Lake George

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

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Winding Falls - Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest - 9/24/2022

Heading out on a nice early Fall day, Leesa, Rev and I headed North towards the Tupper Lake, not sure where we'd end up.  Sometimes it's nice that way; no set plans, just a general direction and ideas.  We ending up choosing a 5 mile roundtrip hike to Winding Falls (also called Pa's Falls), on the Bog River, from the North, starting from Route 421.

This trail appears to be fairly new; perhaps created within the last few years.  The trail does not appear on the National Geographic Map 745 (Old Forge/Oswegatchie).  There is a trailhead sign on Route 421.  A gate is visible from the road.  Parking is simply on the shoulder of the road.  We chose this hike because the distance was right, and the desire to see a waterfall that we hadn't seen before.  Reseaching  after the fact I see that the trail does appear on the All Trails app and is listed as a 5.5 mile hike with 616' vertical.

We weren't sure how impressive the falls would be, but that is half the fun.  The name Winding Falls sounded interesting to us, so off we went. 

Beaver dam pond at 0.6 miles 

No bugs this time of year and the trail was mostly dry.  The leaves are starting to turn and there was some color to observe on the trail and while driving around the area.

When we reached the Bog River we came to an old steel beam bridge that hasn't seen traffic in many years.  

Old bridge over the Bog River, just upstream from the falls

This falls is also accessible via a trail from the East that is sligthly longer.  Note the picture of the sign before at the trail junction near the falls.

The trailhead sign and this sign near the falls are new

When we got to the falls we were quite impressed.  There really three seperate significant drops, as seen in the pictures below. 

Marker near the falls

The water really roars through the area.  It must be something to see in the spring.

Yes, it is winding

The falls exceeded our expectations, making this hike defintely worthwhile in our minds.

No swimming here..

Perhaps you could swim below this last portion of the falls 

It took us an hour each way at a moderate pace.  We lingering at the falls for awhile since it was so nice.

Rev is hiding...

We had brought our tent and camping gear in case we decided to spend the night up north.  After returning to the car we headed south towards Indian Lake.  We arrived at the Lewey Lake State Campground on the SW corner of the lake and found, or our surprise, that one of the prime lakeside sites was empty.  We inquired at the campground office and the attendant said "yep they left a day early".  Perhaps they hadn't been prepared for nighttime temps of about 40 degrees, but it was our good fortune.  We snagged the site and had a lovely evening campfire lakeside.  We awoke to the predawn glow pictured below.   All in all a nice trip!    

Pre-sunise at Indian Lake

The route

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  5.5 miles
Total Vertical Gain:  650'
Hike Time:  3 hours, including stops 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Indian Lake Paddle to Dug Mountain Brook Falls - 8/13/2021

Indian lake boasts a nice DEC State Boat Launch on the spit of land between Lewey Lake and Indian Lake in Sabael (GPS Coordinates 43.652017, -74.387589).  Boats large and small can launch there.  A large parking lot makes parking a breeze.  Canoe rentals are also available (in season).  There is an $8 day use fee for parking during the summer months.

This launch site was my jumping off point for a long day paddle to see Dug Mountain Brook Falls.  It was roughly 8.3 miles each way, plus a .25 mile hike each way to see the upper falls.  Prior to the paddle adventure, I took my dog Rev for a morning walk before the extreme heat and humidity of the day, then I left her to take a nap in the cool cellar.

It was noon when I finally got myself on the water.  It was about 85 degrees and with the excessive humidity it felt almost tropical inland, but not on the water!  

Sign on Route 30 at the boat launch entrance

Snowy Mountain to the West

There was a nice breeze on the water which kept me from sweating profusely.  Plus I came prepared to swim and swim I did.  Indian Lake has almost unlimited inviting landing points with sandy beaches where it is easy to land jump into the water.

For those that are interested in camping, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation runs the Indian Lake Islands CampgroundReserve America handles the reservations.  There are 55 sites, and all the sites I've seen are awesome.  It's hard to go wrong with a site on Indian Lake.  Some of the sites are on islands and some are on the shoreline, but all are exceptionally nice and very private.

My 1st stopping point for a swim

Another swimming break spot

After about 2-1/2 hours of paddling and swimming I entered the Jessup River and found the location where the Dug Mountain Brook spills into the Jessup.  There is a picnic area sign there and a spot with a fire ring and a picnic table.  The lower falls is visible from the Jessup.  

Lower Dug Mountain Brook Falls

To get to the upper falls, you have beach the boat and take a short .25 mile hike.  I was ready to take a break from paddling and stretch my legs.  I followed a herd path on the north (left side) of the brook and made my way upstream.    There are a couple blowdown trees to climb over, but nothing too bad.  I reached the upper falls in a matter of minutes.

Upper Dug Mountain Brook Falls

Of course I went for a swim here at the upper falls also.  I thought the water might be a bit colder than the lake but it wasn't bad.  Usually the mountain stream are quite cold, even in August.  There was a little spot in the basin of the falls where the water depth was over my head, but I got right in and got under the falls.  Mission accomplished!  Another great waterfall swim.

Some cools afternoon clouds passed through between 3 and 4 PM.

It was just about 3 PM when I left Dug Mountain Brook Falls to replace my route back to the boat launch.  There was a chance of an afternoon thunderstorm, but while a few clouds rolled through, no rain developed. 

I kept up a steady pace got back to the north end of John Mack Bay in just over an hour.  The sun was back out, so I nosed around the southern end of Long Island for a bit before paddling the final 2.3 miles back to the launch.

Nobody was on site 33 yet, so I stopped there for a snack.

That is a large stump!

The south end of Long Island

My arms suddenly got tired in the last mile of the paddle.  I hadn't paddled this distance yet this year so it felt good, but I was suddenly tired.

Heading back to the launch

On the way home, an extra thick milkshake from Stewart's in Indian Lake hit the spot just right.  On my next adventure to Indian Lake I'll explore John Mack Bay and some of the islands to the NWE of Long Island, but that will be another trip....

The route

 Paddle Stats:

Paddle Distance: 16.8 miles
Hike Distance:  0.5 miles
Trip Time (including stops) - 5 hours