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Dec 9 - NICK STONER GOLF COURSE skiing from end of plowing on Irving Pond Rd. 1 lap on E side of Rts. 10/29A & 2 laps on W side. Good skiing in 2" of powder on thin icy base. Some light drizzle made the powder a bit heavier by the time we finished. 1.8 hours. Lunched at the car then skied the snowmobile trail to IRVING POND & BELLOWS LAKE. On good dirt road to Irving alongside its scenic outlet stream. The dam is out, leaving an interesting open shoreline on the pond. Rougher snowmobile trail to Bellows thru some nice hemlock forest. Skiing better than one would have thought despite some wet spots & rocks. 6 miles, 2.2 hours. Visited Rockwood SF - had 1.5" & did not look good for skiing. Mar 9 - INDIAN HEAD via Lake Rd from Ausable Club in St Huberts. Ski the Lake Rd then snowshoe the final climb up to IH. Best views in the Adirondacks.Mar 5 - TRAMMEL CREEK from the end of plowing on Oak Mountain (aka Bungtown) Rd near Stratford. 6" powder on deep base with some give to it - very nice skiing. Not an official state trail but marked sporadically with orange ribbon. Starts out on a woods road & becomes less distinct when the path gets to the creek. The path crosses the stream many times - skiing on the stream was often easier than sticking to the path. Banks sometimes steep. Got to a beaver pond & large vly within a third of a mile of Jerseyfield Rd. 8.5 miles, 4.8 hours. Improve the glide of "No-wax" skis - Nehasane uses Swix F4 Universal which can be corked or ironed into ski base ahead of & behind the kick zone. Tour the backcountry with Fischer S-Bound skis.
Mar 3 - GOOD LUCK MOUNTAIN CLIFFS from Rt.10. Dexter Lake snowmobile trail to past the register then off-trail up the NE side of the mountain climbing moderately at first then steeply cutting switchbacks (climbing skins helped), nice view of the W Br Sacandaga valley along the way. Picked up the hiking trail just below the cliffs & side-stepped the final steep pitch. Gain of 650' from start. From the cliffs there is a great view across Spectacle Lake to the hills S of the Mohawk Valley & W to Hedgehog Mountain & the hills in the Jerseyfield area. Dropped down to the W then N skirting some cliffs but with wide-open woods most of the way, much fun! Crossed the snowmobile trail & off-trail over to State Brook (flows E) which we followed upstream to the W, some beaver ponds along the way. Reached Hart Vly Stream (flows W) then back down State Brook further downstream. Spent most of time off-trail - 3-4" powder on good base, excellent skiing; groomed snowmobile trail had a hint of iciness to it. 7.3 miles, 4.8 hours.
Mar 2 - LITTLE POND & PORCUPINE LOOKOUT from Rt.9, Green Mountain NF, Woodford, VT. 2"powder on somewhat breakable crust over deep base made for very good skiing. Appalachian/Long Trail. 9.3 miles, 5 hours.
Feb 26 - HEDGEHOG MOUNTAIN from Curtis, N of Salisbury just outside the SW Adks. Intended to ski something off Jerseyfield Road but the road was only plowed 3+ miles N of Curtis. Lots of old logging roads in the area. Road plowed for short distance E of Curtis, unplowed road goes past some camps. Bushwhacked around the N side of top of Hedgehog (more hill than mountain) to unplowed James Rd. Wanted to take it N to Kettle Beaver but the route was gated & had many posted signs. Skied S to Woods Corner instead then returned. Excellent skiing on 5" of fresh powder on good deep base - breaking trail was practically effortless. Map. 4 hours.
Feb 24 - PINNACLE CREEK from end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. 2' of snow. Morning radar showed a narrow band of lake-effect snow along the Fulton/Hamilton county line. Blue trail to County Line Lake goes along an old woods road for a couple of miles. 1" new powder in tracked hard-packed icy trail at start, powder increasing as I headed NNW. When the trail crossed the W branch at about 2 miles I continued off-trail NNW to the W of Panther Mtn following the drainage. After gaining 500' from start turned around when things started to get steeper but nice skiing here with 3" powder on slightly crunchy base with just a bit of give. Explored the nearby vly, delightful skiing with 4" powder, good view of Pigeon Mtn, gusty wind. Side-trip off-trail (but tracked) up the E branch to another vly. Good to very good skiing, best out of tracks. Snowing much of the time, sun came out whenever snow stopped. Stream crossings good. 3.5 hours.
Feb 23 - MINNEWASKA STATE PARK in the Shawangunks west of New Paltz. $6pp to ski. Out on the groomed Awosting Lake Carriage Road, a hint of iciness in the morning with temp in upper 30s. View of Rainbow Falls. To the ungroomed Lake Shore Carriage Rd & around Awosting Lake. Side-trip to Spruce Glen for lunch. Back to LA then under the overhanging cliffs of Battlement Terrace up to Castle Point (el 2,193') - wide-ranging views incl. High Point in NJ. Generally downhill on Castle Point Carriage Rd on soft surface with temp in 40s, lots of viewpoints along the way. Love the rocky scenery in the Gunks. Good skiing on ~2' of snow, mostly novice, some steeper hills near Lake Minnewaska. Most other skiers were on skinny skis & stayed on the groomed carriage roads. 11+ miles, 5.2 hours.
Feb 20 - REIST PRESERVE from Morgan Ave, Niskayuna. A quickie before work. Easy terrain. Very good skiing with temp in upper 30s. 15-18".Feb 19 - MERCK FOREST. Temp in 20s to low 30s. Gain of 800' to Mount Antone (el 2,610') took 1.5 hours, trail broken out - very windy & snowing, no view today. S on Masters Mountain Trail, a fairly wide trail with no recent use so had to break trail in 30" of powder - after a short moderately steep climb we dropped 1,600', steeply thru windblown drifts & cornices at first but soon switchbacks made the skiing less challenging - sunk in quite a bit, wished I had wider skis than the S-Bound 88s for this section. As we dropped in elevation the snow showers turned to rain showers & the snow was wetter & gloppy. Looped back on Old Town Rd climbing 1,000' gently, a snowmobile had packed the trail down, stopped for a break at Dunc's cabin on the way. Dropped 200' to the farm & out. 10.3 miles, 5.2 hours.
Feb 17 - SNOW HOLE. Taconic Crest Trail from Petersburgh Pass (el 2,000') Rt.2 on the NY/MA border. 2-3' of snow (perhaps too much?!) - very good skiing in & out of snowshoe tracks, uphills a bit of work in the troughs. Bare-booted the initial steep section from road to kiosk but skied it on the way back. Great view from White Rocks lookout (2,300') 2.5 miles in - the Taconics, across the Rensselaer Plateau to the Catskills. Williams College/Hopkins Memorial Forest has cut down most trees on a hill before White Rocks to attract flora & fauna that was found here in the past. The grotto-like Snow Hole did have snow in it,. Most of the trail is in NY but a section is in VT. Short side-trip on Birch Brook Trail which eventually drops 1,500' to Williamstown - nice conditions for that. Mostly intermediate with one steeper hill. 6 miles, 4.7 hours.
Feb 16 - AVALANCHE PASS thru trip from South Meadow to Upper Works. 18" at lower elevations, more higher - excellent skiing despite a few rocks showing. Trails all broken out. Meadow Lane to Marcy Dam, Avalanche Lake, Lake Colden, Flowed Lands. Outstanding mountain views - Algonquin & Colden stood out. Run out along Calamity Brook Trail was a blast - loss of 1,000' from Flowed Land to Upper Works. 13.7 miles, 5.8 hours.
Skiing & Snowshoeing the Snowy Southern Adirondacks - AS&F article.Feb 15 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK from Lock 7 boat launch. A quickie before work - did a couple of loops in the E part of the preserve. 20" of snow - very good skiing, temp in upper 20s, most trails lightly broken out by snowshoers making it a bit bunpy.Feb 12 - FERRIS LAKE from Rt.10 via Jockeybush Lake, Arietta area. Had heard snowshoers did this trip 4 days ago so we did not have a lot of trailbreaking to do. 1.1 mile trail to JL. 0.7 mile across the lake - mostly good, a little slush. Tough 1+ mile bushwhack to Black Cat Outlet, an early steep drop. Nice 1+ mile bushwhack thru open woods around N side of hill (did not follow the ss tracks over the hill), some rolling terrain then steep drop to FL. Lunch on an island with cloudless sky. Back the same way. Fun mostly downhill twisty run out from JL. ~2' of snow, very good skiing. 8+ miles, 5.7 hours.
Feb 10 - HUYCK PRESERVE from Pond Hill Rd by Lincoln Pond in Rensselaerville. 15" mostly powder, very nice skiing. Wheeler-Watson trail past an old cemetary to Race Track then N on the Partridge Path. Loop 1 counterclockwise, southern part of Loop 2 with glade skiing en route, all of Loop 3 (the longest at 2.7 miles) clockwise - breaking trail on 1 & 3. Lots of lovely open hardwoods & fun hills. Bare-booters had walked in our tracks from start of Loop 1 back to start! 5.5 hours.
