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Black Mountain

This was a really neat hike. As with most hikes there is always something neat that is discovered on the adventure, to me it was the awesome views. I had traveled from Plattsburgh south, down to this hike. While its easy to get to, it is on the east side of Lake George which takes a little bit of navigating to get to. I'm sure there was a better way to get to it, but I took the north-way south to exit 28, then Route 74 to Route 22 south to the junction of Washington county Route 6. If I remember correctly there was a sign at that intersection stating to turn there for Black Mountain, then again about 5 miles further at the intersection with Pike Brook road. The trail head was a mile from Route 6 on the left.

When I arrived at the trail-head there was only one other vehicle in the lot. As I was getting ready, another car pulled in, a young couple with a dog. They signed in and quickly were off and hiking, that would be the only time I would see them.

I signed in at the register, threw on my pack, grabbed the dogs, and we too were on our way. We had the trail and mountains to ourselves today. I would not see another person until we got down off the mountain near the first junction.

The trail was made up of snow and ice, from less than 1 inch at the start, to 4-5 inches at most up top. There was no need for snowshoes, however micro-spikes proved to be beneficial as it allowed me to move freely without worrying about slipping. I find this very helpful on the decent.

The entire trail was gradual in elevation gain, nothing to steep. I can't help but think this would be an awesome mountain to snowshoe. From what I could gather the summit is just over 2600 feet, with an elevation gain of about 1200 feet, and that is spread out over 2.5 miles. This was a beautiful 5 mile round trip hike. If I had more time I would have done the loop, maybe I'll snowshoe that next time.  



Belfry Mountain

This is a quick and easy hike, just what I was looking for today as I had a lot of other things to get done, but still wanted to get out and hike. This literally took all of 15-20 minutes to summit from the road. Not to mention that today, was a bluebird day that really made this hike rewarding as it was quick, and offered fantastic views of the high peaks and green mountains of Vermont.

According to topo maps this is only a little over 1750 feet, however as mentioned earlier, the views are spectacular. The trail is nothing more than a dirt/gravel road that goes up to radio towers that are on the mountain. A short, less than half mile walk along the road with an overall elevation gain of 137 feet, very gradual.

This is a nice walk for a family. Parking for this hike is on the side of the road (Dalton Hill Road)(County Route 70). The trail-head, is a small DEC sign near a metal gate on the west side of the road, just as you crest the hill. There is no sign-in register.

I even got to try out a new photo opportunity with the summit surveyor pin (stole the idea from someone) .



Hadley Mountain

This one is off the beaten path, but pretty easy to get to. The Tower Road is the only dirt road I navigated, and was in really good shape and is said to be plowed in the winter.

Hadley mountain is a 2.6 mile round trip hike that starts to climb almost immediately after signing in at the trail-head. It is a gradual climb the entire way, with a few pleasant ridge walks along the way. The summit of Hadley is 2653 feet (according to topo), of which you will actually climb 1500 feet, give or take.

The description of the hike talks about a history of forest fires in the early part of the twentieth century which has impacted the mountain. While I never seen anything that resembles damage by fires, it is certainly present as it also described that the bare rock, or open ledge is a result of the fires and how it has also thinned the soil. There was a lot of bare open rock, which actually made for easy climbing.

The trail is wide and you can tell this is a very popular hike. I suspect the parking lot overflows on weekends. I arrived this morning at 10am and found two other vehicles there, although I would never see anyone else on the mountain today. After signing in at the register I quickly begin to start the climb. Its a nice hike which takes you up to a ridge of the West mountain range which you follow over to the true summit. I love ridge walks, they usually provide some nice views, and the trail is usually gradual, which this one was right up to the summit.

Just before the final push to the tower, on the right is a trail that leads to the old fire observer's cabin that is used by summit stewards. I also noticed a real cool cave just before the cabin on the left. Not exactly sure what it was used for, but appeared to have had a door on it at one time. Maybe a root cellar for storing food?

