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Old 02-11-2020, 11:19 PM   #41
Schultzz
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Montcalm and Lucky you are both correct. My post was tongue and cheek. Yelp lists the address in Eagle Bay, and Old Forge, so I wondered how the place could get around so much. And Lucky 13 has another good point. It depends on who makes the pizza. Sometimes it's fabulous and other times mediocre at best. The wings? I never tried them but as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I guess taste is in the hand of the guy paying the bill. And you are right Screamen Eagle is in Inlet, and so am I. But it is worth stopping and trying. Also the Tap Room has an awesome cheeseburger and is open every day. Agree that the Adirondack Hotel has great food.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:25 PM   #42
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I've already stayed in the lean-to on the north shore of Eighth Lake. I was thinking about spending one night at the second lean-to on Eighth Lake on the west shore (and bushwhacking along the shore to reach it). Alternatively, I'd continue to the junction north of Bug lake and take a side trip south on the trail to Seventh Lake and stay in one of those lean-tos.
The island leanto on 8th lake was removed a couple of years ago. Nearby on the west shore, the double wide leanto was completely (re)constructed by the Lean2Rescue crew. The "Dunning" leanto on the north end of the lake was moved and rebuilt last year. It is supposedly an ADA leanto, as is the trail from the north leading to it, but it in fact was moved to a higher point on the hill, and I haven't seen any significant ADA-like improvements to the trail since we worked on the leanto. That carry trail during the 90 miler last fall was in the same condition as it has been for years.

The trail to Bug lake has been adopted by a member of the Central Adirondack Search and Rescue Team (CASART), and had been cleaned and brushed out (maybe not completely just yet).
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:53 AM   #43
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I had forgotten that 8th Lake lies north-south, and was thinking of it as being lined up with 4th and 7th. I never used a compass on that lake, but I should have remembered from the map. What I posted a day or two ago should have said that the lean-to is on the west shore just a bit north of the island. Here are a couple of pictures from 2014, the first one is taken from the beach right in front of the lean-to, looking at the island, and the second is the lean-to from the lake. I stayed in the lean-to on the island later on that trip, it was a pretty spot but heavily impacted by camping.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:32 AM   #44
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Montcalm and Lucky you are both correct. My post was tongue and cheek. Yelp lists the address in Eagle Bay, and Old Forge, so I wondered how the place could get around so much. And Lucky 13 has another good point. It depends on who makes the pizza. Sometimes it's fabulous and other times mediocre at best. The wings? I never tried them but as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I guess taste is in the hand of the guy paying the bill. And you are right Screamen Eagle is in Inlet, and so am I. But it is worth stopping and trying. Also the Tap Room has an awesome cheeseburger and is open every day. Agree that the Adirondack Hotel has great food.
The Toboggan Inn in Eagle Bay is certainly worth a try as well. Menu based rather than pizza and wings fare. They do a nice job for a fair price and you canít beat a $2 or $3 happy hour draft IPA!
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:29 AM   #45
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Please read the statement directly below this sentence.
I read it, and now I feel severely dragged down and beaten!
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:05 PM   #46
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@Lucky13 - do you know what the condition of the trail is between the north shore of Eighth Lake and Bug Lake? I'm sort of assuming it's a snowmobile trail and is probably less than ideal for hiking but it would be a few miles at most. The DEC website shows it as a hiking/snowmobile trail; the National Geographic maps show it as a minimally-maintained path.

I had known that the DEC had plans to remove the Eighth Lake island lean-to but hadn't heard that they'd yet done so. Makes sense in any case- small islands like that make for horrible campsites from an impact standpoint, as there is much less surface area of land to support the site. A lean-to on a small island is worse yet. Naturally, the DEC is still showing the lean-to on all of it's official maps- including both the MRPWF map and the general DECInfo site.

