Lake George

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Round Pond and Mud Pond - Wilcox Lake Wild Forest - 2/24/16

Just south of the wildly popular Crane Mountain lie two quiet ponds that are easily reached by short walks.  Round Pond is a 0.6 mile walk and Mud Pond is a 0.25 mile walk.  Access to the trailheads to these ponds is from Mud Pond Road (which is called Mud Pond Trail on some maps).  Most visitors to these ponds are probably intent on fishing.  

Crane Mountain from Little Pond on the drive in.

Mud Pond Road has no street sign, but it's the only road in the area.  It terminates at the site of an old farmhouse, long since removed.  A keen eye will find evidence of an old homestead:  remnants of foundations, a well house, rhododendrons, daffodils, apple trees.  This area boasts nice possible campsites that would be greater than the required 150' distance from trail, parking or water.

A remaining wellhouse.

Blue skies constrast nicely with the white birch.

A great spot for a campsite.  

Hey now....

Site of the old farmhouse.

Apple tree from the old dooryard....

Rev checking out the beaver dam en route to Round Pond.

Leesa enhancing the little beaver dam so she could cross. 

Making her way...

Once at Round Pond, we were determined to get to the peninsula on the east side of the pond known as Stony Point.  We had to cross a marsh and a couple beaver dams but we made it.  The Discover the dirondacks  - Southern Adirondacks talks about the history of this penisnsula. 

Wolf Pond Mountain from Stony Point.  WPM will be a future exploration.

Clouds were moving in as predicted and it gave some interesting skies on the way out.

Stony Point on Round Pond with Bearpen Peak in the background.

Back at the car, we drove partially back out Mud Pond Road to the Mud Pond trailhead and followed the trail downhill a quarter mile to Mud Pond where we saw 4 loons swimming near a beaver lodge in the pond.   

In the future, I'll be coming back to this area to climb some of the surrounding mountains, Cherry Ridge, Wolf Pond Mountain and Bearpen  Peak. 

Mud Pond.

A rowboat at Mud Pond.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  1.8 miles (both hikes combined)
Hike Time:  1.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~250'

The routes

The route and surrounding area on the Nat Geo map.

The Exceptional Scaroon Manor Campground - Schroon Lake, NY - 4/24/16

Have you ever wandered through a New York State campground in the off-season?  Perhaps just to walk your dog, or scout it for the first time, or locate the best campsite?  We stopped at the relatively new (2011) Scaroon Manor Campground located on Route 9 straddling the Warren County/Essex County border.  The northerern campground gate is within site of the I-87 Exit 27 access road. 

Any positive adjective could be inserted for this campground and it would fit.  From our observations, it's clean and beautiful, the RV sites are well graded and easy to maneuver in and out of. There are no hookups if that is a concern.  There is a beach and of course the beautiful Schroon Lake. 

The part of the campground that especially appeals to Leesa and I is the northern end of the campground.  This is where the tent sites are, and they are huge, perhaps the largest we've ever seen. It's a very quiet area and the sites are far from Route 9, so road noise is not a problem.  In fact, you have to walk a foot trail to get to the tent sites.  The sites are not car camping sites.  The campground map can be found here.  Altogether, there are 60 tent and trailer sites at the south campground and 15 remote sites at the north campground "Camp Cayuga".

The north end is connected to the main campground (south end) by a 1.2 mile foot trail through the woods that follows Marsh Pond Creek.  You can access this foot trail by the north end parking lot without entering the campground (and you won't even feel like you are at the campground).

The frontage along Schroon Lake is a combination of campsites, woods, narrow sandy shoreline, picnic area, fishing area and boat launch.  There are open fields for ball games and activities.  Since the campground is almost new, all the facilities are in excellent condition.  Everything at this campground is fully accessible.

For history buffs, this campground was once the site of the Scaroon Manor Resort.  The old ampitheater is still intact and it will be maintained.  The draft Unit Management Plan offers a wealth of information about the history of Scaroon Manor in addition to a decription about the natural features of the area.

If you stop here yourself to take a look, you may soon forget that with 250 acres to wander, a few hours might pass before you realize it. 

The shore at the north end.

Along the north end...

The shore in the wooded section between the north and south campgrounds.

Accessible pier near the beach.

From the beach, Hoffman Mountain is visible in the backgorund (center).
  The Dix Wilderness Nippletop Mountain is just to the right.

Concrete boat basin

Ledge Hill in the background. 

The ampitheater and the later addition "projection booth".

Ampitheater backdrop

Rev being reflective?

Can you top this picnic site? 

Hoffman and the Dix Wilderness Nippletop; familiar sites to Schroon Lake residents.

If you stop here to walk your dog or scope out the campground, there is a good chance you will be back. 

Our wandering route through the campground.