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Found 23 results

  1. Craig

    Kane Mountain

    Kane mountain is one of the Adirondack mountains that has a fire tower on it. It is also part of the ADK fire tower challenge. It is an out of the way mountain and was quite a drive to get to, it would take me just under 3 hours from the house. We had left the house a little after 6 am, knowing we had quite a drive to get to it. For the most part, it was a straight shot down the interstate to exit 26, from there it was several secondary roads. We did pass through some very nice parts of New York state, places I had never been through before. We arrived at the road that leads to the trailhead, Green Lake Road. It is located off of County Route 10 in Canada Lake. I did not see any signage out on County Route 10 that mentions the mountain trail, which is not typical for a New York State trail, usually, it is well marked. As we drove down the Green Lake Road, if I hadn't known any better we were in the wrong area as the road leading to the trailhead is a very narrow road along the pond. There was signage further down that pointed us to take a left to the trailhead. The parking area at the trailhead is decently sized. We arrived at the parking area for the trailhead around 9:30 and were soon signed in and on our way up. The trail is divided into two routes. There is the north trail which leads further east northeast towards Pine Lake and the east trail. We could have done the loop and made it a nice 2-mile hike, but we opted for the shorter hike and went up and back on the east trail. This section of the trail is an old tote road that the trail follows. Easy enough to follow and the grade is gradual the entire way. It was mostly through open hardwoods, with a small patch of softwoods. This made for a noisy hike with all the leaves underfoot. We would meet two sets of downbound hikers as we made our way up. Arriving at the summit just after 10:00, we had the summit to ourselves for over an hour. Enjoying the views and did some exploring, had an early lunch, and took a few pictures. On our trip back down we ran into 3 small groups of upbound hikers. We arrived back at the truck around 12:30 after a beautiful walkabout.
  2. A beautiful day to be in the woods, and it was well over due. A 6.6 mile round trip through some open hardwoods, and some spectacular views. St. Regis mountain. is reportedly a popular mountain, but today there wasn't much traffic when I started. This hike is much like the hike to Scarface, a gradual increase with a short difficult section towards the end, but neither are overly difficult. I guess this is what makes these hikes popular. The trail is easy enough to follow up and over rolling hills through a mix of soft and hardwoods. Towards the end of the trail you will come to a sharp right, at which point the climbing really begins, for only about a 1/4 mile. This section is almost like a chute as you go up between crags, ultimately coming out to a gradual incline before coming out to the somewhat bare summit and tower. You'll be greeted with fantastic views of surrounding lakes and mountains. To get to the trail-head you'll head westerly off Route 30 in Paul Smiths, immediately north of the entrance to Paul Smiths College on the left is Keese Mills Rd. From there travel 2.5 miles to the parking area which is on the left. By foot, cross over the bridge and follow the access road to the trail-head that's a short distance on the right. The fire tower has recently been renovated. St Regis has an elevation of 2,874 feet. The hike itself has an approximate gain of 1,250 feet. I clocked 4.9 miles round trip. For winter season with Derek.
  3. A nice mountain with a fire tower that is starting to be restored. At an elevation of 3,694-foot near Keene north of the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. The trail from route 9N was drastically rerouted since I last hiked this. This is an open peak which now has some pretty awesome views with the new re-route of the trail, whereas before the re-route you were in the trees until you scuttled up the rocks just before the summit. During the summer and fall of 2014 the trail was almost completely relocated to avoid all of the steepest and most eroded sections. The hike to the summit is now 3.4 miles, 0.8 mile longer than before, a much more enjoyable hike. The trail leaves the north side of Route 9N 3.5 miles east of the junction of Route 9N/73. and climbs via new switchbacks to a first view at 0.4 miles, levels out, crosses a series of bridges across beaver swamps, an then resumes climbing, soon going left from the old trail. At 2.8 miles the trail comes to a ledge with a view ahead of the tower on the summit. The tower looks further away than it actually is, and after a second ledge at 2.9 miles the grade eases to a junction with the trail from Crow Clearing, coming in from the left at 3.2 miles. On the descent make sure everyone in the group makes the left turn at this junction. Past this junction, the trail is levels briefly before beginning the final rocky scramble to the summit at 3.4 miles. Round trip 5.2 miles Elevation gain: 2,000'
  4. May 7, 2014 A beautiful day to be in the woods, and it was well over due. A 6.6 mile round trip through some open hardwoods, and some spectacular views. Saint Regis is reportedly a popular mountain, but today there wasn't much traffic when I started. This hike is much like the hike to Scarface, a gradual increase with a short difficult section towards the end, but neither are overly difficult. I guess this is what makes these hikes popular. The trail is easy enough to follow up and over rolling hills through a mix of soft and hardwoods. Towards the end of the trail you will come to a sharp right, at which point the climbing really begins, for only about a 1/4 mile. This section is almost like a chute as you go up between crags, ultimately coming out to a gradual incline before coming out to the somewhat bare summit and tower. You'll be greeted with fantastic views of surrounding lakes and mountains. To get to the trail-head you'll head westerly off Route 30 in Paul Smiths, immediately north of the entrance to Paul Smiths College on the left is Keese Mills Rd. From there travel 2.5 miles to the parking area which is on the left. By foot, cross over the bridge and follow the access road to the trail-head that's a short distance on the right. The fire tower has recently been renovated. St Regis has an elevation of 2,874 feet. The hike itself has an approximate gain of 1,250 feet. I clocked 4.9 miles round trip.