I've already stayed in the lean-to on the north shore of Eighth Lake. I was thinking about spending one night at the second lean-to on Eighth Lake on the west shore (and bushwhacking along the shore to reach it). Alternatively, I'd continue to the junction north of Bug lake and take a side trip south on the trail to Seventh Lake and stay in one of those lean-tos.
I have a bad habit of forgetting actual compass bearings when describing things. With flowing waters, I use the USGS convention of right and left looking downstream, but that doesn't always work with lakes. The lean to I described as north is actually the one in the pix, it is on the western shore about halfway up the lake and, if viewed from the RT 28 side it is to the right of the island where the other lean-to used to be. It was removed for exactly the reasons DSettahr describes, too much impact and no good place for an outhouse. I have only been to the west lean-to, by boat. I have walked the canoe carry from 28 to Brown's Tract Inlet, but never took the connector trail to the north Lean-to (the Dunning Lean-to). I have also not walked the connector from here to Bug Lake, or the short section of trail that links up with the old RR grade path, which would be the alterative to either a canoe going down the inlet or walking either Uncas Road or 28 to get to Raquette Lake. McMartin and Brenning's 1988 edition says the path from the Carry to Bug is passable but not easy to follow in spots, and as is often the case in their books, they describe it as a ski route. This was also published 30 years ago. I have not tried to get to shore on the western side uplake from the lean-to, every time we've gotten out there a storm has blown up, but there must be places as I see wildlife getting to the lake up in there from where we sit on the east shore, so it would not be as bad as some bushwacks I've seen. But you would also end up bushwacking the rest of the way down the lake or heading uphill to get to the trail to Bug, so the Dunning would be the easier to use. The problem with all the lean-to's on Eighth and Seventh is that while DEC may see them as overnight stops for people on the canoe route, a lot of folks from Utica and Rome see them as a lot cheaper than a motel so they are nearly always taken by car campers parking on 28 or at the 7th Lake Launch for the 7th lake lean-tos, And while there may still be capacity, these folks never look like they are in the mood to be sharing the space even if there is room and the regs say they are required to. Similarly if you head down into the campground from Bug there is no trail down Seventh from there, and if you take the Seventh Lake Snowmobile trial, you'll back track a ways to get to the lean-to, and still have to hike back up around a large private inholding to get out on the Black Bear Mt or other trail.

All this could be great in early May, though, especially this year as the campground will not be opening until just before Memorial Day due to the work going on. But once the season gets going, much of it could be noisy and crowded, lots of day hikers in the woods and water skiers on the water, along with the floatplanes coming off fourth (the new resident billionaire likes to fly up and practice landings and takeoffs all day to the chagrin of everyone else on the Lake) and cigarette boats.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:07 PM   #47
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I read it, and now I feel severely dragged down and beaten!
I'll meet you at the Tap Room and I'll buy you a beer.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:12 PM   #48
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Hey! I want a beer too!

I'm really confused about the LT. I knew about the double on the west shore, and could easily see it from my canoe. That's not the one I was thinking of.

If it was moved last year, it was moved after I was last there but it looks like from old pics it wasn't right on the shore either - which is some reason what my memory is, but I have no pics to confirm.

I also do believe when I stayed there I walked down 28 and through the parking area that they describe on CNY.

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Most drivers normally pass right by the parking area located on NY 28 exactly 2.3 miles north from the Eighth Lake Campground and 2.3 miles south from the four corners in Raquette Lake. It has a small sign 'Canoe Carry' sign that is nearly impossible to see from the road. The GPS coordinates are N43 47.796 W74 41.706 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.
I actually don't know if I even knew those LTs were there. Not sure my old ADK maps had LT locations marked. We might have just started walking back toward Inlet and stumbled upon it... things were a lot different pre-internet.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:04 PM   #49
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"Hey! I want a beer too!"

I want a beer.
Just like the beer
That pickled Dear old Dad.

It was the beer,
And the only beer
That Daddy ever had,

A good old fashioned beer
With lots of foam,
Took three men to carry Daddy home,

Oh I want a beer.
Just Like the beer.
That pickled Dear ole Dad.

Okay fellas, I'm buying.

What we should do is have a fishing contest in one or all of the Fulton Chain Lakes and have a fish fry afterwards. Biggest fish gets the prize. And the winner buys. We all chip in for the feed. I'll bring the music.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:08 PM   #50
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Montcalm, the double wide was not moved from its original location, but it had some major reconstruction done on it. Large dangerous trees to the rear were made safe.The island Lt was removed from the site. The Dunning LT was completely deconstructed and actually moved a little farther back from the trail, even up hill a little, at a spot directed by the DEC, even though it was to be designated as ADA compliant (didn't make sense to me).
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:30 PM   #51
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Montcalm, the double wide was not moved from its original location, but it had some major reconstruction done on it. Large dangerous trees to the rear were made safe.The island Lt was removed fro the site. The Dunning LT was completely deconstructed and actually moved a little farther back from the trail, even up hill a little, at a spot directed by the DEC, even though it was to be designated as ADA compliant (didn't make sense to me).
OH I realize what you said before.

