For an Independence Day hike I chose a place that I was almost certain would have no other visitors on this day. In fact, the hill I chose doesn't even have a name. I call it Palmer Pond Hill since it lies immediately south of Palmer Pond. If you haven't heard of Palmer Pond, it is immediately west of I87 Exit 29.
The best way to get to this unnamed hill, however, is to take an old jeep road off Route 9 in North Hudson west to the Schroon River. At the river, you have to wade across. It was calf deep or less on this day. The next thing to do is find the culvert under I87 designed for walking; it takes a little effort since it sees very little use. I've done this bushwhack before so I knew where to look for the culvert.
|The walking culvert in North Hudson.|
Once through the culvert Leesa and I turned north for a short distance to get to the base of the ridge that leads west up to the top of the hill. The climb is beautiful, but it does have two very steep parts, one at the base of the ridge, and one just before the summit.
The ridge is graced with a red pine forest and lots of ledges and rock to scramble up or around.
|An early look SW to Schroon Lake.|
|A zoom view of Schroon Lake.|
|A good look at the southern portion of the Dix Range.|
This hike is only 5.2 miles roundtrip, but allow 4-5 hours for this trip. You can perhaps do it faster, but you won't want to. The summit is a beautiful open rock promenade that faces west. Views are expansive, from Schroon Lake to the SW, all the way to high peaks to the north.
Leesa had not been to this fascinating summit before, hence my selection of this location for our Independence Day hike. The breezes and views were as great as my first visit here. We stayed on top much longer than we normally stay on a summit.
|One of the ledges near the summit.|
|Another view of Schroon Lake.|
|The Adirondack Buffalo Company is in the distance.|
On the way out the Schroon River crossing was nice on the feet.
|The Schroon River|
I imagine I'll be back to this place again in the future. It's high on my list of short bushwhack destinations.
Hike Distance: 5.2 miles
Hike Time: 4.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~1500'
|The route on the NG topo.|