Leesa had a morning campfire to take the chill off and I jumped in the kayak to take a morning paddle. I went around Stony Creek Ponds and a little ways down Stony Creek towards the Raquette River and Axton Landing before heading back to our campsite. On my way back I spotted a bald eagle... probably the same one I had seen the before. I carefully paddled closer and pulled out my camera and was able to snap a couple of nice shots. In looking at the picture, I think I can even see a band on the foot of the eagle.
|Bald eagle at Stony Creek Ponds|
After watching the eagle, I returned to the campsite and we got ourselves together for some more hiking and exploration. We left the tent set up to dry out in the sun.
Our first stop was Axton Landing. We drove the short distance to the boat launch there, then hiked around to campsite 12, just downstream.
|Rev ... exploring on her own|
Next we drove further on Coreys Road to an unmarked turnoff on the right. This leads to a cable crossing on the river that supports a small tram car that takes property owners to a hunting camp on the far side of the river. I'd like to see it in operation.
Just upstream from the cable crossing is another campsite. This one has a nice little beach. There was no "camp here" disc so this one may not be legal. If not, it still receives obvious use.
|Campsite just upstream from the cable crossing.|
|The beach at the campsite.|
|The outlet of Stony Creek into the Raquette River|
We returned to the car and continued down Coreys Road. I wanted to note the locations of all the campsites on the road. There are many.
We got to the Seward parking area and it was time to turn around. The Seward lot wasn't full, but there were perhaps a dozen cars there plus several trucks with horse trailers. I also noticed an old hay wagon near the trail kiosk that wasn't there last time I had been there.
We turned the car around and stared out. Our next stop was the jeep trail on the right at Ampersand Brook. This one leads to a pair of campsites; the 2nd one being the best at located at the waters edge.
|Rev at Ampersand Brook|
Continuing back on Coreys Road, there are a pair of small ponds on the south side of the road that have marked trails leading to them. We stopped at the first one, Pickeral Pond, and took the short trail to it. There was a rowboat at the shoreline, but no oars. We saw a pair of hunters on this trail, wearing camoflage and doing some scouting.
|Looking towards the Sewards from Pickerel Pond|
We returned to te car and drove over to the trail for Rock Pond. This was another short trail. Both trails were less than a half mile long. At Rock Pond, there was a row boat once again, and a conoe as well. The canoe was a metal canoe with a pair of oars and it looked sturdy.
Leesa wanted to go for a paddle, so she, Rev, and I piled in and I paddled us around the circumference of the pond. Rev did very well in sitting nicely and not walking around the canoe.
|What a sight. Did Rev want to camp again?|
We left Coreys and next headed past Saranac Lake and north past Bloomingdale to Moose Pond and the boat launch there. We had XC skied to Moose Pond from Route 3 in the winter, but we had not seen the pond in the summer. There is a peninsula at the northern end of the island that offers a fantastic campsite and a rock outcrop at the point from which you can see sunrise and sunset.
There are also may campsites along the east shore of the lake including one at the NW end of the lake with a large rock outcrop to enjoy sunrise.
|Moose Pond looking south.|
|Rev at the campsite on the peninsula.|
|Moose Island peninsula|
|The north end of the pond.|
|Looking at the peninsula campsite from the west shore.|
We were surprised that there was only one car at the big boat launch area when we arrived. Three cars of fisherman showed up later, but the pond was still eerily quiet for such a nice day.
Our last stop for the day was Franklin Falls Pond. We stopped at the designated campsite on the NW shore (there is actually a pair of sites there, but the nicest site is the one by the waters edge. It's an extra large level site in the pines overlooking the water.
Just to the east of the campsite is a state boatlaunch and I dropped a kayak in the water for quick paddle. I went out to an island that was visible from the boat launch.. There were 2 islands there. The larger one has a great beach as the west end. Camping is prohibited on these islands, but they are a nice place to visit.
|Island on Franklin Falls Pond.|
|A short pause for island exploration.|
All good paddles come to an end and after a quick tour of a portion of the pond it was time to admit we had to head home. Today we made a lot of little stops but we saw some great places and gained ideas for future trips.