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Vanderwhacker reveals the true size of the Adirondacks!

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  • Vanderwhacker reveals the true size of the Adirondacks!

    Well the gravel road into the Vanderwhacker parking lot is closed. There are signs on the one bridge that the bridge is out. We walked over the bridge and it appears completely fine. Then again I am not an engineer. I just walked over the bridge.

    I was glad that the road was closed for 2 reasons. I would have been nervous taking my 2008 Honda CR with over 200,000 miles 3 miles into the woods on a unknown road. This summer was a stressful one and I needed stress reduction. I wanted a long walk woods.

    The stats from all trails: Length 12.55 mi Elevation gain 2,306 ft Time 6:51:23

    2 hikes this summer there have been bird calls that are persistent and easily recognizable. The first bird the oven bird on Treadwell. This hike had the red breasted nuthatch! With the help of the Merlin app I was able to identify it. It sang constantly throughout the day and I think I have it down so If I hear it again in the future I will recognize it.

    I feel that this hike is required for anyone who wants to get an understanding of the size Adirondacks. You really get a feeling for the vast scale of the park from this vantage point. While the views of peaks like Marcy and Colden are great and inspirational, Vanderwhacker shows the High Peaks as one corner of the park. There is a whole middle area.

    After standing in the cab of the fire tower I am changed. It's not everyday that can happen. Anyone can look at a map and say 'Wow the Adirondacks are 6 million acres! What a huge park!' This hike takes you to the exact place where you can experience it.

    In the cab I had another experience that was magical too. Hundreds of dragonflies were whirling around the cab. I have no idea if they were mating or was it just a "last days of summer" dance. I loved it.

    Everyone is always talking about all the far away places they want to visit. There is only one place I really want to go and that is the Northville-Lake Placid Trail. This trip made that desire even stronger.

  • #2
    Really cool story! Thanks for sharing.

    So much more the ADK than the High Peaks. I like how you put that into perspective here.

    I love the birding call out. I'm always birding when I'm hiking and I'm surprised how many I can ID by sound. Merlin is a huge help
    Tick Magnet


    • #3
      I believe the bridge failed an inspection. It is drivable in its current state, however they don't want it to get worse by allowing public motor vehicle traffic to continue crossing it, hence the closure of the road to everyone but private property owners further down on the road.

      A lot of beginner hikers especially equate the Adirondacks simply with the High Peaks region, and fail to realize that the High Peaks is really only one small yet significant portion of the Park. If I remember correctly, by land area, the High Peaks represents roughly 10% of the public lands in the Adirondack Park. By length, trails in the High Peaks represent roughly 20% of all of the public trails within the Adirondack Park.

      It could easily take someone decades to explore the on-trail opportunities in the High Peaks alone, and they'd still only have barely scratched the surface of what the Adirondacks has to offer. It truly is a unique opportunity, especially in the eastern continental US.


      • #4
        I loved your post, Bunchberry. The best thing of all is just to be in the woods and take it all in.


        • #5
          BB, Great perspective!
          "A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden