After a lot of bushwhack hikes, Leesa and I choose a trail hike today. This one was to Berrymill Pond in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness Area. Five years ago, we hiked to the pond from the north, so this this we took the trail from the south off of New Hague Road.
This was a 3.1 mile hike, one way to the pond. For the first mile, the trail rises gardually, followed by a moderately steep section that lasted for 0.4 miles. We passed a couple small creeks in this section. The mosquitos were after us early on so Leesa put on a head net and I put on a little Deet. That took care of the problem.
|A trail junction near the start. We took the right fork today towards Berrymill Pond.|
|Rev playing in a creek early in the hike.|
The the crest of the moderately steep section, the forest changed from hard woods to a mixed forest and some beaver ponds. The remainder of the hike was a general gradual downhill to Berrymill Pond.
|One of the wet areas in the middle of the hike|
|Marshes west of the trail in the mid-section.|
At 2.1 miles we came across a trail re-route which is obviously new. Fresh tree cuts and orange ribbon to denote the new route. The old section has been blocked by brush. It appears that a new beaver pond put a portion of the old trail underwater. The re-route lasted for 0.4 miles.
|This looks to be the cause of the trail re-route.|
|Almost to Berrymill Pond leanto.|
Soon we reached Berrymill Pond which I find to be a very pretty area. We stopped at the leanto first, then sat on a large nearby rock to eat lunch.
|A wildflower field within sight of the leanto.|
After lunch, we nosed around different portions of the pond including the outlet and the peninsula. I almost stepped on a duck who was sitting on her nest of eggs. She flew out when I was about 3 feet away. I noticed the nest and backed away.
|Standing near the outlet looking back.|
|The waterfall at the outlet of the pond.|
|Lots of Red Pines and ferns in the area.|
|My favorite picture of the day. The leanto is in the background.|
|Rev won't swim, but Leesa did.|
|Lots of nice rock at the waters edge.|
After an hour and a half at the pond, we returned to the car the way we had come. The trail is generally in good shape and doesn't receive much use. We enjoyed it and the pond is unusually nice.
Hike Distance: ~ 7 miles
Hike Time: 4.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 1000'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|
|The Nat Geo map with the route shown....|