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Old 08-22-2005, 01:15 PM   #1
kizzycat99
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trip suggestions for an adk newbie

Hi yall-
My boy and I would like to do an overnight trip on our way up to Burlington from NYC next week, and after lurking for the past week, I've decided you have the best sight to ask this novice question . . .

What's an exciting trail for a two-day, one-night trip with a trailhead that is not too far off I-87? (I had to beg the boy to make this stop on the way up to VT, so I can't steer him too far off course.)

Just some background:
We've done overnights together in the Catskills but never the Adirondacks. I live in Washington, D.C. and visit Shenandoah Ntl Park and VA state parks, often leading groups of 20-something desk monkeys into the woods for the weekend. We're both in very good physical condition. (I run or do aerobic activity 4-5 times a week.)

I know this is kind of vague, but any suggestions you want to throw out would be a great start!

Cheers.
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Old 08-22-2005, 02:08 PM   #2
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I am not sure how far north you will be travelling, but my guess is that you will be going through Ticonderoga to get by Champlain into VT. If this is the case, I suggest visiting the Pharoah Mountain wilderness.

There is a trailhead right on RT 73, and the easy three miles will take you into Crane pond, which can also be reached by car (ESS YOU VEE). From here you could do a quick 1.7 over to oxshoe pond for a beautiful camp, and an excellent swim. If you have the audacity, you can go cliff-hopping across the way. Day two could be a nice hike to the summit of Pharoah Mountain. This mountain offers impressive views of the Schroon Lake Valley, surrounding wilderness, and the High peaks to the north. After picking up your (full) packs at the trail junction, a 4 mile jaunt back to the car, for a ~10 mile second day. This is really a beautiful area, but bring some bug spray.

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Old 08-22-2005, 03:13 PM   #3
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One of my favorites is Dix from Rt. 73 (about 5-10 miles from the Northway). From the trailhead it's about 6.5 miles to the summit of Dix, with a beautiful lean-to/camp sites on the Bouquet River about 1/2 way in. Dix is a great climb with tremendous views.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:24 PM   #4
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That looks pretty sweet.

I was hoping for something a little more difficult/wilderness, but I see you have a good chance for a quiet camp on the summit. Although the Thursday night before Labor Day will probably be crowded anywhere we go.

Sounds interesting . . . we would definitely hike there. I don't know that my car would make it and I'm not about to tear up the trail and my car trying to get there.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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Yeah, I was definitely scoping out Dix . . . I just need to find a map or good directions of some sort since it appears to be herd paths and not marked trails.

Do you think Dix would be managable for two healthy people who are somewhat experienced but have never been in the Adirondacks?

I am always up for a challenge!
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:31 PM   #6
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I'll see Oldsmores' Dix and raise him one.

You say you're in good shape and you want something exciting? Continue over to Hough on the herd path. Your kid'll love it. Especially the crack (no, not a stash of crack)in the rock as you go down just past the Beckhorn. The views of Dix from Hough are great.
You'll have to decide whether to camp out first then summit or vice versa. The LT is only 2 or 3 hours from the TH so one of your days will be a lot shorter than the other.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:39 PM   #7
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Yes, Dix is doable for healthy people. Personally, I would expect Pharoah Mtn to be more enjoyable if you have not been to the Adirondacks before. Besides mileage and elevation, there is something about the rugged mountains of the Adirondacks that really wears people out. Oxshoe pond has the best swimming area I have found in the 'dax (rocky bottom, stiff drop, clear water), and I am not sure if Dix has the same. This may or may not matter to you.

Pharoah is about 800 ft elevation gain, whereas Dix is about 3300ft gain, and you have to bring your pack up the bouqet river considerbly to get to the leanto. Oxshoe is a relatively flat hike. Dix will definately have more impressive views, but the views from Pharoah are really good.

Give us an idea of your experience. What have you backpacked in the past?

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Old 08-22-2005, 04:33 PM   #8
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Ha ha, Neil you scared me for a second. "The boy" is my 24-yr-old boyfriend. Not my child! (Not that kids aren't great, just not when you're 23 . . .)

I know I've been to the Gunks in the Catskills. I led a 10-mile hike with 3200+ elevation in VA last month. Honestly, for a long time I just tagged along and let other people do the planning, so I don't know the names and elevations of all the places I've gone other than the places I've taken people in VA, which probably isn't helpful to you all.

The day hikes I plan are usually a strenuous 9-14 miles, but I've never done more than a couple of miles with a fully loaded backpack.

We did backcountry camping in the Catskills. We only hiked a couple of miles out for the night, set up a central camp and ran around from there for a couple of days. I've been all over the Shenandoah, but always in designated campgrounds there.

But like I said, I'm ready to step up for a challenge, especially if I only get one night of camping on this vacation!
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Old 08-22-2005, 05:28 PM   #9
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Well Kizzycat,
Since you have both a Phish reference and a Dead reference I'll jump in here. Wait aren't you too young for those bands?
Both suggestions you've gotten are good. I would suggest buying a few maps of the area especially if you plan to return in the future. My overnight suggestion is similiar to the Dix hike but doing Giant instead. Hike in the North Trail and stay at the lean-to on the north side of Giant. You could either summit Giant that day or the next morning before hiking out. Make sure you take the side trip to Owl Head. This is pretty close to the highway and makes for an interesting way to do a pretty popular peak. The trail isn't heavily used nor is the lean-to. Have fun and let us know what you choose.
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Old 08-22-2005, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzycat99

The day hikes I plan are usually a strenuous 9-14 miles, but I've never done more than a couple of miles with a fully loaded backpack.
Ah that clears it up a little so if a strenous 9-14 with a daypack is a norm then consider up to ten miles in a day with a full pack.

This site would be a good resource for planning
http://www.adirondackjourney.com/

The dix trip suggested above should not be too difficult for what you say you can do. But the common way of going about it in the Adirondacks is as an example to backpack into Johns Brook area, set up camp and then day hike up Saddleback to Basin and down to your campsite. There are several alternatives in that area that is just an example.
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik
Well Kizzycat,
Since you have both a Phish reference and a Dead reference I'll jump in here. Wait aren't you too young for those bands?
Both suggestions you've gotten are good. I would suggest buying a few maps of the area especially if you plan to return in the future. My overnight suggestion is similiar to the Dix hike but doing Giant instead. Hike in the North Trail and stay at the lean-to on the north side of Giant. You could either summit Giant that day or the next morning before hiking out. Make sure you take the side trip to Owl Head. This is pretty close to the highway and makes for an interesting way to do a pretty popular peak. The trail isn't heavily used nor is the lean-to. Have fun and let us know what you choose.
This is a really good suggestion. I also think you should be able to do dix no problem. I always err on the soft side because a lot of people dont know what they are getting into until they are 1/2 way up.

check out www.topozone.com to get a rough idea, then go to ems and see what they have for maps. National Geographic makes a great topo with all the trail distances right on the map.

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Old 08-22-2005, 10:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions.The boyfriend is coming to visit this weekend, so I'll let you know what we choose and how it goes.

Oh, and nice call on the music references. If anything, I'd say listening to those bands and going to shows aged me a little faster than my peers. But what good is a long life if you don't enjoy it?
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Old 08-23-2005, 08:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzycat99
Yeah, I was definitely scoping out Dix . . . I just need to find a map or good directions of some sort since it appears to be herd paths and not marked trails...
Actually, the trail from Rt. 73 is a maintained and marked trail. It shouldn't be a problem. I'd recommend getting a map anyway. There's a store called The Mountaineer in Keene Valley (about 4 or 5 miles past the trailhead) that can fix you up if you can't find one before you get there.
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