Every time I see a hill or a mountain with some open rock at or near the summit, I look on my map to see if the location is on public land and if it is accessible from the road. I've climbed quite few peaks this way. Many of these are unfamiliar to most people.
On this particular Friday night occasion, I ventured up Merrills Hill in the Town of Schroon Lake. A rocky summit can be seen from Trout Brook Road. If you turn off Trout Brook Road onto Wamsley Road, and just keep going straight (ignoring the right turn onto Nurse's Road) the road turns to gravel, but you'll soon get to a dead end. There is a small camp on the right.
|Merrills Hill from Wamsley Road|
|... a closer look|
Beyond the dead end is an abandoned road which can be followed for a couple hundred yards before you come to state land. I continued to follow the abandoned road for a very short while and then turned left to pick up the drainage that leads up to a col just east of the summit of Merrills Hill.
I crossed some orange flagging on the way up. When I reached the summit ridge, I turned west and soon saw the flagging again, along with some small cairns and a herd path. Within a couple minutes, I reached a fine ledge just below (and west) of the true summit. Most of my pictures were taken from this spot. There is a 180 degree view to the west that is quite nice.
I also went to the true summit but it was nondescript. The ledge was the place to be.
|Small cairns and flagging near the summit|
|Approaching the ledge from the east|
|Rev got there first|
|about a 500' foot drop from this ledge|
On the way down, I followed the orange flagging. It was a herd path that had been marked by someone. It went down the slope just west of the drainage that I had followed on the way up. Near the bottom, it had turned east and crossed the drainage (that is where I first saw it) and it continued east a short distance, then dropped south to the abandoned road. It's a little bit longer than the route I had taken, but it was alright. It came out just near the state land sign pictured below.
|More state land signs farther east on the abandoned road|
I came back to this hill on Saturday to show Leesa the view from the ledge. Lots of low clouds on Saturday made for some different pictures so I included some of those here as well.
|Same view but with low clouds on Saturday|
I thought this was a nice little bushwhack hike to a ledge with a great view to the west.
Roundtrip Hike Distance: 2 miles
Hike Time: ~ 1 hour
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 700'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|