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Sawyer Mountain

A great little hike for a beginner, young family, or for me that hasn't been out hiking since December. The hike is only about 1.1 miles to the summit. It took me longer to drive to the trail head than it did to hike the round trip of 2.2 miles. I arrived at the trail head around 8:30am. I would have the trail to myself for the hike. One of the benefits of hiking in the middle of the week. There wasn't anyone at Blue Mountain trail head either when I passed by. I grabbed my pack, let the pups out, signed in, and we were off. The trail is an easy climb, one of the easiest summits in the Adirondacks, and fairly dry. There were a couple areas that were muddy, but easy enough to rock hop through. It was a mix of hardwoods and sparse fir trees the entire way. It must be a cool hike in the summer with the canopy of leaves overhead. I was thinking this mountain can be pretty busy with hikers in the summer months based on its proximity to nearby campgrounds and vacation rentals. That and the small parking area at the trail head could pose a problem with parking. As I progressed up the trail I found towards the top ridge there are partial views from ledges on the left near the summit. A short whack over to a small lookout provided some views. Back to the trail and past the wooded summit was the described rock ledge with a nice overlook that provided some decent views, and a swarm of hungry black flies. The trail head is located between Indian Lake and Blue Mountain Lake on the west side of Route 28, the parking is well marked. It is a short distance south of Lake Durant campground. I did a brief search on the history of Sawyer mountain and had trouble finding much on it, other than what appears is that it is part of a recreational easement with New York State. On my way back home I took a spin into the Lake Durant Campground. I grabbed a map and drove around checking out the campsites. This is a nice campground that has several nice sites, many of which are on the lake itself.

Craig

Craig

Deer Pond Loop

Dingo and I took a walk in the Deer Pond Loop Trail located outside Tupper Lake, NY. There are three points to access the trail (off route 3, route 30, and the old Wawbeek road). We (Dingo and I) started from the route 30 entrance around 8:30. We did the hike in a clockwise direction, for no particular reason. Knowing what I know now I would do it the same way next time. It was relatively flat easy-going for the first 3 to 4 miles, or until we turned off of the old Wawbeek road onto a fairly new looking trail. The only obstacle we ran into was water over the road due to a beaver dam. This was easily enough averted by throwing down a few fallen logs to use as steps. Once we turned off of the old road we begin to climb what was mostly rolling hills through very thick balsam and pine.  The trail was somewhat dry through this area. There were a few bridges and Board walks that helped get us through some wet areas till we got to the first marsh or pond (not sure of the name), which is on the left before Deer pond. Once we got past that body of water it was a gradual uphill until we reached Deer pond/Lead pond junction once there we took a break for lunch.  From this point it was more rolling hills and we worked our way back down to the height of land where it was walking through a bog, made up of mostly soft woods and a lot of peat moss, absolutely beautiful. There were various species of trees (cedar, balsam, pine) which I enjoyed as I meandered my way back to where we originally came in from. Once at the junction I turned left and headed back over the bridge taking the trail back out to the truck. It was a nice 7.9 mile hike that could easily be snowshoed or cross country skied (for the experienced skier for the section from Wawbeek road to the junction with Lead pond). The entire loop is labeled for skiing, however. I certainly enjoyed the loop and found it absolutely beautiful. I was very surprised that we had never seen any wildlife. We did seem to flush a few Ruffed Grouse along the way, and on our way back to camp seen a red fox terrorizing a group of turkeys. I look forward to returning and exploring the trail out to lead pond. 

