Lake George

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

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hamlin Mountain - Jay, NY - 3/26/16

If you travel Route 86 between the Towns of Wilmington and Jay, the mountain that will catch your attention is Hamlin Mountain (2129') on the north side of Route 86.  If you look at a map, the next thing you'll notice is that the summit cone of Hamlin Mountain is state land, but it is surrounded by private land.  The Ausable Acres Homeowner's Association owns most of the land to the east and north. They have a large trail network that is provided for exclusive use of the association.

We were able to contact the association and were fornunate enough to obtain permission to use their trails to access Hamlim Mountain.  We were delighted that they were willing to accommodate us.  Thank you!  If you plan to climb Hamlin, make sure you get permission from the property owner where you access the mountain from.  

We chose the trail from the east side of Hamlin since it was shorter, and would be a lessor use of the Ausable Acres property.  This was the blue trail.

These signs mark the entrances to the Ausable Acres property. 

The trail was actually a woods road and it provided quick access to to the base of the mountain where we picked up a silver disc trail.

This woods road is the Ausable Acres blue trail.

A water flow amidst some remaining ice. 

These silver discs went all the way up the east side of the mountain.

The silver trail was pretty steep and rugged. We passed some impressive rock slabs on our right as we climbed.  A false summit provided a bonus viewpoint along the way.

The view east from the false summit.

Looking west from the false summit

Zoom view to the NW of a body of water.  I'm not sure which one this is. 

From the false summit, it was just another 5 minutes to the true summit.  Ledges near the true summit provide vantage points for views to the south (including Whiteface Mountain).

This pipe marks the true summit of Hamlin Mountain.

Looking south towards Whiteface and surrounding mountains. 

Hamlin also provides a bird's eye view of Bassett Mountain which lies immediately to the south on the south side of Route 86.  

Bassett Mountain from Hamlin. 

The summit of Hamlin Mountain.

Leesa and Rev on the summit.
We took the same route down.  We were glad to have the unexpected marked trail to follow.  This mountain has some tougher terrain that would have added some challenge to a bushwhack.  This was the 2nd peak of the day after climbing The Cobble Mountain in the morning. 

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  3.2 miles
Hike Time:  2.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~1100'

The route.  (Click image to enlarge).

The Cobble Mountain - Sentinel Range Wilderness - 3/26/16

If you are in the Wilmington area and have two hours to spare, consider this short bushwhack hike to to a wonderful summit.  The Cobble Mountain (2103') lies in the Sentinel Range Wilderness and I suspect it is mostly a local secret.  It is overshadowed by it's larger brothers that are part of the ADK Hundred Highest list: Kilburn, Slide, Sentinel and Stewart.  The larger peaks in the Sentinel Wilderness, while higher, do not compare to this peak (in my opinion).

A sample of the rock we saw on the way up.

The Cobble Mountain offers a lot of bang for the buck.  It is a short walk (0.8 miles) to the summit. The climb is open and enjoyable.  We followed an old woods road to a herd path to the summit where there is a mix of open rock and red pine forest.  On the way down, we followed the SE ridge (also with a herd path) back to the small pulloff parking area from where we started.   

Nearing the summit.

To reach this peak, we took Route 9N to Upper Jay, then proceeded west on Springfield Road to a left on Bartlett Road.  Bartlett turns to a gravel road, but even with the spring thaw we were able to drive the road with our front wheel drive car on this day.  We followed Bartlett past a sharp right bend in the road to a small pulloff on the left.  We climbed following the old woods road on the north side of Barlett, but if you climb the ridge on your right, it's a nice ridgeline with a herd path.  At the end of the ridgeline, you reach the woods road and can follow that to where it ends near the steeper portion of the base.

Great view looking south towards Keene.  
At the end of the woods road, we found another herd path leading upward.  The saplings and branches had even been clipped and pruned by someone.  There were no markings or ribbon, but the herd path was easy to follow with some care. 

Looking SW.  Sentinel Mountain on the right.  

The red pine forest.

Leesa and Rev on the summit.

Looking at the summit from the red pine forest

Sentinel Mountain in the background

Looking down at the 3 tiered ledge. 

Looking NW

Looking up from the 3rd tier  

Looking south from the summit.

Just an awesome summit.

I believe the snow capped peak in the back left is Algonquin.

Looking NW

I've been saying this a lot lately, but this is a peak that I'll come back to; especially since it is such a short hike and so easy to get to.

Our parking pulloff on the south side of Bartlett Road.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  2.6 miles
Hike Time:  2 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~1000' 

The route.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Huckleberry Mountain - Lake George Wild Forest - 3/15/16

It's soooo nice to have a few hours of daylight now when I get home from work.  I took advantage of the opportunity by heading to the Lake George Wild Forest and the Hudson River Special Management Area.  I was also interested in the Huckleberry Mountain Forest.

Huckleberry was just acquired by the Open Space Institute and will soon be sold to New York State to incorporate these additional lands into the Lake George Wild Forest.

The parking lot was a mud hole, but I was able to park off to the site, next to the Hudson River.  I went past the car gate and followed the Bear Slide jeep road past accessible campsites 17 and 18 to the end of the gravel surface. This surface terminates at the magnificent Bear Slide falls in Buttermilk Brook.  This water slide is the longest one I know of.  It may be more than a couple hundred yards long and is certainly impressive in the spring.  I haven't been here during the dry season, so I don't know how much water flows here in the summer.  It is certainly worth a look in the spring, or after some heavy rain.   

Bear Slide Road.

Eddy Mountain

Bear Slide

I continued to follow Buttermilk Brook past Bear Slide and came to a waterfall with some manmade stone cairns and walls nearby.

The was near the falls above Bear Slide

Part of the falls above Bear Slide.

Rev on a wall near the upper falls

Shortly thereafter, I came to the Gay Pond jeep road.  I turned right to head east a short distance to reach the southern base of Huckleberry Mountain.  From there, it was just a half mile climb in open oak trees.

Very open forest,

Large rock slab plateau at 1500' on the SW flank of Huckleberry.

A cairn along the way.

The true summit of Huckleberry.
I reached the summit at 6 PM.  It was time to hustle back to the car.  Rev led the way, easily following the scent of our route up.  7 PM we were back at the car.  A great weeknight out! 

Crane Mountain looms to the north.

The Gay Pond road.

Back to Bear Slide.

... and out on Bear Slide jeep road.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  6.2 miles
Hike Time:  2.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1250'

The route (Click image to enlarge)