The fire tower is usually open, but was closed today. I was able to climb up to the scuttle hole and received some great views.

I started out from the car at 10:15am and arrived at the summit for 12 noon. Enjoyed the entire hike, had it all to myself. Left the summit at 1230 and arrived back at the car for 130pm. I took my sweet time going up, took many pictures.

Didn't see a single person until I got back to the trail-head where I ran into two guys heading up.



Cathedral Rock

This fire tower sits on the summit of Cathedral Rock, located on the campus of New York State Ranger School at Wanakena, about 8 miles west of Cranberry Lake, NY.

This tower was originally erected on Tooley Pond mountain in Clare NY, which is north-northwest of Cranberry Lake.

For those looking for a easy hike, this would be the one. Even for a young family and their Nana.

From the parking area near the ball fields you pass through a gate on a dirt road. There was no sign-in booth, or anything that discerns the starting point of the trail. Once you pass through the gate it is a short walk to the start of the Latham trail, which is marked with a sign on your right. From there you will follow the disks with a number 10 over an easy grade, passing over a few foot bridges and other gravel roads. It is an easy walk up to the point you reach the base of Cathedral Rock. From here you will climb the 200 feet of elevation that switch backs up to the ridge, a very easy incline all the way to the tower.

There are a few plaques along the way to the summit that memorialize the trail and workers, one at the small pavilion just below the summit reminded us of how fragile life can be. It memorializes a 10 year old boy who had lost his life on the mountain.

Nathan Louis Peck, a fifth-grader at Bryant Elementary school, died while on a hiking trip with his family. He was hiking when he slipped off a rock ledge and fell 60 feet to the ground. He had died at the scene.

Christine Peck described her son as an "avid learner" with a vivid imagination and passion for life. Dinosaurs, soccer and "Star Wars" were among her son's favorite subjects.

"He was enthusiastic about all his activities. ... He was excited about sharing those passions with you at any and all times," she said.

It reminded me of a co-worker that had told me of a David Eagleman's quote;

"There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time."

We talked about you today, Nathan.😊



Blue Mountain

This is a post election day hike. My son and I planned this day off well, unlike the results of the presidential election. We knew that we had to get out into the woods and just get away from the buzz of the election results. Blue Mountain, in Blue Mountain Lake, NY was a great choice.

The forecast was for misty rain in the morning and then clear up in the afternoon to be a mostly cloudy day. The weatherman was partially right, it was a misty day. The radar showed the rain from overnight was on its way out, so in theory we would have an overcast day.

We signed in to the trail register at 9:13am with a slight drizzle of rain. We weren't worried as we were dressed for the wet weather. On this trip we had a few new pieces of gear to try out. One was a Go Pro camera that I had won by raffle last year, and finally got around to trying it out. The other new piece of equipment was a new pair of hiking boots. It was a good day to try out both.

I was surprised at this trail, a lot of rocks and roots, with several boardwalks then finally slabs towards the top. It was a 4 mile round trip hike, with a fair amount of vertical elevation gain, at 1523 feet. It was fairly steep towards the top as well, which would be interesting in the winter with the snow and ice. There was no snow or ice for us today as the temps were in the high 30's to low 40's. Quite a bit of running water right down the middle of the trail. I suspect a fair amount of flow ice in the winter.

Towards the top after the slab climb it evens out a bit and becomes basically a ridge walk to the summit, probably about 2/10th of a mile until you reach the tower. We arrived at the summit at 11:22am.

With today's weather there would be no views, other than the clouds zipping by. The entire summit was in the clouds. We would not see open sky until we were on our way home.

It was still nice to be out in the woods, we had the mountain to ourselves with no other hikers.

We were back at the car by 1:02pm.



Azure Mountain

This was a lazy day today. After sleeping in until 7:30 this morning I had to change my plans. I knew I wanted to get out and hike something, so this little gem popped up on my radar.