Craig

Craig

Round Mountain

I had started this hike a bit late about 10 AM. I initially was going to do an out and back from the parking lot area in St. Huberts. This would eventually change and I decided to hike it clockwise. Shortly after signing in, the trail immediately starts the climb up eventually easing to a gradual climb through a mix of hard and soft woods. I kept seeing fresh deer tracks along the way, obviously pushing the deer as I gradually made my way up to a point around 2600 feet where she finally revealed herself. She was about 30 yards away, and I tried to make a video of her, but it turned out very grainy.   The climbing gets steeper at this point and along the way you start to see nice views of Giant mountain becoming more and more prominent. At one point I  came out of the woods to an open ledge that was like an amphitheater seating to the Giant of the valley. From this point the trail led back into the woods which was made up of pine and cedar trees. This area was moderately steep, but easy climbing with a good base below my feet.  There were areas with ice below the snow, but the ever changing temperatures before made for some nice traction. I had put on my snowshoes just after signing in, for no other reason than to take advantage of the televators, micro-spikes would have worked fine in lower elevations, but at around 2600 feet snowshoes were needed  with 4-6 inches of powder. As I continues up I ran into a head-wall at about 2800 feet, which has some really cool looking ice-flow coming off of it. My pictures really did not do it justice. In another 100 feet of elevation I thought I had reached the partially open summit, only to realize I had a bit more hiking to do. With a quick down and up in elevation I was finally at the summit and the spectacular views of the Lower Great range, Dix and Hough mountains, along with Giant, and Noonmark mountain.   After about a half hour on the summit I dropped down to the Dix trail making my way back to the dirt road that leads to the Ausable Inn road, eventually signing out at the Round Mountain register.   I did not see  another soul all day which was quite surprising. I had expected at the least to meet traffic coming up to Round from the Dix trail. I guess it is true, Round mountain sees very little traffic.   I did this hike clockwise from St Hubert's parking area.   Two areas of blow-down. Elevation: 3100 ft
Ascent: 1820 ft
Distance: 4.9 miles  

Craig

Craig

Debar Mountain

While camping at Meacham Lake State campground, my pup Dingo and I, hiked Debar Mountain. We had started from the trail-head at 9:30 AM. Soon after signing in  we were off. The trail starts out very easy walking, following along what must have been a jeep trail at one time, and now appears to be a snowmobile trail in the winter. It is very easy walking well past the junction to go left to Debar mountain, or going right towards Debar Meadows and onto County Route 26. From here there basically is not much climbing for awhile, then it becomes gradually uphill eventually arriving at the Leanto. The trail was wet in sections up till now, but nothing that cannot be managed by rock hopping through. From the Leanto the trail gets steeper and wetter as you are climbing up through drainage at times. Just past the leanto are the remnants of the foundation on your left, not sure if it was a Rangers cabin or some other building. One could easily miss it if not paying attention. From there the real climbing begins and the trail gets steeper, to the point you gain several hundred feet in a short distance. It is a short distance but the mountain makes you work for the summit. We arrived at the summit about 1230 and enjoyed a nice break. We didn't have much for views but still enjoyed the hike. We had our lunch, took some pictures, and noticed several anchor bolts at the summit that’s reported to have been a transmitter site and/or a fire tower. There was an old  surveyor mark or pin. I'm sure there is a lot of history on this mountain, and I had found some here. The return trip down to the Leanto was uneventful. Much care was given to the footing as it had been a wet day, and slippery. The slide that we came to probably halfway from the Leanto gives an idea of the steepness of the trail. I would think this section could be a challenge in the winter. We arrived back at the Leanto at 1:40 took a short break, verified the outhouse worked. The rest of the hike back to the trail-head was uneventful arriving at 3 PM. 

Craig

Craig

Silver Lake Mountain

This is a nice little hike at .9 miles to the summit. Deciding later in the day to hike this turned out to be a good option. The trail surprisingly was well drained and somewhat dry, given the recent rains we have had. It seems like there has been some trail work done, at least it seemed that way compared to my last visit several years ago to this mountain. The trailhead is on the left about a half mile south of the Douglas Campground on the Silver Lake road. It is a small trail head and not much room for parking. I arrived around 230pm and there were 4 cars in the lot, room for one more (me), and that is about it. With the way the shoulders are on the main road (Silver Lake Road), not very practical to park on the side of the road. Its a short walk to the trail head register, from there it begins a gradual uphill for about a half mile before it gets a little steeper for the last .4 miles to the summit. The trail is made up of rocks (mostly buried under freshly fallen leaves),  roots (wet and slippery), and areas of ledge and bedrock which provides nice traction. There are several lookouts to take advantage of as you climb. I was surprised with the amount of people out this late in the day, and on a Sunday at that. We (the dogs and I) would have company all day. Glad to finally get back out on the trails.

