Spencer Morrissey, in his book "The Other 54", said "The twin Blue Ridges are very inviting, especially on paper, with an attractive 2.5 mile ridge between the two. Climbing both in a day, however, would make for a trying adventure." He admitted though that he had not tried doing this. This gave me perfect incentive to give it a go.
I got a late start and didn't get on the trail until 9 AM. I parked at a pulloff on Cedar River Road directly south of Round Top Mountain. My plan was to skirt the west side of Round Top, then do a counterclockwise loop of the two Blue Ridges, thereby tackling the eastern one first.
A section of the Northville Placid trail (NPT) has recently been re-routed to get it off of Cedar River Road. It now leaves the road at Wakely Pond and goes west of Round Top en route to Stephens Pond. This alleviates hikers from a 5 mile stretch of road walking. Hurray! There is still a 2.5 mile road walk, but it is better than 7.5.
I knew that I would cross the NPT as well as the old Dishrag Pond tote road pretty earlier on in my hike. The trees were wet from rain the day before so I soaked rather quickly. My camera also got wet so I don't have many pictures of this trip.
It took me about 15 minutes to reach the NPT and once I reached it, I followed it northward for a quarter mile or so. Very nice re-route. I had to leave the trail to continue my NW direction. After 45 minutes I passed the tote road.
As I continued to climb, I passed through some sections of Witch Hobble that slowed me down a little, but I was able to avoid blowdown and thick spruce for the most part. After 2.5 hours, I was on the summit. I did not find any ribbon or pipe hanger remains of a cannister holder, but it was the high point of ground and it had been trod on by others. I scouted around a bit but didn't see any other points that looked higher.
There were no views here (or anywhere during this day). It was just a quiet day in the woods. There were not even any chipmunks or small animals to catch Rev's attention.
|Blue Ridge (3497') ... the eastern one.
|Rev had no issues going over or under blowdown.
|It looks worse than it was.
Since it was not even noon yet, I set off to follow the ridge westward 3 miles to Blue Ridge (3436'). It took me another 2.5 hours to complete the ridge. Again, the woods weren't super dense, so even though there was quite a bit of blowdown, I could walk around most of it.
This time on the summit, I found the old strap that used to hold the cannister. Now it just held a stick that someone put there. I was surprised that I was still not hungry or or thisty. I made myself eat and drink a little so I wouldn't get dehydrated or lose energy.
|Blue Ridge (3436')
It was now 2 PM and I wasn't too concerned about getting downhill before dark. I made my way south for a short while then turned SE since the grade wasn't as steep as I thought it would be. I skirted just north of Dishrag Pond and came back to the tote road.
This time I followed the tote road two miles until I came to where the NPT crossed, at which time I turned right and followed the NPT 0.9 miles until it was time to drop back down to Cedar River Road. I got back to the car at 5 PM. No views and not much in the wasy of fall color on this hike (mostly in the spruce), but two more ADK hundred highest done. I'm up to 93 now!
|A beaver pond alongside the tote road
|NPT bridge over Brown Brook
Hike Distance: 11.3 miles
Hike Time: 8 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~2450'
|The route (click imae to enlarge)