Feb 9 - ROCK LAKE. Northville-Placid Trail from Upper Benson. 30" - excellent skiing. Broke trail all the way, great run back out losing 700'. Mostly hardwood forest. On the way in we crossed the North Branch West Stony Creek & skied the new section of the NPT to just above the bridge over the creek - not as easy as the traditional route on the S side of the creek. Intermediate. 10.9 miles, 5.5 hours.
Feb 6 - ALBANY PINE BUSH PRESERVE from the end of Madison Ave Ext. Excellent skiing on about a foot of powder. Did a loop on the yellow trail & parts of the red & blue to a clearcut area with view to the Heldergerg Escarpment. All trails broken this morning. I did break trail along part of the powerline. Snowshoers already walking in the ski tracks!!! 1.4 hours.
Feb 5 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE. Went out mid-storm with 5" fresh powder. Parking lot had been plowed already. No-one else out yet incl. sledders so I had all the good hills to myself. 1.1 hours.
Feb 3 - ESSEX CHAIN OF LAKES from SE end of Goodnow Flow, Newcomb. Former Finch/Pruyn lands. Fourth & Fifth Lakes. Side-trip to the Iron (aka Polaris) Bridge over the Hudson River, camps of the Polaris Club on the E shore. All on unmarked woods roads, the 3 mile route to the Hudson had seen some snowmobile & ATV use, we broke trail to the lakes (no signs or markers, helps to have the USGS Newcomb map + GPS). To go to the lakes at 1.4 miles we took a R past a metal gate going straight for over 3 miles then a R (a barrel filled with waders, boots, fishing rod & more sat at the intersection) to Fourth & Fifth Lakes. Views of Blue Mtn, Sixth Lake Mtn & Cedar Mtn along the way. Gently rolling novice terrain a bit like Camp Santanoni. 6-10" powder (fluffier than yesterday) on sometimes icy base - very good to excellent skiing. There is a kiosk & register 0.8 miles before the Hudson River, view of Vanderwhacker & Polaris Mtns to the E, all downhill down to the bridge. 14.9 miles, 5.7 hours. The Town of Newcomb is plowing Goodnow Flow Road. The public can park in the designated plowed area along the Goodnow Flow Road just before the Chain Lakes Road entrance – this is the road used in the summer to access the Hudson River at the Polaris or Iron Bridge. The public can access the Essex Chain Lakes Tract to ski, snowshoe or otherwise traverse the roadways and the lands. Interim winter public access will be limited this year as no plowed parking areas have been designated on the Essex Tract itself. The plowed parking area on the Goodnow Flow Road is used by the Gooley and Polaris Club members to park vehicles and snowmobile trailers . The Deer Pond and Chain Lakes Road gates have been closed and locked. The roads beyond are closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of the spring mud season. Members of the Gooley and Polaris Clubs will be able to use snowmobiles on the roadways to get to and from their camps.
Feb 2 - STONY POND thru ski, Rt.28N to Irishtown. 6-10" dense wettish powder on some icy base - very good skiing, did see some rocks but generally easy to miss, some icy spots near the end. Center Pond Outlet -thin ice near beaver dams, turned around before reaching Center Pond. From high point between Stony & Sherman Ponds we dropped 1,000' to Irishtown - wheeee! Falls Brook Yurts. No sign of recent snowmobile use. 7.7 miles, 3.7 hours .
Jan 29 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER upstream of 1st bridge on Rt.10. Silver Lake Wilderness Area. No marked trails - USGS map shows a trail to Silver Lake Outlet; Nat Geo Map shows it continuing up Silver Lake Outlet - sometimes the trail was obvious, at other times it was hard to see & we lost it a couple of times. See Discover the Southern Adirondacks for more details. Crossed the North Branch & passed the confluences of Silver Lake Outlet, White Lake Outlet & Whitman Flow & went a bit further along the frozen river until one of my skis broke thru the ice & dipped in water. Fairly flat terrain but route-finding was interesting. Excellent skiing with well over a foot of snow with good base & plenty of powder. Wonderfully remote. 5.2 hours.
Jan 27 - HENNIG PRESERVE, western Saratoga County, just outside the Adirondack Blue Line, elevations over 1,500'. Skied most of the trails N of Centerline Rd incl. new blue loop, all loops counterclockwise. Very good to excellent skiing, mostly silky smooth but did hit 4 or 5 rocks (mostly on northern white trail that goes over an interesting esker). Up to 10" of snow, mostly powder. 1" fresh powder in tracks from previous skiers, did have to break trail some of the time tho. 2 hours. More info & map.
Jan 26 - BIG EDDY on WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from end of plowing on West River Rd, west of Wells. 2 miles on unplowed dirt road to Whitehouse - rolling hills. Northville-Placid Trail. Unmarked path (had some blowdown to skirt) W to Hamilton Lake Stream - shore & near-shore areas littered with ice chunks deposited by high water from last rain event, the walls of ice made crossing the frozen stream a challenge, I kept my skis on but others removed skis & walked across. Over to the W Branch & followed a fisherman's path upstream with sweet views of the river which had a fair amount of open water. Very good skiing on up to 8" powder over a crunchy (sometimes icy) base. 9.4 miles, 5 hours.
Jan 22 - COLE HILL STATE FOREST from Irish Hill Rd in E Berne. Did loops on both sides of the road. -1F when I started but warmed up to +2F. 2-3" powder on 0-1" base - good skiing on flatter areas but poor on the hills, some rocks showing, best for rock skis. 1.5 hours.Jan 20 - POWLEY-PISECO ROAD from the south, from bridge over East Canada Creek at Oregon. 4-8" fresh powder over a good crunchy base - very good to excellent skiing, snowing most of the time. To Powley Place & back. Side-trips on unmarked paths to The Potholers (#5*) a falls on the creek, Brayhouse Brook (#6*) & House Pond (#3*). MLK Day & we saw the groomer go by in each direction (somewhat sticky immediately after grooming, better when surface had cooled) but not one snowmobile! Met the new ranger too. Easy skiing with gentle hills on the road, still able to get in a bunch of turns; side-trips more challenging. 10+ miles, 5.5 hours. *Trip # in Discover the Southern Adirondacks (available at APnP).
Jan 19 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST. Did a sort of a loop counterclockwise. Area has seen moderate use by skiers, snowshoers, bare-booters + someone had driven a truck in part way in! 6"-8" hard icy base with 0.5"-1" fresh powder - fair to good skiing, best in untracked snow to side of wide trails - would be real nice with 3" more powder. 2+ hours.
Jan 15 - EAST CANADA CREEK from bridge in Oregon. Past the bridge over the E Canada the Powley-Piseco Rd was plowed for under a mile but not sanded & was extremely icy - I drove up it a bit then chickened out. Skied the snowbanks at side of the road to end of plowing at a campsite. The snowmobile trail past there had good coverage. Large chunks of ice on the road were evidence that the creek had overspilled its bank recently. Views of rapids on the creek were awesome, a lot of water going thru. I was a bit under the weather today & did not have any major goal - better than staying home & feeling sick. Crusty 6"-12" in the woods - will make for nice base when we get more snow. Stopped at Rockwood on the drive over - 6"-8" there.
Jan 13 - CHASE LAKE "day camping" from the end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. Above freezing. 6-12" of snow, good coverage. Hard snowshoe-packed trail with a dusting of powder, crusty with some give off-trail - fair to good skiing, softer on the return. Expected stream crossings to be challenging but not too bad. Made a fire at the lean-to & cooked up some smoked sausage - added sweet onions & brew masters mustard on good bread & had best lunch in recent memory. Lake looked slushy. Peaceful & relaxing. Sunny, no wind. 5.4 miles. 5.3 hours (half skiing, half "camping").
Jan 12 - POWLEY-PISECO ROAD from the N & Rt.10. Very little damage to this unplowed dirt road after yesterday's rain. Easy skiing with gently rolling hills. Very good skiing on hard-packed snowmobile (saw 2) trail topped with 0.5" fresh powder; snowing lightly all the time we were out. 6-10" off trail with light crust - I sunk in 6". Passed some primitive campsites. The road is washed out near Mud Pond but no problrm crossing. At Clockmill Corners we went E on narrower less-used snowmobile trail past a vly & its outlet - fair skiing with some small snowless wet spots. Found a nice spot for lunch then headed back. Temp around freezing. 10 miles, 4.7 hours.
Jan 8 - WHITEHOUSE from the end of plowing on West River Rd, W of Wells. Unplowed dirt road for ~2 miles to summer parking area passing several primitive campsites, a bit further to jctn with Northville-Placid Trail - last people to sign in the register was on Dec 8! L on NPT & soon at the long suspension bridge over the West Branch Sacandaga River, the river had much open water. 2 chimney stacks remain from old camps. Temp in teens, up to 10" of snow with dusting of powder, icy under evergreens, slightly crunchy elsewhere, my skis sunk in 1-4". Used waxable skis with Swix Ice Klister - ironed on the klister at home, should have put it on a larger area, left klister at home so added some blue kick wax in the field which helped grip a little. Nice river views & steep hills both on the drive & the tour. 2.5 hours.
