Lake George

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

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Indian Lake Paddle to Dug Mountain Brook Falls - 8/13/2021

Indian lake boasts a nice DEC State Boat Launch on the spit of land between Lewey Lake and Indian Lake in Sabael (GPS Coordinates 43.652017, -74.387589).  Boats large and small can launch there.  A large parking lot makes parking a breeze.  Canoe rentals are also available (in season).  There is an $8 day use fee for parking during the summer months.

This launch site was my jumping off point for a long day paddle to see Dug Mountain Brook Falls.  It was roughly 8.3 miles each way, plus a .25 mile hike each way to see the upper falls.  Prior to the paddle adventure, I took my dog Rev for a morning walk before the extreme heat and humidity of the day, then I left her to take a nap in the cool cellar.

It was noon when I finally got myself on the water.  It was about 85 degrees and with the excessive humidity it felt almost tropical inland, but not on the water!  

Sign on Route 30 at the boat launch entrance

Snowy Mountain to the West

There was a nice breeze on the water which kept me from sweating profusely.  Plus I came prepared to swim and swim I did.  Indian Lake has almost unlimited inviting landing points with sandy beaches where it is easy to land jump into the water.

For those that are interested in camping, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation runs the Indian Lake Islands CampgroundReserve America handles the reservations.  There are 55 sites, and all the sites I've seen are awesome.  It's hard to go wrong with a site on Indian Lake.  Some of the sites are on islands and some are on the shoreline, but all are exceptionally nice and very private.

My 1st stopping point for a swim

Another swimming break spot

After about 2-1/2 hours of paddling and swimming I entered the Jessup River and found the location where the Dug Mountain Brook spills into the Jessup.  There is a picnic area sign there and a spot with a fire ring and a picnic table.  The lower falls is visible from the Jessup.  

Lower Dug Mountain Brook Falls

To get to the upper falls, you have beach the boat and take a short .25 mile hike.  I was ready to take a break from paddling and stretch my legs.  I followed a herd path on the north (left side) of the brook and made my way upstream.    There are a couple blowdown trees to climb over, but nothing too bad.  I reached the upper falls in a matter of minutes.

Upper Dug Mountain Brook Falls

Of course I went for a swim here at the upper falls also.  I thought the water might be a bit colder than the lake but it wasn't bad.  Usually the mountain stream are quite cold, even in August.  There was a little spot in the basin of the falls where the water depth was over my head, but I got right in and got under the falls.  Mission accomplished!  Another great waterfall swim.

Some cools afternoon clouds passed through between 3 and 4 PM.

It was just about 3 PM when I left Dug Mountain Brook Falls to replace my route back to the boat launch.  There was a chance of an afternoon thunderstorm, but while a few clouds rolled through, no rain developed. 

I kept up a steady pace got back to the north end of John Mack Bay in just over an hour.  The sun was back out, so I nosed around the southern end of Long Island for a bit before paddling the final 2.3 miles back to the launch.

Nobody was on site 33 yet, so I stopped there for a snack.

That is a large stump!

The south end of Long Island

My arms suddenly got tired in the last mile of the paddle.  I hadn't paddled this distance yet this year so it felt good, but I was suddenly tired.

Heading back to the launch

On the way home, an extra thick milkshake from Stewart's in Indian Lake hit the spot just right.  On my next adventure to Indian Lake I'll explore John Mack Bay and some of the islands to the NWE of Long Island, but that will be another trip....

The route

 Paddle Stats:

Paddle Distance: 16.8 miles
Hike Distance:  0.5 miles
Trip Time (including stops) - 5 hours

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Mount Cardigan , Orange, NH - 1/9/21

 If you haven't been to Mount Cardigan State Park, Mount Cardigan State Forest, the Appalachian  Mountain Club's 1200 acre Cardigan Preserve or AMC Cardigan Lodge, consider taking a look.  Mount Cardigan is worth visiting in any season.  Lots of great hiking trails, open summits, backcountry ski trails, camping options and lodging options.  The area is conveniently located between I-91 and Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  It truly is an area with something for everyone.

