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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hammond Pond with Dad

Headed north to the Adirondacks with dad today to visit the Hammond Pond Wild Forest near North Hudson.  Today's destination was Hammond Pond which would be a nice 1.6 mile RT with very little elevation change.  Hammond Pond Wild Forest, a 40, 036 acre forest in the northeastern Adirondacks, receives far less use than its surrounding neighbors Pharoah Lake Wilderness and Dix Mountain to the west, so this is a pretty good place to find solitude.
 Temps were in the high teens with bright sunshine.  Although the parking lot is large enough to serve about 10 cars we were the only vehicle at the trailhead.
 The snow wasn't terribly deep but I decided to break out the snowshoes for this hike.
 The trail is level and follows an old woods road.
A short distance into the trail, a footbridge crosses Berrymill Brook.
Dad was using his snowshoes as well.  He uses an old school version but they work just as well for him, especially on flat trails.
Felt great to be out in the northern woods for a stroll.
There was evidence of one other hiker before us but animal tracks were almost nil.  It was also strangely quiet in the forest as well.  Seems we had the area completely to ourselves.
After .8 miles we came to Hammond Pond.  It is more of a big open marsh than a pond, but one can hardly notice the difference in the dead of winter.  We walked a ways out onto the pond with a view of Bloody Mountain rising beyond the far shore.
Bloody Mountain.
Rising immediately above the shoreline near the trail is the rocky Sweet Fern Hill.
The recent snows have definitely given the forest back the look of mid winter.
Black Brook flows along the length of nearly the entire trail.  Today, it was mostly frozen over, but running water could be seen under ice shelfs along the way.
Even though the temps were only struggling to 20 degrees, the clear skies and bright sun made the day feel quite comfortable.
After the 1.6 mile showshoe hike we headed back down to Schroon Lake to look at some ice fishing spots.  Overall, it was a great day in the Adirondacks.

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