Craig

Craig

Wright Peak

We had previously hiked this on April 8, 2004. It was a nice warm spring day, but still some snow and ice on the ground. It was Mark, Justin, Derek, and myself. The trail is a fairly easy trail that meanders upward, with not much for views for awhile. There is a nice waterfall that looks absolutely stunning when it is frozen. There were a few steeper sections just before the junction with the trail to wright Peak, and the trail that continues to Algonquin and beyond. There is remnants of a plan wreck on Wright along with a plaque that memorializes the crew that crashed on the summit. None of us had found it, nor seen any remnants from a plane. So, looks like we will climb it again and do a little more exploring.  

Craig

Craig

Owls Head Mountain

I arrived at the trail head around 8:50am. There was a local hunter that had just arrived and he was packing up to spend 14 days in camp (lucky guy). We struck up a conversation which led to the three dogs I had in tow. He had asked if they were Australian Cattle Dogs, and I affirmed and advised him they were rescues. He too has some dogs he rescued as well, a couple border collies.

I was soon on my way up the trail climbing right after the small foot bridge. The trail is easy enough to follow, and is a mix of open hardwoods almost the entire way to the summit, minus a few areas of pine/cedar/tamaracks. The trail is an easy grade well past the intersection with the trail that continues to Lake Eaton, which is about a mile in. From here the trail goes left and climbs moderately with a mix of packed trail to rocky and wet (typical adk trail). There were several areas of blowdown from the previous two days of heavy wind, all of which were easily negotiated.

The trail climbed steadily making up in elevation, but wasn’t overly long, maybe about a mile of climbing up to the col between the two smaller peaks of Owl's Head. From here one could be discouraged thinking that you are almost to the tower, when in fact you drop down to a landing, that at one point was where the observer’s cabin was located. The foundation pilings are still there, and a pail (I almost thought it was a thunder jug). From here the final push to the summit is a short steep section which eventually eases and turns into a small ridge walk to the tower.

From the summit, I could see Long Lake below to the left, and Blue Mountain in the background straight ahead. Once up in the tower there is a 360 degree view of the mountains, a bit overcast today so the views weren’t as good as they would be on a clear day. Blue Mountain was shrouded in the clouds.

I didn't realize until I read the pamphlet from the trail head register is that the mountain, along with the two lesser peaks that make up the ears of the "owls head", a great horned owl's head to be exact.

I was back at the trail head at 1pm.

Elevation - 2815'
Distance round trip -6.3 miles
Total time round trip 4.hrs 14min
My average speed was 1.5mph

Craig

Craig

Cascade & Porter Mtns

On February 1, 2004, Derek and I set out to hike these two mountains. Unlike the first attempt we were prepared to hike our first of the 46 high peaks. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and temperatures expected to be in the low 30's. It certainly made for a beautiful day. We started on the trail at 7:45am on a very hard packed trail. We had taken a few breaks along the way. At the intersection with the trail to Porter we decided to go over to Porter mountain first. We had hoped to be the first on the summit, as there is always something nice about being first on the summit for the day, I'm not sure why. That didn't matter because we were eventually passed by a gentlemen about 10 minutes before the summit. His name was Tony, and he was originally from England. He had traveled that day up from Ithaca. He stated he was already a 46er, and was working on his winter round of the 46. We had a break on Porter, enjoyed the views and then set off to climb Cascade. We reached Cascade summit at 12:50pm stayed for about an hour then headed back down. We were back at the car for 3pm feeling energized, it was awesome. Submitted to Historian 2/18/04 Pictures