Jan 6 - CHARLESTON STATE FOREST from Burtonsville Rd. Southern Montgomery County west of the Schoharie Valley, elevations over 1,200'. Skied a figure 8 loop N of the parking area past a couple of ponds, the Tall Oak Bridge & a variety of woods & habitats. Lots of animal tracks. Had warmed up overnight with rain in the morning. Started with temp above freezing & snow was wet & heavy; dropped below freezing while I was out & snow was getting icier. Up to 7", thin spots & roots showing under softwoods - fair skiing. 6.3 miles, 2.8 hours. 23 miles of designated ski trails here. You can often find maps at the register altho the maps in ECOS Ski & Snowshoe Tips (available at APnP) also add mileages between numbered junctions.
Jan 5 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL - new section from Godfrey Rd in Upper Benson. Took the traditional beginning thru easement land. Where the trail 1st meets the North Branch West Stony Creek we crossed the iced-over stream & picked up the new section of the NPT on the other side. The newly-marked trail heads NE & soon crosses a small stream on a 2-log bridge, I found it best to ski across the mostly frozen stream. After a short climb the trail follows an old woods road & Abner Brook & its vlies are seen to the R. The NPT leaves the old road to the R & is harder to follow from this point on, we stopped often to look for the next marker. Rolling terrain for a while before making a U-turn to the 2-log bridge over Abner Brook. The trail now heads over a hill to the E, switchbacks make for a moderate grade. From the top of the hill there is good thru-the-hardwoods views of the cliffs on Little Cathead Mtn. The drop down on the other side was real fun, the trail zig-zagging thru open woods to our lunch stop on Dec 16. Headed back the same way we came, the downhill on the other side of the hill was fun too. Intermediate skiing on mostly good base with 6" powder, breaking trail was fairly easy. 10 miles, 5.7 hours.
Jan 4 - "METHANE MOUNTAIN" from Blatnick Park, River Rd, Niskayuna. Just a quickie before work; good place to practice telemarks on this old landfill. Nice view across the Mohawk River to the Taconics.
Jan 1 - 9 CORNER LAKE from Rt.10. Trail to Broomstick Lake is marked with xc ski markers, unusually steep & turny for a ski trail?! After skiing out onto BL we headed off-trail going generally S & slowly climbing a hill. Dropped down thru tight woods before taking skis off to slide down a cliff & down to 9CL. Hit some wet spots on the lake - good thing we always carry scrapers. Took a less hilly & better route NE then N back to trail & dropped carefully back down to the car, some rocks showing thru the snow (best with 2' of snow). Good to very good skiing with 1-3" powder over slightly crunchy base. 3.5 hours. Lakes were very scenic - what a way to start the new year! Part of the 1936 version of Last of the Mohicans, was supposedly filmed at Broomstick Lake.
Dec 30 - HOLMES LAKE from Benson Rd at Peters Corners. Snowmobile trail (no recent sled use) with gradual increase in elevation. Newish lean-to a bit before the pond-like lake. Took a windy spin on the pond. Side-trip on snowmobile trail to Pinnacle Rd - gentle hills were fun in these fast conditions . Up to 10" of snow with fast crusty surface, some wet spots - fair to good skiing. 4.8 hours. Essex Chain Lakes Tract: Gates to the Essex Chain Lakes Tract roadways will be closed and locked on Monday, December 16. The Town of Newcomb will be plowing the Goodnow Road, and there are some parking areas along that road that people can use. The public can ski, snowshoe or otherwise trek (non-motorized) into the parcel from plowed areas along the Goodnow Flow Road. Members of the Gooley and Polaris Clubs will be able to use snowmobiles on the roadways to get to and from the camps. Dec 13 - APA approves plan for the former Fich Pruyn lands: more info (now needs the Governor's signature).
Dec 29 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST from S of Rt.29, just S of the Adirondack Blue Line, WNW of Johnstown. 1-4", more in open areas & under hardwoods - good skiing on wide rock-free trails. Temp in upper 20s to mid 30s, started to rain as we were finishing. Some fun hills for the better skier. 3.7 hours.
Dec 27 - WOODS HOLLOW PRESERVE from Rowland St in Ballston Spa. Fair skiing on 4-5" of crunchy base with some give, a dusting of powder, trails packed by walkers, skiing best off-trail.Dec 24 - LEONARD HILL hike in southern Schoharie County. Leonard Hill State Forest. A dusting of snow. Parked on side of CR 61 1.4 miles E of CR 17 in Broome Center. Walked S on 4WD road until it disappeared so bushwhacked S feeling sort of lost (just the start of a new adventure). Came out on Leonard Mountain Rd opposite the start of truck trail. The truck trail is easy walking & slowly gains elevation. After going around the N side of Hubbard Hill (2,620') the trail drops slightly for a short distance before the last climb to the firetower which has the 2 lower sections of steps removed (next time I'll have to bring a 15' ladder). There is a good open view W to the Gilboa Reservoir. One passes plantations of Norway spruce & red pine along the way but hardwoods dominate the summit & there are some thru-the-trees views in other directions. Snowing lightly all the way down. Took a R on Leonard Mountain Rd passing a couple of houses & after ~10 mins. took a L on a good truck road. When I got back to the paved CR 61 it was a short walk W to the Nehasanemobile. Many rock walls attest to the fact that this was once farmland. Grouse, lots of crows. 600' el gain, 5.5 miles, 2.5 hours. This route is skiable & appears in Nordic Skiing Trails in New York State, a free booklet put out by NYSDEC & written by the late Almy Coggeshall, not sure if it is still in print. Most of Albany & Schoharie hilltowns are snow-free - there is more snow left in the immediate Capital District.
Dec 22 - GARNSEY PARK skiing & damage assessment (after a couple of warm rainy days). From Mechanicville Rd (Rt.146) in Rexford. 5" heavy wet snow, a bit icy in packed areas, temp around freezing in mid-morning - ok skiing on novice terrain. Southern loop is thru edge habitat, good for wildlife. Middle loop is a mix. New northern Ridge Loop thru deciduous woods adds a mile to the trails here (& one intermediate downhill if you go counterclockwise; clockwise is easier). Some benches etc. along the way. Hopefully we'll be left with some base tomorrow. 2.2 miles, 45 mins. The Mohawk River has been frozen over this past week but today the ice was breaking up.
Dec 19 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK skiing from Blatnick Park, River Rd, Niskayuna. "Methane Mountain" (a capped landfill) - good for practicing tele turns & has nice view of the frozen over river. Shaker-Wit Trail accessed from the bike path - intermediate+, some short steep hills with narrow must-make turns. SE part of Shaker Gorge Loop Trail (NE part not recommended for skiing). A beautiful sunny morning with temp in the upper 20s. Bobolinks & bald eagles have nested in the area. Rain in the forecast for next 3 days :( ! 1.4 hours.
Dec 18 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE skiing. Have to take advantage of the great snow while we've got it. Decided to use my waxable skis - Swix Green did not give me enough kick (temp in upper teens) & did not bring any blue! 45 mins.Dec 16 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL, new section N of Benson Rd. Started from small pull-out on N side of Benson Rd 4.5 miles from Rt.30. The trail goes W for a short distance near the road before heading uphill over a knoll then down within sight of Woods Lake (this part had some hidden rocks, care needed). Same route as return on Nov 20 hike. This time the trail was marked all the way & we got to the hill half mile before Abner Brook before turning around. Attention needed at times to find the trail. Over a foot of snow with some base, actually easier breaking trail than yesterday. One steep section, otherwise mostly intermediate. 10 miles, 5.3 hours.
Dec 15 - ALBANY PINE BUSH skiing. Excellent skiing on 12" new snow. From Trailhead #7 at end of Madison Ave Ext. Did most of the trails in the Madison Ave Pinelands & Great Dune areas, some trails twice. Had to break trail some of the time but a lot was already broken. Novice to Intermediate - some steep hills on the powerline. 3.6 hours. Finally no need for rock skis so got out my go-to skis the Fischer S-Bound 88 combined with Fischer BCX 675 boots.
Dec 8 - RENSSELAERVILLE SF skiing. Did a loop in the eastern part of the forest. 1" powder over thin icy base, poor skiing. 1.3 hours. Drove over to nearby HUYCK PRESERVE. From Rt.85 walked short distance to bottom of falls - lovely! Short spur to middle of falls then to top of falls & continued to the dam on Lake Myosotis. <1" of snow. 1 hour.
Dec 2 - NICK STONER GOLF COURSE in Wheelerville. Skied both sides of Rtes.10/29A plus a snowmobile trail that led down close to an inlet of Canada Lake. CL & Caroga Lakes were totally iced over. 1-2" icy/crunchy base topped with 1-2" dense powder - good skiing. 2 hours. Drove over to ROCKWOOD SF to check the conditions, skied <1 hour on woods roads which are designated ski trails. Spoke with a chatty hunter who said there are a lot of bobcats here (Northern zone big game rifle hunting season ends Dec 8). 3" heavy wet snow, temp rising thru the 30s.
Dec 1 - CEDAR RIVER skiing from Chain Lakes Rd in Indian Lake. The last 2 miles of Chain Lakes Rd were quite icy & the road has some steep spots so we decided to park just past end of plowing 1.86 miles S of the summer parking area since the dirt road was skiable (with nice views of the Indian River). Think that with more snow the winter parking area will be 2 miles S of the summer parking, a little N of the dam - areas were plowed on either side of the road. From summer parking to Cedar River is 3.7 miles, mostly on dirt roads on former Finch/Pruyn lands. Hunters have been bare-booting thru here over the last week. Cedar River is flat water here & was iced over. Gooley Club building. Short side-trip to the Hudson River. Mud Pond. Good skiing on 5" crunchy base with a dusting of powder. Mostly gently rolling terrain, downhills were fairly fast in these conditions. Similar to the old road to Camp Santanoni, this route will be good skiing with minimal snow cover. 11.5 miles, 4.5 hours.
