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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pilot Knob Preserve/ Inman Pond(Adirondacks-Lake George Region)

Got out of work a bit early today, so headed north to do a couple hikes in the Lake George Region.  Started off at the Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob along the east shores of southern Lake George near Warner Bay.  The trail head can be found by taking Route 9L east from Lake George Village to County Route 38.  A kiosk and small parking lot are located on the right side of the road about 3 and a half miles north on County Route 38(Pilot Knob Road).  The trail begins climbing almost immediately at a steady but not overly difficult pace.
 Much of the trail was wet as it climbs 500 feet in less than a mile.
 The views from Pilot Knob's gazebo are truly outstanding, with much of the southern part of the lake clearly visible from here.
 
 Skies began to clear just as I arrived at the Preserve, allowing for great views.
  Although not the true summit, the gazebo and bench area provide a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the views.
 Just past the bench, is a sign indicating a blue marked trail to a seasonal waterfall.  Many people simply come for the views of Lake George and turn around here, but I continued on.
Although Albany hasn't gotten any rain recently, this area looks like it has received plenty lately, with extremely wet and muddy trails.
 The blue marked waterfall trail zig zags through the woods on a wide truck trail and leads to a seasonal waterfall.  Due to the recent rains, the falls were spectacular today. 
 Climbed up on some rocks for a nice view of the upper falls.
 Fast flowing water.
 After crossing the stream on rocks, I followed a loop trail, which climbs up over the top of the falls, for a different perspective.
 Another view from the top of the falls.
 Saw several others out enjoying the much cooler, but comfortable weather as I finished my 3.7 mile hike.
My next stop was Inman Pond, which is located only about 4 miles north and east side of Pilot Knob Preserve as the crow flies, but is about a 20 minute drive.  I headed south back to Route 9L and followed that about 7 miles to Route 149.  From there, I headed east on 149 to Buttermilk Falls Road on the left(north).  Followed this road for about 5 miles until the a DEC sign for Inman Pond appears on the left.

This trail was even worse than Pilot Knob and was extremely muddy and at times almost as if walking up a stream bed.  After about half a mile you will arrive at babbling Bishop Brook.
 A footbridge crosses the brook, which splits into three or four smaller streams at this point.  This is also a trail junction, where a right takes you to the pond, but a left takes you to Pilot Knob and Buck Mountain.  I had read about an abandoned old car, which was left in the middle of the woods a short distance up the Buck Mtn/ Pilot Knob Trail, so I opted to head left on this trail first to check it out.
 Rock hopping over Bishop Brook.
 After about half a mile and slightly downhill off the trail is the abandoned car which looks completely out of place.  Not sure how or when this got here, but seemed pretty interesting.
 Turned back from there and headed to the red marked Inman Pond Trail.  This was another very muddy section of trail.
 Only about a hundred yards up the Inman Pond Trail, there are several more pretty cascades on Bishop Brook, plunging down through the woods.
 After just under a mile from the parking area, very large beaver swamp is visible to the left and formed at Inman's Pond's outlet.
 Inman Pond is fairly small, but offers up nice views and several well maintained camping sites along its shores.
 Wildflowers along Inman Pond's shoreline.
  I bushwhacked north of the pond to another small set of falls and a large rocky cliff which overlooks the pond.  Unfortunately there was a rowdy crew already on the rock ledge, so I let them be and headed back.  Hiked a total of roughly 6 miles altogether between the two stops on a breezy, cool spring day.



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