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Friday, May 19, 2017

Corinth Cooperator Area(Southern Adirondacks)

Visited the 500+ acre Corinth Cooperator Area this evening, located just southwest of the village of Corinth and just north of the Adirondack blue line, on Saratoga County Route 10.  The area is a hidden gem, and has been recently improved for outdoor recreation, with new trails and an informational kiosk. 
 I lathered myself up with bug spray and first dropped down to beautiful, babbling Hickok Brook near the parking area.
 Just beyond the parking area is an old road that leads to the Upper Reservoir in just under a quarter mile.  There were several young people out fishing above the dam when I arrived.  I quickly crossed the weir and turned left, following the reservoir's east shore.
 There is a marked trail that loops around the reservoir and even passes by a fire pit.
 I turned off onto the Bald Mountain Trail, which leaves the reservoir, heading southeast.
 The Bald Mountain Trail is marked with red diamonds and heads steeply up the slopes of the mountain.  Unfortunately, the summit of the mountain is on private property and they seem set on keeping people off the summit.
 The Bald Mountain Trail eventually meets up with the blue blazed Wilson Pass Trail, which meanders through mixed woods passing over several logging roads.
 Rock cairns and stone walls can be found throughout the woods, and are very numerous along this trail in particular.
 The Wilson Pass Trail drops down to an old town road(a snowmobile route) and crosses over to the Redmond's Overlook Trail.
 This trail climbs steadily up, passing by this interesting "split" rock along the way.
 After about a half mile of ascent, I arrived at Redmond's Overlook at an elevation of about 1550 feet.
 The view from Redmond's Overlook is quite impressive, extending north and east into the southern Adirondacks.
 East views towards the village of Corinth.
 To the north the Hudson River can be seen winding along.
 Directly to the east is 1525 foot Bald Mountain.
 After enjoying the views, I dropped back down off the Overlook Trail back to the old town road and followed it north.  Along the way, I passed the Wilson Farm Historic Site with remnants of old foundations.
 Continuing north on the wide, old town road, I eventually crossed back over to the Upper Reservoir's south side, passing over the inlet.
From the inlet, I headed south on the green marked Western Ridge Trail, which passes beside Hickok Brook as it ascends.  
Small cascades on Hickok Brook.
The Western Ridge Trail continues north passing by a small beaver pond on its way to the red marked Upper Beaver Pond Trail.  This trail heads less than half a mile all the way towards a large beaver pond at the north edge of the property.
 This beaver pond is quite peaceful and makes for a very nice setting.
Once leaving the beaver pond, I headed back to the Western Ridge Trail, which descends all the way back to the Upper Reservoir.  From there, I walked the remaining short distance to the main parking area.
My last stop for the day was the much smaller Lower Reservoir, located less than .2 miles east. This reservoir is much less secluded than the Upper, with the sounds of nearby traffic taking away from the ambiance.
Hiked nearly all of the trails on the property and arrived back at the car as darkness began to settle in.  Total mileage was about 7 miles total.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Peaked Mountain(Southern Adirondacks)

Certain mountains should be on every hiker's checklist, and Peaked Mountain in the southern Adirondacks is certainly one of them.  Located in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, this 2919 foot peak offers spectacular views from the open rock and exposed ledges of the summit area.  To access the mountain, I parked at the end of Beach Road where the Thirteenth Lake DEC parking area is located.  From there it is a short walk down to the gorgeous lake shore.
A wet spring means that there is a lot of running water coming down off the slopes above the lake.
The trail is marked with red discs and skirts the west side of the lake, offering up plenty of opportunities to explore the shoreline.
Looking across the lake to the east.
After about half a mile, the trail leaves the lake shore and begins to climb.  Soon,you will arrive at a trail junction and bridge crossing.  Do not cross the bridge here.  Follow Peaked Mountain Brook west from here.
Peaked Mountain Brook is a beautiful, fast flowing stream with many small cascades and pools.
The trail climbs about 300 feet in the next half mile or so, crossing over the brook on more than one occasion. In one area along the way, just off trail, I found a nice view northeast towards Slide Mountain across a a wetland.
Hiking along the wetland .
Nearly 2 miles into the hike, I passed by another large wetland, this time to the west.
Beaver have flooded the brook in the area just past the wetland at about 2 miles. This spot is hard to miss, with many dead or fallen trees all around.
Another brook crossing.  The brook is much more tame upstream, meaning crossing was no issue.
At a small opening, a really nice view of Peaked Mountain comes into view across a vlei.
A zoomed look at the impressive rock face of Peaked Mountain.
After a quiet 2.9 miles, the trail arrives at the south shore of Peaked Mountain Pond.  This makes a great spot to stop and relax and do some exploring along the shore if you choose.  There are several nice campsites and canoes along the shore.
After enjoying the solitude of the pond, the hike commences by heading directly at Peaked Mountain.  Once getting past the pond, the nature of the hike changes dramatically. 
Spring wildflowers even at this elevation in the north.
The last half mile of the hike is steep going and a bit more rugged.  This is also where I seemed to attract a ton of black flies for some reason.
On the ascent, I hit some areas of open rock and found some pleasant views beyond the tree tops.
Here's a look back to the southwest at the area I had just hiked.  Looking carefully, a sliver of Thirteenth Lake can be seen in the center of the photo.
Peaked Mountain's 2919 foot summit.
Wandering around rock ledges atop Peaked Mountain provide some pretty incredible views.  Here's a fantastic view south over Peaked Mountain Pond.
A look at some of the rock ledges just below the summit.
A zoomed look at Peaked Mountain Pond.
A view directly east towards Slide Mountain.
Skirting some of the rock ledges on the east side of the peak provide incredible open views to the north all the way towards the High Peaks.
I enjoyed the summit for quite a while, soaking in the great views, before finally heading back down.  Stopped to check out some of the wildflowers in a while.
A small drainage below the summit.
The return hike was a breeze and I finally shook the black flies once off the summit.  Recrossed the brook several more times on the way back.
Perfect trail conditions on a 70 degree day.
The trail follows Peaked Mountain Brook for a while.
I enjoyed the picturesque falls and cascades along the brook. 
Arriving back at Thirteenth Lake's shoreline.
I really enjoyed the last stretch of trail along the lake, enjoying the beautiful spring weather.  The trees are really greening up back at the lake.
Hiked about 7.2 miles round trip, with just under 1300 feet elevation gain.  A great, underrated mountain in the Adirondacks.