Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Monday, September 1, 2014

Cliff Mountain and Mount Redfield from Upper Works - 9/1/14

This outing was planned by my wife Leesa who is closing in on finishing her Adirondack High Peaks.  She had 43 out of 46, with just Cliff, Redfield and Couchsachraga left.  She had decided long ago that she wanted to finish on Couch, so Cliff and Redfield, being neighbors, were the goal for today.

The weather forecast was good with increasing sunshine predicted.  We got on the trail at 6:30 AM from Upper Works.  I had told her that this would be an 18+ mile day and she preferred to start early rather than finish late.  She hadn't done many hikes recently that were this long, so the plan was to go slow and steady and not burn out too soon.

By 8:30 we were at our adopted lean-to at Herbert Brook, and we stopped to check on it.  Then it was on to the Lake Colden Dam.  We only saw 4 groups of people all day.  One couple was near Flowed Lands and the other 3 groups were near the Colden Dam.  We didn't see anyone along the Opalescent or on Cliff and Redfield.  We had thought we would have seen a lot of people since it was a holiday.   
I lifted Rev down the ladder to the Colden Dam by her Ruffwear harness.  (It has been great for that purpose).  Soon we were a the suspension bridge.  The water level was lower than I had expected.  That turned out to be OK, since it made the trail to Cliff less muddy.

Rev had no problem crossing the suspension bridge over the Opalescent River 

Looking upstream from the suspension bridge. 

It was nice to have some clouds in the morning while we were climbing.  The sun came out shortly before we reached the summit of Cliff.  We had chosen to climb Cliff first to save the best for last.   

Clouds leaving and blue skies arriving, late morning!

The mud on the lower section of the herd path to Cliff wasn't nearly as bad as it usually is earlier in the season.  I managed to keep my feet dry all day in my trail runners.

The cliffs on the mid-section of Cliff were challenging as always, and Leesa wasn't a big fan of them.  She was glad on the way down when they were behind us.

We reached the summit around 11 AM and skies were clearing.  The humidity wasn't bad and we had no issues with bugs all day.

#44  for Leesa - Cliff Mountain

Leesa coming down Cliff

Leesa enjoyed the herd path to Redfield much more than the herd path to Cliff (who doesn't?).   The water along the Uphill Falls Brook was delightful and we stopped on the way up and on the way down to soak our feet.

She did begin to wear down from the climbing as we neared the halfway point going up Redfield.  We just slowed our pace down and she focused on putting one foot in front of the other to reach #45. 

One of the pools of water on Uphill Falls Brook

Some muddy hiking shoes taking a break...

It was about 3 PM when we reached the summit of Mount Redfield.  The weather was perfect and we were really enjoying Redfield.  We stayed there awhile to eat our late lunch.

# 45 for Leesa - Mount Redfield

Skylight on left, from Mount Redfield

Gray, Marcy and Skylight from Redfield

Around 4 PM we made our last stop to soak our feet in Uphill Falls Brook and then it was time to make tracks to get out by dark.  We passed the Lake Colden dam around 5:15 and Flowed Lands around 5:45.   We got great pictures from both those spots.

Lake Colden from the dam

Leesa was a trooper as we made our way back down the Calamity Brook Trail.  She knew the sooner she got back, the sooner she could get off her feet.  We managed to get back just as darkness was setting in.  We gave Rev her dinner right there in the parking lot and she was asleep before we even got back to Blue Ridge Road.     

Flowed Lands

The Henderson Memorial

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  18.9 miles
Hike Time:  13.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 4000'

The route (Click image to enlarge)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goodman Mountain and Coney Mountain - Horseshoe Pond Wild Forest - 8/31/14

Today's weather wasn't much to brag about (warm, muggy, rainy), but I was in Long Lake bringing a kayak to my son Zack, so we took some time to do a few short hikes in the area.
First up was Goodman Mountain (2162') at the southern end of Tupper Lake.  This trail was just opened this month by the Department of Environmental Conservation.  The trail boasts an accessible portion (1400' long) on an old paved road, followed by a moderate grade on the old paved road, and lastly a newly constructed foot path to complete the trek to the summit.
Also it was raining lightly, we saw perhaps 20 people on the trail; perhaps it was the holiday weekend, or the fact that it is a new trail.  We saw a woman with crutches on the accessible portion.  We also saw a couple that had biked the accessible portion, then hiked the rest.     
Trailhead sign on Route 30
The accessible portion was a quick hike for us and took perhaps 10-15 minutes.   

The beginning portion of the trail is an accessible trail

The newly constructed trail portion was a moderate grade.  Then were a couple slick portions that were muddy due to the rain, but we were on the top after 30 minutes from the time we left the car.

Zack and Rev on the summit of Goodman Mountain 
The rain stopped just before we reached the summit.  We were fortunate to have some visibility.  What surprised me was that that was no view of Tupper Lake.  It is blocked by trees on the north side of the summit.   We wandered around a little, but didn't see a viewpoint looking north.
Views are limited to looking mostly west and south. 



The summit of Goodman Mountain

Route 30 down below.
The rain did not return as we descended so we got back to the car mostly dry.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  3.2 miles roundtrip
Hike Time:  1 hour, 10 minutes
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 530'
The trail to Goodman Mountain (click image to enlarge)
Hike Part 2
Since Coney Mountain (2267')  is located just a couple miles south on Route 30 from Goodman, we headed that way to climb a 2nd small peak.  The open rock summit of Coney is visible from several locations on Route 30 on a clear day.  I had driven past it many times, but had never stopped to check it out.
Route 30 trailhead sign for Coney Mountain
Zack signing in at the Coney Mountain trail register
Once again, we saw several groups on the trail.  Not quite as many as on Goodman, but we still saw 3 groups.  We didn't get any more rain and we made quick work of the 1.1 mile trail to the summit.  I believe this trail has been re-routed from it's original short .5 mile trail to a longer 1.1 mile trail that now circles clockwise around to the SE side before climbing the ridge to the summit. 

The summit in sight
 Coney has a pretty awesome summit, with open rock and 360 degree views.  It would be a great place to hang out for awhile on a nice day.  Long Lake is visible to the south.

Long Lake in the distance to the south


A zoom view of Long Lake 

The USGS summit disc
 We saw hooks remaining in the rock from a weather station or previous structure that no longer exists.

The summit ridge

These hikes make for great after work hikes or chances to stretch your legs while passing through.
Coney is especially nice and I'm sure I'll do them both again in the future.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  2.2 miles roundtrip
Hike Time:  50 minutes
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 530'

The Coney Mountain trail (click to enlarge)