Nov 28 - RENSSELAERVILLE STATE FOREST skiing in SW Albany County. Parked at jctn of Cheese Hill Rd & CCC Rd. The latter was skiable so went W for a bit then off-trail to the S. Reached a property line with view of the Catskills. Followed the property line W crossing over some stone walls. Found a couple old logging roads & skiing was real good. Worked my way N back to CCC Rd & took that back to the car. Surprisingly good skiing on 2-3" of snow with a bit of crunchy base. 2 hunters, 1 round of gunshots. 2 hours. Drove over to nearby HUYCK PRESERVE & did a short walk around Lincoln Pond. Beaver sign. LP & Myosotis Lake totally iced over. 1-2" snow. Happy Thanksgiving.
Nov 25 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL old & new, hike from Godfrey Rd in Upper Benson. 1.6 miles, much on 4wd road thru private land (hunting club), to bridge over scenic North Branch West Stony Creek which had a fair amount of ice. After the bridge I took a sharp R off-trail, angled uphill a short distance & soon saw the blue NPT markers of the new to-be section to Benson Rd. The trail climbs well above the NBWSC but the stream is generally in view. Trail drops down steeply & narrowly to stream level (this part could be challenging to skiers), jogs L & R then crosses a brook on a high 2-log bridge. The trail then follows an old woods road NE ithru open hardwoods for a couple of miles. A vly on Abner Brook is seen to the R & the trail pulls away uphill & soon takes a R leaving the woods road. The trail winds down to Abner Brook just above the vly & crosses it on a 2-log bridge then goes uphill - I turned back here. Up to 1" of snow. 5.4 hours.
Nov 24 - PINE VALLEY TRAIL skiing from Rt.9 in Woodford, VT. 3-5" fresh powder. Forest Road 272 is a snowmobile trail in winter. Hit some rocks but that was to be expected. More wet spots than I would like & skis iced up a few times. Beaver ponds. Took 2nd L & had lunch next to Little Pond Outlet. 10-15F, very windy but you really don't feel the wind in the woods. 3.3 hours.Nov 20 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL hike, new (still unofficial til 2014?) section N of Benson Rd. Parked on S side of road 4.7 miles W of Rt.30. Walked short distance W & entered the woods at couple of ribbons. A well-used path leads 0.2 miles to Woods Lake passing an outhouse..There are 4 designated campsites in this area. Hiked along shore path to the E & crossed inlet near ribbons. Uphill to the N & soon spot blue NPT markers. The trail heads N generally uphill between Woods Lake & Little Cathead Mtn. The trail drops steeply next to some cliffs then flattens out & crosses some small streams. Turning W the new NPT crosses 2 streams on 2-log bridges then goes SW on a long straightaway (looks like an old woods road - I think this is the trail from Lapland Lake resort to Grant Lake). NPT markers lead R & stop - I went 10 more mins. on fairly obvious trail but no more markers. On way back I followed the blue markers past 3 huge glacial erratics then across the Woods Lake inlet on a 2-log bridge. The trail then pulls away uphill from the lake. Markers stop before height of land but I continue on what I thought was the new NPT (foot-tread somewhat obscured by leaves) & reached Benson Rd at a small turn-out on N side of road 0.2 miles E of where I started the hike (this turn-out is 4.5 miles from Rt.30. Much open hardwoods with beech & maple, some ash, stands of hemlock. 2 deer - another face-off with one of them & it walked pretty close toward me. 0-0.5" of snow. 5.4 hours.
Nov 18 - DYKEN POND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER hike. Short walk pondside (some development) then thru The Sentinals (glacial erratics), boardwalk thru fen with cranberries & pitcher plants then off-trail around 2 wetlands. Parts of the boardwalk S of the lean-to are under water thanks to beaver activity. Nice & quiet - area is away from main roads. Grouse. 2.2 hours.Nov 18 - PEEBLES ISLAND from The Battery boat launch at the S end of First St in Waterford. Had to give the new Dagger Katana kayak a spin - a whitewater touring kayak good for up to Class III+ whitewater, skeg helps tracking on long flat stretches, very nice seat, some nice touches incl. under deck storage, cockpit drain plug, deck shockcord front & back, bulkhead footbrace, etc. - should be sweet boat on anything from the Battenkill, Sacandaga or the Grand Canyon. Fair amount of water coming over Buttermilk Falls creating some strong currents. 1 hour.
Nov 17 - PLOTTER KILL PRESERVE hike. 20 cars filled the main trailhead on Rt.159 so I drove over to the Coplon Rd trailhead where there was 1 car. Did a loop on the red North & South Rim Trails in the lower part of the preserve plus the new spur to the Lower Gregg Rd trailhead (not shown on the map). Met some Long Path North folks who said the LP will be routed thru the preserve. Very little water in the stream & crossings were no problem. 2.5 hours.
Nov 13 - WOODFORD STATE PARK skiing. 1-2"of snow - ok for "rock skis". Good skiing on grassy & leafy areas. Temp in low 20s but sunny. Adams Reservoir had a fair amount of ice. 2.8 hours.
Nov 11 - NORTH CREEK RESERVOIR & RABBIT POND loop hike. Schaefer Trail to Gore Mtn. Many lovely cascades on Roaring Brook. Gain of 1,000' in 2.2 miles to NCR - can see the summit from here. Downhill to RP - trees are far apart, good for strong skiers. Beavers have built quite the dam at the outlet of the pond. Downhill to junction with Raymond Brook Trail, good for intermediate skiers. Gently downhill on wide yellow trail to the Ski Bowl, easy intermediate skiing. Map. 4.2 hours.
Nov 10 - WOLF CREEK FALLS PRESERVE, west of Altamont. Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. Hiked most of the trails N of Bozenkill Rd & some S. Just a trickle going over the picturesque falls. Long Path passes thru. Mostly oaks. Saw 4 deer - stared one down for a couple of minutes but as soon as I moved it took off. Should be good skiing with 6" of snow, trails are smooth & wide with some moderate hills. 1.6 hours.
Nov 6 - CHARLESTON SF loop hike. XC ski trails (there are 23 miles of ski trails here, mostly on the easy side) in SE part. Area is mostly over 1,200' el. Get map at certain parking areas. A lot of intersections are numbered but some numbers are missing. Started from Gidley Rd. Overlook Trail - thru the trees could make out hills of southern Adirondacks. 2 attractive beaver ponds N of Gordon Rd. 3.5 hrs.
Nov 4 - STISSING MOUNTAIN & THOMPSON POND hike in northern Dutchess County. Friends of Stissing Landmarks. Trailhead on Lake Rd next to wood post with "FISL - LAKE RD TRAILHEAD" on it. Cross road & walk past Thompson Pond Nature Preserve sign & climb steeply. Trail is mostly unmarked. At a fork I went L along the shorter steeper trail. 35 mins. to fire tower. Views very good - rural to the E, more woods, Catskills & Gunks to the W. Still some fall color - oaks with leaves of gold & bronze. Explored trails to the S, found a small log cabin. Down on longer trail. 1,000' el gain to tower, 4 miles, 2.9 hrs. Walked E side of TP 1 mile to where folks were building a new bridge over Wappingers Creek. SM rises steeply on the W side & the fire tower is visible. Walked down W side of pond on yellow trail to a kiosk then did a short Blue loop to the pond's shore. Golden eagles & king rails supposedly breed here. 1.5 hrs.
Nov 3 - FORSYTHE NWR. Scouted out some areas on Barnegat Bay. Walk at Eno's Pond. Drive home.
Enjoyed using the Bending Branches Expedition Plus paddle - a most comfortable t-grip for maneuvering strokes, squared off at bottom of blade for maximum purchase in shallow water. On lakes I prefer a more rounded blade like the Espresso Plus ST.Nov 2 - WADING RIVER from Hawkin Bridge to Beaver Branch. Start is on Tuplehocken Creek, a short split around an island was shallow, soon reach the WR. Wider & more current than the other rivers, no obstructions. Godfrey Bridge camping area has been moved away from the river. Lots of colorful maples & oaks, some good sandy banks for breaks. 6.5 mile shuttle, some of it on dirt & sand roads thru interesting pinelands (saw a red-tailed hawk take off with a grey squirrel in its claws). ~10 miles, 4.8 hrs.
Nov 1 - Rainy day tourists. Tuckerton Beach post Sandy. Tuckerton Seaport museum - snow geese. Pygmy Pine Plains from Bombing Range (!) Rd Wildlife Drive, 8 miles at the Forsythe NWR - brants, great egrets, Atlantic City. Sunset from Great Bay Blvd WMA. Being a Friday, more campers move in to our campground - fairly deserted Sun-Thu.
