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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ross Pond, Big Bad Luck Pond, Whortleberry Pond(Adirondacks)

Headed north into the Central Adirondacks to do some hiking with my dad Tuesday.  He doesn't really have any interest in hiking mountains, so we chose a moderate hike into Ross Pond, Big Bad Luck Pond, and Whortleberry Pond just west of North Creek and east of Indian Lake Village.  The ponds have a shared trailhead with OK Slip Falls along the south side of Route 28.  Once out of your car, it is a .2 mile road walk to the actual trail entrance, on the north side of the road.
The trail immediately drops down to a trail register and a large, wet area crossed by puncheon, heading generally north.  After a half mile, the trail splits, with the blue marked OK Slip Falls leaving to the right and the ponds trail staying straight, marked in red.  We stayed on the red trail, crossing this tiny stream along the way.
Continuing on and roughly 1.1 miles into the hike, the trail crosses rocky Bell Mountain Brook.
After crossing the brook, the trail begins a short climb to the northwest, while skirting a shoulder of Bell Mountain.  As the trail nears Ross Pond, three fairly large beaver meadows on the right. 
About 2.4 miles into the hike, another trail junction is reached.  A yellow marked right hand turn heads about a quarter mile east to the shores of Ross Pond.  We followed the trail to a nice flat camping area under evergreens. 
From the campsite, the trail drops right down to the east shore of peaceful Ross Pond.
A rowboat and rocky prominence on the placid waters make for a picturesque scene.
We wandered the east shoreline for a ways, enjoying the serenity of the quiet pond.
We saw several bull frogs near the shoreline.
After enjoying a quick lunch, we continued on our way back to the Ross Pond trail junction.  From there, we headed northwest to yet another trail junction, with equal distance between all three ponds.
We first chose to visit Big Bad Luck Pond, but didn't seem to have any bad luck at all.  The trail explores the southeast shore, which actually looks more like a large swampy meadow along this stretch.
The trail comes to an abrupt end at the pond's edge.  Although by far the largest of the three ponds, there doesn't seem to be any further paths that allow for much more exploration on foot, but there are four rowboats stashed away in the woods, lending to further exploration via the water.
Looking across the serene waters of Big Bad Luck Pond.
We didn't linger long at BBL, and soon headed back on our way towards Whortleberry Pond.  A shortcut, marked with orange flagging cuts off a little distance along the way.  Just prior to reaching the pond, a large campsite with fire ring is found in a rocky clearing.
From the campsite, there are two paths that lead to the pond.  Straight ahead, an unmarked path leads directly down .1 of a mile to a small rock, jutting out into the pond.  The rock is directly under a tree, however, and doesn't provide much room to explore. 
We headed back up to the camping spot, and then headed off onto the other path, which actually ended up being the red marked trail. This trail heads east to a large glacial erratic, where it bends north to the pond's outlet.  From there we crossed the outlet on an old beaver dam, reaching a very nice spot along Whortlberry's east shore.  We enjoyed a nice breeze and warm sunshine on some open rock ledges leaning out over the pond.
After enjoying another snack, we finally headed back over the outlet on the beaver dam.
Once back on the trail, we retraced our steps all the way back to Route 28, for a total of 9 miles RT.  This is a very quiet trek into a beautiful wilderness, where we only saw one other couple the entire day. 

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