Craig

Craig

Giant Mountain

We arrived at the parking lot of route 73 at Chapel pond at 830am and signed into the trail head registry at 834am. It was just Derek and I on this warm November day. It was the day before Thanksgiving and there was no snow on the ground, today's high temperature was expected to be in the forties. This used to be unusual, but seems to be the norm now, weather wise. We meander our way up to the first lookout just below the washbowl and arrived at 09:19 am. We were passed by one hiker and her dog there, and soon passed her and the dog as they turned around before second lookout. Funny how that happens. We arrived at the fake summit at 1130 am, its not much further from here to the summit, but you can get discouraged with false summits, because if you do not know any better the summits are there, just being illusive. We started to come across ice from underground spring runoff, but managed around it. We had a very beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. We had flushed several grouse between the cols which was really cool. We came out on the out cropping just below the summit, I had slipped and fell just below the junction for Rocky Peak, Crushing my finger and abrasion on lower right back, thankfully no broken bones since we had not seen any other hikers. We arrived at the junction for Rocky Peak at 1245 pm.and reached the summit of Giant at 1:00pm. Was surprised to find a hiker relaxing in the sun at the top, he had come in from New Russia, he was from Syracuse, nickname on the forums is Mastergrasshopper. We did not do Rocky Peak because we did not think we had enough time, not to mention energy since this was the first hike since early spring, not in shape. Arrived back at trail head to sign out at 4:40 pm.

Craig

Craig

Tabletop Mtn

We left the apartment at 4:45am so as to get a good head start. We arrived at the ADK Loj parking lot at around 6:50 am, there were a few cars already there, and in fact it looked like they had all spent the night in the woods somewhere because of the frost on the windshields. We did our stretches, signed in and headed off for Marcy Dam. It was a cool morning with lots of frozen mud holes along the way. The air was nice and crisp; I love this time of the day.We arrived Marcy dam at 7:50am to enjoy beautiful views as the sun came up. We signed into the interior outpost and set off for Table top. We had to take the foot bridge over from Marcy Dam, not because of high water, but due to ice covered rocks, dealing with this would be our biggest hazard throughout the day, at least until it warmed up enough to melt. We arrived at the junction with the Phelps Trail at 8:50am, had a short break with drinks and snacks and continued onto Tabletop.The trail up to Table Top was an adventure, it was a small brook all the way up, some frozen and some thawed if it was in the sun. The short col just before the summit was kind of neat, a place I would like to camp but unable to due to the regulation. We arrived at the summit of Tabletop at 11:45am and enjoyed our lunch and took some picks, unfortunately not very good views, but again enjoyed the clean crisp air along with the sweet smell of balsam, awesome. As we headed back to the main trail one of us managed to have a boot fall apart at the sole and I inadvertently poked a hole in my eardrum with a twig (I was going backwards through a section and when I turned to look down for a foot placement I had a twig enter my ear). We arrived back at the Vanhovenberg trail at 1:45pm and passed the Phelps trail at 2:45. Arriving at Marcy dam at 3:45, with not a soul in site. We continued on to the Loj arriving at 4:30pm. Table top was an enjoyable hike, short and without views, but got us in the woods for the day. Pictures

Craig

Craig

Phelps Mtn

We had hiked this on February 21, 2004. It was Mark, Chris, Justin, Derek, and myself. It was an over cast day with snow flurries. I cannot remember what the temps were, but I don't recall being overly cold. The trail from the Loj was hard packed all the way to Marcy dam. When we had hiked this Marcy dam was still intact, it has since been destroyed by hurricane Irene, and the remnants removed. The Van Hoevenberg trail from the dam to the junction with the trail for Phelps was not as hard pack, and had fresh snow on it. This is a nice trail especially under snow pack since all the rocks and roots are covered. This is a nice relief with tired legs. The trail to Phelps is uneventful until you just start to come out of the trees where we were presented with a nice ledge of flow ice. We used crampons for this section. It does not take long to reach the summit which is basically a ledge with a view of Marcy. We did not have any views since it was all over cast with snow showers.

