in all except Cantwell Cliffs and add a hike at Boch Hollow NP. Morning and afternoon hikes are planned each day. Harold Crooks has offered to lead shorter hikes (1-4 miles). These hikes will be slower to moderate paced to appreciate the beauty of the park and take pictures. Several of the attractions will have little mileage.

Regarding the hikes I will be leading, sections of trails include climbing over rocks, tight areas, roots so sturdy footwear and poles suggested. Bring snacks, a trail lunch and water to hikes. Park lodging suggestions are: Hocking Hills Lodge - a rustic new lodge with beautiful views of the park - filling up fast; and Hocking Hills Cabins - there are 40 modern two bedrooms (sleeps 4-5) - popular with IHC members in the past. Both lodge and cabins are booked at www.hockinghillsparklodge.com/lodging or 800-282-7275. Regarding accommodation outside the park, I would suggest Holiday Inn Express in Logan (740) 385-7700 - this hotel is 13 miles from the state park. For other options check www.airbnb.com or www.explorehockinghills.com. Driving directions from Indy will be provided in the October schedule. If you have any questions about the Hocking Hills trip, please contact trip leader Terry Roesch at 317-910-2943 cell or troesch1@indy.rr.com.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park - October 17-19: Following the Hocking Hills trip we will explore a new location (for many of us) by driving north approximately 3 hours to Cuyahoga Valley NP located between Akron and Cleveland, Ohio. The trails are like those at Eagle Creek, Mounds and McCormick's Creek SP. We will see waterfalls too. October 16 and 19 are considered travel days. On Thursday the 17th will have 5-mile morning and afternoon hikes from the Boston Mills Visitor Center (6947 Riverview Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264). Friday the 18th will have 5-mile morning and 3-mile afternoon hikes not far from the Boston Mills Visitor Center. Possible downtown Cleveland hike on Saturday the 19th in the morning.
Lodging ideas:
Richfield area (I-77 exit 145 or I-80 OH Turnpike exit 173): Quality Inn, Super 8, Holiday Inn Express (few restaurants nearby). Approximately 10 minutes travel time to Boston Mills Visitor Center.
Macedonia area (I-271 exit 18): LaQuinta, Country Inn & Suites, Knights Inn (several restaurants nearby). Allow about 15 minutes travel time to Boston Mills Visitor Center.
Streetsboro area (I-80 OH Turnpike exit 187 or I271 exit 12, then east on Ohio 303): Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Quality, Motel 6 (several restaurants nearby). Approximately 25 minutes travel time to Boston Mills Visitor Center.

Driving directions from Indy and Hockiing Hills will be in the October schedule. If you have any questions about this trip, please contact the leader John Lyghtel at jrlyghtel@aol.com or 317-626-9117.

ANNUAL WINTER BANQUET - Saturday, January 11, 2025
Our traditional awards banquet will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2025, from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at a new location: St Therese - Little Flower Parish, 4720 E 13th St, Indianapolis, IN 46201. We will be using the same caterer as last year. As in prior years we will announce the winners of the 2024 Achievement Awards and recognize our new 25-year members.

GULF SHORES AL - February 2-7, 2025
This year everyone will be booking their own accommodation (i.e., no block of rooms). This will allow members to have a more personalized trip. The hike plan is for no more than 3-4 easy miles per guided hike and/or no more than 8 miles each day. We will be traveling to Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park in Florida for a longer hike (about 5-6 miles) with a group meal after at a local restaurant. The hikes will be on all types of surfaces: sand, dirt, gravel and pavement. There will be lots of opportunities to go off on self-guided excursions alone or with other members of the group. Two group meals (lunch and dinner) have been booked at popular Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants.

I've had several people ask where to stay for the trip. There will not be a group rate at any of my suggestions. All the following hotels are within a mile or two of Gulf State Park:
The Lodge at Gulf State Park (Gulf Shores) - 251-540-4000 Where most of last year's attendees stayed. No free breakfast but restaurants on the premises. Gulf side. Beautiful Hilton owned hotel. Hilton members can get some pretty good rates here.
Sleep Inn (Orange Beach) - 251-981-6722 Free continental breakfast with a made to order omelet bar. Gulf side. The lobby area is nice and bright with lots of tables to play cards, games, etc. This is where Jim and I stay the night before we check into our condo.
Hotel Indigo (Orange Beach) - 877-846-3446 No free breakfast but restaurants on the premises. Across the street from the Gulf right next to Rosemary Dunes trail head where a few of our hikes will begin.
There are many other condos and hotel chains in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Most of our hikes will be at Gulf State Park so I would suggest staying close to that area. Please let me know when you make your reservation and where you are staying. I want to make an email distribution list of those attending so as not to bombard the entire club with details as we get closer to the trip.
Do not hesitate to email/call me with any questions and to let me know where you will be staying; Karen LeClerc at kmleclerc58@gmail.com or 920-883-9477.