I have been nonchalantly hiking the Adirondack fire towers, something that isn't really intended to achieve, but appears to be moving in that direction. My intent is to get my endurance back up and, with my son finish the 46 high peaks this winter. We have 9 left to do, so getting in shape is top priority.

Azure mountain in is Franklin county, NY. It is off the beaten path, and I took the scenic route to its trail-head. I was coming from Plattsburgh so I took a short cut via County Route 30 past Buck Pond campground, then Keese Mills road out of Paul Smiths heading northwest, and then met up with Blue Mountain road heading north towards St Regis Falls, the trail-head was on the left. This route took me through some very beautiful country.

The hike itself is a short 1 mile hike to the summit, however it is a steady uphill hike gaining just under 1000' in the short mile to its summit. There were many views along the way. I met several young families coming down as I was going up.



Vanderwhacker Mountain

I found this to be a very nice hike. It was nothing that I had expected, I compared that to what I had read anyways. Its like reading a book, forming your own vision in your mind, then watching the movie in a theater, based on some others imagination.

The trail is a soft gradual hike, from trail head to the summit it is a 2.5 mile trip, 5 miles round trip. The climb is so gradual that you do not realize the climb is just under 1700" of elevation gain. The mountain itself is at 3386' of elevation. There isn't a lot of climbing until you reach the cabin, from there to the summit, just under 1.5 miles is where you gain your elevation.

The trail crisscrosses a few waterways, which are either covered with a foot bridge, or rock hop-able. Just before the ridge there is a nice switchback that helps easy the climb as well. Which I will assume is fairly new as it is not defined on the maps I have seen. There were a few other areas where the trail has been re-routed.

I left the trail-head at 8:30 and arrived at the summit around 1030, we took out time. The dogs did very well, and this is a dog friendly climb.

The dirt road into the trail-head is in fairly good shape, with a few pot holes. I had brought my truck because I had read that it was a rough road, and a car may have trouble (with clearance) getting into the trail-head. I didn't see where there would be any issues, so long as someone takes their time and watches where they go.

A real gem.



Goodman Mountain

This mountain is located behind what locals in Tupper Lake call Lumberjack Spring and was once referred to as Litchfield Hill and on some older maps can still be found as such, while It may not be ever an official name. A new trail has been developed by the DEC to mimic the one developed over time by users; it now clearly accesses the summit of Goodman.

This 1.7 mile, one way, hike is over easy to moderate terrain. Danielle wanted to do this one first, and she made a good decision as it is an awesome hike. From the parking area located at the old road at the back. This old road used to be Highway 10 between Long Lake and Tupper Lake, back in the day; the old tarmac is still beneath your feet for quite a ways. Just outside of the parking area there is a sign in and a new bridge over Cold Brook. A short distance in you will be to the right of an long ridge that you will follow along the road. The road is in decent shape and a neat way to hike to this peak.

The road soon climbs steadily to a height-of-land where the new trail leaves the old road on your left. This is roughly 1-mile in from the car. Goodman's summit is only 0.25 miles away by the way the crow flies, but the trail swings around the steep slopes to avoid unnecessary erosion and making the hike much more accessible and achievable for almost anyone. Once on the trail you will enjoy a wonderful open hardwood forest, where deep greens of the leaves and ferns are the primary backdrop. The trail will swing gently around the base of the mountain and slowly ascend before it makes a sudden turn toward the peak and climb a bit steeper to the shoulder. The trail then follows a short ridge line before it finally ascends to the summit.

In 1964, Mr. Goodman was a twenty-year-old college student who decided to give up a tranquil Adirondack summer to battle the oppressive heat and prejudices found in Mississippi, where he joined a voter registration drive called Freedom Summer. The aim of the project, which was part of a larger effort led by various civil rights groups, was to expand black voting in the South. Not long after Mr. Goodman arrived in Mississippi, he and two of his contemporaries, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. This tragic news reverberated throughout the country, including the town of Tupper Lake, where the Goodmans were well known and appreciated. Many historians note the deaths of Mr. Goodman, Mr. Schwerner, and Mr. Chaney, as a turning point in the civil rights movement, serving as a catalyst for the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Outstanding views of Coney Mt, Tupper Lake, and the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest are there to await you.