Craig

Craig

Flat Rock State Forest, Altona NY

Took a nice little walk about in this area with Snickers and Bushwacker. I had never been to the area, even though it is almost in my back yard. I knew of the area through work, just based on the resources I had sent into it for fires and lost hikers, but never myself hiked in.

I was surpresed at the size of the structures that are built in there. The "Million Dollar Dam", and the Skeleton Dam are huge projects that were built about a 100 years ago. There certainly is a lot of history in the Miner Project, and look forward to going back and doing some more exploring.

It is very easy hiking, all gradual incline. The trails are shared with ATV and snowmobiles, however we did not see another soul the entire day. We had a nice hike in, sat around Chasm Lake and had lunch. Next time we'll scope out the fire tower.  

Craig

Craig

Seymour Mtn

My son and I hiked Seymour mountain yesterday after getting a late start. We arrived at the summer trail-head and signed in at 8:18. There was one other hiker ahead of us that we would not see until we were halfway up Seymour we met him coming down. We easily bare booted to the first large brook crossing where we put on our micro spikes due to ice covered rocks. From there we left them on to the summit just to save time. This proved to be a good decision as we ran into more and more flow ice as we gained in elevation. We eventually stopped to eat some lunch near where the trail comes up along side the slide. From this point until the final head-wall up on the ridge it was slow going, but not overly difficult. We eventually came out at the top near the slide, hopped up on the rock, from here it was basically a ridge walk over to the summit. We reached the summit at 1:50 pm, took pictures and had some snacks then headed back down and out at 2 pm. There was a serious amount of ice flow in the steep section along the slide, so much that we stopped ahead of it and switched out to our crampons to navigate going down that area, then eventually switched back to micro-spikes for the rest of the hike out, there was never a need for snowshoes. It is always worth the extra time to take some additional precautions and avoid unnecessary risk. There was only the one other hiker we seen all day. We signed out at 6:18 pm.  

Craig

Craig

Mt. Marshall

A nice crisp morning started the day. I'm not sure what the temps were but everything was still frozen solid. We signed in at 7am and tested the trail just beyond the sign in, and decided it was a go to use micro-spikes until Calamity Brook lean-to as it was a solid base. We switched over to our snowshoes to cross over flowed lands and they would stay on the rest of the day. The trail up Marshall is well packed out and any false paths are obscure now. As the temps rose the layers shed and the snow bombs dropped. We arrived at the summit shortly after noon and were soon greeted by another hiker. Anyone out yesterday knew the views were superb. We relaxed on the summit for an hour having lunch and enjoying the views. We started back down a little after 1pm, back at Herbert Brook LT at 2:30pm and at upper works at 5pm. A great day to be out. Allen and Santanoni TH's were overflowing with cars.  

