Friday, August 15, 2014

Tahawas, Ghost Town of Adirondac-MacIntyre, Flowed Land & Marshall

view from Mt Marshall
What started out as just another hike and high peaks mountain climb, turned out to be a most interesting history lesson on the the 10,000 acre Tahawas Tract. The New York State Adirondack Park Agency and the Open Space Institute acquired the Tahawas Tract in 2003. The tracts mining history dated back over 170 years when the early founders discovered iron. Mining operations fizzled out in 1857 because of an impurity in the iron and lumbering and game hunting became the primary uses of the Tahawas until mining resumed in 1940. During the non-mining years the beauty of this area even attracted Teddy Roosevelt, who ironically was climbing Mount Marcy when he found out that President McKinley had been shot and he would soon be president. The villages of Tahawas and Adirondac (also known as MacIntrye) sprung up around the various operations, and you can only see caved in buildings now. Although there has been some effort to maintain in 2003 the area because of it's historical significance, even the blast furnace seems to have been neglected as of late.
Strange silo along CR25. Found out later was most likely used to burn scrap wood.

The blast furnace along  CR25 in Essex County near the trailhead. Restored in 2003, showing signs of neglect

Although we immensely enjoyed the beauty and serenity of this area of the high peaks we were also able to get a better historical perspective of the area we traversed and some of the sights we saw that day. I won't bore you with anymore history as there is plenty out there on the net if you are interested. Although the 14+ mile hike-climb was a bit of a grind going up Mount Marshall, it was well worth it as the beauty of this area (especially the Flowed Land) is spectacular.

view of the Flowed Land and in the distance Avalanche Pass
directions! near the Flowed Land
Going up Mount Marshall, the most difficult part of climb. Much natural obstacles, cris-crossing of creek and trying to stay on herd path.
nearing the top of Marshall we were afforded some nice views of neighboring Iroquois Mt
Henderson Memorial
nice view of Mt Colvin from Flowed Land
Nolan and I atop Mt Marshall No 33/46 08.09.14



Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Solitude Of TLake & TLake Falls and the Southern Adirondacks, NY

 The trail entrance to T Lake is located on Piseco Lake Road adjacent to the third state camp site on Piseco Lake. When you see the sign which is kinda hidden by the trees in summer, pull into the grassy area and you'll find a small parking area. Around 3.5 miles you'll find a nice lean to if you want to do some camping, but there is little in the way of views from the lean to so you'll probably want to bushwack T Lake a little, or go the extra few miles to the falls.
T Lake and it's remoteness add to it's pristine beauty. This day I only saw a party of three whom I don't believe made it as far as the lake as they were travelling this rugged trail without maps, had a young child, and little water that I could see. Although they had some of those sippy straws. 

Just after (half-mile or so) T Lake and down the now unmarked trail to T Lake Falls, you see this "lesser" falls and a beautiful grassy vly to the right.  After the lean to at TLake there are no trail markers, and the DEC prefers that you don't go any further. I have heard that rangers will cite you but that sounds a little melodramatic. Whether the ranger dropped the trees that now block the old trail past T Lake, or whether it is blow-down or what ever, I could not tell. But the trail is blocked in several places. There is a s herd path of sorts past T Lake,  but it is easy to get off trail if you're not careful. If that happens, just keep the lake, the vly, stream and falls to your right and you'll get there.

The warning sign was down so I replaced it, and then took a moment to think about and remember those  including Eric Lemieux who died tragically on these falls.
At the very top of T Lake Falls....very grown in here and fair warning to those who venture here to stay off the rocks as they are mossy and very slippery!
T Lake Falls is basically a sheer rock 300-600 ft wall face on the side of a mountain, with patches of scrub and trees  except where the falls has basically blown away anything through the years that has tried to root and grow there. The falls is disputed to be the highest in New York State. Disputed, because it is not a sheer drop falls like Niagara. 

Hanging along the rock edge and scrub tree line about half way down to get these as close to full length photos as you probably can get without being in a plane or helicopter
After T Lake I wanted to go around Eagle Bluffs to Twin Lakes, but timed out on this trip having told my family I would return by a certain time. So, I scrambled back up the T Lakes cliffs and headed back down the 5 miles or so the way I had come. The trip back was very quiet and saw no one else on the trail, although there was a nice strong breeze this day blowing through the trees.



