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Old 08-28-2014, 11:15 AM   #1
Hf8808
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Hadley mtn?

Looking for some opinions on Hadley Mtn? A nice hike? Is it busy? Any good backwoods camping around there? TIA
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:21 AM   #2
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Not necessarily my opinion, but a good article in Sunday's Schenectady Gazette comparing Hadley and Sleeping Beauty.

http://www.dailygazette.com/news/201...-hikes-beauty/


Lovely view, not strenuous: This hike’s a Beauty
Sunday, August 24, 2014
By Margaret Hartley

Summer Days


FORT ANN — Hiking is one of my favorite pastimes, and when I can get away for a whole day, there’s not much I like more than tramping up and down a mountain.

But you don’t even need a whole day: There are lots of short hikes in the Lake George and Southern Adirondack regions that make fine adventures: Crane Mountain, Buck, Pilot Knob, Black.

My favorite is Hadley Mountain, because it’s close to my house, it’s short but strenuous and the view is tremendous. There’s a fire tower, rocky crevices to explore and another mountain nearby (Round Top) you can hike to. My family has been up so many times the kids have named most of the rocks and rocky features — the garbage truck, the table top, the baseball stadium, the giant’s causeway. It’s home to us.

We’ve taken friends and visiting family members up dozens of times. Did I mention it’s kind of strenuous? It’s less than 2 miles to the top but the climb is pretty unrelenting, at least for the first two-thirds. Those visitors have started complaining.

“We’re coming over and want to go hiking and HADLEY IS TOO HARD,” read an email from a Minnesota friend. “Remember we are flatlanders now.”

And the last time I took my sister up, she told everyone who came to dinner that night, “Hadley is horrible.”

I tried not to get too offended. And I found a guest mountain: Sleeping Beauty.

It’s a lovely hike. It’s about the same distance as Hadley — 1.8 miles to the summit — but because the path has switchbacks, it’s never hard. You hike through the woods, over stone ridges, at a pace that allows chatting. And when you get to the top, there’s a great view of Buck and Little Buck mountains, Tongue Mountain jutting into Lake George, the lake itself and more mountains on the other side.

“On top it is very, very beautiful,” a tiny, dark-haired girl told me as I headed to the summit two weeks ago.

Little kids can hike it. Flatlanders don’t complain. I’ve taken small Floridian nieces who had never walked a hill let alone a mountain. They all loved it.

And the summit offers lots of different outcroppings to climb on, so that even if there are half a dozen hiking parties on top you can each have a private picnic.

The trail head is in Fort Ann, 9.5 miles off Route 149 down Buttermilk Falls Road. From the first parking lot there’s a seasonal dirt road you can take to the next lot — Dacy Clearing — almost two miles in. The one-lane dirt road is closed during mud and winter seasons, and sometimes it’s pretty rough for a regular car, which means you might have to figure some road walking distance into your total hike if the road is closed.

Two weeks ago the road was in good shape — even for a low-clearance sub-compact car like mine.

We were with a couple of New York City friends who’ve done their fair share of Hadley hikes. They were happy with the idea of an easier one, and Sleeping Beauty offered just the right balance of nature and accomplishment: a perfect outing without too much work.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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Me and the misses usually do Hadley as our first warm-up hike at the start of our season, followed by Snowy, and then its off to the High Peaks and our slow progress through the 46ers list. Hadley is also a nice one for snowshoes in the winter, but I think it's best if you manage to hit it at the peak of the fall foliage season. The views up top on a clear day are terrific and there's lots of varied hardwood species so you get an awesome range of leaf color. Its still early for that, but I can't say I've ever been disappointed with a hike up Hadley (helps that its so close too)

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Old 09-11-2014, 01:04 PM   #4
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My daughter and I camped right beneath the fire tower on a small patch of grass. The whole experience is on her blog:http://www.corinswalkinthepark.blogspot.com/
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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My daughter and I camped right beneath the fire tower on a small patch of grass. ]
...Just a bit illegal...
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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I like Hadley and have climbed it many times. Its a 1500 ft. ascent split up into three climbs - the longest part is steepest, then a long stretch of gradual, then less gradual - a nice workout. Not necessarily easy.

There's a good amount of slab rock to climb; though that can be icy when the weather turns cold and seems to me the reason the trail keeps widening.

If you have the time walk over to Round Mountain. It is an easy bushwack to a nice summit.