Elevation: 2,178 feet

Elevation Gain: 570 feet

A beautiful hike, that isn't strenuous. Danielle really liked this.



Coney Mountain

This hike is 1.1 mile, one way, hike is over easy to moderate terrain. Most of the trail is rocky and has a lot of tree roots to contend with. The trail is fairly new and footing is a bit rough in areas, but quickly becoming heavily traveled. The trail sweeps around the steep western slopes of the mountain. As the trail steepens a bit, it continues to contour its way around to the northern slopes of Coney Mountain and then meets up with the original trail just below the summit. The last section is over slab rock, no scrambling is necessary. The views start to open up with Goodman Mountain to the north and Mount Morris to the northeast. The waters of Tupper Lake can be seen to the north as well and the wooded hills of the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest to the west. As far as views go, this is one of the best in the area, with the best bang for the buck.

This is a great hike for a family, or someone who may just be getting interested in hiking. This time of year it offers spectacular views and colors, as the leaves are changing. I liked this hike, as it only took about an hour to summit, and the views were awesome.



Goodnow Mountain

I had left the house early this morning for this hike, 6am. I knew there was rain in the forecast for the morning at some point, so my hope was to at least make it to the summit before it began to rain. It was a great idea, and in fact as I was traveling to the trail head I began to wish I had left an hour earlier as it was spectacular with this early morning sun hitting all those multicolored leaves. The leaves are at peak in the Adirondacks, and this mornings sun, from sunrise until it got above the clouds had lit up the entire woods. But alas, I was not going to make the summit before the sun was obscured in the clouds. However, I still had some wonderful views, and It never rained on me.

This mountain is just outside Newcomb, NY. The trail head is just down the road from SUNY Newcomb, who knew there was a college campus in Newcomb? I never realized there was in this small town. As it turns out, it is the college of environmental science and forestry based out of Syracuse (ESF). This same group of students are the ones who take care of the trail, and what a great job they do. The actual summit and tower are considered to be a part of the campus as well. A sign at the summit stated "No firearms allowed on campus property".

Roots, rocks, and boardwalks oh my! This is a gem of a hike that is all gradual incline to the summit. Total distance round trip is 3.9 miles that brings you to a total elevation gain that is just over 1000'.

The tower is a 60' fire tower, that has a 360 degree view, the Santanoni mountain range is to the north east, and right in your face, you can almost reach out and grab it. Seymour mountain and Seward range are beyond to the north. On a clear day I bet this place rocks with its views!

The trail description says there are benches in various places along the way, but I never did see them, a few stacked piles of 4x4 lumber which may have been the benches. There were several board walks and a lot of nice trail work done by this group. Surprisingly there is an old abandoned barn just over the halfway point. As history states, the area was logged and you can still see some of the old remnants of buildings. There isn't a lot of old tree growth on this mountain.

A very nice hike.



Little Haystack Mtn (Buck Pond)

I have known about this little hike for quite a few years, but it has been typically to warm for me to hike, and besides we we're usually camping and that is my lazy season. The hike begins just off the road in the campground that leads to the beach. It starts on a blocked-off road in the campground (Buck Pond Campground) as marked on the campground map.

It continues along following Lake Kushaqua for about 1.25 miles until finding the trail junction on the right. This area provides several areas to jump in for a swim, or for the dogs to get a drink.

Lake Kushaqua/Mud Pond Road is an abandoned railroad bed, which has many uses during all seasons.

Coming from the campground direction you will know when you have reached the junction, or the beginning of the trail to Little Haystack Mt. Overall, this hike is super easy and is great for a stroll if you're staying in or around Buck Pond Campground. It meanders through the forest with gentle ups and downs. The last 10th of a mile is steep, but not to bad.