Craig

Craig

Gothics Mtn

Derek, Mark, Adam, myself, and a friend of Adams set out to hike Gothics. All 3 off us needed it for some list (regular or winter season), or another. We parked at the traditional Saint Hubert's parking lot, where we began our hike around 5am and hiked up to the Ausable Club gate. The Ausable Club allows hikers and outdoor enthusiast access to the peaks through their property (no dogs or bicycles allowed). This is an agreement in place with New York State. It is a fortunate agreement because it allows closer access to several high peaks of the Adirondacks. Without this access there would be a lot longer approaches to several peaks. The infamous Lake Road walk is always described as a slog. I too have learned not to like it, but I have to tell you, at the end of a long day hiking, its nice to not have to worry about where you place your feet, you just chug along down the road, it allows you to make some time. We took the Beaver Meadows Falls trail up to the col between Gothics and Armstrong. It has a steady steep climb to it, but you make some prett good time and gain a lot of elevation in the process. Its a typical Adirondack climb, with some really cool features along the way, one of which is when you cross over the slide up above, and the ladder down near the falls. The slide crossing is at a point (maybe halfway to the col) where you can look up towards the summit of Gothics, and down the slide (with Noonmark Mtn summit I believe in the distance) and marvel at the power of mother nature. I'm not sure when the slide was created, but definitely a result of copious amounts of water. The climb up is fairly benign until you get just below the col, where there is a short section that is a bit unnerving. You are exposed to the cliff, and the feeling is you could slide off the mountain, if it wasn't for a few trees. Once in the col its basically a ridge walk up to the summit of Gothics. On our day it was pretty windy and all overcast skies, so we had zero views. It was a bit unnerving going up the cornice as it was loaded with snow. Not knowing if you were on solid ground, or on a snow drift with almost zero visibility. We arrived at the summit around 2pm, which was really non-climactic as there were no views. With that in mind we turned around after a quick summit photo session, and scooted back down to the col for shelter out of the direct wind. This is a trip we hope to make again when the weather is better. This mountain has fantastic views, on a clear day. We were back at the car around 6pm. Round trip 10.2 miles Elevation gain 3299'

Craig

Craig

Dix Mt. via Round Pond

We started around 7a.m. the hike around Round Pond is a pretty one, continuing up to the first trail junction is a nice warm up hike. From here to the leanto is a nice walk in the woods crossing a few brooks and streams, we arrived at leanto at 11am. After crossing North Fork(?) the hike up to the slide is moderate. After arriving at the slide for 12p.m we had a pick-a-nic basket with me and Boo Boo. After we crossed the base of the slide, the real work began. We arrived at the junction with red trail 1pm, summit 130pm. left summit at 2p.m. back at car 630pm. Trail was typical I guess, muddy in areas, running brook in others. No snow or ice on top. Gators a must, microspikes in case. I would have been VERY disappointed if I had taken the slide up, for no other reason than the thickness of the vegetation above, it would not have been enjoyeable bushwack over to the trail for me. The slide was free from snow and ice, but there was alot of water coming down it. It was a good day.

Craig

Craig

Macomb, Carson, Grace, and Hough Peaks

Yesterday, 1ADAM12, NUMNUM, Son of NUMNUM, and a gentleman whom we shall fondly refer to as "Other Craig" set off from Elk Lake a early o'clock with the Dixes in our sights. As with any proper hike, one person started off the day with the sentence, "Oh $%!^, I forgot (insert critical piece of equipment here)." This time, it was my turn. I forgot my nice shiny orthotics. After about 4 seconds of contemplation, I said, "Whatever, my feet will just hurt." We set off and made pretty good time to herdpath, and were at the base of the slide shortly after sunrise. While the others flew up the slide, Adam and I took our time (and about 400 pictures). Since this was my first slide climb, I didn't want it to end. I was zig-zagging back and forth just to let it all sink in. For anyone who hasn't gotten to do the Macomb slide yet, do it. It is just plain awesome. As we progressed up the slide and back into the woods, we started noticing something off in the distance. All the really big peaks were completely covered in snow! We got off the slide, and all of a sudden, 3 inches of the fresh stuff! I believe I started dancing at this point and the first many snowballs of the day was thrown (Adam hitting me). At the summit of Macomb, we realized the level of cold and wind we would be seeing for the rest of the day. After a short time, we set of for Carson. We met up with a group from St. Lawrence U, and I was very nice to them figuring I'll get the opportunity to laugh when the hockey season rolls around. In the blink of an eye, we were at the base of the boulder field. Once again, climbing this field was a blast! We ducked into the trees and hit the summit. We then set off for Grace, where things started getting a little muddy, but not nearly as bad as it could be. When we got above the trees on Grace, the wind was whipping around, and we dried off in about 3 seconds. My feet started to hurt, but there was no way I was letting them get to me today. A little vitamin I, and I was ready to go! Back to Carson, and we made our way up and over Pough and on to Hough! This was by far the steepest climb of the day. It had a really nifty ledge shortly before the summit, and the rock at the top leaves you WAY over everything around you. We had been pondering whether or not to do Dix, and we made the final decision that we were losing too much light, and we were starting to run short on energy. We made our way back down to the Hough-n-Pough col and worked our way back down to the marked trail via Lillian Brook. We made it out shortly after sunset (yes we're slow and proud of it!) and all in all, it was an epic hike.