My goal for this hike was for my wife and I to meet up with my daughter and one of my son's to do a loop hike that would include the summit of Cardigan.  I chose to start from the west side of Cardigan by parking at the winter parking lot (on Burnt Hill Road) for the West Ridge Trail.   With the gate to the summer parking lot closed, the hike is lengthened by a half mile or so each direction, but that gives you a chance to get your lungs going before the real climbing starts and a chance for a easy finish on the way out. 

Pavilion at the summer parking area.

From the summer parking lot, it is only 1.5 miles to the summit of Mount Cardigan via the West Ridge Trail, but that was going to be our descent route.

The sign at the start of the West Ridge Trail

  We went up the West Ridge trail for only a half mile before taking the right fork on the South Ridge towards Cardigan Rimrock to start our counter-clockwise loop.  The snow depth was probably only 4-6", but there were occasional drift areas we had to punch through.

The fork between the West Ridge Trail and the South Ridge Trail

Just prior to Cardigan Rimrock the first viewpoint opens up .

A first viewpont


Nick & Lindsay at Rimrock with Mount Cardigan in the background

From Rimrock, we took the Skyland Trail to Mount Gilman (Orange Mountain on my topo map).

Mount Cardigan from Mount Gilman

At Mount Gilman, we dropped down the Vistamount Trail down past the Clark Trail and the Cathedral Forest Trail to the Holt Trail, where we were greeted with the warning sign below.  With the gear we had on hand (microspikes), we decided to backtrack to Cathedral Forest Trail to begin our ascent back towards Mount Cardigan. 

The Cathedral Forest Trail connects to the Clark Trail from which we continued upwards towards the summit.  Our partly Skies were clearing into a full bluebird sky as we neared the summit.  The wind was strong though.

The old fire lookout cabin

Looking to South Summit and Mount Gilman

We took some time to add a layer and some face protection as we broke above the treeline.

A windblown summit cone

The view from the summit is awesome in good weather, and today was one of those days.

A look at the 1924 firetower on the summit.

Rev is hoping for a snack.

Looking north towards Firescrew Mountain from the summit of Mount Cardigan.

Starting to head down the West Ridge Rail

We enjoyed the sunny summit for awhile, in spite of the wind.  To complete our loop hike, we returned via the West Ridge Trail.  The trail was hardpack snow and with microspikes it was an easy return to the car in less than an hour. 

Rev the fearless leader

The crew - Lindsay, Leesa & Nick

An interesting pink ring in the sunset on the way home.

Everybody loved this peak and multiple hike (and ski) options that are possible here.  It was a good day that we'll remember.  We completed the day by picking up some pizzas on the way out.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  8.5 miles
Hike Time:  5 hours, 45 minutes
Total Vertical Gain:  ~2800'


The route


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Tub Mill Pond - Hammond Pond Wild Forest - 12/4/2020

By pure accident I learned about New York State's acquisition of the Tub Mill Pond 1200 acre parcel in the Town of Moriah.  This tract of land boasts multiple ponds and and borders the Hammond Pond Wild Forest.  The parcel was purchased in July 2018 by the Open Space Institute (OSI).

New York State has since obtained the parcel from OSI.  It is expected the parcel will  be added to the Hammond Pond Wild Forest (if it hasn't already).   The parcel is bounded on the north by Ensign Pond Road.  State Land signs have been placed along the road.

On December 4th, my dog Rev and I ventured into the parcel to have our 1st look.  The access road leading into the parcel is gated, by provides easy walking access into the land. 

The access road

After about a 1.5 mile walk, we reached the 1st pond, Tub Mill Pond, and the nice dam that was renovated in 2013.

My 1st thought upon reaching the pond, was that this would be a great place to kayak, and with easy access.  The 57 acre pond is quite attractive and boasts several small islands.

A 1st look at Tub Mill Pond

The new (2013) dam

Once at the pond , I decided to make a big loop to circumnavigate all the ponds in the tract.

While on the southeastern portion of the loop, a ledge caught my eye so we swung a little wide to get up on the ledge for a better view of the ponds and beyond.  It was well worth it!


Zoom view to the snow covered peaks in the distance.

The clockwise loop brought me back to the dam from which I had an easy 1.5 mile walk back to the car on the access road.

I found this hike to be enjoyable but I think the kayaking option would double the fun.  I may return in the warm weather to give that a try.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  8 miles
Hike Time:  4.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~1200'

The route and the parcel

The route