I believe the LT I stayed in 25 years ago was the Dunning LT.

I didn't see it last time I was on the lake, but I guess I thought it was more on the Northeastern short near the Rt 28, because I walked those beaches a few years back looking for it. I see from the map there's a small point and a deeper cove where it is, so it's possible I just didn't look over there.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:38 PM   #52
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Dunning is more toward the left side as you paddle toward the beautiful shallow white sand beach, up in and behind the trees as the carry trail begins. Not visible from the lake, but look for a slight break in the shoreline brush. The temptation is to land too far to the right.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:06 PM   #53
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What we should do is have a fishing contest in one or all of the Fulton Chain Lakes and have a fish fry afterwards. Biggest fish gets the prize. And the winner buys. We all chip in for the feed. I'll bring the music.
No Fulton fish for me, thanks!

I'll carry a 6 pack for you out to Queer Lake, and no further. I don't think we'll get a fish fry out of the deal either, but it's a lot quieter and cleaner than the Fulton chain.

I'd settle for some smoked meats and some ADK Gold cheddar around a nice smokey pit fire...
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:01 AM   #54
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We hiked into Queer a few years back. after hearing that it was "reclaimed." We found a young couple at the lean-to who were obviously perturbed to have to share the wilderness with others, even though we were not staying the night. For their sakes, I hope no backpackers showed up to use the rest of the structure. We went down that peninsula a little ways and still fished for a couple of hours, my buddy got one trout about 7" long, fortunately lip hooked and released. That is the only fish we've ever caught in any of the ponds and lakes in Pigeon Lakes, although we have caught some nice caches in the tiny streams when the beaver had been active for a while. I still go back to Windfall because it is pretty close to the road, so it makes a nice place to sit on a short afternoon. The Detour around the inholding on the trail from Windfall to Queer makes me less than eager to take that route again, maybe I'll try Zach's recommendation about the trial up from Cascade, which has been converted by a "junior biologist" to a largemouth bass lake, like we needed more of those in a mountainous trout habitat.

Schulz will likely win the contest and have to buy the beer, if my "catches" are included!
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:15 PM   #55
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On the occasional time it has happened, I've felt sort of bad moving in a lean-to with a couple that was obviously expecting to have it to themselves. I sort of get it, they probably weren't familiar with lean-tos enough to know that they tend to be popular destinations for camping, or know that it's expected that they'll be shared between groups up to the capacity of the lean-to. But at the same time, I don't feel that bad- with 3 million acres of public land, there's no shortage of options for them to go pitch a tent somewhere, and enjoy pretty much guaranteed privacy.

Any empathy disappears entirely when they've already got a tent pitched inside the lean-to, though. At that point, it's straight up "move over, I'm coming in."

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Old 02-14-2020, 01:58 PM   #56
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In a place like PLW, I don't expect anyone to share that lean to. There's better spots to camp on the Peninsula anyway.

I typically feel people out when another group comes up. Have a chat, see what how they are, etc... If they want to stay, I won't say no, but I usually leave it up to them to ask. If they are not my crowd and they insist on staying, I'll just leave.

The only thing that really ticks me off (tents in LTs don't bother me that much), is people who hike in at dark or dusk and want to take over your camp. Yes, that's when you should be the most accepting, but when I'm tempted to use some BS and get them to go elsewhere. It's just rude and bad planning - stay at a campground or roadside site if you're late and start the next day.


I was under the impression all those lakes out there were dead anyway from the acid rain years. The western Adirondacks, and that area in particular is a direct hit for rain from the west. It depends on the bedrock and if there is anything natural base to even the pH. I heard the DEC "limed" certain lakes, but I have no idea what is fact and fiction and what ones would have been touched.

Anyway, I don't fish. I just like it out there and there's plenty of area to get away from others if need be.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:39 PM   #57
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The only thing that really ticks me off (tents in LTs don't bother me that much), is people who hike in at dark or dusk and want to take over your camp. Yes, that's when you should be the most accepting, but when I'm tempted to use some BS and get them to go elsewhere. It's just rude and bad planning - stay at a campground or roadside site if you're late and start the next day.
I've found that I've had a lot of success with this and other similar situations by both inviting the group to share the shelter and laying down the law in the same breath. I address them directly- "Hi! It looks like you folks are looking for a spot to camp. You're more than welcome to move into the lean-to with me; there's plenty of space. However, if you do decide to share the shelter with me please be aware that I expect that you will respect my desire for peace and quiet."

I've had good luck with getting the larger groups (particularly those with an obvious propensity for being more on the disruptive side of the behavior spectrum) to move on by doing this- without denying them fair use of the shelter space in any way, whether explicit or implicit.

I've of course also been a member of one of those larger groups with said propensity for not being as quiet as a smaller group, if for no other reason than group size (although alcohol just might be a factor also). I don't think we'd even dream of moving into an already occupied site unless it was seriously our only option- and even then I'd like to at least think that we'd modify our behavior accordingly.

Although once I was woken up at 4 AM by a group that was camped nearly a mile away down the lake that I was set up on. I later found out that a group of 30-35 people had shown up in an already occupied campsite at 2 AM- and proceeded to set up in the site and started partying as soon as they arrived. The first group that was already set up on the site apparently packed up and moved elsewhere in the middle of the night. So sometimes, even just getting a group to move on to the next available site maaaay not be enough to preserve your desired experience- you might just want them to move miles away (or leave the backcountry entirely). (Fortunately a ranger showed up and was able to deal with that group.)

Second worst experience: The group that showed up at the lean-to we were in at 11 pm and decided to wake us up and ask us to move out of the lean-to so that they could move in- because they didn't think the lean-to would be occupied and therefore decided not to carry tents.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:02 PM   #58
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I've never had many issues personally. Far more with roadside or campground camping, but once I did have a stranger steal my last beer at a lean to.

He took it and left to go camp somewhere else LOL!
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:02 AM   #59
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No Fulton fish for me, thanks!

I'll carry a 6 pack for you out to Queer Lake, and no further. I don't think we'll get a fish fry out of the deal either, but it's a lot quieter and cleaner than the Fulton chain.

I'd settle for some smoked meats and some ADK Gold cheddar around a nice smokey pit fire...
Hey, I don't even keep the fish I catch at the Fulton Chain let alone eat them. You will likely hook into some Splake but then again I throw everything back. Glen and I are going for false albacore off Montauk this Summer and I'll pack the catch in ice and bring it up.

"I'd settle for some smoked meats and some ADK Gold cheddar around a nice smokey pit fire..."

That's a great idea. I can bring some of that too.

What is fun is racing one of Tommy Payne's airplanes on 7th Lake with my runabout. When he reaches 70 he "rotates" that means he takes off and that's the end of the race.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:58 PM   #60
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Personally, I was looking at a 2-3 day loop trip here. My potential route would incorporate this trail plus a return hike further south using trails by way of Eighth Lake, Bug Lake, and Black Bear Mountain (plus a bit less than 2 miles of road walking through Eagle Bay).
I did this loop last week. Sorry to DuctTape and Addwolanin- I wasn't intentionally excluding you guys but just as I predicted, the stars aligned with a few nights off and good weather, and I literally did not open the map to really plan the trip until I was already at the trailhead.

At some point I'd like to get a proper trip report up but a quick summary:

I started at the trailhead located between Upper and Lower Ponds at Brown's Tract. From here, I hiked east on the snowmobile trail (that follows the old railroad grade) to just shy of the put in for the Brown's Tract access to Raquette Lake, and from there on the snowmobile/portage trail to the east end of Eight Lake. I continued around Eighth Lake to Bug Lake via the snowmobile trail, and from Bug Lake I continued south to Seventh Lake, where I spent the first night in the western-most of the two lean-tos on Seventh Lake.

Day 2 I retraced my steps back to Bug Lake, then continued west over Black Bear Mountain, through Eagle Bay, then north on the road to the Cascade Lake Trailead. Again on trail, I continued north past Cascade and Chain Lakes to Queer Lake, where I spent the second night in the Queer Lake Lean-to.

Day 3 I continued north past Chub Lake to the Pigeon Lake Trail, then east past Pigeon Lake and Otter Pond, up and over West Mountain and down to Raquette Lake at Sucker Brook Bay. From there, I continued south past Lower Pond to the trailhead.

