Leesa and I didn't have a whole day for adventure, but we opted to hike the new trail in Wilmington to Cobble Ledge. We wanted to see some snow and this high elevation trail would do the trick. There was some snow around Chapel Pond and Keene Valley, so we knew we would find snow in Wilmington.
|A favorite photographic viewpoint in Wilmington|
|Whiteface Mountain and fall colors from Springfield Road, Wilmington|
|Ausable River in Wilmington|
We got to Wilmington and drove past the North Pole to the Wilmington Memorial Highway. There at the entrance to the toll road were a dozen cars parked, most likely skiers earning some early season turns. The summit of Whiteface had received 4-5 inches of snow.
At the road split for the Whiteface Highway and County Route 74, we went right on CR 74 for perhaps a quarter mile to a trailhead sign on the right. We pulled off the shoulder and started out.
|Snow even at the start of the trail.|
Even though it was cold, the snow was melting in areas exposed to the sun. We hiked through areas of snow and wintry conditions, followed by areas of leaves and fall conditions, back and forth, all the way to the ledge.
|Fresh leaves on the ground competing with snow.|
|A small stone staircase.|
|Back to the snow.|
The elevation at the trailhead is approximately 2400'. The trail rises a couple hundred feet before falling back to 2400' at the ledge. The 1.2 mile long trail is perfect for familes with young children or for folks who don't want to hike a trail with a lot of elevation gain.
We reached the ledge in 35 minutes and were greeted with changing conditions. At first, we had visibility, but a snow squall was blowing in. We watched our visibility disappear in a hurry.
|We arriving at the ledge and were greeted with some visibility and blowing clouds.|
|Mike & Rev surveying the scenery.|
|Before the blue skies arrived.|
We roamed around a took quite a few photos. As we were getting ready to leave, we noticed that blue skies were coming. We decided to stay and see if visibility was going to return.
|Blue skies coming...|
|We're glad we waited. This was fantastic to watch.|
Within 10 minutes, we were treated to a blue sky changeover. The snow squall stopped and skies cleared. The blue lasted about 10 mintues before another snow squall arrived. Still, it was long enough for us to capture the moment.
|Esther from Copper Ledge|
This hike may not always be this exciting, but it's a nice short hike to a nice viewpoint.
Hike Distance: 2.4 miles
Hike Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (plus stopping time)
Total Vertical Gain: ~300'
|The Cobble Ledge Trail (click image to enlarge)|