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Old 06-15-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
Justin
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Cedar River, Pine Lake, Mud & Clear Ponds (Former F.P. Land)

I decided to check out some of the newly acquired State Land earlier today that is now open to the public as of this weekend, in the area south of the Cedar River near Pine Lake, Mud Pond, and Clear Pond.

I arrived at the new trailhead parking area on Chain Lakes Road at about 8:15am, and was happy to see that I was the first to arrive today. The parking area is large enough to hold maybe 8-10 vehicles I'd say, and there is a short path that leads down to the Indian River.
As I signed in at the brand new trail-register kiosk, I noticed that a small handful of people had signed in on Fri & Thurs, and then I headed up the road toward the Gooley Club.

10 minutes up the road from the parking area there is a sign and a short carry-trail down to the take-out along the Hudson River:




Shortly after passing the carry-trail I arrived at the Gooley Club cabin:





Nice view toward the Hudson River from the Gooley Club cabin's front yard:



Continuing up the road past the Gooley Club I noticed a side road leading left (west). I didn't follow it, but from looking at Google Earth images it looks like it leads up & around the northern end of a large wetland just west of the main road a short distance to an old logging clearing.

After hiking about 45 minutes along the main road I arrived at the side trail to Clear Pond.
It leads west over a small hill for 5-10 minutes to the southeastern shore of Clear Pond where there are great views across the pond toward Dun Brook Mtn:





Rock ledges at Clear Pond:



Nice view over Clear Pond from the rock ledges:





After enjoying the views of Clear Pond I headed back to and continued up the main road until I could see Mud Pond through the trees just to the west of the road. I then bushwhacked down a short distance through a swampy area to snap a photo of Mud Pond:



After passing Mud Pond the road climbs slightly, with no other views toward Mud Pond, then crosses it's outlet and begins to descend into the Cedar River valley. Just after crossing the outlet of Mud Pond, another side road forks left (west) from the main road. I followed it a short ways out of curiosity, but quickly turned around once I saw that it kept heading southwest for a ways. Google Earth seems to indicate that it leads to a clearing northwest of Mud Pond.



Back on the main road, a couple signs with arrows indicate the direction of the main "trail", which follows the main road downhill to yet another fork just above & out of sight of the Cedar River. Another sign with an arrow points the main trail left (west), and within seconds there is another sign pointing the way right down a short spur trail to the shore of the Cedar River.


The Cedar River is very calm and peaceful here:

I'm guessing this must be where the old ford across the Cedar River used to be once upon a time, but I didn't notice any sign of a continuing roadway on the north side of Cedar River...

However, the main dirt road that I had been following continues west, past an oxbow on the Cedar River, and in 15 minutes past the Cedar River spur, the road turns south and leads to the northeast end of Pine Lake where there are a couple campsites. The view across Pine Lake toward the Stark Hills from the campsites is nice, but unfortunately I found one of the campsites to be trashed:











After visiting Pine Lake I headed back to the fork in the road just before the Cedar River spur, and followed it east as far I as could. This road was no different than the dirt road that I had been following most of the day. It's a typical logging road that parralles the Cedar River, but high above and out of sight of it. I past a couple old skid trails that lead down the hillside toward the Cedar, and I followed one of them down to catch a view of the rapids along the Cedar River:





The roadway east continues for about 30 minutes from the fork, past a couple more side roads that turn south, and ends at a large clearing with a handful of skid trails radiating out from it. I tried to stay on the northern most skid trail, staying as close to the Cedar River as I could, hoping to make it to the confluence with the Hudson River.
Unfortunately, the skid trail eventually seemed to fade away, and then dead ended in a patch of thick blowdown. I was able to fight my way through a short distance back down to the banks of the Cedar River, but I was still a little ways away from the Hudson. I tried to continue east along the bank but the going was pretty rough, so I decided to take a break, snap a couple more photos of the rapids before turning around and heading back:




All in all it was a great day out exploring a new area!
A few skeeters and a few deer flies, but the bugs weren't bad at all.
Nice breezy Day.
Didn't see anyone else all day.


Here's a map of my route:

Last edited by Justin; 06-16-2013 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:06 AM   #2
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Thanks, Justin, for sharing your first venture to this area. The scenery is fantastic and I hate the idea that motor boats could eventually invade some of these waters.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:12 AM   #3
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... and I hate the idea that motor boats could eventually invade some of these waters.
Write a letter, help stop it!
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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Great report!
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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I must say, even though walking along the logging roads was very easy, it is fairly uneventful for the hiker. The only time it felt like "Wilderness" was on the short trail to Clear Pond, and the short bushwhack to the rapids on the Cedar River.
As much as I hate to say it, and as much as I'd like to see this area classified as Wilderness, it seemed like it'd be ideal for snowmobiles and bicycles....just my honest opinion.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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It will self mend given the chance.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for sharing this report. I'm one of those people that have tended to focus on certain areas of the ADK Park (such as the high peaks, top 100, etc.). Areas like this with which I have little familiarity are incredibly enjoyable to read, as I learn, and, dare I say this, conquer some innate "fear" of the unknown areas of the park. Questions such as "Will I be shot if I go down this trail which may not be state land?" and "If I park on the side of this road, will my car still be here (towed away) when I get back?" are always bugging me. Reports like these are absolutely fantastic in answering questions like this. Thank you so very much once again.