Craig

Craig

Indian Head

This is what happens when Colvin and Blake elude my feet.

I had my goals set on Colvin and Blake, but my knee began bothering me, so i opted for something a bit less stressful to them.

I had heard of Indian Head by a few people, and I figured, why not today. I had already done the long boring Lake Road trudge. This was a nice hike, a beautiful day to. Once on the ledges there are some beautiful views of Ausable Lakes and some of the Great Range, and Colvin.

At just over 9.5 mikes round trip, and just under 2000' of elevation gain.

Sep 23, 2009

Craig

Craig

Whiteface & Esther Mtns.

We had started out at the Science Center at 6am. It was still dark so we used our head lamps, it was a nice and cool morning, at about 47 degrees. We got to the first lookout (Marble mtn?) just before the junction from the trail coming up from the Wilmington reservoir in time for the sunrise. I opted for this route and mountains because I was just getting back into hiking after having been operated on in April. I had two vertebrae in my neck fused due to a disc impingement on my spinal cord. The Doctor cleared me for day-pack hiking and this seemed like the best group of mountains to return on. We took a 15 minute break before heading up to Lookout Mt. We arrived at the junction with the trail to Esther Mt. at 9a.m. where we took another break before heading onto Whiteface, we opted to do Whiteface first because we thought we would need the most energy for that, as it turns out we were right. A little more than halfway from the trail junction we came across some construction that apparently Whiteface is doing. They have a couple excavators moving some big rocks for some reason. We arrived at the road wall at 9:50a.m.and followed it around to the left arriving up by the road shortly thereafter. We took a quick breather before climbing up the ridge trail to the summit of Whiteface Mt arriving at 10:20a.m. We lounged around on the rocks, had lunch and then walked the road back to the trail. We arrived on Esther Mt summit at 1:10pm and stayed until 2pm. We then left and arrived back at the junction at 2:40pm, took a break and then headed down the mountain to the science center. While on the way down we were met by two men, one of them was wearing stilts, I don't know why, thought it was very odd. We arrived back at the parking lot at 4:30pm. It took us 10.5 hrs to do this hike, not bad for being away from hiking for several months, it was difficult for me, as I was clearly out of shape! Pictures

Craig

Craig

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.

Craig

Craig

Sawteeth Mtn

On Father's day, my dad, son Derek, brother Rick, and I set out to hike Sawteeth mountain.We arrived at the Lower Ausable parking lot after dropping off Derek and Dad at the beginning of the road. We were at the trail head at 6:41am and were off on our hike. I had picked this hike for Fathers day because my father and brother had never done a high peak, so I figured this would be a fairly easy one, in that you start out with a long walk before actual climbing comes into play. This was nice for me also because it gave us all time to slowly warm up. We arrived at the lower Ausable lake (dam)  at 8:50am, we all had a drink and shed some cloths then continued on up the trail. When we arrived at the water fall I was truly amazed. This was a very relaxing and beautiful site. I could have easily taken a nap here, and enjoyed the sounds the waterfall made. We were about halfway up from the lake when I turned around and looked down at my Dad and brother, both completely out of breath and Derek and I were hardly breathing. My dad stopped and said "gees, you guess aren't even huffing", Derek and I looked at each other and at the same time and asked if he wanted us to slow down. We arrived at the junction with the trail that goes left to Sawteeth and right towards Pyramid at 11:30am. I thought we were making good time, and I also thought this would be a nice place to pitch a tent if it was legal; it was a nice place with nice views. We took some pictures and had a few sips of water and continued our final push up to Sawteeth. The summit of Sawteeth was reached at 12:30pm; we all enjoyed our rest, had lunch and took many pictures. There was another man at the peak that took a picture of all of us, this we have framed in all of our houses, dad placed his in the family room of his house, how appropriate. We arrived at the trail head at 4:52pm and were out of woods, it was a beautiful day. Pictures