It was a nice little distraction for me and the pups. I typically do not hike in the summer months, but this was a day that was in the high 50's in the morning.

I can't wait until my next high peak!



Weston Mountain

I Didn't make my destination, but did have a great 5.12 mile hike in the woods. One person had gone in ahead after the last storm. Since then everything softened and froze making for not so pleasant snowshoeing.
The start of the trail crosses a small footbridge before hiking along a very easy to follow and well developed trail. The trail is mostly flat to the Hurricane Mountain Trail junction that veers to the right at just over a mile from the start. There is a nice lean-to located in this area to the left.

The trail continue flat for a bit before starting a steady climb that passes through a mixed forest. The trail eventually eases as you get closer to the south side of Lost Pond at 1.8 mi. where there is an excellent viewing area, just off the trail to the right. The trail continues along the left side of the pond over slightly difficult terrain before reaching the north side at the lean-to. This was a far as i managed to go based on the post holes left from a previous hiker.



Mount Adams

Dingo and I decided to head out to Hike Mt. Adams which is located in Upper Works of Tahawus. This area has always seemed erie to me, an old abandoned mining town. Just like the many across the country, this place was once a prosperous mining community, like many before it, has shuttered its doors.

There are many mountains in this area, several are considered some of the 46 high peaks of New York. Mt Adams is not one of them, but offers some of the best views of the High Peaks, especially from its restored fire tower. The ADKHighpeaks Foundation took on the restoration, and much can be read upon it at their website.

Dingo and I had a late start. We left the house around 9:30 and made our way to Upper Works, its about an hour and a half drive to the trail-head. I was surprised when we arrived at the trail-head that there were no other hikers in that area, we would be alone all day.

We signed in at the trail register at 11:30. The trail was in pretty good shape, it was still cold enough the ground was frozen, it was 28 degrees when we left the truck, but that would change as the temperature rose throughout the day. The trail consisted of ice and frozen spine. The spine is the remnants of the packed trail from snowshoeing. This year has not been a very good year for snow, a lot more ice than anything.

We made our way down to the swinging foot bridge, and soon found myself on the other-side, alone. I looked back and poor Dingo didn't want to come across it. I had taken advantage of it, and never really gave it a thought that he had yet to experience a swinging foot bridge, that was screened and you could see the flowing river through it. With a little bit of encouragement he soon followed suit and was on the other-side with me. This earned him a lot of praises!

The trail continued down towards Lake Jimmy. The floating bridge has long been gone, but now there is a trail around the north end of the lake, that sweeps around to the other side where we picked up the original trail. The trail continues to a junction with Mt Adams trail that veers left of the main trail, and if you were to continue straight it would take you to Allen mountain, one of the 46 high peaks.

The trail up to Mt Adams is pretty uneventful, zigzagging up the mountain. At about the halfway point I decided to put on my micro-spikes, as there was a few places with a hard flow ice, I would end up keeping them on until I returned back to the junction.

This hike is very rewarding, and one starts to get some decent views about halfway up. Before you know it a bench appears, and the girders of the fire tower can be seen. We arrived at the summit just before 2pm.

The views from the fire tower are amazing.



