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Tick Magnet 09-22-2020 08:26 PM

Otter Lake/Little Moose Pond, WCLWA, 22 Sep, 2020
9 Attachment(s)
I haven't done a trip report in some time and I figured today was as good as any to fight the photo demons that have plagued me recently. Otter Lake and Little Moose Pond in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area have been on my radar since I started hiking again back in 2012. Today was the day

Tredhed and I left the Hamilton County Mosquito Preserve at a reasonable hour and soon arrived at the turnoff into the Perkins Clearing easement area.

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We bumped along the dirt road for a while, making note of the road closed barricades at Sled Harbor. We followed the Jessup River Rd. for another 7 miles to check out the Spruce Lake parking area. There were four cars there, including one sedan that must have had a tough ride as the last two miles of the road were quite rough.

Backtracking, we pulled off Jessup River Rd. and parked at Campsite #12. Quickly suiting up, we followed the unmarked path into the WCLWA.

Attachment 19721

The path follows an old logging road and the foot tread was well defined along this short route to Otter Lake.

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There were several stream crossings that would have been difficult in high water, but posed no problem today. After about 45 minutes of walking, we turned off the old road and followed a short path to the outlet of the lake.

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A stiff wind greeted up as we gazed out over the lake. While we didn't see any otters, we enjoyed a small snack and the fall colors.

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Soon enough, we headed back down the trail to Campsite #12 for some hot soup and fresh bread. After our lunch, we got in the truck and drove the mile to the start of our next adventure, Little Moose Pond.

The trail for Little Moose starts at a gate and passes a lease cabin before skirting a small meadow.

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The logging road (we're still on easement land), descend to cross the Jessup River on a washed out bridge. About 200 yds past the bridge, the old road that leads to Little Moose Pond heads uphill into the woods. While the path to Otter Lake was well traveled, the old road to Little Moose was overgrown in spots and had a light foot tread. Still, the track was obvious as it climbed over 400' to a height of land.

Attachment 19726

As the path approached the pond, it became a little rocky and festooned with blowdown. Once at the shore of the pond, we had to rock hop across the narrow outlet to get to an old campsite on the south shore. The views across the pond to Pillsbury Mt. were spectacular to say the least.

Attachment 19727

The fire tower was clearly visible as it was only 2.5 miles away and 1400' above us.

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After gawking at the magnitude of Pillsbury and the beauty of the pond, we hoofed it back down the hill to the truck. We had another bumpy drive down the dirt road, this time following a logging truck all the way to the Perkins Clearing intersection. Logging trucks aside, these were two really neat hikes and I'm glad we had such a beautiful day to spend in the woods.

DuctTape 09-22-2020 08:52 PM

for some reason your photos are not showing up for me. Just a large gray square with a "minus sign in a circle"

edit: I see the photos now.

Tick Magnet 09-22-2020 08:58 PM

That's the photo demons! :banghead:

I'll try to work on it, but if I can't get it figured out, I quit.

Wldrns 09-22-2020 09:03 PM

Got good beautiful colorful photos here.

snapper 09-23-2020 08:04 PM

Add another person to DuctTape's camp; and I usually don't have any problems with seeing your posted photos. As of now, I get the same grey circle with a bar in it.

That's all for now. Take care and until next well.


Tick Magnet 09-23-2020 08:17 PM

Sorry about that folks, it was a pretty day in the woods.

I thought I cracked the code on posting photos, but I guess not. :(

ganeale58 10-29-2020 10:55 AM

I am able to see your photos, and they are making my mouth water! 1 week and 2 days until I get to traverse that amazing country!

TrailBlaser 10-29-2020 10:11 PM

Wow, great trip report and photos! Thanks so much for posting it. I have been wanting to drive to the Spruce Lake trail head, but I only have a sedan and have not yet had the courage to give it a try. Maybe next summer after the road has been worked on, perhaps I could make it. Thanks again, you have given me a couple of other destinations if I am able to get there.

BenjaminBentley 10-31-2020 04:59 PM

Photos came through for me...beautiful

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