I'm a committed day hiker and not sure why you say you couldn't camp up there possibly near the observers cabin. It's less than 3000 ft elevation.


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Old 09-11-2014, 07:44 PM   #7
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I'm a committed day hiker and not sure why you say you couldn't camp up there possibly near the observers cabin. It's less than 3000 ft elevation.


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You must be at least 150' from trail, road and water. The trail ends at the tower. The two people above camped "beneath the tower". Doesn't sound legal.
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:33 PM   #8
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I'd have to agree, I'm not 100% sure it's the law, but I would never camp on or right next to a trail or fire tower just for the sake of courtesy - someone else might be using the trail and I wouldn't want them to see me heading off into the brush for some late night relief in my skivvies, any more than they'd want to be subjected to that sight But seriously, the last thing I'd want to see on a full moon hike to view the starry sky from the top of a mountain is someone camping out. Just doesn't seem right, there's lots of room to go off trail to set up.
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:40 PM   #9
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Just to be fair, the issue was at least considered by dad, so we shouldn't be too harsh I guess . . . I'll admit I haven't always made it the required distance off the trail to do my business, and I've post-holed down Snowy more than I care to remember . . .we all make bad judgment calls at times:

"At 6:30pm we had plenty of time to set up camp. My father suggested setting up the tent below the summit near the observers cabin. I on the other hand made the case for sleeping on the mountain should mean at the summit. So a nice flat soft mossy area at the base of the tower was chosen for the site. "
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #10
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I feel like such a criminal. I'll turn in my tent to the authorities.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:19 PM   #11
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Lol
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:07 PM   #12
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FYI- to all you uptight forum members....we saw NO ONE else that day except the local man who climbs to the tower at least 3x a week. He was coming down as we were going up. It was dusk...we set up camp took beautiful pictures of the sunset, slept and woke early enough to take photos of the sunrise. Packed up and were down before 7am. Definitely qualifies as a "bucket list" type experience as father/daughter hiking partners. You called it illegal and then backtracked your statement. Would have been worth the ticket three times over. We didn't urinate anywhere inappropriate, didn't leave garbage, didn't shoot any bears...just enjoyed our local mountain. Keep Calm and Hike people.
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Old 09-21-2014, 03:16 PM   #13
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The state land use regulations aren't trivial. They are founded on pretty solid scientific understanding about how our actions can and do negatively impact the wilderness resources that we value in our wild areas. And there is a lot more to protecting those resources than just "if you carry it in, carry it out."

Consider the following:
  • One of the Leave No Trace Principles is Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces. A "nice flat soft mossy area" really isn't a durable surface suitable for camping. Here are some important tips that Leave No Trace has to say for selecting a good campsite:

    Quote:
    Rock, sand and gravel: These surfaces are highly durable and can tolerate repeated trampling and scuffing. (However, lichens that grow on rocks are vulnerable to repeated scuffing).

    Vegetation: The resistance of vegetation to trampling varies. Careful decisions must be made when traveling across vegetation. Select areas of durable vegetation, or sparse vegetation that is easily avoided. Dry grasses tend to be resistant to trampling. Wet meadows and other fragile vegetation quickly show the effects of trampling.

    Selecting an appropriate campsite is perhaps the most important aspect of low-impact backcountry use. It requires the greatest use of judgment and information and often involves making trade-offs between minimizing ecological and social impacts. A decision about where to camp should be based on information about the level and type of use in the area, the fragility of vegetation and soil, the likelihood of wildlife disturbance, an assessment of previous impacts, and your party s potential to cause or avoid impact.

    Avoid camping close to water and trails and select a site which is not visible to others. Even in popular areas the sense of solitude can be enhanced by screening campsites and choosing an out-of-the-way site. Camping away from the water's edge also allows access routes for wild life. Be sure to obey regulations related to campsite selection. Allow enough time and energy at the end of the day to select an appropriate site. Fatigue, bad weather, and late departure times are not acceptable excuses for choosing poor or fragile camp sites.
  • One of the tenants of Wilderness Management is to use the least amount of management necessary to achieve management objectives. This generally means that education is used whenever possible instead of enforcement. The idea is that, in an ideal world, visitors to Wilderness Areas will conduct themselves appropriately on their own without the need for regulations and a visible enforcement presence. When education is unsuccessful, however, management agencies are forced to resort to more invasive methods of management, methods the typically include increased regulations and the increased use of fines as a deterrent against undesirable behavior.

    This is why there are so many more regulations in the High Peaks, as well as an increased enforcement presence, as compared to so many other areas in the Adirondacks- because the impacts are so much higher there. It stands to reason that if people make similar choices that contribute to higher impacts in other areas, then we can expect to see more regulations and enforcement in those areas, and that's something most people I think would like to avoid.

  • It is easy to rationalize our occasional departure from minimum impact techniques. "It's just this once," "no one will see me do it," "just this little bit of extra impact isn't really a big deal" are common rationalizations that I've heard to justify decisions to not follow LNT. The error in this, however, is that we often fail to realize that in a park so large and popular as the Adirondack Park, there are groups out every single weekend who are making the same choices not to minimize their impacts. All that extra impact can and does add up to significant amounts. I feel quite strongly that the we have nothing even close to a realistic view of the levels of impact we in the outdoor recreation community collectively incur upon wilderness resources. In choosing how to conduct ourselves in the backcountry, we should be asking ourselves not "what is the impact if I do this," but instead "what is the impact if everyone does this."

  • The internet is an amazing resource for finding information about backpacking trips and techniques that more and more hikers and backpackers are turning to. There are thousands of outdoor recreation enthusiasts who turn ton online sources such as forums and blogs not only to gain information about potential hikes but also to learn about how to properly conduct themselves in the backcountry. In short, when we become a provider of information online, we need to realize that we are setting an example for others to follow. Even if we are confident in that our choice to "skirt" a certain state land use regulation is based on sound reasoning that maintains the spirit of minimizing our impacts, we need to understand that there are always going to be other folks who might feel encouraged by our actions to adopt similar behavior patterns without still striving to minimize impacts.

    I would argue that anyone who publicly endorses circumventing the state land use regulations is complicit in encouraging a community that does not place a high value in minimizing impacts, and also shares in the responsibility for any increase in impacts by others that such endorsement might incur.

Now, with all that being said, it is also important to remember that no one is an LNT expert from the get-go. Backpacking and hiking are a learning experience, and minimum impact techniques and understanding are things that come with time and experience. It is easy for those of us who have much of that experience to quickly point fingers at what someone is doing "wrong" while forgetting that we were in the same situations ourselves once. On one of my first backpacking trips, I cut down a bunch of trees for firewood, something I'm certainly not very proud of. I simply did not know what I was doing, but my ignorance doesn't excuse my judgement, nor does it undo the impact that I caused. (I have since gotten involved in several tree-planting/re-vegetation projects on state land, in part to assuage my conscience. ) Not only have we all been there, but we all are still there- there is no "aha" moment where one thinks to themselves "I have learned all that there is to know about LNT." Even now, with thousands of miles under my feet and hundreds of nights under my back, I still find myself striving to find ways to minimize my impact even further.

In fact, I feel quite confident in saying that even dundee, for all of his curmudgity endorsements of LNT, in his youth did things on state land that even he isn't proud of, either.
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:15 PM   #14
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I hiked it for the first time with my 18yr old daughter and my 10yr old son. It was an enjoyable workout! We saw a few families with younger childern on the trail as well. The views from the top are definitely worth the effort.
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:58 AM   #15
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I've been up there quite a few times. I stayed overnight this past memorial day. I specifically set up on the south side below the summit (I tried to be around 150 ft off trail) in a hammock overlooking the Sacandaga so I could watch the fireworks. It's difficult on that mountain to find a good scenic hanging spot that is far enough from the trail and then have a spot parallel and far enough way to put my food/bear canister(more for rodents than bears). It took me ~an hour to find a suitable location.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:19 AM   #16
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Also worth mentioning that sometimes there isn't a suitable location where we want one to be. In that case, we shouldn't default to rationalizations as Dsettahr mentions and lower the standard, but accept that it's not an appropriate place to camp. I'm not saying Byron specifically did this, but it's not uncommon to hear -- I recall one particular thread about being ticketed for camping next to a leanto because "there was nowhere else" to camp.

This is serious thread drift, but aside from learning and practicing the principles my biggest challenge is dealing with hiking/camping partners who don't take it as seriously or just don't care. I don't want to come off as aggressive or pushy and don't want to lecture, and nothing ruins a trip like that kind of argument. It's difficult.
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