Gray Peak

We had a late start to our day, which did not deter us, other than we did not see as much as we wanted, we did meet our objective (Gray Peak). We signed in at the trail head at 8am on the dot. The sky was a beautiful blue, with not much of a cloud in sight. As the day wore on this would change and gradually the clouds would role in, but not sock in the summits. The trail was a hard crust of ice and some powder snow (less than an inch). This season has been horrible for snow accumulation. This makes hiking not as enjoyable in some regards. While the lack of snow does allow the ability to hike further with micro-spikes and not show shoes, it makes it hard on the feet wearing micro-spikes all day. We made good time to Marcy Dam, just under an hour for the 2.1 miles hike into it. We walked across the frozen Marcy pond and continued up avalanche pass trail to the Lake Arnold and Feldspar Brook trail. The trail was solid the entire way. Once we crossed over Uphill Brook we were able to continue in micro-spikes up to around 4000' in elevation. From this point we wore snowshoes with approximately 3-4 inches of snow. The accumulation gradually increased as we increased in elevation. Once we got to Lake Tear of the Cloud we took a lunch break and fueled up for our final push to the summit. We started searching for the herd path to Gray Peak. The path was elusive at first, but Derek soon picked up the remnants of it, and we were off. From the beginning of the herd path to the summit is a quick jaunt, about 5-600 ft in elevation. There are several views once above the tree line just before the ridge. We obviously enjoyed them as we proceeded upward. Soon we were on the ridge and wandered over to the true summit. We found about 6" of fresh snow on the summit. On our return trip we opted to go out over the lakes. This proved to be a good decision, that initially was based on our energy levels at the time. Walking over frozen lakes on the level is a lot easier than climbing back over lake Arnold and down, about 530' gain and 745' loss. Going down can be just as hard as going up. Going out over the lakes allowed us the reprieve of climbing, but also the exploration of the Mt. Redfield and Mt. Cliff herd paths that we will need to get. We signed out at 7:30pm. Start time: 8:00am End time: 7:30pm 16.05 miles RT 3528 feet of elevation gain. And then there were 9 remaining. Pictures



Avalanche and Colden Lakes

Derek and I had originally planned to hike Gray, Redfield, and Cliff mountains. Like typical men we changed our minds while enroute. Actually the dynamics of our hike changed from the previous high peak hike, we were off to a late start, and snowshoes. This was the first time this season snowshoes were needed (required). We opted to make this a conditioning hike, and down shifted and took a nice walk into Avalanche and Colden lakes. It was a 10.04 mile round trip hike that offered some beautiful views. I made my attempt at capturing this, but nothing compares to actually standing on the lakes soaking in the views. Our change of plans diverted us from taking the trail to lake Arnold, and going straight up to Avalanche lake. This gave us another opportunity to meet up with some wonderful people. We ran into Inge, Geoff and his lovely bride Emily. We had a nice chat and found out they were heading to Marshal. Last I seen of them Geoff was trying to catch up with the ladies. It was nice to meet the three of you, and a great day for a hike.



Scarface Mountain

The first half of this trail follows old roads over relatively flat terrain through coniferous forest and past rippling brooks. Eventually the trail begins a steady climb. Side trails lead to an open ledge with views overlooking Oseetah Lake and the Saranac Lake chain. The other views on the trail require some bushwhacking, and the summit itself does not offer a view.

This wraps up my winter Saranac Lake 6 list. It was 16 degrees when we left the truck with little to no wind. Perfect hiking temps. We seen about 12 other people on the trail, one of which was a troll. He asked if I was from the upper peninsula (seen my license plate), I told him I was, then he pointed to the center of his open hand and said "I'm a troll, from Vanderbilt." I thought that was neat.

Distance: 6.8 miles RT (10.9 km)
Ascent: 1480 (451 m)
Elevation: 3054 (931 m)



Baker Mountain

A short late morning jaunt. A bit cool today, temps were around 11 degrees in Saranac Lake with a 20 mph wind made it feel colder. We originally planned to do Scarface mtn, but with the bitter cold temps we chose something shorter in case the dogs had any issues. Both dogs did fine, and we all had a blast.

