View Single Post
Old 02-02-2021, 09:28 AM   #13
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,296
Quote:
Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
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.
Yeah, I didn't take it as a dis, just pointing out the reality of the situation. FWIW, I uh... also forgot my compass on this trek, and the day that I was passing through the unmaintained portion of the Pigeon Lake-West Mountain Trail was a mostly cloudy so there was no sun to rely on for dead reckoning. That undoubtedly contributed to my decision to focus more heavily on route finding than on enjoying the scenery at Otter Pond.

Yeah, I think the logistical challenge of this trip (in addition to the navigational challenge) keeps it from being accessible to most. Mixing road walk sections, snowmobile trails, herd paths, and even what was essentially bushwhacking isn't something that most are going to consider. Again, FWIW, this is a trip that I've had my eye on for a while now so I'd done no small amount of previous research on the route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
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.
It looks like there is a pretty extensive (long and linear) swamp along the stream that flows south of the Sisters. Crossing might be possible due south of the sisters but it's hard to tell for sure from the aerial photos. It also looks like there's some open rock slabs on the hillside south of the sisters that could be interesting.

I don't know that I would be hugely upset by it but I do feel like that combination- boating and hiking- is both rare and neat enough that it would be worth preserving. On the flip side of the coin, if the new trail could be part of a longer route that facilitated more unit interconnectivity (and longer trips, especially loop trips, ranging from a long weekend to a week or more), then I'd have fewer qualms about it.

For example: A loop backpacking trip around Big Moose Lake. Would be possible with the current Forest Preserve holdings, albeit with a few couple of road walk sections. Cascade Lake to Queer Lake to Chub Lake on existing trail, then new trail to the Sisters, up to Terror Lake, over to Beaver River on the Stillwater, then on existing trails down to Twitchell Lake, then new trail to Silver Dollar and Squash Ponds, then existing trail and short roadwalk to Safford Pond, Goose Pond, and Lake Rondaxe, then road walk and new trail to Bald Mountain, then existing trails by way of Cary Lake, Mountain Pond, Sis and Bubb Lake, and Moss Lake, then another short road walk back to the Cascade Lake trailhead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
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.
It's probably not really worth messing with the issues surrounding building a new tower on Wilderness lands at this point. What is done is done, unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Pigeon, Constable, Otter, West... I guess cool to say you went there, but you aren't missing all that much. And this from a guy who's been more than once... Cascade is nice for a day hike to the falls or for skiing, but not the most exciting campsites.
Would you happen to have any photos? Like I said, Cascade Lake (even though I've yet to to the hike around the lake to check it out more fully) has always been in my pocket as a possible destination for a beginner backpacking trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
Thanks for the trip report, I enjoyed reading it and the pictures are great. That area was where I first got to spend time in the Adirondacks, so I have a nostalgia for it. I'd like to do some version of your loop someday, in a year or three, once I have moved and gotten myself back together. All of it is at least somewhat familiar to me except the part from the trail junction north of Chub Lake over West Mountain. The times I visited Chub the bridge was very saggy and rotten, so it's nice to see the new one. I'd like to camp there, the swimming is nice off that rock at the campsite and the loon calls sound louder because of being out on a bit of a point, or something.
Yeah, the Chub Lake tent site, like I said, was much nicer than I was expecting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
There's a nice little open summit-y area on Cascade Mountain, just south of where the trail forks at the west end of the lake. It's a very short easy bushwhack. The cascade is nice too, especially when there's water coming over it.
Looking at the aerial imagery, I can see rock outcrops up there. Good thing to think about trying to visit if/when I make another trip into the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
I stayed a couple of times at 7th Lake in the woods 150' behind the lean-to area, the lean to was messy but that rock point is very pleasant if you don't mind motorboats coming by now and then, and the swimming is good there too. I used to stay there when I was bicycling without a canoe, since I could walk my bike down the trail and get to the road easily, and with no parking at the end of the road there was not much competition.
Both lean-tos were clean when I went through, as were the tent sites. My experience with accessible sites (in this case, by motor boat) is that while they can be trashed at times, do-gooders usually pick up the messes fairly quickly (I think the ease of access makes it easier for others to be willing to clean up messes that were not their own doing). It's the lean-tos that are a short hike in- 1 to 2 miles- that tend to get trashed and then will go weeks before seeing someone lift a finger to clean up the mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
Once when I was staying at Queer Lake I took the trail north and then bushwhacked over to the Russian Lake trail. It was not too hard of a trip, other than getting across the wetland by Constable Pond. It rained the whole day and was only in the 60s, so I couldn't linger. The next year I went in on the trail toward Constable Pond and then bushwhacked to Russian Lake and on up to Andy's Creek lean-to and Lower Sister Lake, and that was a pretty awful trip, trying to find my way on foot across the huge beaver meadow by that bay of Big Moose Lake.
Russian Lake looks like it wouldn't be too difficult to get to. But yeah, that swamp further north between there and Andy's Creek looks nasty from the aerial images.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
I think the idea of making a more formal loop in that area sounds good. Good for you for trying to figure it out, and I hope you'll be able to find a way to move forward with it.
I doubt that this will ever become anything super official. Maybe if the rest of the trail over West Mountain gets cut open again it will attract some interest. But for the most part, something that's really going to interest folks that have largely already exhausted longer loop options elsewhere in the ADKs.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote