Lake George

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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Noble Mountain (2927') - Giant Mountain Wilderness Area - 4/26/15

After thoroughly enjoying a hike up Holcomb and Deer Mountains in the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area last weekend, I came back today to tackle Noble Mountain.

I parked the car at the designated campspot off of Route 9, just north of the intersection of  Route 9 and 73.  With great difficulty (and with water shoes), I found a place to cross the Boquet River with only a couple steps taken in the cold water.  This was the hardest part of the whole trip.  In summer, and with lower water, it would be much easier.

Rev and I headed north winding our way through the series of cliff bands just north of the Boquet.

The beautiful Boquet River

Next we followed the southern spine of the Noble Mountain ridge as it wound first NW then NE.  

The Dix Range.

 Threre were quite a few slabs of rock along the way where views were plentiful.

Rev's always first up

Looking northeast

Just shy of the SE knob, or false summit, was a big slab of rock where I built a small cairn atop a pyramidal shaped rock.  Although the skies look cloudy in most of these pictures, there were more breaks of sun than expected; a pleasant surprise!

I built this little cairn.  In the background is the Dix Range on the left and part of the great range on the right. 

The SE knob was the highlight of the trip.  Great views and an interesting rock formation were the highlight.

A fun rock formation on the SE knob

The final push to Noble was easily visible to the north, and it consisted of light hardwoods.

The profile of Noble Mountain ,as seen from the SE knob.

Approaching the summit 

A large rock within sight of the true summit

The summit itself was unspectacular.  Some views could be found walking to the west edge of the ridge.  Lots of prickers/nettles were located in portions of the summit area.  

Rev, waiting for me at the summit

An interesting stump near the summit

The combination of dying birches and streaky gray sky provided a stark landscape

Back to the SE knob

Looking south

Looking north

Rev took us back by following our scent 

While Noble Mountain is less than notable, the hike leading up to the SE knob is interesting and worthwhile.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  6.5 miles
Hike Time:  4.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 2200'

The route (click image to enlarge)

Blueberry Trail Network and Hill 617 - Elizabethtown, NY - 4/25/15

Oh my god, what an awesome place this is.  The Blueberry Hill Trail System in Elizabethtown continues to amaze me.  I was here almost exactly one year ago for the first time and I wrote a blog report saying how nice this area is.  

Leesa and I came back on Saturday to explore "Hill 617" in the NW corner of the property.  We also wanted to walk more of the trail system.  617 is the metric elevation which would convert to 2024'. Satellite images showed lots of rock on the summit.  

There are 2 entrances to the trails.  We drove in the Bronson Road entrance and parked at the second sand pit.  The road continues beyond that, but it gets a little rougher.

With the leaves down, we could see hill 617 as we were driving in.  Once we parked, the hill was almost due north from our car and only 1.2 miles distant.  Rumor has it that there will be a trail up this hill, but there is not one there yet.  

We followed the woods road and trails until it was time to climb.  Upward we went through the open understory, enjoying the woods and the filtered views west and south.  Soon we came to the false summit on the SE side. 

Rocky Peak Ridge and Giant Mountain

Near the false summit

Looking west toards Hurricane Mountain 

Rev wants to head to RPR and Giant

The SE knob is a great spot with lots of views.  It would be tough to beat, but we continued on towards the true summit and found that the summit couldn't beat the false summit.  We pressed on to get to the west end of the summit cone to see what views we meet find there.  This is where we hit the bonanza!  The western tip of Hill 617 is one of the most amazing places I've seen in the Adirondacks. Not only are there great views, but the terrain on the ground is fascinating.  There is a double cleft of rock, plus multiple tiers,  Wonderful trees, grasses, mosses and sandy gravel completed the picture. Below is a sample of pictures from this glorious spot.

Part of the western tip of Hill 617

The view south

What a ledge!

Still ice on the rocks, even with the sw exposure. 

Rev is always a step ahead

Ledges galore!

and trees...

Leesa high above

It was windy, cold and gray when we reached the western edge of the hill, but our timing was perfect. Blue skies were rolling in and suddenly it felt a lot warmer.

I was floored by this area.  It's amazingly beautiful and easy to get to.  The Blueberry Trail System seems to get light use, and this hill has probably seen very few visitors, but that's OK with me.  Leesa and I didn't mind having it to ourselves.

Eventually we retreated back to the trail system; which in itself is a gem.  Mountain bikers, trail running would love this network of trails on smooth woods roads and foot paths.  An additional bonus are the 3 structures on the network:  a cabin, a sugarhouse, and a leanto.  The leanto is pearched high on a ledge with great views of Elizabethtown and Cobble Hill.

The cabin 

The sugarhouse 

A view from the leanto

How many lean-tos have this kind of setting?

Rocky Peak Ridge and Giant from the lean-to

Not a bad place for a house...

Distant rocks are calling

If you haven't been to this trail network in Elizabethtown, add it to your list.  You won't be disapointed.  It you like to bushwhack, Hill 617 and the western face can't be beat! 

Here is a look at the west face of Hill 617

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  5.6 miles
Hike Time:  4 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1600' 

The route.  Click image to enlarge.