  5. Snowy mountain is part of the Adirondack fire tower challenge. We had previously attempted this hike just over three years ago but turned back just shy of the summit (or so I thought) due to time constraints. For a lesser peak, this is certainly a rugged hike. The first two miles are a very pleasant hike, that ends quickly as I gained over 1500' in elevation in the last mile and a half. Snowy mountain trailhead is off Route 30 just southwest of the hamlet of Indian Lake. The state has done well with the trailhead parking and has made for a nice wide area that can hold a fair amount of cars. That said, I suspect this is a busy trail in the summer months. I had left the house at 4:30 am to make the 2-hour drive south. I had given thought to traveling down the night before and spending the night to allow me the option to sleep in but opted to just do the drive, arriving at the parking lot almost exactly two hours later. I quickly packed up and was soon on my way under headlamp. There was already one couple ahead of me that I would eventually meet up with on their way down. The first 2 miles of the trail is a nice hike in, passing through a mixture of hardwoods and pine, and crossing over several streams with some small ups and downs. The first time we had hiked this the trail became quite wet about a mile in, and this would hold true today as well, in fact, the last mile of vertical climbing is quite steep and follows a drainage line up, making for a wet hike. My previous attempt was in the winter so it was quite icy at that time. The last mile and a half of the trail are steep and this is where I made up the elevation. Going up slowed me down quite a bit (going down would not be much faster in the steep section). Once I got to the top of the drainage I had thought I reached the top of the hike, not yet. On our previous attempt, we had turned around before this section. The trail eased a bit from the drainage before I came to a headwall, once I got above this I found myself on a partially open ledge. Not the summit yet, but a nice area to catch my breath. There would be no views today with the low hanging clouds, but I can't help but think the views of Indian Lake and surrounding mountains would be beautiful. After a quick break, I made my final push and continued on up to the fire tower. While there would be no views I still wanted to climb the tower. I was hoping the clouds would have opened up a bit to offer some views, but that wouldn't happen until I was almost back at the car later in the day. Started: 6:30 AM Trip Time: 8:41:00 Dist. Traveled: 7.21 mi Average Speed: 0.83 mph Max. Speed: 3.74 mph Max. Elevation: 4026 ft
  6. Craig

    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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Well, I figured since I couldn't make the meet up hike on January 16th with a group from ADK Fire Tower page, and I really didn't want to get out of a nice warm bed on the 15th, today was the day to do something. I have been working some odd shifts at work this week and it has allowed me time off during the week to hike with my son, who was also off today as well, so it was a win-win situation. The trail-head to Spruce Mt. was easy enough to get to. Its about a 2.5 hour ride from Plattsburgh. The forecast was for overcast to partly cloudy today, with little to no breeze. The temps were expected to be around 40 degrees, which is crazy for January weather. The trail was a hard pack all the way to the top. We gave the snowshoes a free ride and wore micro-spikes the entire way with no issues, I suspect that will change as this week is going to be unusually warm for this time of year. The trail was easy to follow, and was an easy incline the entire way. We left the truck at 10:30 and took our time, arriving at noon. A quick 30 minutes and we were back at the truck.
  12. 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.😊
  13. 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.
  14. 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) .
  15. 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.
  16. I had actually planned to hike Bald Mountain today, but a lack of sleep and a late rise left me with fewer options. I had given thought of doing absolutely nothing today, as it was about 10:30 before I even got dressed. Poke-O-Moonshine is a nearby hike for me, about 20 miles south of Plattsburgh. I have hike this mountain many times from the original trail off the former campground. While that is a direct route, it is a somewhat steep climb right off the start. In 2008 DEC created a new trail to the summit, which is not as steep but is a longer hike at 2.4 mile one way. I opted for this route as I had not climbed Poko in that direction. It is a pleasant hike with gradual terrain. Most of this route is an old jeep trail, so that in and of itself should tell you that it is not overly steep. I had Dingo and Misty with me today on this hike. We arrived at the trail-head without another vehicle in site. I was excited about this because I like to allow the dogs to run free as long as we are alone. We would not see another hiker until just above the former cabin foundation. There was a very pleasant couple that had hiked up the original trail, and were on there way back down. From the trail-head to the summit it took me about an hour and a half. I, as always take my time going up, enjoying the hike and taking many pictures along the way. This new route offered a variety of views from bogs to open ledges that provided a nice panoramic view. I bet this route would be a blast to snowshoe in the winter.
