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Found 10 results

  1. Craig

    Mt. Jo

    This is a nice little hike. You can do the loop hike or as we did up and down same shorter route. The loop trip is a nice way to go down, nice and easy grade. The trail head is off Heart Lake at the Adirondac Loj which is at the end of the Adirondack Loj Rd, which is the first right after the ski jumps coming from Lake Placid. The trail descends gently from Adirondack Loj Rd down to a road next to Heart Lake. Turn right for 60 yards. and the true start of the trail to Mt. Jo. After 1/4 mile of climb, there is a junction. The Short Trail goes right while the Long trail goes straight. We took the Short Trail, its steeper and rougher. The trails meet just before the summit, so you have options going up and down. Total distance 1.1 mi. or 1.3 mi. depending on which trail is taken. 2.6 miles round trip, Elevation is about 2876’
  2. A group of us planned this hike one year for a New Year eve hike. I don't think any of us made the true summit. I realized this when I hiked this as I went a lot further than we did that night. It's a mostly moderate, 1.2 mile hike to the first summit. It begins at a moderate grade as it passes under a power line, then there's a continuous climb over switchbacks for 0.8 mile, where the Beede Farm Trail comes in on the left. Going straight and work your way up a few steep steps to the first open rock. This first lookout is not the summit — that's a bit farther along the ridge. Past the summit, a lesser-used trail descends to Beede Road in Keene Valley. 2.4 miles round trip 770 feet of elevation gain
  3. I had hiked this for the first time with Cindy and Jim, eventually going back and hiking with my son. From the beginning the hike is along an old jeep road through conifers and eventually hardwoods once you get down near the marsh. The trail is overgrown to the width of a foot trail. The trail used to continue straight, where what is now under water, even in the dead of winter I wouldn't recommend going across the frozen marsh. The three of us did, and one of us broke through, which brought the hike to an end that day. The trail has been rerouted to the left to the side of the marsh eventually crosses along the bottom. Going left you will cross over a couple small brook crossings the trail continues straight through it for about 300 feet. The trail becomes very pleasant and soon climbs moderately. After swinging right and then through an attractive draw between rocky areas you will make the final approach to the summit. The first view you come to is not the summit, just beyond is the true summit and the best view. You will be atop a rocky ledge with the High Peaks Region right in front of you. 4.4 miles round trip Elevation gain of 837’
  4. I had previously hiked Nun-da-ga-o Ridge and Weston Mountains in a counterclockwise direction, a few years ago. During that trip, I had hoped to hike the Crows as well, but I was running late with time. So a trip back was in order, and I had a beautiful day to hike as well. On my previous trip I had brought my dog Dingo, so he accompanied me today too. We arrived at the trail-head at the end of the O'Toole Rd at Crow Clearing at 08:50 and were soon on the trail. Overall this is a short hike out and back. I logged about .8 miles from the parking area to the summit of Big Crow. Some areas of the trail are steep, but short-lived sections. The summit of Big Crow is at 2,815 feet. There were many views along the way to the summit. The summit itself has some wonderful views of the Adirondacks high peaks, Pitchoff mountains, and many others. The trail continues, dropping down to Little Crow and ultimately to Hurricane Road. I opted to return from Little Crow by going back to the Crow Clearing via Big Crow. On the trip back I enjoyed the summit of Big Crow to myself for almost an hour. Start time 08:56 Finished time 11:54 Total distance 2.3 miles round trip 2.58.37 elapsed time 0.8 average speed
