One of the hardest things about trying to find hiking partners, is finding ones who have days off during the week. This week in particular I couldn't talk anyone into taking the day off to join in on this interesting adventure, so I would go it alone. I don't typically hike solo, but once in a while it can be quite freeing.
On an important not when I do hike by myself I always leave an itinerary with someone at home which includes a detailed map of where I will be — in fact, I also do the same when I hike in a group.
I found myself with Jerod and Melissa once again hiking in the Indian Lake Region, but this time on three somewhat secluded peaks that I have been eyeballing for some time. However, seeing them from Route 28 and studying their topography they led me to believe we would end up with nothing stellar to talk about, but the facts changed and one became a great find.
Nature enthusiasts will have their eyes on the ground this summer.
On April 1, officials with the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced a new plan — the Adirondack Scat Challenge — to inspire more people to get outside and experience nature.
According to DEC Commissioner of Challenges Dirk Dingleberry, the challenge will begin this summer, which he said will forever go down as the season of excretion.
A warm day was a-brewin' as we set out for our first adventure on the south side of the Hudson River. We had been scoping out Casey and P Gay mountains for some time, and if I had anything to do with it we'd also venture over to Bell Mountain to finish off the day. Of course, we would have to see how the legs were holding up at that point.
Starbuck and Harris Rift Mountains
Arriving about a week and a half later to the same region, we found ourselves attracted to Starbuck and Harris Rift mountains. Some of this would tread through the woods and bring us over new additions to the Hudson River Gorge Primitive Area — a bit in the beginning, middle, and end.
Owls Head, always a fun trail
I think my curiosity to find cool and interesting stuff wins over more often than not, kind of like my lack of self-control when it comes to baked goods, but I like to think that exploring and hiking is a bit better for my waistline. Corenne and I planned on a different trip for this day, and were supposed to meet up with a friend in Lake Pleasant for Hamilton Mountain, but we must have turned off the alarm in our sleep because we didn't wake up until it was too late, so we had to postpone.
Its official, well it's been official for some time now, but both Pisgah mountains are on state land and have become a welcome part of the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area. Big Pisgah Mountain has been a popular hike for quite some time but what I was unclear on was what Little Pisgah would give us. A few weeks ago, before the first real snowfall of the winter season, Joe, Jim, Allison and I met in Indian Lake to go check it out.
Lewey Mountain is the 69th highest peak in the Adirondack Park on the Adirondack 100-Highest Mountains list of peaks. You can easily find Lewey in Indian Lake because it towers over the lake with the same name. No real definitive trails will get you to the summit of the massive expanse of land, but by following the Sucker Brook Trail from the Lewey Lake Campground you can get pretty darn close.
Little Sawyer and Ledge mountains are true gems in the Hamilton County Region, and quite honestly I might be addicted to their summits. I have been to these two peaks on several occasions but looking back, the fall season was not one of them. With half a day to expend, I headed toward Indian Lake.
The wonders of waters
We had just come off of Indian Lake Mountain - located just over the border into the West Canada Lake Wilderness - where we enjoyed side trips to Muskrat Pond and Squaw Lake along the way. We now set sights on a late afternoon addition, albeit a short addition, but a bit of something extra no less. It was time to jump back in the car and give our leg muscles just enough of a chance to tighten up before we put them to work again. We set our sights on Mount Tom, a 2600' foot peak closer to civilization and much closer to the Moose River Road.
The Moose River Plains is by no means a stranger in my life or the life of my hiking partner Jimbo. However, the part that we would explore today was a bit of a reach for us - we were heading out into the very southern tip of the region and eventually into the West Canada Lake Wilderness. We would visit three back-country water bodies and an obscure mountain just waiting to be explored. Where you may ask?
As you can imagine, four days in the Moose River Plains is only enough time to merely scratch the surface of the possible exploring that can be had there. But on this day I only had a brief amount of time to take in what I could, and I had one particular standalone peak in mind. What I knew for sure is that I wanted to get out and play in the wilderness, so I settled on Fawn Lake Mountain.
Hiking in the Wilds of the Moose River Plains
Can a mountain be delicious? If so, I think Mitchell Ponds Mountain might be a gourmet treat. I mean who knew that this 2400' summit on the outskirts of the Moose River Plains would have such a stellar payoff? Barbara McMartin that's who! I was reading her Guide book to the region and there is was a description of the mountain - I had to go. Now mind you that was some time ago, but today was the time I would actually follow through.
After a day or so contemplating how I would spend my day off, I set my sights on three peaks between Speculator and Wells: Guideboard Hill, Speculator Mountain, and Cutknife Mountain. We had pretty much firmed up plans a week or so earlier for a much harder outing in the High Peaks Region - but recent weather and the call for pea soup humidity changed our focus. This 5-mile traverse would surely be enough for a day's outing where the call for rain was also on the plate of Mother Nature's offerings.
There is a small group of hiking enthusiasts out there whose goal is to climb all the Hamilton County 3000 foot mountains. This is a pretty decent accomplishment considering it's a rather large list to tackle. I wouldn't go as far as to say there's an official list - but a list nonetheless. For the dedicated few, it's an addiction - or sickness could be more like it, one for which I am infected; I mean affected.
I have been exploring the Adirondack backwoods for decades and much of that time has been spent off-trail, through the forest, thick and thin, bushwhacking. I took on the formidable task of bushwhacking the 46 High Peaks, and now I plan to hike all the named peaks in the Adirondack Park. I estimate that are 1725 of them, and most of them don't have trails. I mention this only because I couldn't have done this without first learning about bushwhacking, by starting small and learning as I go and from others with much more experience.
I have a fascination with bushwhacking and exploring something new, and who knows, maybe even previously uncharted. My buddy Jim has been itching to do the 3000 foot peaks in Hamilton County. I guess you could say we are perfect for one another. We found ourselves planning to meet up in Speculator one early morning a couple weeks ago, to set off on another adventure, this time we would find ourselves seeking out Macomber Mountain.
A Raquette Lake Shoreline Adventure
Bluff Point Hill can be found on the northeast shore of Raquette Lake, right on the edge of the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest. It's one of those named peaks that might get overlooked or maybe even ignored by the passing crowd of paddlers and boaters. For me that makes it all that more desirable a peak to visit, my hiking companions and I would surely have a deserted summit to ourselves.
Hiking in Hamilton County
Estelle Mountain lays a simple 1.1 miles off the main corridor heading to and from Raquette Lake, and with such close proximity I just had to head out into the wilderness to see what was up there. I have a unique fascination with topo maps and wanted to get the most out of my day, so seeing that the hike looked to be pretty short, I wanted to play around a bit – if conditions would allow.
Exploring a remote peak in the Siamese Pond Wilderness
Note: Please respect the rights of property owners and stay on the trail — there is no public access to Kings Flow at this time.
Humphrey Mountain, a little of this and a little of that = a great day in the woods
My buddy Jim and I have this crazy obsession with trail-less peaks and we are always looking for new places to explore and new terrain to break trail on. This week our eyes focused on the Indian Lake area, and a particular 3000'+ peak located in the West Canada Lake Wilderness. We focused on Cellar Mountain, no not the 100-highest peak located in the Moose River Plains area, but this one a bit further south near Lewey Lake.