Distance: 1.8 miles RT (3 km)
Ascent: 884 (270 m)
Elevation: 2452 (747 m)



Hedgehog (sorta) Roostercomb Mtns

This was an extension of my normal jaunt to Rooster Comb, I added a jaunt over to Hedge Hog. The trail is easy to moderate terrain. Starting from Keene Valley you hike over wooden bridge from the parking area to the trail head register. You'll pass a small pond on the right behind the Keene Central School. As you veer away from the pond the trail climbs steadily to a junction with one of the routes to Snow Mountain Trail at around 0.7 mi. Stay right and continue a steady climb to another junction at around 2.0 mi. (Straight ahead leads to Hedgehog and Lower Wolf Jaw. Left is an alternate return, which also connects to Snow Mt.), to the right goes to Rooster Comb.
Turning right, the trail climbs to the crest of the ridge and a junction at 2.2 mi. Right is the 0.1 mi. side trail to Valley View Ledge. Left is the trail to the summit, which is reached after a few steeper pitches at 2.5 mi.

Back at the three-way junction, from here its just under a mile to Hedgehog summit over what I believe is a moderate climb. There is a short section that a little steep, but nothing that you wouldn't expect from climbing Rooster Comb. Its about another 900 feet of elevation gain.

A nice hike, one of which I would like to do again.



Marcy and Skylight Mtns

We originally wanted to get Marcy, Skylight, and Gray, but ran out of daylight and time for Gray. We started later than we would have liked, but 7:20am wasn't so bad. We had the whole day to ourselves to enjoy. This would be the first time hiking these two peaks, and it may not be the last as they are two very nice hikes. We took the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy (the most popular route), also known as the VanHo Express. This was the first time since they re-routed the herd path to Tabletop so it was good to see where that went in. The trail was in pretty good shape and not much for ice. We hadn't had any significant snowfall for the year yet so the trail was still bare with some icy areas. From Indian falls turn off to the junction with the Phelps trail is some pretty neat trail, and the views of Marcy get better and better. As we went up we really had no issue until we got to a small section of flow ice that was made more comfortable when we put on our crampons. The summit of Marcy was a constant 20-30 mph wind from the west, to be expected I guess.  We didn't stay long on the summit of Marcy before we headed down the back side of Marcy to Four Corners. We took a few minutes at the junction to fuel up and switch back over to microspikes for our quick jaunt up Skylight. In some regards it was just as windy on Skiylights open summit as well. So we quickly took our obligatory  pictures, added our rocks to the pile, then headed back down to Four Corners. We quickly headed towards Gray Peak as we wanted to make a trio out of todays hike, but we could not discern the herd path to Gray, so we continued on down to Feldspar leanto. After a quick bite to eat, and drink we continued our trek up to Lake Arnold and made our way back out to the Loj. We reached the Loj at 7:50pm. On our hike we seen only 5 other people the whole day. We logged 14.6 miles round trip, 4,919 feet of elevation gain. I now have 10 remaining peaks, and Derek has 11. A great way to spend a Saturday. Derek said I did pretty good for being near 50.  