Oct 31 - CEDAR CREEK from Dover Forge to the White Bridge at Double Trouble Village. Double Trouble SP. Clearest water with sandy/grassy bottom. Starts wide, passing area of dwarf pines & cedars then narrows & the current picks up, widens again at Ore Pond. 200' portage around L side of dam. 2 beaver daqms. Wood ducks. Easy shuttle but parking at the village is a 6 min. walk from the take-out - you are allowed to drive to the White Bridge but cannot park there. 3.3 hrs. 1.5 mile loop walk on nature trai l- cranberry bogs & woods. 1 hr.
Oct 30 - MANAHAWKIN BAY from The Bridge to Nowhere. Close to low tide. Marshy islands & creeks. Paddled N on Cedar Creek then R to Log Creek Pond. Continued NE thru North Pond, across the wide mouth of Big Flat Creek until we were out on the bay by Marshelder Island. Returned E of the islands & thru Turtle Cove. Long Beach Island seen 1-2 miles to the E - a barrier island with much development. Barnegat Light seen across Barnegat Bay to the NNE. Mussels & oysters. Fairly calm, saw just 4 motorboats on the bay. Nowhere to land for lunch. Many ducks. Some rain. 2.8 hrs.
Oct 29 - MULLICA RIVER from Atsion to Pleasant Mills. Most varied landscape - mixed forest, open marsh, piney, maple swamp, cedars, some high sandy banks. 6 beaver dams + 1 liftover. Water level much better than yesterday. Longer shuttle, all paved roads. 12+ miles, 6.3 hrs.
Oct 28 - OSWEGO RIVER. Across Oswego Lake, upstream on the OR for half hour then returned to OL. Portaged around dam then downstream on the shallow cedar-lined OR (had to get out & line some early portions) to Harrisville Lake's piney shores where we saw a bald eagle. Easy shuttle. ~10 miles, 5.5 hrs.
Oct 27- Nov 3 - NJ PINELANDS canoeing. Bass River SF - camping in an enclosed "lean-to" with wood stove. Oswego, Mullica & Wading Rivers are in Wharton SF. Daytime highs low 60s to high 60s, overnight lows high 20s to 60F...
Oct 22 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park. Still some water chestnut but we were able to get out to the river close to Niska Isle then on to the Lock 7 dam where we saw a mature bald eagle. Wonderful starry sky on return.Oct 21 - SCORTON CREEK in E Sandwich. Got up early to watch the sunrise at Nauset Beach then broke camp. Put in at State Wildlife Reservation S of Rt.6A. Upstream with the incoming tide. Also paddled up Jennys Dam River & Shove Creek to where they narrowed to almost nothing. Ebb tide out. Walk to CC Bay on the Sandwich Boardwalk, dinner at Flynn's Irish Pub & then the drive home.
Oct 20 - NAUSET MARSH from town landing at end of Hemenway Rd.. Windy so stayed close to the mainland. S to Fort Hill area, around a marshy island, N & up Northwest Passage (someone scuba diving) into Main Channel, thru Big Box (gulls & yellowlegs on oyster cages), along West Cove & up Cedar Bank Creek into Nauset Bay, returned hugging the shore to minimize windage. Had time today to visit CC Bay, eat lobster roll at Marconi Beach on the ocean, do some souvenir shopping, watch the sunset at Linnell Beach, eat dinner at Land Ho in Orleans & visit Nauset Beach on the ocean under moonlight.
Oct 19 - LIEUTENANT ISLAND from beach landing at end of Old Wharf Rd in Wellfleet. Limited parking, parts can be under water at high tide. Paddled S on Loagy Bay to the bridge - the road to the island is under water near high tide. Passed the mouth of Fresh Brook & S into short creek reaching trail & observation deck at Mass. Audubon Sanctuary. Out to Cape Cod Bay & S to Hatches Creek which winds quite a distance into the mainland, some tasteful development. Lunch at beach at mouth of the creek with view of the bay & Great Island (see Sep 8 trip). Windless pm & bay was real calm & inviting so we paddled around LI, some development. Back across Loagy Bay to the put-in. Eiders.
Oct 18 - HERRING RIVER from Rt.28 in W Harwich close to high tide for the sound, able to go upstream with the tidal current. Gusty winds predicted. River winds thru a wide marsh with little signs of development. Poked up a channel & into East Reservoir. Back to the HR, under 2 bridges then 50' portage around a man-made herring run & into West Reservoir - saw 7 swans & fall foliage color was good. At lunch, Slyma's well-fermented bottle of green chia kombucha exploded on opening nearly missing Nehasane. Tide had turned so rode current out. Osprey, small hawk, lesser yellowlegs. Hung out at a town beach on the sound for a while before $15 lobster dinner at Clancy's (on Swan River) with Walt Kangas, former president of Schenectady Wintersports Club now living on the Cape. Sunset & full moonrise at Rock Harbor.
Oct 17 - NAUSET MARSH. Started from Salt Pond (swans) next to Rt.6, near high tide for the ocean (high tide in the marsh is hours after ocean high). A wide channel leads into Salt Pond Bay then we paddled along Cedar Bank Creek to Nauset Bay at the N end of the marsh near the old Coast Guard station. Down the Beach Channel to the inlet - waves were crashing in here so we parked the salty Zephyrs & walked across to Coast Guard Beach for lunch. Grey seals very active near the inlet. Paddled up Robin's Channel passing a dead seal then took a shortcut to the Main Channel back close to the inlet - the current was strong here with the outgoing tide. Back to Salt Pond Bay & out. Willets, gulls, vultures, sanderlings. Paddlers are required to wear PFDs from Sept 15 thru May 15. Dinner at Old Jailhouse Tavern. 2 hour full moon walk on Coast Guard Beach.
Oct 16-21 - CAPE COD kayaking. Highs in 60s & 70s, lows 40s to 60F, mostly sunny. WS Zephyr kayak. Camped at Nickerson SP.Oct 12 - 14 - HUDSON RIVER kayak camping, Coeymans to S of Kingston. Sat: Downstream along E shore, side-trip up Mill Creek at the Swyer Preserve. Saw bald eagle & nest on Stockport Middle Ground; turtle. 15.8 miles. Camped at N end of Middle Ground Flats, a 2.3 mile long island. Heard many gunshots at dusk & dawn - it's duck hunting season 10/12-20. My tent slightly above the high tide line (water came within 10" of my tent), unfortunately for Enjnir his tent was slightly below high tide & he had to do some nighttime scrambling. Sun: Down E shore past Hudson-Athens Lighthouse with constant view of the Catskills, to Saugerties Lighthouse then along W shore to Turkey Point State Forest (across from South Tivoli Bay). RR tracks run along E shore - saw quite a few Amtrak trains. Interesting "campsite" on an old concrete wharf, a picnic table & 2 benches are the only amenities. 21.5 miles, 6.5 hours. Mon: Down W shore. Lunched at Kingston Beach then past Rondout II Lighthouse. Out at Lighthouse Park after visiting the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse in the middle of the river. 11.8 miles, 4.25 hours. Carried enough fresh water for the 3 days. Started each day close to high tide, always best to go with the flow. Saw quite a few barges, some pleasure boats & jetskis too. WS Zephyr 160 kayak.
Note: Mohawk River Lock 7 boat launch is closed for the season.
Oct 9 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park. Still a fair amount of water chestnut. Paddled downstream past the 1st island then out to the main river thru water chestnut in shallows. Poked into a short stream on N shore. Great post-sunset colors & crescent moon on the return.
Oct 7 - SACANDAGA LAKE kayaking. Wind advisory (in excess of 35mph) for after 10am, storms expected in the pm, tornado watch. Some sun so got on the water early & explored some coves at N end of lake & then went up Hatchery Brook. Over a beaver dam, 30'-40' wide, marshy area, swamp maples already leafless, turned back at a small beaver dam after going ~1 mile up the stream. Waves over 1' on way back, whitecaps in middle of the lake. Some nice picnic spots with rocks or beaches. Lots of ducks, geese, songbirds, no loons. 1.6 hours. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' touring kayak. AUGER FALLS hike. Impressive falls on Sacandaga River in gorge. Careful - slippery. 1.1 hours.
Oct 6 - MOFFITT BEACH CAMPGROUND on Sacandaga Lake in Speculator. S half of lake developed, rest is state land. Walk on nature trail & cg roads. Foliage a little past peak. "Raining" pine needles.Oct 1 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam. Upstream to Lock 9 & back after sunset. WS Zephyr 160, a 16' full-featured touring kayak. 1.8 hours.Sep 30 - MOUNT ARAB hike. Good trail & great views from firetower. A steward is there most days. 2 miles, 2.3 hours. HUDSON RIVER hike from Chain Lakes Rd. Moose tracks. Dirt road most way then 200 yards on rough trail to the river which is wide rock garden here at low water. An osprey flew from downstream & landed on a tree across from me. 1.8 miles, 2 hours. Took a look at the Indian River a very short whack from the small parking area. Fall foliage colors were excellent all week long.
Sep 29 - SOUTH BRANCH GRASS RIVER from Rt.3. 0.4 mile carry around Balsam Pond. Upstream wooded shores, carried around 2 logjams, limboed under 2 others, slid over another. Steep carry around dam. Cottage on N shore. Grass River Flow smaller than shown on maps, stream winds thru open marsh but occasionally comes close to wooded upland on the S shore, under a good bridge (not shown on maps or mentioned in any of the guidebooks) to 25' high Burnt Rock. Had to get out for only 2 beaver dams over a 4 mile stretch, saw otters, 2 tree stands on S shore. Massawepie Mire is grassy peatland. Paddled Balsam Pond on way back. Mostly conifers so not a lot of fall color. Lovely area tho. 12 miles, 6.5 hours.
