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

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)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Waterfalls and Views in the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area - 8/24/14

I guess my theme this weekend was bushwhacking to waterfalls and open rock with views.  Saturday was in the Dix Wilderness and today was in the Giant Wilderness.
I parked near Chapel Pond at the Zander Scott Ridge Trail for Giant, only instead of taking the trail, I began bushwhacking the right side of the drainage just east of the ridge trail.  The topo map has a falls labeled that I had not yet taken the time to explore.
I encountered a faint herd path on and off.  No doubt others had done this same trek.  The grade was relatively steep, but the bushwhacking was not a problem.
It was a .6 mile hike to the falls, with an elevation gain of about 500 feet.  The falls lies in a deep ravine so some care is needed getting down in there.  It is worth it.  The falls is spectacular and there is a great swimming hole at the base for those that like cold water!  It's amazing how remote this spot felt even though it is so close to the road.   I posted a video of the falls on You Tube.
My dog Rev and I spent about 30 minutes here poking around and watching the falls. 
Look at that grotto to the left of the falls!

Just awesome
This swimming hole looks about 6-7 feet deep

From the falls, I continued to climb and headed over to some promising open rock which is essentially the southern terminus of the slope to Rocky Peak Ridge.  I passed an old abandoned hunter shanty on the way.  The southern promontory is comparable to Giant's Nubble and offers excellent views of the Dix Range, Round Mountain and the Great Range.  I got lots of great pictures from this location.  

The Great Range

a closer look

Dix Range

Round Mountain

Dix Range and Round Pond


My viewpoint and the Ridge to Giant in the background

The Great Range
The southern slope of Rocky Peak Ridge


My kind of view

The Great Range

Round Mountain
a mountain goat, or my dog Rev?
 Rather than bushwhack back the way I came, I decided to go past the Dipper and connect with the Ridge Trail to Descend.  I ran into some horrid blowdown south and west of the Dipper, but it didn't last for long.  Once on the trail it was an easy cruise back down.  Rev and I passed a dozen or so people on the way out. 

The Dipper

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  4 miles
Hike Time:  4 hours (including stops)
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1200'  

The route (click image to enlarge)