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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Prospect Mountain & Black Spruce Mountain - Lake George Wild Forest - 12/14/14

Sunday I also opted to stay close to home for my hike of the day.  My plan was to hike Big Hollow road (jeep road) to the summit of Prospect Mountain, then bushwhack to Black Spruce Mountain. I've hiked Big Hollow before.  I've even done it at night with a headlamp.  In the winter, this route is a snowmobile route.

The State recently acquired a parcel of land that includes the summit of Black Spruce Mountain; hence my reason for wanting to visit it. 

I parked on the east side of the culvert tunnel beneath I87.  In the summer I drive through the tunnel and park on the west side.  Snowmobiles had tracked out Big Hollow, but I didn't see any on this day.

0.2 miles into Big Hollow Road, there  is a nice waterfall on Big Hollow Brook.  This is followed by an old dam and a series of water slides.


Big Hollow Road

The spruce give way to hardwoods higher on the trail.





At the parking lot for Prospect Mountain, I turned SW and went past a series of radio towers.




The snow at this point was over 2 feet deep.  My dog Rev was having difficulty in the deep powder.
I was about 0.3 miles from the summit of Black Spruce.  I estimated that it would probably take an hour to reach the summit with the conditions I was facing.  I was also unsure if the dog could make it. I decided to save Black Spruce for another day. 

It was quite pretty at my turnaround point.  All the snow was still stuck to the trees.  I stopped for a bit to just enjoy my surroundings.


Late fall hiking conditions!


Our turnaround point...





Lots of branches on this pine!







Once back at the parking lot for Prospect Mountain, Rev and I took the short path to the summit.  We had the peak to ourselves; no snowmobiles, no people, and quite different from summertime.
    

The Prospect Mountain parking lot


Looking towards the Narrows from Prospect Mountain





The summit pavilion





Lake George down below


Million Dollar Beach
After Prospect Mountain, I backtracked down Big Hollow Road to the car.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  8 miles
Hike Time:  3 hours, 45 minutes
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1400' 


The route (Click image to enlarge)

Pilot Knob Mountain - Lake George Wild Forest - 12/13/14

I spend a lot of time driving.  Too much time.  As this past weekend rolled around, I decided to stick close to home for some local hiking.  Saturday was a beautiful day and I headed to the Pilot Knob/Buck Mountain trailhead for one of my favorite mountains; Pilot Knob.

On this day, I broke trail in two feet of powder to reach the top; hard to believe it is not winter yet. My trail breaking effort was certainly worthwhile for the views I had.

I've reported on this hike before so I'll just give a pictorial essay... 


Rev at the first viewpoint


The Tongue Mountain Range





Near the top of Pilot Knob shoulder 





This gives you an idea what the powder looked like 





Long Island down below


I love this spot.  I have a great fall photo from here





Buck Mountain in the distance

Hike Stats;
Hike Distance:  4 miles
Hike Time:  2 hours, 45 minutes
Total Vertical Gain:  ~1400'


The route (click image to enlarge)