Sep 28 - MASSAWEPIE LAKE & OUTLET. Broke camp & drove over to Cranberry Lake State Campsite. Paddled M Lake which has 7 miles of shoreline (mostly pine shores but some colorful hardwoods esp at N end, Mt Arab seen to SE & the near perfect dome of Mt Matumbla to the ENE. otherwise the area is fairly flat) then down the well-hidden outlet toward the Grass River & Massawepie Mire. Soon had to lift over a boardwalk bridge, pushed past some floating logs & leaving the reservation slid over 2 beaver dams & lifted over another. Marshy grass/reed shores, bordered by tamaracks & spruce. Passed a tree stand on the L & turned back at another beaver dam - the stream was not easily detectable below this one. Short walk to Pine Pond. Boy scouts in residence June 15 thru Aug 30 & public not allowed during that time. 2 loons (1 juvenile), gw teal, heard much grouse. Very enjoyable. 4.3 hours.
Sep 27 - ST. REGIS MOUNTAIN hike. Rolling terrain for 1st couple of miles then after crossing a stream the climbing begins on a nasty rocky & sometimes wet trail. Lower stairs removed from firetower. Great views (Saranacs, St Regis Canoe Area, High Peaks, Meacham Lake, Debar Mtn, etc.), spent 2 hours on top. 1,200'+ net, 6.8 miles, 5.6 hours.
Sep 26 - DEER RIVER FLOW paddle from Cold Brook Rd. Good view of Furnace Mtn to the W & Debar Mtn to the SE. Some roadnoise, chainsaw, NW end has some development. 2+ hours. SALMON RIVER from Titusville Mtn SF access site upstream from Chasm Falls to Hatch Book. Hills at 1st, becoming black spruce, grass & alders with, flatter terrain. A small rapid at The Bend, fair to moderate current. 8 miles, 1.5 hours upstream, 1 hour downstream. Just N of the Blue Line.
Sep 25 - ROUND LAKE. Broke camp after a frosty morning walk & condensation on everything. Drove W (rough) & N out of the MRP. Outlet of Little Tupper Lake - wide with lilypads & boggy shores. Checked out bays & campsites on S shore then did most of rest of perimeter, some striking fall colors esp in marshy areas, much red & white pines along shores. Stopped for a dip at sandy beach. Gb heron, cormorants, no loons. 3 hours. Drove on to Little Green Pond - several primitive car camping sites, get free permit at nearby Fish Hatchery manager's office, got myself a wonderful site in red pines with small beach good for swim, 3 noisy loons on the small pond, could also hear more loons on nearby Little Clear Pond.
Sep 24 - MITCHELL PONDS & CLIFFS hike, moose tracks in road on drive over. Easy not-so-old dirt road most of way to ponds, good view across pond to cliffs from a campsite. Turn off for narrow trail along N side of ponds not marked & not eay to spot. Some blowdown. After visiting campsite at end of trail whacked up to the cliffs & great views - ponds were shimmering in the sunlight & fall foliage was excellent. 6 miles. SUMNER STREAM paddle upstream from bridge. Soon had get around a downed tree, then over several beaver dams, turned around at another downed tree. N shore has tall white pines rising above colorful hardwoods, S shore woods are sparse with some tall tamaracks & some pine. Coyotes howling close to campsite at night.
Sep 23 - LOST PONDS hike on trails on both sides, each dead-ends. Moose tracks. Bushwhacked to Sumner Stream Stillwater - dam went out & now a fair amt of meadow, saw 3 deer. ICEHOUSE POND walk on accessible 0.4 mile trail ending at an accessible campsite with accessible thunderbox. S BRANCH MOOSE RIVER paddled upstream from campsite, shallow & rocky. Went over 1 beaver dam & lined thru a shallow area, gave up at more shallows. HELLDIVER POND paddle at dusk, moose tracks in road on the short drive over, lots of very active beavers.Sep 22 - MOOSE RIVER PLAINS camping Lots of primitive car camping sites, most ho-hum but I did find a decent site next to the S Br Moose River. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe.
Sep 17 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freddie's Park just SE of the Rt.9 Crescent Bridge. Upstream, little development on S shore, in & out of some marinas. Interesting inlet near the Klamsteam Tavern - a good place to take a break & admire the almost full moon. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' kayak.Sep 16 - UNION FALLS POND canoeing from path 300 yards NE of Franklin Falls Dam. A dammed portion of the Saranac River. Temp rising into the 50s! N winds 10-15mph, waves up to 1'. Less than half of shoreline is state land, otherwise some camps scattered about. We had the whole 6 mile long lake (largest "pond" I can think of in NYS) to ourselves today (Monday). Moose & McKenzie Mtns. Esther & Whiteface Mtns. Fall foliage just starting. Bald eagle, mallards, wood ducks, 2 loons. 13 miles, 5.5 hours. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe.
Sep 15 - JAY RANGE hike. New 2.5 mile marked trail (moderate steepness with swithbacks) to 1st lookout then 1.5+ miles of mostly open ridge walking (marked with cairns, some short steep spots where I had to use my knees & hands) with awesome views in all directions incl. High Peaks & Lake Champlain. Got to the Jay benchmark following cairns & narrow paths to a ledge, with Slip Mtn just below us & Champlain & Green Mtns beyond. Raven. 7.3 hours.
Sep 10 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch at S end of 1st St in Waterford. Got a prearranged tour of the Onrust before paddling. Upstream on the Hudson, some development but also some pleasant wooded sections. Around the islands below Lock 1 - watch out for shallow areas. Eagles, peregrine falcon. 2 hours.
Sep 9 - OSTERVILLE GRAND ISLAND circumnavigation from town landing on Prince Cove in Cotuit. S wind 10mph. North Bay, Cotuit Bay. Sampson's Island/Dead Neck - into pretty Pirate's Cove where we beached the kayaks & had short walk over dunes to Oyster Harbor Beach (had it to ourselves) on Nantucket Sound - dunes roped off like yesterday, sand/pebble beach littered with dead horseshoe crabs. Seapuit River, West Bay & back with tailwind. Much lavish development & moored boats except on undeveloped Sampson's Isl/Dead Neck. Great egrets, many osprey. 4.5 hours.
Sep 8 - GREAT ISLAND from Herring River (minimizing windage) at Chequesset Neck Rd in Wellfleet MA. Cape Cod kayaking. The undeveloped island is actually a peninsula. W wind blocked by the island. High sandy bluffs. Poked up 2 creeks in marshy area - fiddler crabs. Past Great Beach Hill to Jeremy Point, an island at high tide, Great Island's southern tip - terns. A lot of the low dune area is roped off to protect bird nesting. Wind turned to NE (NW was forecasted) 15-25mph & we had to paddle hard at times on the return, waves mostly in 1' range. Seal. A great trip. More info. 5.3 hours. WS Zephyr 160 kayak.
Sep 4 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Great egrets. WS Zephyr touring kayak.Sep 3 - LITTLE CLEAR, GRASS & LITTLE GREEN PONDS. Short portages in St Regis Canoe Area. Several loons on Little Clear, mostly undeveloped, no camping or fishing, explored perimeter & inlet marsh/bog to the NW. Grass is small, nice view from westernmost campsite. 3 loons on LGP, camping by permit from fish hatchery, no fishing, lovely water. 4+ hours.
Sep 2 - POLLIWOG POND, LITTLE POLLIWOG, HORSESHOE & FOLLENSBY CLEAR PONDS. Short portages so left yoke for Keewaydin 15 back in camp. 2 loons (1 juvenile) on Little Polliwog (nice bog vegetation), 1 on Horseshoe, several on FCP (1 juvenile). Clear water. Very light mosquito activity. 3 hours. RnR in camp. Storm in evening, cleared by sunset.
Sep 1 - POLLIWOG POND. Just S of Floodwood Rd (dirt). Got nice campsite with sand beach. Loons; water smartweed (flower cluster <1"). After sunset paddle to W lobe. Storm at night.
Aug 27 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park Rt.5S in Rotterdam. Upstream, light development, road noise (quieter as one gets closer to Mabee Farm & Lock 9). WS Zephyr, a playful touring kayak.Aug 26 - DEER CREEK near Pulaski NY. Deer Creek Marsh WMA. Winding creek with wooded shores at first (some big oaks) then opens up thru cattail marsh & ends between dunes. After ~3 miles a 50' pebble & sand beach blocks the outlet to Lake Ontario, windy today making for 5' surf so stayed off the lake, some development S on the lake otherwise no development on the route. Lots of interesting flowers like yesterday incl. 8" pink flowers of swamp rose-mallow. Paddled 10 mins. upstream of the Rt.3 put-in & turned around at a hornets' nest overhanging the narrowing creek. 4.3 hours. More info to natural areas in the region.
