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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hewitt Pond to Barnes Pond/ Hoffman Notch(Adirondacks)

Finally talked my dad into heading north with me for the day to do some exploring in the Adirondacks.  Bright sunny skies on the northway were quickly replaced by dark clouds and off and on drizzle as we drove northwest along 28N into Minerva.  While passing by Balfour Lake, we decided to stop by the new DEC parking lot, which provides public access to the lake.  It is a short walk down to the lake, albeit gorgeous.
 Fall colors were on full display along the lake's shoreline. 
 The woods are ablaze due to the high elevation as well as its location to the north.
 Dad drinking coffee on a cool, breezy morning.
 After finally leaving Balfour Lake we headed west to Hewitt Pond Road which provides trail access to several ponds in the interior Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest.
Incredible colors!
 The trail follows wooden planks, which are often slick, through a wet area.
 After about half a mile of climbing up and over an unnamed hill, the trail drops down near Hewitt Pond's shore.  There is nice foliage here as well.
 A small cove like area of Hewitt Pond.  Much of Hewitt Pond's shoreline is privately owned but there is state access to the south and east.
 The trail continues through the woods and crosses a small, unnamed brook.
 After approximately 1.6 miles, we arrived at Barnes Pond.
 Stark, dead trunks and old beaver work mark much of Barnes Pond.
 A faint footpath leads along the pond's shoreline leading to a small, informal campsite.
Thick clouds and a windy mist blew over Barnes Pond as we walked along the shore down to the outlet.
 Returning past Hewitt Pond.
 Fall foliage in a swampy section.
 Walking back on the wooden planks as we returned to Hewitt Pond Road for a total of about 3.3 miles RT.
 After stopping near the Boreas River for lunch, we drove north and east to the Blue Ridge Highway on our way to Hoffman Notch Trail.
 Only about a hundred feet away from the trailhead is a beautiful view down off a bridge over the Branch, a medium sized stream surrounded by incredible fall colors.
Beautiful, babbling Sand Pond Brook.
 A sturdy footbridge crosses Sand Pond Brook.
 Hoffman Notch Brook is flooded in several different areas, creating a few water crossings.  A creative footbridge over the flowing water.  My dad has been dealing with some pain lately so soon after crossing the brook, we turned back. 
 Amazing colors on the walk back.
Hiked a total of about 5.4 mostly level miles RT.

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