I've been plugging away at bushwhacking all the named peaks in the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area and I've been making good progress. I've also climbed a bunch of the unnamed ones that I can tell have good views. Fall is definitely the best time to do this, so I planned another one for today.
The Big Marsh Pond area can be accessed either from Route 9 in North Hudson, by utilizing a culvert that passes under I-87, or by parking at Palmer Pond on Blue Ridge Road and hiking north from there. I chose the Palmer Pond Route since you have to wade the Schroon River from Route 9.
I got a really late start today. I wasn't on the trail until 11:15. I was hoping I still had enough time to hike north to the Big Marsh Pond outlet drainage, then follow it to Big Marsh Pond. If all was going well, I would continue on and hike to Marsh Pond Mountain before circling back to the car.
There is supposed to be a small point on Blue Ridge Road in the vicinity of Palmer Pond where state land touches the highway. I didn't see any state land signs, but I found an area, where I thought the state land was and it didn't have any posted signs. I entered at that point and headed almost straight north. For the first 10 minutes I was walking through a messy logging area. Perhaps I was in the wrong spot.
|An open pine forest|
I stayed east of a small unnamed peak and soon was at the drainage of Big Marsh Pond. From here, I just stayed on the north side of the drainage and headed west. About halfway to Big Marsh Pond I passed an area where the drainage was a little bit wider and pooled up a little. There was also a big prairie type grass area adjacent. On the slope above, where I was, there where some nice pines and glacial erratics.
|a marsh of dry grass|
After that, there was nothing remarkable until I reached Bid Marsh Pond. This pond had more water in it than I was expecting.
It had only taken me 2 hours and 15 minutes to travel the 3.5 miles to reach Big Marsh Pond so I decided I had enough time to zip up Marsh Pond Mountain. It was only a mile to the summit from the pond.
As I climbed, I immediately left the pines and entered hardwoods for the climb up. Before I reached the summit ridge I had to bypass a band of cliffs. Nothing terribly hard. Soon I on the southern tip of the ridge where I had great view of Big Marsh Pond and Little Marsh Pond. Rev and I stopped under the shade of the tree to cool down and have some food. She also drank over a liter of water. It was hot climbing the southern face of the mountain with the sun beating down. I let Rev cool down before continuing.
The actual summit was in the trees. Actually it was a double summit and both were in the trees. When I reached the northern summit I decided to continue a loop instead of going back. I headed southeast, instead of southwest from where I had come.
|Typical side slope in the area|
On the way down I was just making time. I angled my way down the slope until I was back near the drainage. I followed the drainage for a distance, then took a dogleg to cut the corner from the way I came in. This sent me up and over an unnamed hill which had a really nice open rock summit and some great views.
It had taken me 3.25 hours to reach the summit, but I got out in 2.25 hours by taking a more direct line to the car. It was a great weather day to be out enjoying the woods. I didn't see anybody all day, and I don't think I ever have when I've done a bushwhack hike.
A few extra pictures can be found on my Picasa web album.
Hike Distance: 8 miles
Hike Time: 5.5 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 2200'