  5. 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.
  6. The last time I hiked this mountain was in 2007 with my wife. At that time there was no parking lot at trail head, you would have to park along the side of the road. Now with the parking lot it is safer for hikers to park and enter/exit their vehicles. Today the parking lot was full when I got done with my hike, and there were several cars parked on the shoulder of the Forestdale rd. I had signed in at the register just after 7am. I would be the first hiker on the trail this morning. It was a brisk morning at 35 degrees so It didn’t take me long to get moving. The trail leading in from the register is now a wide trail (wide enough to drive a 4 wheeler down), at least up to the point of a gate that leads to private property. Twelve years ago it was a nice narrow winding path that was soft underfoot. It appeared to me as I continued up there has also been several re-routes of the trail, and a fair amount of trail work as well, including a few switchbacks. The trail is easy enough to follow and a gradual climb up to just past the second brook crossing. From the second brook crossing the trail begins to gain more in elevation, ultimately becoming steadier uphill climb. The trail now skirts out onto a ledge providing some nice views of the valley, along with the backside of Whiteface Mountain. I don’t recall this section from my previous climb. After a few scrambles up some short steeper sections you come to the infamous "chimney". The trail goes right up through it. There are several places to use for handholds and help pull you up through. Once on top of the chimney you are awarded with some beautiful views. From this point there is a fair amount of scrambling up steep rock until you get to the bump below the summit. From this point it is about .4 miles to the summit. I took a little break at the bump and had a snack, and just enjoyed the views before I continued on. It was absolutely perfect day for climbing. The temperature when I left the car was 35 degrees and by now it was probably in the low 40’s, no wind, and blue skies. After about a 20 minute break I continued up, but not before dropping down into a small grove of softwoods, going up and over several rocks before coming back out onto the ledges of Catamount. The trail is easy enough to follow, even when out on the rock ledges, just need to pay attention to posted trail signs (sparse in some areas), and just looking for worn rock. You can see scrape marks from winter hikers that leave them from wearing traction devices. On that note, this hike would be even more of a challenge in the winter. A short while later I was on the summit, alone. I would enjoy the summit to myself for over an hour. In fact I would not see another hiker until I was back down in the small grove of softwoods. On the hike out I ran into several groups of people making their way up and enjoying this beautiful day. The hike down took me almost as long as it did going up. There is a lot of loose rock, stones that give way under foot. Once I got down to the first brook crossing I was able to pick up speed and was back at the car for noon. My Track;
  7. 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.
  8. Craig

