Lake George

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

Sunday, August 16, 2015

John Pond - Siamese Ponds Wilderness - 8/16/15

Today was Leesa's turn to chose a hike.  We continue to look for places we haven't been before.  She decided upon John Pond, just SE of Indian Lake and north of Chimney Mountain.  It was going to be a hot day so we brought bathing suits in hopes of finding a place to swim.

We drove through thick fog as we headed towards Indian Lake.  It was still only 62 degrees when we arrived at the trailhead around 9:30.  

The sign-in kiosk

As we started walking, I was immediately stuck by how smooth the trail was (very un-Adirondack like)!  It would be a fast 2.5 miles to the pond.  John Pond Brook was on our right and it alternated between a small brook and a marshy larger brook.  The fog began to lift after we had been walking about 30 minutes. 

John Brook as a marsh.

Soon we came to a side trail on our left that led to a pair of graves from 2 teenagers who died in the 1890's.  Interesting that these graves are now in the wilderness.  Were they they 120 years ago? These graves are even labeled on the USGS topo map. 

"To the twin graves of...."

Someone still maintains these grave markings.  I found it fascinating.

Grave of Eliza King

Grave of Peter Savorie

After being amazed by the graves, we returned to the main trail and continued towards John Pond. Just before we reached the connector trail to Puffer Pond we saw an old foundation hole on the right. 

The trail continued to be super smooth and easy to walk on.  This would be a great cross country ski trail and you wouldn't need more than 4-5 inches of snow to ski on it... it is that smooth.

In an hour we were at the south shore of John Pond.  The trail ends at this point, although there is a faint herd path that continues around the east side of the pond.  The lean-to is located at the trails end and is not set back from the water's edge, but we could tell that is was formerly right on the water.  It is in great shape.  

John Pond  lean-to

John Pond was rather brown looking and didn't give us that urge to go swimming.  What did interest us though were the cliffs on the west side of the pond.  We crossed the outlet of the pond and make our way to the SW corner of the pond.  Orange flagging caught our eyes and we followed it to see where it went.  It was leading us up towards the cliffs.

From my topo map, I could tell there were two sets of cliffs; one facing south and one facing east towards John Pond.  The orange ribbons led us straight to the south cliffs.

The south cliffs

There was quite a long rock ridge gives gives a great view looking south.  Even more amazing were all the orange and red leaves on the trees at this location.  It's only mid-August.

Fall is here?

We couldn't believe the fall color.  We stopped to give the dog some water and then headed north to find the east facing cliffs.  There wasn't any orange flagging leading to these cliffs but they weren't hard to find.  As expected, they offered a great view of  John Pond.  The pond really looked muddy from up high and we wondered if it always looked like this.

Approaching the east cliff

A very brown looking John Pond

Both of these cliffs are worth the reward of climbing to them.  By going up through the draw following the orange ribbons, you can get to either cliff without difficulty.  We enjoyed them both, but it was time to get Rev down to the water.  We could tell it was to hot to stay on top for long so we dropped back down to the pond following the orange flagging again.  

Rev in John Pond

Rev got cooled down in the water but we were still looking for a place to swim.  Shortly after we got back to the car we found it!  Almost immediately on our left as we were driving out was a pulloff and an old abandoned truss bridge.  Underneath the bridge was a great waterhole.  There was a waterfall under the bridge, a nice slab of rock at the edge of the water and a mostly sandy bottom in the creek. Perfect!  We changed into our bathing suits and were instantly refreshed.  The only casualty happened when I left my glasses on the shore and Rev stepped on them.  The eyeglass frame got twisted and the right lenses fell out and got scratched on the rock. I was able to get the lens back in but it looks light I'll be going to the eye care shop this week for a new lens and perhaps a new frame...
Hopefully just the lens.          

A glorious swimming hole!

What a nice combo hike to a pond and cliff followed by a swim.  This was a great half day adventure.  I'm sure it will be just as nice on skis.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  6.8 miles
Hike Time:  4 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~830'

The route (and the swimming site)

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