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Old 01-31-2021, 09:32 AM   #5
hikingandwildex
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: On the road again
Posts: 161
Outstanding trip report and photos! Thanks for sharing and for putting so much effort into your post.

Out of curiosity, I looked at different online maps of the Bug Lake / Eagle's Nest area. CalTopo and OpenTopoMap showed just a single trail from the Eighth Lake camping area, while Natural Atlas shows a regular 1.8-mile trail connecting the Bug Lake Trail with Seventh Lake Lean-To #2. It's too bad the ADK club doesn't publish more detailed and up-to-date maps for other parts of the park like they do for the High Peaks region, though completely understandable given that it wouldn't be nearly as profitable. One of the things that I like about the High Peaks map is how it distinguishes between maintained hiking trails and herd paths, and labels multi-use + other-use trails (e.g. snowmobiling and MTB trails).

It's astonishing that National Geographic's map still contains outdated info on the Cascade Lake trailhead, considering the newer TH has been around for at least a decade (going by CNY Hiking's info that was based on an outing from the end of 2009). While the difference is only a few tenths of a mile in this instance, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the map's overall reliability in the 2020s. Naturalatlas.com also shows the southern/old trailhead as being the only access point, while CalTopo has a more up-to-date map showing both access points with the newer one being marked "Cascade Lake Trail".

The Seventh Lake area, with the lakeside shelter and rock, instantly reminded me of the loop that goes around Black Mountain in the Lake George area that I hiked this past fall. I especially liked the photos of the rainbow glowing above one of the mountains and of that small, rocky island around sunset. The last time I was in the Adirondacks, I made a mental note of Seventh Lake after driving by and seeing an empty trailhead off of Route 28 (quite the contrast from the Black Bear / Rocky Mountain trailhead in Inlet that was packed with cars). Hoping to make a stop there if I end up going on a waterfalling trip in the Western/Central ADKs this spring.

Moss Lake is another good hiking option in that general vicinity. There's a loop around the lake that makes for a good half-day outing -- which can be turned into a longer backpacking trip by connecting to another trail that splits Bub & Sis Lakes before heading all the way to Bald Mountain. Having only done the loop around Moss Lake, I can't verify the accuracy of the longer trail that runs parallel to Fulton Chain's northern shore.

Black Bear Mountain's views, while nice, pale in comparison to nearby Rocky Mountain's which remain my favorite mountaintop views in the entire park, edging out Mount Marcy and the MacIntyre peaks. And you're right about the blue trail being significantly tougher than the yellow one. Going up an icy blue trail in winter a few years ago was quite gnarly in spots!
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