Wednesday, July 09, 2014

June bugs & such.......




The bridge crossing on the Lower Ausable Lake
Rock cliffs on Saddleback Mountain
June was an unusually busy month that saw us in the high peaks region 3 times, and the off weeks spent in the Southern Adirondacks. We covered much ground, mainly because of the favorable weather conditions and the unexpected lack of rain and bugs. The official bug of the Adirondacks the black fly, were around at times as well as deer flies, but no where near other years when you tried to wave off black clouds of the little biting devils.

Resting on Saddleback Mtn
Anyway, no doubt that Nolan and I find that our "hearts are in the clouds" and especially look forward to our visits and time in the Adirondacks of New York State. I really find the high peaks breath taking and most enjoyable, although it seems at times to be a lot more people than the more pristine and sedate back woods areas of the Southern Adirondack region. I am finding that I really prefer the winter climbs in the peaks when there are fewer climbers, and more peace and solice amongst clouds and the mountain summits.

atop Haystack Mtn
Enjoy some of my favorite photos from our June climbs of Adirondack high peaks Dix, South Dix, East Dix, Macomb, Basin, Saddleback, Haystack, Colvin & Blake as well as our bushwack of Big Marsh Mountain and a hike to Hamilton Lean to from Piseco.

Staircase coming off Saddleback Mtn


View of Indian Head

View from Indian Head Ausable Lake

trail to Indian Head

View from Colvin  Mt

View from Blake Mt

Nolan on Indian Head

me atop Indian Head

back up Colvin Mt after Blake

Bushwacking up Big Marsh Mtn

the classic Dix Mtn profile

view of Dix from the Beckhorn

Dix Mtn

Dix Mtn

East Dix

Macomb Mtn
the early bird catches the worm. One of the benefits to getting an early start to climb the peaks is we get to enjoy magnificent sunrises (and sunsets) over beautiful Adirondack areas we might normally ever see. Here on our way to climb a few weeks ago we stopped to enjoy coffee and a sunrise over Loon Lake, a pair of woodies and their home in the foreground?

A view of Irondequoit Mtn from Big Marsh Mtn



atop Big Marsh Mtn (we think) was so heavily wooded and thick we weren't 100% sure....are you ever?

a beautiful parting shot from Dix Mtn

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

May a month of awakenings and rapid transitions


Hobble bush on Hunter Mt

Early in May the DEC discouraged hikers from climbing above 3,000 feet in the Adirondacks. So, we decided it might be a good time to head south to the Catskills where the climate was a little milder and drier. Our first Catskill Mountain we selected was Hunter Mountain.
Bridge Crossing about 1/2 mi from trail-head
Clintonia on Hunter mt
Trillium on Hunter Mt

Not much greenery but did see some early spring moss and flowers such as trillium and clintonia




views were good because the foliage had not come in yet

the ranger tower atop Hunter. The only view at the summit is from this platform

Thursday, May 29, 2014

April is "Mud Season" in Upstate & Adirondacks of NY

A little busy this time of the year, but thought  I would belatedly post and share some April adventures we opted to take because the Adirondack High Peaks were a snowy slushy mess in April. Also it seemed that not much was going on in the Mohawk Valley as April was a bit on the cold side.

Our first diversion took us to Prospect Falls. Located just outside of the village of Prospect. I opted to just slip down along the bridge and move along the river. The snow was all gone but there was still some neat ice flows along the amazing rock formations. The falls itself is very difficult to navigate to, having been there last autumn, I opted to stay close to the bridge area. (I included a photo I took last year so you can see what the falls area looks like)  A word of warning if you try this little hike, as the descent into the gorge can be tricky with much loose rock and poor footing, also  much of the adjoining property is posted. 






Prospect Falls, NY (a photo I took last autumn-looked a little dry)

Our next stop was off Rt8 in Wells to try and get a closer look at the Auger Falls. We parked on a side road at an entrance to a snow mobile trail.
looks like the "welcome mat" is out

the swollen Sacandaga

beautiful stone fireplace



An old log cabin and pretty forests with much moss and ferns were the highlights this day.



Only one other person we saw this day and that was a photographer taking pictures of the spring forest. We hiked a few miles along this trail until we reached the Sacandaga as it hooked back around again near the Auger Falls.
This is where we decided there would be no crossing this river at this point today, and that we would save the falls for another day.