    Cobble Hill

    Took my first hike up Cobble Hill in Lake Placid today. I went in via the school, taking the sidewalk from Mirror Lake Drive up to the point of the “temporary” trail entrance from the school property. I could have also taken the Mount Whitney Road access as well as it was just footsteps away from Mirror Lake Drive on the right. In any event, I opted for the alternative Cobble access from the school for no other reason than it is where I was dropped off. I did not want to worry about trying to find a place to park, so I had my wife drop me off at the school entrance. The trail is easy to follow, even with all the blocked routes and new routes. It is an uneventful hike as it meanders up to the base of the rocky outcrop. From here, it is steeper and someone has placed a rope between trees to help you up. I would recommend not using it because it has been outside in the weather, and if it fails when being used, someone could take a good fall. I took my time going up the scramble, once at the top there are some nice views of Lake Placid, with the high school being most prominent. From the top of the scramble it is a short walk to the junction of the trail coming up from Echo Pond (reported to be less steep), then shortly after the summit of Cobble Hill. The summit offers some nice views of some of the high peaks, and the golf course in the foreground.
  9. I had wanted to hike Pitchoff Mountain for quite some time. I must admit I did not think clearly when I picked this weekend to hike it. Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times in the High Peaks area, and I really did not want to add to that problem, but I did. While I was driving to the trailhead parking area I made a decision, if I could not find a place to park, I would just return home. I really did not have a plan B today. I was somewhat surprised to find open parking spaces. I arrived at the parking area just after 6 am. The main parking area for Cascade and Pitchoff mountains was full, so I did have to park in one of the other parking areas just west of the main area. Even those were filling up fast. It added less than a 10th of a mile walking distance, no big deal. I signed in on the west end trailhead and was soon on my way, it was 6:15. A nice crisp morning with clear blue skies, perfect. The trail starts out rough for us short-legged humans. The steps up from the road have a significant rise to them, but we made it. The first part of the trail is rough looking and unnecessarily wide. This is a clear sign of overuse, and people just not staying on the trail. This would be prevalent in a few other areas as well, making it hard to follow the actual trail. The trail immediately starts to climb up until the ridge that it follows. There are some neat lookouts along the way offering views of Cascade Mountain, and Cascade Lake below. It was awhile before I got up in elevation enough, and away from the road before I could no longer hear the traffic passing by below. There are sections of this trail that I liked. I knew there was a steep section, was not exactly sure when or where to expect it, but knew it was before the Balanced Rock side trail. I think it was just past the third lookout before I came to the first scramble. This was fun! It was not a typical monotonous trail; this trail had some cool features to it. Once I got above the first scramble the trail skirts around to the left a bit before it brings you to the next scramble. I call it a scramble, in fact, I counted four total, perhaps they are not technically scrambling per se, but they make you work to get up them. I continued around to the left with several ups and downs, eventually making my way to what turned out to be the last scramble before the junction on the ridge. Each scramble was short-lived but definitely got the blood pumping. Soon I was on the ridge and made my way to the Balanced Rocks, lookout. Here I would take a little break, enjoy the views. I spent about 20 minutes relaxing in the sun, spying hikers on top of Cascade Mountain. I eventually packed up and started towards my destination, Pitchoff Mountain. I ran into the first hikers heading towards Balanced Rocks. I did not see them again so they apparently only hiked for those views. The trail over to Pitchoff is nothing like the trail below the ridge. There are some ups and downs, but nothing as long-lasting as the scrambles. There are still a few more views along the ridge walk to Pitchoff, but literally no views from the actual summit. Just beyond the summit on the right was a lookout that offered some views as well. I had arrived at the summit at 10:26. I only stayed for a few minutes before heading down. I passed several couples that were upbound and had a nice conversation with a hiker at the bottom of one of the scrambles. Always nice to meet those who truly enjoy and respect the outdoors. I logged just under 3.5 miles roundtrip and 1350’ of elevation gain.
  10. I had a mid-week day off, on purpose, to avoid the crowds. While I wait for the High Peaks to become less crowded, I want to work on my endurance and strength so when I can hike the high peaks, I will be somewhat ready. My wife and I decided on Bear Den Mountain today. It was actually our plan-b as we originally were planning to hike Cobble Hill Lookout. However, when we arrived at the trailhead for Cobble Hill, signage stated the trail is closed, due to COVID. Not sure the story on that, but will look into it. We arrived at the trailhead for Bear Den Mountain around 7:30 am. It was a bit of a challenge finding the actual trailhead and sign in, but with the help of a construction worker, we were able to locate it. It is on the north side of the parking lot but is elusive as the signage is poor. We eventually found the register and we soon signed in and were on our way. The trail starts out easily enough. It is worth noting the trail is a shared trail with mountain bikes for a little way, about 6/10ths of a mile (just passed the second marked intersection). You will know when because the signs will point you towards Bear Den Mountain, and you soon leave the shared trail and begin to climb. The trail is easy enough to follow and is well marked. It looks like there has been a fair amount of foot traffic on the trail as it shows the stresses of heavy use. I suspect that there is a large influx on the lesser trails as people try to avoid the crowded more popular trails. Bear Den is one of those overlooked trails and is quite beautiful and rewarding. We follow along a stream on our right for about 4/10the of a mile as we meander up, eventually veering away from it as the trail begins to switchback upward. The last half-mile or so of the trail moderately steepens and is slippery until you top out on the col below Bear Den Mountain. From the col it is about a tenth of a mile before you come to the rocky outcropping of the summit of Bear Den, don’t be fooled thinking the first view is the summit. Keep following the trail, as you will come out again on a second outcropping. The trail eventually fizzles out from here. The views are quite spectacular and there is plenty of space to layout on the rocks and enjoy the views. We enjoyed the peak for about a half-hour before we made our way back down. I logged 4.5 miles round trip Ascent 1300 Feet
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