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Old 05-24-2018, 04:45 PM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Mud Lake Ledges, SMWF, 24 May, 2018

What a day! Not only did I get to go for a hike with my oldest daughter We also got to witness Dragonfly Hatching Day, indicating a swift and violent end to the local blackfly population. Today, we picked a nice short hike to the Mud Lake Ledges on the Northville-Placid Trail in the Shaker Mt. Wild Forest.

A reasonable departure, got us to the Gifford Valley Rd. trailhead in good time.



We quickly signed into the woods and headed up the trail.



The well drained trail climbed a little over 700' through some mixed forest. Several good switchbacks helped ease the climb.



About half way up the hill, we started to notice large groups of dragonflies congregating in small glades adjacent to the trail. The pesky bugs also seemed to taper off as well. A good omen. Within 45 minutes, we started to approach the small, swampy pond.



At the designated "No Camping/No Campfire" site, we met two section hikers who were finishing up their last stretch of the NPT! Way to go guys!

As we chatted, we took in the sights at Mud Lake, happy for the cool breeze and dragonfly escort.



The pink lady slippers were out in full force.



After a few minutes, we parted ways and my daughter and I climbed the short, but steep ridge to reach the ledges. The first views through the oak and scrub cherry were impressive.



Once we got to the open ledges, the views opened up to the northern hills of the Shaker Mt. Wild Forest.



To the south, the Sacandaga Reservoir dominated the foreground. In the distance, the Heldebergs and Catskills were clearly visible on this beautiful day.



We found a shady spot to have lunch and then explored the three exposed rock faces that make up the top of this small ridge.



After an hour or so of exploring the hill, we headed back down through the woods. We hit the NPT right where we departed from it and took a left. The dragonflies and signing warblers were our constant companions on the short walk to the truck. Definitely not a bad way to spend a couple hours on a Thursday with my daughter. Hooray!
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:51 PM   #2
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I've heard that there were open views up there, thanks!
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:04 PM   #3
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Very nice!
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:50 PM   #4
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Thanks folks!

Fun day to be out and about.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:41 AM   #5
cuterocky
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Weird, I saw the pictures the yesterday when I first read your report but now I can't see them anymore... Well, they were good shots when I could see them! Sounds like a nice hike!
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:28 AM   #6
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Yes, pics are gone now.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:55 AM   #7
kwc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dundee View Post
Yes, pics are gone now.
yup, gone for me too.

Anyhow ...

TM, this is one of my favorite hikes ... I love getting up on those ledges ...

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Old 05-25-2018, 04:45 PM   #8
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Nerts on the pictures!

I'll re-post the small ones back.

G+ is cheesing me off again and I don't know why.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:51 PM   #9
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That'll teach you to upload those MS service packs! A pox on G+.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:08 PM   #10
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Wow, beautiful photos! I plan to be in that area in September and hope to check out the ledges.
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