  17. Loon Lake mountain is reported not to see a lot of foot traffic, and therefor seldom mentioned. I think this has changed this year, as I have seen a lot of trip reports recently on this hike, and it is a beauty of a hike too. The information at http://www.cnyhiking.com states the hike is just under 6 miles round trip. The entire hike is an easy grade, except for the last mile which is where you gain alot of the 1651 feet of elevation in the hike. The trail climbs a total of 1200 feet in that last mile. It may be daunting for some, but it makes for some great butt sliding on the way down in the winter. The trail was easy enough to follow, one needs to just pay attention at the various intersections along the way. As I said earlier its a gradual elevation gain until you cross over the last foot bridge. Along the way we seen either old deer rubs or moose. It was also kind of neat to still see the old telco poles that I assume brought either phone or the ability for telematic communication to the tower. As of today the trail is packed out nicely with the traffic it has seen, and hikers wearing their snowshoes. We wore snowshoes the entire way. We started at 9am and took our time arriving at the summit just before noon. The trip out is always faster, especially when you can butt slide down. We were back at the truck just before 2pm.
  18. 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.
  19. This is a very nice family oriented hike if you're in the Tupper Lake area. This mountain along with Mt. Coney and Goodman Mt. make up the Tupper Lake Triad, it's also one for the New York State Fire Tower challenge. I hadn't really hiked all summer, except for Little Haystack Mt in Buck Pond campground. I wanted something on the easy side to get me back into the groove, but also to see how Misty would do. She did great as expected. This a short hike at 1 mile to the summit, over a very gradual incline. When I arrived to the trail head it was about 10am. The parking lot was full. I suspect this is a very popular hike since it is so close to Tupper Lake, and easy climbing to the summit. As I said, the trail is well marked, and taken care of. There has been a lot of drainage work done and that has especially helped with the trail conditions. I was surprised at the amount of work done to the trail, and maintenance done, all from the work of the group "Friends of Mt. Arab". Misty and Dingo agreed, they too enjoyed the hike. There was a care taker, or summit steward at the cabin. It was obvious he had alot of educational material on the Summit, the restoration project, and the organization that takes care of it. I recommend a visit.
  20. 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
  21. I decided to take an early morning hike up Poke-O-Moonshine mountain. I'm not one to typically hike in the summer as I generally spend my summer months camping, and going on shorter walkabouts. However, the mornings have been really unseasonable cooler these last few days so I opted to get a hike in. I hadn't hiked Poke-O in awhile and wanted something nearby. I was on the trail at 06:28 with a nice cool temperature of 58 degrees, zero bugs. Perfect hiking weather under a blue sky. The trip from the new trail head is just over 4 miles round trip (4.1). We took our time and enjoyed the cool, shady, and quiet trail. My GPS logged 2275 max elevation. My total trip time which included my break on the summit and a few in between was 3:24. That number is subjective as everyone hikes differently. But it gives a general time frame. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of trail maintenance work that has since been completed. There was some trail hardening done in a few areas, added stairs that were new, and it seems like a couple of reroutes that occurred as well. Thankful for the work of the trail crews. Misty and I enjoyed a half hour on the summit to ourselves before heading back down. The only item that stood out for me was the wooden stairs just below the summit. While the intent is to help with erosion and hikers, the tread spacing is not convenient, may even be dangerous. While I navigated them on my way up, I couldn't help but remember Jerry Lewis, the actor, as I stumbled and tripped my way up. The rise of each step is no more that 3 inches which makes it difficult to use. Still a great day with excellent views.