Craig

Craig

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.

Craig

Craig

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.

Craig

Craig

Colvin and Blake Peaks

Decided to take the day off and try, for a third time at these peaks. My son was also off, from school, and I just needed a reason to not go to work. I had tried these peaks on two other occasions, both times I didn't make it pass the Nippletop/Colvin junction. That would not be the case today. We signed in at the gate house at 6:45am, there was only one other hiker that signed in ahead of us going to Armstrong/Upper Wolfjaw mountains. Gotta love the Lake road trek. Its really easy to navigate and there is usually a fair amount of wildlife to see right from the road. At the begining of the road where you sign in you will often see deer, then further up at the small dam on the left there is usually a bunch of rainbow trout in the pool. We arrived at the Gill Brook shortcut trail at 0800 and meander our way up the trail. This is a very pretty trail as it winds it way up to the junction if skirts the brook. Arrived the Nip/Colvin junction at 10am. From here is a fairly short jaunt to the summit of Colvin at 1130. Just below the summit is a tricky section that requires some stretching (at least for short people). We took a break on the summit, enjoyed the views and headed off to Blake. The trail over to Blake was worse than what I had expected and read about, seriously wish there was some ladders in there. From the col up to Blake summit was pretty steep also, what seemed most discouraging was the elevation loss, you think your hiking two mountains when in reality its 3. Colvin twice (once from each direction), and Blake. One of the most memorable moment of this hike was the two good Samaritans we ran into 3/4 the way up Blake. I was not feeling very well and asked them to stick with us until we all got back to the Nip/Colvin junction. They agreed and also helped me with my issues. This was kind of ironic since one of the other two hikers began having issues as well. We all agreed to stick together till we got back to the trailhead. It was a good day of team work, and we met some really cool hikers. We got back to the gate house at 6pm. Trails were in pretty good shape. Very little ice mostly on the north face sections, not enough to need microspikes, and this was predominately above 3500'.

Craig

Craig

Lyon Mountain

Took a hike up Lyon Mt today with great company, and earn the hike towards the winter Adirondack fire tower challenge. My son had mentioned he'd like to hike this gem at some point, and I needed no further excuse to take the time and oblige him.

The forecast wasn't to be a bluebird day, but it also wasn't going to be brutally cold, or to warm either. The previous warm weather we had created a lot of snow melt. That along with some who hiked during that time without snowshoes did a fair amount of damage to the trail.

We were able to drive all the way up to the trail-head without any problem, it did require 4 wheel drive though. The road was in good shape with about 6 inches of new snow, and there was no blow down so it made for a good passage.

When we arrived at the trail-head there was about 4-6 inches that had fallen over night. That accumulation increased to about 8 inches on the summit. The light fluffy unconsolidated snow covered the snow spine of the trail, and the post holes. Going up was a lot better than going down. We wore snowshoes the entire way. With the continued cold tempts this weekend hopefully others will do the same.

We took the new trail up which made for a nice 6-7 mile round trip hike.

Only Dingo came with us today as Hattie and Misty are both on the side line as they recover from knee surgery in August, and more recently the other has a lacerated paw pad. So today was a boys day out.

We started at 9:05am took our sweet time reaching the summit at 12:45. We were back at the truck at 3:05pm.  

Craig

Craig

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