Lake George

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

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Marsh Pond Mountain - Dix Mountain Wilderness Area - 10/12/13

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

The beeches are turning.  The maple leaves are mostly down

with a few exceptions...


the pond drainage
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
pooled drainage
After that, there was nothing remarkable until I reached Bid Marsh Pond.  This pond had more water in it than I was expecting. 

Big Marsh Pond!
Big Marsh Pond and Marsh Pond Mountain


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. 
Big Marsh Pond from the shoulder of Marsh Pond Mountain
Little Marsh Pond from the same location
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. 

near the top of the mountain

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.    

I crossed this nice unnamed hill on the way out




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 Stats:
Hike Distance:  8 miles
Hike Time:  5.5 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 2200'
The route

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