In an event admittedly less historic than the Amundsen party reaching the South Pole, 30 intrepid hikers on snowshoes reached the Erdim Atmospheric Listening Station on Picnic Hill, in Cazenovia’s Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, on the afternoon of Sunday, March 7.
This was the high point of an easy-going 2.7-mile snowshoe hike on a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail, sponsored by the CNY Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. Volunteer members of the Chapter led the hike.
Covid restrictions were in effect, including division of the hikers into 10-person platoons. Participants included both members and non-members of the NCTA.
The day was ideal, with two inches of new snow over a one-foot base, temperatures in the 20s, bright sunshine, and wind that in the woods was negligible (though not so negligible up on Picnic Hill).
The Atmospheric Listening Station is a giant wind harp, the work of the artist Firat Erdim. Long monofilament strings stretch from the top of a flagpole down to two metal beverage bins that serve as resonators. The wind blowing at varying speeds causes the strings to vibrate at varying frequencies, and the bins to resonate, producing fascinating ethereal sounds.
The Madison County Distillery (an artisan distillery, kitchen and tasting room!) graciously granted use of their parking lot for the hikers, and provided a warm venue for après-hike refreshments.
The North Country National Scenic Trail is a 4600-mile footpath running from North Dakota to Vermont. Its Madison County portion runs from Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area (east of New Woodstock) north through the Nelson Swamp Unique Area, the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia, Perryville, and the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, and then through Canastota to connect with the Erie Canalway Trail (the towpath).
The CNY Chapter sponsors recreational and educational hikes year-round on the NCNST, as well as work parties for the upkeep of the trail as a quality footpath for hikers. New members are always welcome. For more information, visit nctacnychapter.org.