Lake George

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Phelps Mountain - 8/27/11

UPDATE - Tuesday, August 30th:
I just learned that the bridge over Marcy Dam got washed out by Hurricane Irene and the High-Water bridge over Phelps Creek had substantial damage.  Also - the bridge on Adirondack Loj Road (closest to the lodge) suffered severe damage.  We were just at all those places the day before.  Below are pictures of Marcy Dam Bridge and Phelps Creek High-Water bridge the day before Hurricane Irene destroyed them.

Saturday August 25th was the day before hurricane Irene hit the northeast, but it was a nice day for hiking.  Leesa and I wanted to climb another of the Adirondack high peaks.  Phelps was the choice for the day.  The mountain is named after Orson Schofield "Old Mountain" Phelps (1817–1905), who cut the first trail up Mount Marcy and named several of the Adirondack peaks.
We drove towards Lake Placid and the Adirondack Lodge, then turned left onto South Meadows Road and parked beside the trailhead.

Summit Coordinates:  44° 9' 25'' N; 73° 55' 17'' W
Elev. at South Meadow Trailhead:  ~ 2000'
Elev. at summit of Phelps:  4160'
Total Elev. Gain:  2160'
Roundtrip hiking time:  3.5 hours
Roundtrip Distance:  9.6 miles
Our route is highlighted in blue

1st sign along the trail

at Marcy Dam

Leesa on Marcy Dam Bridge (the day before Hurricane Irene washed it out)

trail signs at Marcy Dam

just past Marcy Dam

High Water Bridge over Phelps Creek (the bridge suffered extensive damage the next day from Hurricane Irene)

Pool of water immediately below High Water Bridge - excellent swiming spot

We both swam in the pool of water at High Water Bridge on the way down.  It was cold, but quite refreshing and shoulder deep!  There are also designated campsites near this bridge as well as near Marcy Dam.

Leesa on summit

Mike on the summit.  Mt. Colden in the background on the left, Algonquin on the right

Zoom in view of Avalanche Pass

Big Slide from the summit of Phelps

Red trail marker near the summit

rock cairn near the summit

View of Mts. Colden, Algonquin and Wright as well as Avalanch Pass

The beginning portion of the hike along the South Meadow truck trail is as easy as walking on the road.  This trail goes approximately 2.6 miles until you reach Marcy Dam.  From Marcy Dam, the Van Hoevenberg trail climbs slowly and steadily towards Mount Marcy.  The Phelps trail branches left off Van Hoevenberg and rises about 1300' in the one mile to the summit.

The views of Mounts Colden, Algonquin and Wright Peak are excellent.  You also have a good view of Marcy, Tabletop, Giant and Big Slide.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sandy Bay - Lake George - 8/26/11

I had this Friday off from work, and Leesa was able to spare a couple hours off in the morning so we went for a 2 hour paddle at the south end of Lake George.  We parked at a small pulloff of Route 9, just west of Pilot Knob Road and launched from a little piece of state land that accesses Warner Bay.  You can carry your boat 50' from the pulloff to the launch site.

Our kayak route highlighted in blue
Our route was about 5 miles in total.  We paddled north and then turned left (west) around Sheldon Point then south to Sandy Bay.

Nice bridge connecting a home on Sheldon Point with their boathouse

State sign for Sandy Bay at shoreline

Small cove on Sandy Bay

Notice the shallow depth of water and sandy bottom
Sandy Bay is known for its' shallow water and sandy bottom. Many boats anchor off Sandy Bay so people can swim. It's a great spot for little kids with most of the area having a water depth of 1-4'. 

We enjoyed a swim then paddled north along the east side of Cleverdale to Ripley Point. From there we could see Assembly Point and Long Island.
Looking towards Cleverdale

We looped around and returned to Warner Bay and back out. A nice 2 hour paddle. The water really is clear. In many spots, you can see the bottom 12-15 feet below.

This picture was accidently taken in sepia, but it looks nice

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Schroon River & Bald Peak - 8/20/11

Any day paddling on the Schroon River is a good day.  My college buddy Craig came up for a weekend visit and we chose to do a half day paddle and a half day hike on Saturday 8/20.  We started with the paddle.  Schroon Falls is a nice launch spot from off of Route 9 and makes for about a 4 hour paddle to the State Boat Launch in the Town of Schroon Lake. 
When I had paddled the Schroon River 2 weeks earlier, the gauge at Riverbank had been at about 2.5 feet and the river was a little scratchy, but with a good dose of rain on 8/15 the gauge was up to about 3.35 feet.  You still had to watch for shallow spots, but it was a much nicer paddle with the extra water.
We got on the water just after 8 AM.  Lots of ducks, but no herons or egrets on this trip.  We didn't see another boat until we entered the lake.  About two-thirds of the way to the lake we pulled up onto a sand bar and put a swim and baked in the sun for a few minutes.   
Our paddle for the day - Schroon Falls to the State Boat Launch
Gauge height at Riverbank was about 3.35 feet on 8/20/11
Just starting out from Schroon Falls
One of many nice sand bars

Hoffman Mountain in the background

just arrived at the North end of Schroon Lake

heading south along the lake

This guy had 2 dogs with him on his sit-on-top.  Both dogs looked scared.  The dog in front was barking and the dog in back was whimpering.  If either one fell in, I don't know how he would have gotten them back into the boat.

Schroon Lake Public Beach

Schroon Lake Boathouse Theater behind the boat launch

Craig enjoying the lake

After our paddle, we had lunch and headed for Rocky Peak Ridge.  We parked at the New Russia trailhead on Route 9 at 2:20 PM.   From the trailhead to Bald Peak was 3.9 miles, one way, and that was a good distance for us hike for an afternoon.

Summit Coordinates:  44° 9' 36'' N; 73° 39' 57'' W

Elev. at Summit:  3035'
Distance New Russia to Bald Peak:  3.9 miles
Total distance round trip:  7.8 miles
Round trip time:  4 hours

Our route is highlighted in blue

1st viewpoint was about 40 minutes into the hike (before Blueberry Cobbles)

Summit of Bald Peak

Looking towards Rocky Peak Ridge from Bald Peak

Some interesting clouds came in during the afternoon, but we didn't get any rain

Zoom of Dix Range from Bald Peak

Rocky Peak Ridge is a fantastic hike.  It is unusual, in that about 60 % of the ridge is open with views!  After 45 minutes of hiking from Route 9, you start to get almost continuous views.  Several groups we saw were hiking the whole ridge from New Russia to Giant Peak and back (about a 16 mile hike).  Others had parked 2 cars (one on Route 9 and another on route 73) and were hiking thru.... about 11 miles.

No matter how you chose to do it, it's a great hike.