Regarding the classification issue, as was said is true: if left alone, the area will be naturally re-claimed, and a wilderness classification would be entirely appropriate. Some of the wilderness areas that we now have in the park used to be far more run down than they are now; the protections that were put in place are what have made them look so much more natural now. I'm confident that something similar would take place here. Nonetheless, the very fact that we, the public, now have access to this area is a wonderful thing. No matter what we all individually believe regarding classification, we should all be thankful that the state has at least acquired this land, as it is now open to us, and will be of a guaranteed level of protection for the foreseeable future. Thank you, NYS for acquiring these lands.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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Justin,

Thanks for the first person recon...the Cedar looks great, doesn't it?
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
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Justin - Thanks for the great TR and pics. I was wondering what the area would be like.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Thanks guys.

Stripperguy, yes it sure does, however it does not look good for carrying a canoe around some of the rapids.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:08 PM   #11
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Justin...I have just the right canoe for bouncing off those rocks.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #12
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Thanks for the excellent report!
Is there a way of finding out how much float plane activity occurs on Pine Lk?

Justin, how cartable/wheelable are the old roads (are they as smooth as Whitney or lots of boulders & washouts)
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:05 AM   #13
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Justin, how cartable/wheelable are the old roads (are they as smooth as Whitney or lots of boulders & washouts)
I would say that the road is very cartable.
Perhaps not as hard packed as Whitney, but it's a dirt/gravel road the entire way.
As you get closer to Pine Lake the road becomes slightly more rugged, and there are a couple trees down across the road after you pass the side trail to the Cedar River, but nothing too difficult to get over/around.

Judging from the trashed campsite and dock in the photos, I'd venture to guess that Pine gets a fair amount of use from float plane campers...
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #14
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Judging from the trashed campsite and dock in the photos, I'd venture to guess that Pine gets a fair amount of use from float plane campers...
Interesting observation. I'm assuming this lake has always been on private (gooley club) property. Would you guess the float plane campers were members of the Gooley Club and not trespassers? There is a good road to the lake or maybe they always flew into that lake?
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:05 AM   #15
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I must say, even though walking along the logging roads was very easy, it is fairly uneventful for the hiker. The only time it felt like "Wilderness" was on the short trail to Clear Pond, and the short bushwhack to the rapids on the Cedar River.
As much as I hate to say it, and as much as I'd like to see this area classified as Wilderness, it seemed like it'd be ideal for snowmobiles and bicycles....just my honest opinion.
I get the same feeling from the pictures... no offense.

I have been really excited about going to this area but I'm not as excited now. I'm sure I will visit in the future but it doesn't cry out to me. Maybe it would be different in person or over on the chain lakes?

That being said, my assessment of interest has no real bearing on what the land should be classified as - it should not be based on what we think is interesting or beautiful, but what the nature and the land can support.

My hope was for a new canoe area in the park. And by 'canoe area' I don't mean the designation, it could be wilderness or motorless lakes in a wild forest... just a new canoe trip area.

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Interesting observation. I'm assuming this lake has always been on private (gooley club) property. Would you guess the float plane campers were members of the Gooley Club and not trespassers? There is a good road to the lake or maybe they always flew into that lake?
My guess is they were members who would fly in during mud season.

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Old 06-18-2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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If there are roads to these ponds (or close to them) from the Gooley Club, wouldn't they use 4 wheelers or other means of transportation to get there? Not sure why a float plane would have been necessary.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:01 PM   #17
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If there are roads to these ponds (or close to them) from the Gooley Club, wouldn't they use 4 wheelers or other means of transportation to get there? Not sure why a float plane would have been necessary.
Same reason the DEC wants to keep them flying to those lakes... Mud!

It would look like this every spring without major maintenance:

http://www.adkforum.com/showpost.php...&postcount=545

Last edited by l'oiseau; 06-18-2013 at 02:20 PM.. Reason: Added mudding link
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:53 PM   #18
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Interesting observation. I'm assuming this lake has always been on private (gooley club) property. Would you guess the float plane campers were members of the Gooley Club and not trespassers? There is a good road to the lake or maybe they always flew into that lake?
Not sure.
With the dock there it's obvious to me that it is accessed by float plane, and with the road also leading to it, it was obvious that it was accessed by ATV and/or 4x4 also...
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:03 PM   #19
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Not sure.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #20
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...My guess would be trespassers, since I seem to remember reading somewhere that the members of the Gooley Club claimed to have been good stewards of the land in the area...
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