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Old 09-13-2018, 09:13 PM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Long Pond via Kunjamuk Trail, SPWA, 13 Sep, 2018

Tredhed and I set out from the Hamilton County Mosquito Preserve to do a loop hike in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area. Today we were going to take the long way to Long Pond. Our planned route took us up the Kunjamuk trail to a recently cut detour around the Long Pond outlet. From there, we'd connect with the original Kunjamuk trail and follow it towards the Long Pond cut-off trail and then back to the trailhead. The lollipop loop mapped out at 10.2 miles, plus a little for a detour to the Kunjamuk River falls

Arriving at the end of Elm Lake Rd. in the Speculator Tree Farm Easement, we were happy to see breaks in the low overcast and the prospect for a nice day.



After crossing into the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, we noticed freshly applied North Country Trail markers along the route of the old Kunjamuk Rd.



After crossing Cisco Brook on a nice bridge, we headed up the Kunjamuk Trail past the junction with the Long Pond trail (we'd see this again in a few hours). We continued on the Kunjamuk until we came to the large marsh at the confluence of the Long Pond outlet and the mighty Kunjamuk River.



While we could see our destination 300 yds away, it would take us 25 minutes to walk the detour around the swamp. The detour trail was well laid out and a pleasure to walk on. Rock hopping across the Long Pond outlet was no problem today.



Since I had just been on this section of the trail back in November http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=24882 I felt confident that we had a few minutes to spare and visit the falls. The Great Falls of the Kunjamuk didn't disappoint us as we took a few minutes to strip a layer and hydrate.



Despite some considerable blowdown, the next three miles of walking were absolutely phenomenal. Not only were we walking on a Historic Highway from a day gone by, we got to see some cool stuff along the way.

Kunjamuk Trail



Wakely Brook crossing



Just after crossing Wakely Brook, we saw a snowshoe hare moving up the trail towards us. He eventually hopped off into the woods on his huge feet. Not 100 yds later, a fisher came the same way with his nose to the ground. He looked at us, snorted and ran back up the northern slopes of Pete's Hill. (sorry, no pictures )

Just beyond the wildlife sightings, we passed an old clearing where I noticed a spring surrounded by a wooden barrel and covered by a steel plate. Was this a waypoint along the old Kunjamuk Road, a hunters camp or something else? It's fun to find old stuff in the middle of the "wilderness".



Just past this feature, we came upon a new trail being cut to route the North Country Tail. The red-disked trail left the Kunjamuk and headed NE towards Kings Flow, by-passing private land further up the way.

Soon after that, we hit the intersection of the Kunjamuk-Long Pond connector trail. The yellow disked trail brought us through some rough terrain on a rugged trail; a huge contrast to the smooth and level Kunjamuk.



However, once we crossed a height of land, the trail changed in character and provided some spectacular sights.



As we approached Long Pond, the sun decided to stay out and it highlighted the beautiful ledges and more importantly, the rocky point where we would take our lunch.



While dining on leftover steak and Perreca's bread, the resident loons made an appearance, saying hello in a way only loons can. All too quickly, we had to ruck up and start back towards the trailhead.

One last glimpse at the Long Pond ledges reinforced the need to come back some day and cimb them.



After a short .9 miles on a recently maintained trail (thanks DEC), we approached the aptly named Rock Pond. Rock Pond is absolutely beautiful, but its next door neighbor gets all the attention.



After some more hydration, we proceed down the trail confident that the blowdown was recently removed by the trail crew.



The remaining mile went quickly and soon enough, we were back on the Kunjamuk trail for the final .9 miles to the trailhead. When we returned to the car, we celebrated our hike with an ice cold Paradox Pilsner. Very refreshing after 10.2 miles and 6 hours of wilderness walking.

I apologize for all the pictures (not really), but I haven't done a TR since June, so I figure it's OK. Also, we saw some cool stuff today. Thanks to Tredhed for the great company today and a few of the pictures.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:21 PM   #2
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Thanks. That area's been on my list for awhile.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:46 PM   #3
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great TR and pics! did most of the hike a couple years, but didn't go to the falls. been meaning to get over to those cliffs myself...
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:09 AM   #4
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Great pics! That area has been on my list to explore for a while. How's the drive up Elm Lake Rd, looks like its not paved?
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:22 AM   #5
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Thanks folks!

It was a really cool hike.

Elm Lake Rd. is in very good shape. The best I've seen it. They're actively cutting an area a mile short of the end and we had to dodge a logging truck on a blind curve (that was a hoot). I'm not sure I'd take a low clearance vehicle through there, but no mud wallows and 4WD is not necessary.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:46 AM   #6
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Great photos Ken, see you Monday at the cabin!
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:14 AM   #7
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That is a beautiful area. I was back there a couple of times in 2008 and 2009- haven't been back since.

I am glad to hear that the is a reroute around that epic flooding along the Kunjamuk. I hiked that loop once and ended up in waist deep water trying to get through there.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:57 PM   #8
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Great trip report. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure. Looks like a wonderful day of exploring.

Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 09-14-2018, 03:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I am glad to hear that the is a reroute around that epic flooding along the Kunjamuk. I hiked that loop once and ended up in waist deep water trying to get through there.
I just want to interject here that you are hardcore. Unless I was on the run from the authorities, I'm pretty sure waist-deep water on a trail would turn me around.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:57 PM   #10
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I just want to interject here that you are hardcore. Unless I was on the run from the authorities, I'm pretty sure waist-deep water on a trail would turn me around.
Well, it was either that or go back the long way back around through Long and Rock Ponds. Plus, I'm pretty sure that by the time I figured out the water was waist deep I'd already gotten wet up to my thighs... And by the time I figured out the water was thigh deep, I'd already gotten wet up to me knees...
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