Some more detailed information about the specifics of the route, listed in order of my traverse:
  • The trails between Brown's Tract and Eighth Lake were well-maintained and easy to follow. The Nat Geo map shows the snowmobile trail/portage trail between Eighth Lake and the Brown's Tract Inlet put in as a minimally maintained trail- this could (and should) be shown as a proper trail. The Nat Geo map is also missing the spur trail that leads to the actual put in spot on Brown's Tract Inlet.
  • The snowmobile trail between Eighth Lake and Bug Lake was pretty well maintained for the most part- a good wide corridor and generally a dry tread. It clearly gets very little non-snowmobile use so there's not really an established path but the route is obvious nonetheless. It does get a bit muddy for the last half mile or so before arriving at the junction just north of Bug Lake.
  • The spur trail south past Bug Lake is an old road, well-maintained, and easy to follow all the way to the campground.
  • I was able to find 3 designated tent sites at Bug Lake (naturally, none of which are even hinted at in the least on the official DEC information for unit). They weren't well marked, all are accessed via herd paths, and all are kind of hard to locate. One is on the northwest shore, another one is on the southeast shore, and the 3rd is on the east shore. Both the sites on the northwest and southeast shores were really nice. The site on the east shore wasn't bad but also wasn't nearly as nice. The site on the east shore also had a loon nesting in it and probably should be avoided for the time being.
  • The Nat Geo Map shows a marked and maintained trail that crosses the outlet of Bug Lake and connects to the Eagles Nest Lake Trail- this trail does not exist (except maybe as a herd path, I didn't attempt to walk this route).
  • The trail connecting Bug Lake to the north shore of Seventh Lake is a herd path, not a maintained trail. Both the Nat Geo and DEC maps show it as an official trail, which is misleading- it's minimally maintained and does not have a single trail marker along the entire length of the trail. It also diverges from the trail connecting Bug Lake and the campground at a different location than indication on either the Nat Geo or DEC maps- the junction is on the west side of where that trail crosses the outlet of Bug Lake, not the east side as indicated. The junction is also unmarked. I walked right past it without seeing it, and made it all the way to the campground before realizing my error, and was forced to retrace my steps.
  • Both the lean-tos on Seventh Lake were really nice- and they clearly also get a lot of use and abuse. The eastern-most of the two lean-tos is a double-wide (one of the few still in existence). The western-most of the two is really nicely situated on a bluff overlooking the lake. There are also 3 or 4 designated tent sites scattered along the north shore (and a whole lot of closed campsites).
  • I did also follow the trail along the north shore of Seventh Lake all the way to the end of Seventh Lake Road to see if there were any potential access from there. It looks like foot access is permitted via the driveway at the end of the road but there's no parking whatsoever (and a whole lot of "No Parking Violators Will Be Towed" signs).
  • There's also some funkyness with the trails between Bug Lake and Black Bear Mountain. I never saw the Black Bear Mountain Ski Trail (the trail that loops around the south end of the mountain). Also, the DEC and Nat Geo Maps disagree pretty significantly regarding where this trail ties in to the Bug Lake Trail.
  • Black Bear Mountain was a nice climb with some decent views- I'm a bit ashamed to say that this was my first trip up this peak. From the east the climb was not too bad even with a full overnight pack. If I had done this loop in the other direction, though, it would've been a haul getting my overnight pack up and over the mountain- the climb up the west side is pretty steep in spots.
  • The road walk through Eagle Bay wasn't too bad. Along 28 there is a paved bike path, so plenty of room to walk without having to worry about traffic. North of Eagle Bay I was on the shoulder which was narrow in spots but there was less traffic to worry about.
  • North of Eagle Bay, the road splits- and the Nat Geo Map shows the wrong leg as being the "main" road. This did cause me some momentary confusion in trying to figure out how much further I had to hike to get to the Cascade Lake Trailhead.
  • If you keep your eyes peeled, you can find the "old" Cascade Lake Trailhead on the right about a half mile south of the new trailhead. This will save on some distance and elevation gain.
  • The trail into Cascade Lake is pretty well maintained. North of Cascade Lake, the trail to Queer Lake gets a bit brushy and muddy along Chain Lakes but generally isn't too bad.
  • I did find the supposed "designated site" indicated by the DECInfo site on the west end of Queer Lake, more or less where the Windfall-Queer Lake Trail first comes into view of Queer Lake (just south of the spot where it's obvious folks launch their canoes. It's not really a great site... and I think is a product of a site that was inventoried but never actually designated magically becoming a designated site because someone decided that all inventoried sites were designated sites. It's small, there's not a lot of flat ground, and no "Camp Here" disc.