  22. Decided to return to an old favorite that is conveniently nearby, about 30 minutes drive. The forecast was to be a Bluebird day, and the weather did not disappoint. I was out the door a bit after 6am, made a stop for gas and were soon on my way. I had decided today that I would not take my pups as I had a feeling the trail was going to be crowded. I eventually arrived at the parking area a little after 7am. I rather quickly grabbed my pack and was soon signed in and headed up. The trail up is pretty easy to follow, just need to pay attention to where you are going, as there are several switchbacks and some of them you could walk straight off into the woods if your not paying attention. One of the key things to hiking is carrying a map and compass, know how to use them, and pay attention to the trail. This time of year could be a challenge with all the leaves that are falling and covering up the trail. I'll explain later why I added something so obvious. The trail is in pretty good shape, very few muddy areas, and a few areas where the trail has running water. In most places you can rock hop right through the mud and water, and in a few areas you just have to hike right up through it. By avoiding walking around the mud and water you will prevent the trail from widening, and mitigate further erosion from the foot traffic. There was a young couple that had arrived before me and I eventually met up with them just below the summit.They were on their way back down. I stopped and chatted a bit and was happy to find out the wind was not that bad on the summit. Lyon mountain has a tendency to be windy, I have always had a blustery time up there. I enjoyed the summit to myself for a good half hour or more, before 4 young men from Montreal arrived. They had traveled down for the day, and this was there first trip to the Adirondacks. We exchanged pleasantries and chatted for a bit, it was nice to see the look on there faces when I pointed out the city of Montreal was visible from there, you could even see the high rises reflecting in the sun. As I was leaving there was a couple in the fire tower as I passed by on my way down. I would eventually meet several people making there way up to the top. I stopped counting the hikers on the trail when I hit 50, and there were about 15 canine companions total as well. It was nice to see most of the hikers had there pups on a leash. It was a busy day today, and the parking area was over flowing with cars as well. I mention earlier about carrying a compass, map, being prepared, etc earlier. I say that because every year there are usually 2 or 3 cases on Lyon Mountain alone where people get lost, caught in the dark, hurt, etc. That plays a huge toll on local fire and ems, that are made up mostly of volunteers. While they enjoy serving there community, some of these incidents, if not most are avoidable if only people were better prepared for their hike. Of those 50 plus hikers I met on the way back down, half had backpacks, most had nothing with them (water, food). Take a few extra minutes and prepare, read up on your hike, know your limits. Enjoy nature, but don't be a statistic.
  23. I had climbed Hurricane several times before today, each time previously was in the winter or late fall. The forecast today was to be a bluebird day, with highs in the upper 70's. It was 56 degrees when I left my house at 4am. It was quite cool with a steady breeze at 5:15 when I signed the trailhead registry. I had other things planned today so I needed to get an early start. There is something very relaxing about being in the woods as all the critters begin to wake from their slumber. We often go to the forest for peace and quiet, yet if you get there very early when everything is still asleep, it is very quiet, yet as the new days starts it gets very noisy with the chirping of birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. I did not have to wear my headlamp very long before I was able to move along at a good pace without it. I soon found myself at the first set of boardwalks. There is something neat about boardwalks, other than helping keep your feet dry. There are several sections on this trail with them; some take you right over running water, and through bogs. Just after the last bog I entered back into the woods to a nice surprise, something caught my eye. Up on the trail ahead of me was a porcupine waddling along, possibly looking for food. I immediately felt relief that I did not bring any of my dogs on this hike. A small disaster averted. I slowed my pace, started talking to him as he continued up the trail, eventually stepped off allowing me to pass. The trail continues along at a gradual incline passing through a mixture of hard and softwoods. Eventually coming into several areas of wild raspberry brambles. I would meander through these on my way back down. The air was still cool, and it really brought out the sweet smell of balsam as I passed through several air pockets with its sweet smell. If only this scent could be bottled. I soon found myself on the ledges where the trail pops out onto a craggy outcropping. This view provides glimpses of the destination, the fire tower. It also provides a wonderful view of the lesser peaks in the foreground, and the high peaks in the distance, most prominently the Giant of the valley. I also took a small break here and enjoyed the views and sun on my face. I eventually continued on my way and was soon at the junction with the trail that leads up from the O’toole road trailhead for the Crows, Soda range, and Weston mountains. There is another trailhead at the end of Hurricane road, but I have never used it. From here, it is a quick jaunt to the rocky scramble leading up to the fire tower. Once out on the rocks above the trees the wind was steady. It felt cool given the temperatures were probably in the sixties, but also refreshing. This is the first time I was able to go into this fire tower. All the previous hikes up Hurricane Mountain the tower had been under renovation. Therefore, this was a real treat, even though I have been in several other fire towers, it is just neat trying new ones. I arrived at the tower at 8:17. After several pictures from the tower and around it, I had a quick snack, and soon started my way back down. I really took my time, enjoying the views, the fresh raspberries, and the cordial greetings from up bound hikers. I was surprised at the amount of hikers seen on a weekday. The majority wore or had masks on them as we passed each other. I eventually arrived back at the register and car around 10:45. This was the longest hike since my surgeries. I traveled around 6 miles round trip, 1977' of elevation gain, carrying my full pack. I felt my energy level to be that of what it was last fall.
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