Saddleback Mtn

Derek had signed us in around 7:15am. It was an overcast day, which we knew from the previous days forecast which meant we expected little to no views from the summit. The temps for the day were supposed to be in the 40's, it was a good temperature to be hiking in. The trip from the garden parking lot is, or has become a monotonous march into Johns Brook Lodge, roughly 3 miles of gradual elevation gain over rolling terrain. We arrived at the rangers interior outpost around 9:20. We signed in and took a left over the foot bridge, taking us up what i assume at that point becomes the Ore Bed trail, left from there is the old South side trail, presently closed. The Ore Bed trail from this point up to the 5 way intersection is pure maddening. It is like walking on a cobblestone road, miserable. A good couple feet of snow would make all the difference in trail condition. The trail is all gradual uphill with a few stream crossings to just beyond the Ore Bed lean-to, from there it is still gradual except for a few steeper pitches. where it follows Ore Bed brook up to the slide. Just prior to coming out onto the slide we put on our micro-spikes, from that point to the summit they stayed on our feet. The ladder and trail above the ladder proved more and more icy as we gained in elevation. There were a few sections above the junction with the range trail that required some scuttling up rock and flow ice, but still manageable with micro-spikes. Up and over the false summit of Saddleback presented a nice short stretch of flat trail, then the final push to the summit. We arrived at the summit at 1:11pm with no views. Not a big deal as we anticipated this, and were still very happy to be out in the woods, on a peak. Just before we were getting ready to leave the clouds broke up a bit, not enough to reveal Basin's summit, but to see the col between Basin and Saddleback. On our return trip to the intersection with Gothics we enjoyed the views of Gothics, Pyramid, and Sawteeth. On our trip down we opted to put on our crampons. Going down in ice is a lot different than going up. To give us peace of mind we wore our crampons to the bottom of the slide to where the trail goes back into the woods. The Ore Bed trail stinks without snow cover, many rocks, like walking on cobble stones. On our way back we turned at the junction and went to JBL to get on a better trail. When we arrive at the 5 way intersection we opted to take a left and go to JBL and take a easier less rocky trail. We signed out and got back to the Garden parking lot under headlamp at 5:45pm, it was another wonderful adventure. Even though it was not a bluebird day we had a great time. We began our 46er adventure and were picky about the weather so we enjoyed each hike, but since we started this adventure in 2004, we have become less than picky with the weather, we are almost to the point of "just getting this list done". From the Garden parking lot, to the interior outpost to the South Side trail junction to Ore Bed trail to range trail to summit 12.42 miles round trip. 3205' of elevation gain. Roughly 10.20 hours.     December 4, 2015



Lyon Mountain

The following is a pretty accurate description of today's hike. The dogs loved it, me too! The last time I had hiked this mountain was over 20 years ago with Larry Douglas, Bob Conway, my father, and I. We had hiked up and spent the night in the early 80's. Larry and myself are the only ones still alive. I enjoyed reflecting on that trip today as I meandered up to the summit.

We left the parking area at 9:16 AM and followed the new trail. We were the first on the summit for the day at 11:17, for a short period of time as a young couple from Ottawa arrived minutes behind me. When we started out for the summit it was blue skies, socked in when we arrived, with limited to no views. We stayed on summit for a few minutes before heading back down. We were the last to get out of the woods, and were back at the truck for 1:36 PM. A great day.

Lyon Mountain, at 3830 feet, is the highest point in Clinton County and the highest point north of the Saranac River. It is located in the northeastern part of Adirondack Park, west of Plattsburgh, NY in the Chazy Highlands Wild Forest. There is a new 3.4 mile trail that winds its way to the summit and fire tower. The trail has an overall elevation gain of 1900 feet over the 3.4 miles. The old trail is shorter (2.5 m each way) and steeper.

The hike is long but you are rewarded with a 360 degree view from the fire tower. Views all the way to Montreal to the north, the Green Mountains and Vermont to the East and the high peaks to the south.



Owls Head Lookout

I hiked this on 11-29-2014, a beautiful day in the woods. Cold or not, 8 degrees isn't bad when there's little to no wind. The dogs did great and I got rid of my cabin fever.

From the parking area followed a dirt driveway for a short distance before dropping into the woods on the left. From here I hiked though a very nice mixed forest, crossing a fairly new foot bridge over Slide Brook. The climb is easy for the first mile to this crossing. Once I crossed over it began to be a steady climb to the junction at 2.4 miles. Going left from the junction is a short, I found to be moderately steep 0.2 mile spur trail that brought me to the summit.

The summit has wide open views in almost all directions.

5.2 miles round trip
Elevation gain scent 1257’



Rooster Comb Mountain

Almost a year since my last hike. Life sure did get in the way of my fun time.

This is a nice little hike with some very impressive views up the Johns Brook valley. It's not a high peak at 2762 ft., but it is a rewarding hike.
The trail starts at the parking lot south of Noonmark Diner off route 73, and begins on the flat skirting a small pond. From there is is a gradual climb through pines and then hardwoods. From the junction to hedgehog Mt it is a short hike to the open ledge of Hedge Hog.




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