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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Twin Ponds-Taconic Crest Trail

Got in a Saturday morning hike near the New York-Massachusetts state border on Lebanon Mountain.  The trailhead is at a large pull off area along route 20 in the town of Hancock, Ma and it is actually the southern starting point of the Taconic Crest Trail.  The TCT is a 35 mile trail that runs along the Taconic ridgeline from this point all the way to Pownal, Vt.  Basically the trail hugs the state lines of NY and Mass, criss crossing in several different spots and continuing into Vermont.
 The trail is very well marked with blue trail markers with white diamonds spaced evenly throughout.
 The colors were great in some spots, but most of the leaves have fallen by now.
 The plan today was to hike in about a mile and a half to Twin Ponds.  The trail meets the Taconic Skyline trail at North Pond.  The Skyline trail is a multi- use trail, receiving ATV use regularly, and is in much rougher shape including many rocky sections such as the one below.
 North Pond is a pretty pond, but small in size.  The trail runs along the edge of the pond, offering views across the water.
 It is a very peaceful spot to stop and relax.

 Nearby, just over a small hill, is the other half of Twin Ponds.  South Twin is a much bigger pond but harder to access and looks like it receives a lot of beaver activity throughout the year.  The pond is only accessed by bushwacking through the woods and up the small hill.  It is difficult to walk along the shore due to high weeds and wet areas.

With the return trip, the total mileage was 3.1 miles of mostly level walking with several big ups and downs.

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