Aug 25 - LAKEVIEW WMA near Pulaski NY. Lakeview Pond, S on narrow channel to Sandy Creek, channel to Floodwood Pond, Lake Ontario (light wind, 1' surf so paddled a bit on the lake N & S of the outlet, long break on the long soft sand beach), South Sandy Creek (couple of jetskis went by, otherwise fairly quiet in the WMA), N Colwell Pond, S Colwell Pond to its SW & Lake Ontario beach with lots of people due to being close to a nearby launch spot on SCP. Back to LP in a more direct route. Lots of poison ivy on the dunes; swamp smartweed (pink flower cluster), fragrant water lily, arrowheads, bullhead-lily, horned bladderwort, goldenrod, bindweed (morning glory), purple loosestrife, pickerelweed, Joe-Pye-weed, bur-reed, cattails. Love this area. 7.5 hours.
Aug 20 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Took 29 paddlers & 2 dogs thru the lock, dropped us 27' in ~10 mins. Saw bald eagles below the lock then continued to just past Niska Isle, just in time to watch the full moon come up (while the sun was setting in the other direction. Lockmaster had the lock open for us on the return, a barge went downstream. More turbulent going up in the lock but fun. Dagger Alchemy kayak.
Aug 19 - after an hour's morning paddle on PUTNAM POND drove over to KILLINGTON VT for trade show & checked out some new stuff.
Aug 18 - PUTNAM POND canoeing & camping, ROCK POND hiking, PEAKED HILL bushwhacking. Pharoah Lake Wilderness. Paddled perimeter of Putnam, saw 2 adult loons with 1 juvenile. Parked the canoe at N end of North Pond (lots of red & white pine in the area) & started hiking. Passed cute Little Rock Pond & leanto then S side of Rock, saw & heard loons here too. 0.25 miles on trail toward Lilypad Pond then bushwhacked SW going steeply uphill. Views open up after only 15 mins. 20 more minutes on mostly open rock & I'm at the open summit having gained 650' in a half mile. Views best to the High Peaks & across the Champlain valley to the Green Mtns. Crickets jumping, more red & white pines. Treadway & Clear Pond Mtns blocked the view of PP. Returned along the most interesting N side trail around Rock with graphite mine & nice views across the scenic pond. ~5 miles by canoe, ~5 miles by foot, 6 hours. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe. Not many camping at the state campsite Sunday night.
Aug 13 - HUDSON RIVER CHAMPLAIN CANAL LOCK 1 - storm came thru $ did not paddle. Nice rainbows tho.
Aug 11 & 12 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW canoe camping. Lots of folks camping at the Wakely Dam put-in but only 2 other backcountry campsites were occupied. Hoping to see the Perseid meteor showers but clouded over in the evening. Thunderbox at our campsite, possibly at others. Loons not too vocal. After setting up camp paddled up Buell Brook until it got too shallow then up the Cedar River past the lean-to. Area surrounded by mountains that rise over 1,500' from the flow, Wakely's firetower often in view - very scenic. Monday: paddled back up the river to a backwater near a campsite & picked up a path that soon reached an old 4WD road (used as late as 1987, parts had new maples growing densely, will be very hard to follow in a few years). Went E 2+ miles with Little Squaw Brook to our S but out of sight. Took a R & R again to circa 1960 Studebaker Lark wagon & a small van. Lunched below at LSB. No bad bugs in camp or on the water; mosquitoes & non-biting flies on the hike. A couple of small motor boats out but still mostly very peaceful. Wenonah Wilderness, a 15'4" solo canoe, this one made of tough Royalex - Wenonah & Mad River have raised prices of Royalex canoes hundreds of $ - the end of Royalex story.
Aug 6 - HUDSON RIVER, VLOMANKILL & PAPSCANEE CREEK. Not much water coming over the falls on the VK, tree down across most the stream but easy to get by on the N side. Current Designs Breeze 13' kayak.
Aug 4 & 5 - HENDERSON LAKE, PRESTON PONDS, DUCK HOLE canoe camping, from Upper Works trailhead Sunday: Wheeled canoe & gear (incl. comfy chair) 0.3 mi. to the put-in on Henderson Checked out all 3 designated campsites (none occupied) before deciding on the southeasterly one. Campsites have fire ring & thunderbox. The site on W shore is further S than shown on the map at the put-in - it's lousy anyway. After setting up camp explored Santanoni Brook (ducked under a fallen tree & dragged over a sandy shallows before giving up) & southerly inlet (over 2 beaver dams). Windy out on the lake & quite a few kayakers out (no canoes). Stunning views with mountains in every direction, Wallface especially impressive looking. Loons (calling night & early am); lots of cedar waxwings flitting about; some horseflies but mosquitoes mysteriously absent. Monday: Strong N wind created whitecaps. Paddled to NW end of Henderson & carried to Upper Preston Pond - the trail (rocks, roots & mud!) gains over 400' in 1.5 miles before dropping a bit to the pond. Again, great mountain scenery & loons. Short carry to Lower Preston Pond, water level higher than previous trips thanks to beaver dam at the outlet. More loons & impressive views of the Sewards to the W & Sawtooth Range to the N. Left the canoe & walked a path on N side of the outlet 10 mins. to waterfall with view of Duck Hole. Rock-hopped the stream above the falls & picked up a path to DH. Since the dam went out the water level is down 6' exposing a different kind of shoreline with old logs and rocky areas. I could see one of the lean-tos across the other side. On the way back I left my yoke at the NW end of Upper Pond & got to the other end before realizing it - having to paddle back into a strong headwind was not fun. Thankfully the wind had died down a bit by the time I had to paddle down HL. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe.
Aug 2 - COLLINS PARK LAKE SUPing in Scotia. Rainbows; muskrat, pair of great egrets, gb herons, mallards, C geese. Boardworks B-Ray 10.5 & 11.5' boards.
July 30 - HUDSON RIVER from Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. Started at low tide, went down past the Port of Albany (just a barge & tug, no cool big ships today), rode the incoming tidal current back. Perception Expression 11.5 - nice features for a short kayak: skeg, perimeter lines, thigh braces + enjoyable to paddle!
July 28 - HILLABRANDT VLY hike near Caroga Lake. Threat of showers & need to break in some new boots + only 40 miles from home. Rocky snowmobile trail with some really nasty wet & muddy sections. Glasgow Mills - pond & remains of old dam from late 1800s. HV: very nice pond due to beaver dam, hung out at a campsite with blueberries & unfortunately also some trash. Loon, red efts (actually orange), deer. 6+ miles, 3.7 hours.
July 27 - LONG POND stand up paddleboarding at Grafton Lakes SP. Fell off once - wet remounting easier than re-entering solo canoe or kayak.July 24 - MOHAWK RIVER kayaking from Lock 7. Tug pushing an interesting barge going upstream thru the lock.
William C. Whitney Wilderness: The Rock Pond/Hardigan Pond Portage Trail (aka Canoe Carry) has been rerouted to avoid a wetland on the shore of Rock Pond. The new take-out on Rock Pond is located about 650 feet northeast of the old take-out. The reroute adds about 0.2 mile to the carry between Rock and Hardigan Ponds.
July 23 - MOHAWK RIVER from Canal Park boat launch above Lock 6. Upstream & back at sunset. Current Designs Kestrel 140 Roto kayak.July 21 - FISHING BROOK canoeing, upstream of COUNTY LINE FLOW. I've paddled FB upstream of Rich Lake several times before, 1st time for this gorgeous section. Views of Kempshall Mtn to the NW, Windfall Mtn to the S & Goodnow Mtn to the ESE. The streamsides vary from wooded to open wetlands; grassy banks, some alders & lots of black spruce. 5 blockages & 7 beaver dams to get past. Sweet sounds of songbirds incl. white-throated sparrows; leeches. Minimal bad bugs - I went DEETless. Flowering joe-pye-weed, pickerel weed, bullhead lilies; water shield. 6.7 miles, 5.3 hours. This is private land on which the state has a fishing easement - more info. No signs of planned boat launches on CLF & Fishing Brook Bog (which we scouted - small but beautiful) yet. From Rt.28N FB drops over 100' in over a mile then is flatwater to CLF. Spent the evening at the Rich Lake beach for swim & lasagna dinner. Note to Stripperguy on adkforum: this trip was planned (after being on my to-do list for weeks) & crew assembled days before your initial post.
July 16 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing boat launch. Down the W shore, back on the undeveloped E shore - current going upstream after low tide. Immature bald eagle. Dagger Alchemy, a playful 14' kayak.
July 14 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR in southern VT. Undeveloped shores & hills other than the dam, ski trails on Mt Snow & a house on a hill. Paddled up the E shore with view of Stratton Mtn & into NE bay, lunched on an island* then went up the inlet, E Branch Deerfield River. Picnic spots, no camping. Nice swimming. Light wind, no bad bugs. Very light motorboat use - fishermen. Loons, merganser family, C goose family, black duck family, mature & immature bald eagles. Wenonah Wilderness, a 15'4" solo canoe. 14 miles, 6.4 hours. *Same island we lunched on during Jan. 27 ski trip. I lost my cellphone that day. Today I found that phone just offshore in a foot of water!!!
July 9 - HUDSON RIVER from Hudson Shores Park in Watervliet. High tide a half hour into the paddle. Upstream E of Center Island & under Green Island & Collar City Bridges. W of Adams Island & around Stony Island. Federal Lock & Dam. Current made it real easy heading back W of Center Island (impassable near low tide). A brief shower resulted in a rainbow. 3.6 miles, 1.5 hours.
