I had no problem finding a hike today to avoid the holiday hiking crowds. A bushwhack hike in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness did the trick. I did not see another human all day.
I parked at the Dirgylot Hill trailhead on Route 9, just north of I-87 exit 28 in Severance. On tap for today were the hills labeled "Peaked Hills" on the topo map. I've wandered much of the surrounding area, but had not yet been up these hills.
I followed the old woods road to the first tee, then turned right. The woods road continues a short distance, and becomes a herd path with evidence of old hatchet marks on trees. The herd path leads to 17th brook where another old woods road parallels the brook.
17th Brook typically has a decent amount of water flowing through it, even in dry times. Such was the case today. We've had a dry spring, but the brook still provided some nice waterfalls along the way.
|Waterfall along 17th Brook|
|Remains from an old stove from a bygone era|
I followed 17th Brook past the eastern face of Peaked Hills and continued on until I was at the toe of the northern slope. I decided to tackle the "East Peaked Hill" and "South Peaked Hill" and save the 3rd and last "West Peaked Hill" for another adventure.
I now went almost straight south to climb the East Peaked Hill. Travel was quite easy until I was near the very top. Soon afterward rock slabs broke the summit open. I hadn't expected so much rock on top and it was nice to have great views north, west and south.
|The summit of East Peaked Hill. Hoffman Mountain and Blue Ridge Mountain in the background.|
|A different angle look at the summit|
|Looking SE towards Schroon Lake. Parts of it could be seen on either side of Severance Hill|
|It's a tough life for trees here.|
|Rev's waiting to see which way I'm going next.|
|Looking north from East Peaked Hill|
From East Peaked Hill, I was going to head west to get off the summit, then go south to South Peaked Hill. I ended up going south immediately. It was doable, but steep with lots of ledges and sloping rock and I had to search hard for a way down.
Once I was in the col between the two, it was easy climb up South Peaked Hill. This one had a different feel. The summit was a beautiful red pine forest, but the west face had a large rock slope that provided a vantage point. Very nice. Both of these peaks are well worth the visit.
|Hoffman Mountain in the background from South Peaked Hill.|
|The west face of South Peaked Hill|
|Rev's waiting for me to come back up.|
|Another angle of the west face of South Peaked Hill.|
|Once a tree lived here...|
|A harsh place in winter I'm sure.|
|The true summit of South Peaked Hill|
|Lots of blueberries in another month.|
|Cruising around South Peaked Hill.|
|More glimmers of Schroon Lake behind Severance Hill and Jones Hill|
To leave South Peaked Hill I headed East SE along a nice gentle ridgeline to complete a loop hike. I came back to the herd path just south of its' junction with the 17th Brook woods road.
|Just a boulder catching some shade.|
I quite enjoyed this loop. I'll be doing it again to show Leesa since she didn't join me on today's adventure. I also saw some other distant hills that looked promising and are now on my short list for another trip!
Hike Distance: 7.2 miles
Hike Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Total Vertical Gain: ~2000'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|
|The route as shown on the National Geographic topo|