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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.
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.