Lake George

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

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Buck Mountain - Lake George Wild Forest - 11/2/12

Buck Mountain may be the most popular hike in the Lake George area.  Located on the lower east side of the lake, it has two marked trails leading to the summit.  There is a trailhead in Pilot Knob and a second one located in Hogtown.  Pilot Knob is more accessible for vacationers in LG. 
 The parking lot can hold 25- 30 cars with some creative parking, and it's usually full during the prime summer season.  I prefer to hike peaks such as this in the off-season and I feel fortunate to have that luxury. 
Lots of options for a longer traverse   

The trail begins with a flat walk for a quarter mile before arriving at a fork in the trail.  The left fork continues on to Buck Mountain, the right fork follows an old gravel road to Inman Pond and Shelving Rock Road.  After branching left, walking is easy on an old carriage road.  The easy walk gives you time to ponder how these old roads were used in the past.  The whole vicinity is full of such roads.

Looking NW to Tongue Mountain

 On this day, my dog Rev was really in need of some exercise so I turned her loose to do all the running she wanted.  She generally stays close to the trail, but being a hound, she invariably finds something she must go after.  Surprisingly, all was quiet during our trek and she stayed close.   I do make sure she wears her orange bib or her red coat during hunting season.  A white dog with a white tail could easily be a mistaken target.  I wear orange as well.  
King of the hill
After about 2 miles, the trail leaves the brook it had been following and begins the steep push for the last mile to the summit.  This hike is normally a 3-4 hour hike, but I was do this as a trail run.  I reached the summit after an hour and 10 minutes.  The sky was overcast, but the area was quiet and peaceful.  No motorboats droning below, no crowds at the summit picking blueberries, just a cool early November breeze.

A little bit closer view

The summit has great views to the west and the north.  Also, from a stretch of open open rock on the SW flank, there are fine views to the south.

Plenty of open rock on the summit

It was a little cold to linger.  The dog and I enjoyed our snacks and the never tiring view of the lake before quickly feeling the chill in the air.  Together we raced back down the mountain (well I did what I could to give Rev a little run time).

Looking West

and South.  Long Island clearly visible

Together, Rev and I went down the mountain in about 45 minutes.  It felt great to have her unleashed and romping.  I can't wait to see how she does when I'm out with my snowshoes or XC skis.

Hike Stats
Hike Distance:  6.2 miles
Hike Time:  2 hours (as a trail run)
Total Vertical Gain:  2000' 
Approximate shown in blue (click to enlarge)
My version using USGS topo
and a 3d view from Google Earth

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