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Old 09-22-2020, 08:26 PM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ballston Lake, NY
Posts: 1,235
Otter Lake/Little Moose Pond, WCLWA, 22 Sep, 2020

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.

1a TH - Copy.JPG

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.

1c WCLWA - Copy.JPG

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

1d trail - Copy.JPG

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.

1n OL - Copy.JPG

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.

1r OL - Copy.JPG

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.

2b trail - Copy.JPG

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.

2i trail - Copy.JPG

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.

2m LML - Copy.JPG

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

2n LML - Copy.JPG

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.
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Last edited by Tick Magnet; 09-24-2020 at 06:49 PM..
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