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Kempshall Mountain?

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  • Kempshall Mountain?

    Has anyone been up this recently (within the past year or two)? I'm thinking about trying to get up it sometime this upcoming summer. I know the trail is officially "abandoned" but I found a post from 2016 stating that it was being informally maintained and was easy to follow. I've wandered by on the NPT a few times in the past few years and noticed every time that the junction where the old trail crosses the NPT is very obvious and the corridor for the old trail is readily apparent.

    I know there's little in the way of views without the fire tower but this mountain has intrigued me for years- ever since my very first backpacking trip in February of 2002, a two night trip with the RIT Outing Club to camp in lean-tos on the NPT along long lake. After the first night at Catlin Bay we continued up to Kelly Point and set up for the second night there. Once camp was in order, a few of us wandered further north on the NPT up to the junction with the old trail. I have a very vivid memory of spotting the old trail just as dusk was about to finish descending upon the forest.

    At the time, everywhere else in the Adirondack backcountry was unknown to my perception- the NPT stretched off in either direction into what was (for me personally) untrodden and remote wilderness. Much of those unknown gaps have been filled in for me in the 19+ years since but Kempshall is still a blank space on the map that exists in my mind.
    Last edited by DSettahr; 04-19-2021, 07:58 AM.

  • #2
    Its probably been more than 30 years. My childhood best friend (whose family had a camp on the other side of the lake) and I went canoeing and fishing and decided to climb Kempshall on a whim. I'll never forget the summit with the worst case of black fly swarms I had ever seen. I remember slapping my thigh and my hands came up coated with a mixture of red blood and hundreds of black dots. We did catch some nice pike later.
    Last edited by Wldrns; 04-19-2021, 10:26 AM.
    "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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    • #3
      A couple years ago I watched the 90 mile canoe race from Kelly Point lean tos then hiked part way up Kempshall then whacked over to Blueberry Mtn. Up to that point the trail was clear and easy to follow. Blueberry has a nice rocky summit and views along Long Lake. I then headed west until I intersected the NPT. Nice open woods all the way.

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      • #4
        Thanks to you both. Good to know about Blueberry- that's not a very long bushwhack off the old trail and you're right, the satellite images do show rocky ledges. I'll definitely throw that one into the mix as well.

        Might even also make a longer day out of it and include Landing Hill to the south... gotta work on my visits to "every named feature in the High Peaks."
        Last edited by DSettahr; 04-19-2021, 11:45 AM.

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        • #5
          This is the view of Long Lake from Blueberry. Looking back towards Long Lake Village. This guy was enjoying the view from the summit also.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            I havent personally done it however have friends that buschwacked up last year. I feel like there are some stone chairs at the top but that could have been on the summit of blueberry. I'll try to get in touch with them and report back

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            • #7
              When I did Kempshall a couple years ago the trail was definitely still quite easy to follow. However, the maintenance was in the form of cutting the saplings a foot or two above the ground leaving spikes sticking out all over the place which I found to be a really bad method of trail cutting/maintenance. There are some ribbons too. It didn't take us long to get up there from the Lake. I liked this peak and the fire tower history of it even though there are no longer any views.
              Spencer Bigfoot

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              • #8
                That's what happens when unauthorized people take it upon themselves to do unapproved and illegal "trail maintenance". There is a DEC approved method for doing so, the ADK offers courses to train people.
                "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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                • #9
                  Absolutely. Good point.
                  One would just think that even if one is doing unapproved trail maintenance one would have the common sense to not cut the trail leaving Dracula impalement stakes all over the place. It looks so bad and is immensely the wrong way to do it.
                  Spencer Bigfoot

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                  • #10
                    In Viet Nam those were called Punji sticks
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punji_stick

                    A few years ago I was on a SAR incident searching along the RR tracks near Mt Arab. The brush had recently been cut by a machine traveling the tracks, leaving those dangerous sharpened foot+ high remnants sticking straight up all along on both sides of the tracks. Turns out the elderly Alzheimer patient subject was found by helicopter overflight alive and well the next day on the tracks, 6 miles away from his departure point. It is a miracle he did not fall and become impaled on the way during the night.
                    Last edited by Wldrns; 05-19-2021, 06:09 PM.
                    "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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                    • #11
                      Im sure it was done in Winter when those saplings were covered in snow up to the level they were trimmed.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Golddragon214 View Post
                        Im sure it was done in Winter when those saplings were covered in snow up to the level they were trimmed.
                        It is amazing how those beavers cut saplings in the winter isn't it?
                        Be careful, don't spread invasive species!!

                        When a dog runs at you,whistle for him.
                        Henry David Thoreau

                        CL50-#23

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