July 7 - HOOSIC RIVER from North Pownal VT to just past Rt.7 in Hoosic NY. Williamstown gauge at 5.54', Eagle Bridge gauge at 3.75' - a few scratchy spots but a nice non-pushy level. Very nice scenery to the state line with no sign of civilization; rest is near farms, rr tracks or roads, still minimal sights of any development & very pleasant. Mostly class I rapids but a class II drop at the "Hoosic Wave". Some carnage en route: one person hit a shallow post (there are several, less on river R) under the Rt.346 bridge & capsized, another got pinned against some concrete blocks well into the trip - both man-made obstacles! Some strainers in the bends before the Rt.7 bridge could be a problem in higher water. Bald eagle, green & gb herons, hawks, kingfishers, sandpipers, bank swallows, crows, minnows. 10 miles, 5 hours.
July 2 - HUDSON RIVER from 123rd St boat launch (officially closed for repairs) in Lansingburgh. Water level high, noticeable current. Headed upstream, some development but after ~2 miles both shores wooded. Fast trip back downstream. Bald eagle, osprey. WS Zephyr kayak. Stopped at Cohoes Falls before paddling, quite impressive:
June 30 - HOUSATONIC RIVER from Brookside Rd, Great Barrington to Rannapo Rd, Ashley Falls, MA. Gt. Barrington gauge at 3' - a very nice level. The Housatonic runs thru a wide floodplain; silver maples, cottonwoods & sycamores dominate the tops of its sandy banks. The current, sometimes gentle sometimes quicker, helps us along. Over the banks, one gets occasional views of Mt. Everett, the Taconics & the hills to the E. Pretty soon we are in the area where the Stockbridge indians (Mohicans) had their great 60' long house 300 years ago. The river winds gently with some straight stretches; many strainers & some shallows are encountered but are easily maneuvered around. Couldn't quite get away from road noise in this 4.8 mi. stretch to the covered bridge (white marble pilings). 2 miles further, Hubbard Brook enters from the W. The river pulls further away from Rt. 7 & becomes more peaceful in a 6 mi. stretch between bridges. Near the end of the trip the river is quite wide. Mallards, mergansers, hawks, gb & green herons, bank swallows, sandpipers, rw blackbirds, kingfisher, 4 owls, whitetail deer. Lots of mosquitoes at put-in & take-out, none on water & when we stopped for lunch on a low sandy bank. 13.7 miles, 4.5 hours. Paddling guide (pdf).
June 25 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Water level had been drawn down 3' so that new boards could be installed on top of dam - NYS Canals Notice to Mariners. Peregrine falcons nesting on cliffs. Lots of mallards & gb herons. Remnants of the old Erie Canal aqueduct. Paddled to Rexford Bridge & back: 9 miles, 2 hours. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' kayak.
June 23 - BATTEN KILL from Arlington, VT to Eagleville NY. Battenville gauge at 5.4', visual gauge on Rt.313 bridge in Arlington at 2.55' - a very nice level. An early rapid is maybe class I+ as it drops between some rocks, all others class I. Clear cool water, beautiful scenery. Above Rt.61 bridge (being reconstructed) there is an old wood dam which creates a nice surfable wave - we played here for quite some time. Yellow warbler, mergansers. Tubers & renters out in the pm. 11.5 miles, 5.4 hours.
June 18 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing boat launch. Paddled down the somewhat developed W shore & saw 3 bald eagles. Returned on the E shore & saw 6 eagles & an osprey. Tug pushing 3 barges upstream - able to surf the wakes. Nice sunset again. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 160 PRO, one of my favorite kayaks.June 16 - HUDSON RIVER from Thurman Station (downstream of Rt.418 bridge on river R) to Hadley (takeout at end of Maple St.). Clear water - a lot different than the lower Hudson. North Creek gauge at 4.9', Hadley gauge at 5.7' - mostly quickwater, some riffles with waves up to 1'. L shore undeveloped, light development on R shore. River is fairly wide & has some islands. Steep hills on both sides; could see Hadley Mtn when I turned around. Deer, bald eagle, hawks. 15 miles, 4 hours. Caught some eddies behind rocks with the Dagger Axis 12 kayak.
June 15 - CHRISTMAN SANCTUARY walk, on & off-trail, some very muddy spots. Many waterfalls on the Bozenkill.
June 12 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. The murky tidal Hudson. High water thanks to recent rain. Downstream then up the Vloman Kill to the falls - domestic geese & goats. Crossed the Hudson, checked out an empty eagle nest the went up the Moordener Kill - good current in spots & strainers. A few big boats on the river. Nice sunset.
June 9 - MINNEWASKA STATE PARK hike. From Awosting parking area. Mossy Glen trail - bridge out over the Peter's Kill, water level high due to recent rains so bushwhacked upstream then out to the carriage road. After crossing Fly Stream took L on orange trail (used to be the Long Path) climbing up rock slabs revealing a view of the Catskills. Dropped steeply into Huntington Ravine to the foot of pretty Rainbow Falls. Continued up out of the ravine eventually reaching Litchfield Ledge where there are wonderful views of Lake Awosting, the Catskills, The Badlands, Rondout Reservoir & more - long break for lunch. Moved on to Battlement Terrace & Castle Point with views to the Hudson Valley & NJ. Looped back on the Blueberry Path, fittingly named, & good bridge over the Peter's Kill. Finished on the carriage road. Mountain laurel flowers (mostly pink, some white) plentiful but mostly not open yet, saw some sheep laurel flowering. 5' long black rat snake, small water snake; a few blackflies at the falls & on carriage road. 9+ miles, ~1,000 gross elevation, 6.2 hours.
June 5 - COLLINS PARK LAKE SUPing in Scotia. Saw lots of fish. Boardworks B-Ray.
June 5 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. A very pleasant & calm morning. Osprey, bg herons, red-tailed hawk. Wenonah Aurora, a 16' general purpose tandem canoe - cruised easily at 4.5 mph, topped out at 6mph.June 4 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park, Rosendale Rd in Niskayuna. Water chestnut weeds are starting to come in. A windy evening so stayed S of the islands. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 155, a maneuverable 15.5' sea kayak.June 3 - PETER'S KILL AREA hike. Shawangunks, from park office Minnewaska State Park - get map here, some new trails in the area. $8 parking fee. High Peter's Kill Footpath over notch in Dickie Barre (from W side: view of cliffs across the PK clove & N to the Catskills; from E side: view across Coxsing Kill clove to Trapps & Mohonk's Sky Top Tower), Red Loop, Bullwheel Trail - lots of steep ups & downs. Off-trail upstream (rock-hopped & waded across the stream to get to a waterfall with initial 6' drop followed by 20' drop) & downstream: cascades & falls on the PK. Pitch pine, scrub oak, blueberry, huckleberry, mountain laurel (starting to bloom). Turkey vultures, chipping sparrows. A few disinterested blackflies - not a problem. I love the 'gunks! 4.5 hours.
June 2 - HOOSIC RIVER from Girardi Canoe Access, Ashton Ave in N Adams MA to Conservation Park (unmarked, just an old sign frame left) near the bend on Lincoln St in Pownal VT. Gage at Williamstown at 5.86', a very nice level. Mix of quickwater, riffles & rapids up to class 1+. A few left-hand turns early may have strainers on outside of turns - always safest to eddy out on inside of the bends. Warning: before reaching Williamstown there is a rope across the river (went under it to the L but could be very dangerous with higher water levels) then a boom (runnable) across - work being done on L shore. After passing under the Rt.7 bridge there was a fun section of standing waves up to 2'. The river then mellows out a bit as it butts up against the Taconic Range allowing one to pay more attention to the scenery & birdsong. 9.7 miles, 3.7 hours.
May 27 - CANNONSVILLE RESERVOIR kayaking. A dammed portion of the W Br Delaware River just W of Catskill Park. Free NYC DEP permit required. Boats have to be steam cleaned locally - $15 at Rainbow Lodge. We did a one-way trip with shuttle from Apex Bridge to Roods Creek with side-trip up the northern arm (Trout Creek), unfortunately this gave us a headwind much of the way; boat launch areas have a pink flag. Stopped by DEP Police in motorboat checking permits etc, no other boats of any kind while we were paddling. Nearby lightly-traveled roads but very little sign of development. Steep verdant hardwood hills rise over 1,000' above the reservoir. Deer swimming across, bald eagles, mergansers, a couple of blackflies. 70F & mostly cloudless, moderate wind. 5+ hours. Dagger Axis 12 kayak.
May 26 - GIANT LEDGE & PANTHER MOUNTAIN hike in the Catskills. Great views E from ledges on GL: Hunter, Overlook, Slide & many other peaks. Lots of people on the trail to GL (has several viewpoints). Up to 5" of snow above 3,500' on Panther (3,720' el.; found 2 viewpoints) & 41F on top with melting snow dripping off the balsams, trail was water &/or slush. Too cold & windy for bad bugs. 6.6 miles, 4.75 hours, 1,700' of climbing. Primitive car camping amongst tall red pines off Millbrook Rd near Kelly Hollow Trail - no-one else there.