  • The Queer Lake Lean-to is nice, but there's also a lot of tree stumps surrounding the lean-to. Illegal tree cutting is clearly a huge problem here.
  • The trail between Queer Lake and Chub Lake was a bit brushy in spots but overall not too bad. It clearly doesn't get a whole lot of use.
  • The designated tent site on the northwest shore of Chub Lake is really nice. It does currently have a "Camp Here" disc. If I had known how nice this site was (and didn't still need Queer Lake for the Lean-to Challenge) I probably would've pushed on to here for night #2.
  • There was an established site on Constable Pond at the junction where I arrived at the West Mountain Trail, but no "Camp Here" disc. The DEC page for the Pigeon Lake Wilderness does list a designated tent site at Constable Pond but doesn't mention where it is- so I don't know if this was it or not. It was an OK site- kind of small.
  • The West Mountain Trail was in great shape at first, where I started following it at Constable Pond. It had been recently cut out- there was no blow down and the corridor was wide. The trail remained in this condition until about maybe a half mile shy of Pigeon Lake, where I arrived at the spot that the trail crew had turned around. Beyond this point, the trail was super overgrown and had a ton of blowdown. The old tread was still mostly obvious for another mile or so (more on the condition of this trail further east below).
  • I did find a couple of old campsites on the north shore of Pigeon Lake, but they were too close to water to be legal (and in any case, weren't really usable in their current state- it had obviously been years, if not decades, since they last saw any real use).
  • After crossing the streams/beaver flows immediately east of Pigeon Lake, the West Mountain Trail more or less disappeared. Occasionally I'd find a trail marker on a tree or an old cut log, but there was otherwise not even a hint of the old tread for a fair distance. Trying to follow this trail took a decent amount of "guess and check" work, and repeatedly I found myself retracing my steps to try another direction. Honestly, the fact that the DEC website makes zero mention of the current status of this trail (whether on the page for the management unit or the page for backcountry conditions) is downright inexcusable- it's pretty much gone, yet all of the "official" information (DEC website and maps, Nat Geo maps) shows it as a marked and maintained trail.
  • I'd though about maybe checking out Otter Pond while I was there but I was too pre-occupied with route finding and did not end up walking down to the pond. I could see it through the trees, though.
  • Once the West Mountain Trail starts the actual climb up West Mountain, the old tread becomes more obvious again although the trail is still a far cry from anything that could be considered "maintained"- and it's pretty much straight up the mountain. This was a moderately rugged climb (especially with an overnight pack) but overall not too bad.
  • After passing through the notch and swinging around the east side of the mountain, there is a spur trail up to the old fire tower site. There's not really much in the way of views but it's neat from an historic perspective. It looks like people occasionally camp on the summit (illegally since it's within 150 feet of the trail).
  • The trail down the east side of West Mountain is much more obvious and has had some maintenance. There is a fern-filled clearing just below the summit that is mildly confusing- the trail was not where I expected it to be on the other side of the clearing (on the descent, I had to angle across the clearing slightly to the left to find the continuation of the trail). Much of the trail is somewhat washed out but not overly rugged.
  • Once I hit the base of West Mountain, the rest of the hike was pretty much entirely pleasant strolling on old roads. I did find a super obvious herd path just north of the bridge over the outlet of Cranberry Pond that I followed for maybe a tenth of a mile west- I would assume that this leads all the way to Cranberry Pond but an not sure.
  • There is a small but nice designated tent site at the end of the spur trail to the shoreline on Sucker Brook Bay (which also has a small but nice beach adjacent). This could be a nice spot to camp for anyone looking to do this trip over 3 nights as opposed to 2.
  • There is some beaver activity where the trail crosses Beaver Brook- and I did get my feet wet going through here.
  • Directly opposite the island on Lower Pond a spur trail leads out to a small but nice rocky prominence- this looked like a good spot for swimming.
  • The last bit of the trail along the east shore of Upper Pond passes some very attractive sandy beaches. These spots are pretty clearly a local hot-spot for swimming on summer afternoons.

Overall, I think this loop clocked in at somewhere between 30 and 35 miles. I feel like this loop has some serious potential but given the current state of the West Mountain Trail, it's really only something that the most die-hard hikers are even going to have the lease bit of interest in. If that trail could be cut open again (and more campsites established and designated on some of the ponds in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness), this could make for a nice weekend loop trip that I think would be appealing to many in the community.
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