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Old 01-31-2021, 10:34 PM   #9
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,678
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
It's definitely getting some foot traffic. Not a huge amount by any means, but some.

It's too bad that tower was removed before the DEC softened their stance on towers in Wilderness areas. I'm sure the view from the tower- while it still stood- was nice.

I went back and forth on whether to mention them with similar concerns in mind. In the end I decided that it was clear that they get a lot of use as it is- and so aren't exactly a secret by any means.

For what it's worth, my decision not to more closely check out Otter Pond had less to do with any perceived lack of appeal, and more to do with the fact that I was distracted by route finding as I passed by. It looked nice (through the trees at any rate) and felt remote.

I'm not as keen on the idea of a trail connecting Pigeon Lake with Lower Sister Lake. Lower Sister Lake is pretty neat in that it demands both a boat ride and a hike to reach, and building a trail from Pigeon Lake would kind of ruin that (even if the alternative were still a relatively long hike).

I do agree that without the views from West Mountain a new route could and should probably be constructed around the mountain. Maybe Pigeon Lake to Shallow Lake by way of Haymarsh Ponds, or Otter Lake to Cranberry Lake instead.
I didn't mean to dis you about Otter Pond. I totally get it. And I meant more that it's not all that remarkable, especially considering the effort to get there. I'm actually fairly impressed at how quickly you did this and how many spots you visited along the way. I've been going to this general area (MRPWF and PigLWA) for a good majority of my life, and while I recognize everything in the pics, I didn't ever see it all on one trip.

As far as the sisters - I agree and I don't. I always prefer taking a boat to walking through swampy lowlands like this, but I also think it would make for some enjoyable hiking deep into this area. Of course I have no idea what that terrain looks like, but given the idea I have of A) how primeval that forest is out around Pigeon Lake and B) the general number of low lying swampy areas in this region, I think it would be kind of a difficult trail to cut and maintain.

Also I have to say you didn't post in the report what I thought was your best picture. Perhaps it didn't tie the story in as well, but the shot of Blue Mountain over Brown's Tract inlet is spectacular.

As far as the tower - maybe something can be done to bring one back? I'm sure Raquette Village would love to have it as it seems a few people are making that hike still, probably only to be disappointed.
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