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Old 09-15-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Grant Lake, SLWA, 15 Sep 2015

Today, Tredhed and I launched out to Grant Lake in the Silver Lake Wilderness Area. It's located off of the newer section of the Northville-Lake Placid Trail north of Benson Rd. Arriving early at the trailhead (photo 1), we were the only folks here. I was surprised to see signage at the east end of the parking lot for the section of the NPT from Benson Rd. to Northville posted. We'll have to come back and check that one out later.

Once across Benson Rd. and after signing in at the register, the new trail wound uphill towards Woods Lake. The view of Three Ponds Mt.from the highly impacted designated campsite was absolutely stunning (photo 2). After drinking in the sights for a few minutes, we headed north on the NPT, admiring the routing through three house sized erratics (photo 3). As the trail wound around the slopes of Little Cathead Mt., the light foot-tread made it difficult to follow in some places. However, it was well benched into the hillside in others spots (photo 4).

After crossing several intermittent streams, we crossed two larger streams on log bridges. Tredhed found the unmarked path to Grant Lake about 500 yds past the second log bridge, just after the NPT crossed a smaller stream and headed west. The unmarked path was easy to follow until it passed a hunter's ladder stand (illegal in a wilderness area? ). After that, we were able to follow the light foot-tread most of the way to Grant Lake. However, the last several hundred yards were obscured by brush, but were an easy bushwhack.

We arrived at the west shore of Grant Lake and were treated to a stunning view of the pond, the marsh and Cathead Mt. rising above it all (photo 5). The fire tower and tip of the windmill were fairly obvious against the late summer colors (photo 6). The pond was surrounded by a spongy bog, but wasn't too difficult to walk on due to the lack of rain. I did manage to see a huge snapping turtle basking on the beaver dam; it must have been the size of a hubcap!

Tredhed and I found a nice hemlock tree on the edge of the bog to have our lunch. The site of dozens of dragonflies flitting about the pond with Cathead Mt. as a backdrop was our entertainment. Too soon, we packed up, did a reciprocal compass course back through the open woods to the unmarked path and headed back down the NPT to Benson Rd. The total hike was about eight miles, which we did in a little under five hours. Not too bad for a relaxing day in the woods.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1a1 TH.JPG (133.4 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg 1f1 WL.JPG (64.6 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 1l1 NPT.JPG (126.3 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 3p1 NPT.JPG (125.8 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 2a1 GL.JPG (115.2 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 2l1 Cathead.JPG (123.1 KB, 70 views)
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:07 AM   #2
Justin
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Very nice!
I've been wanting to get back to Grant Lake for a while now.
Haven't been there since I was a little squirt, when my father & I would ski to Grant via the trail from the Lapland ski center.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:40 AM   #3
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The path between the NPT and Grant Lake is a little sketchy. The first .5 miles is overgrown, but fairly easy to follow. Even though there was very little foot tread, it was on a "clear" track and marked with red tape. We lost the last .2 mile in blowdown and hobble bush. It wasn't that big a deal since the bushwhack to the lake was easy.

Winter would probably be a good time visit as the floating bogs kind of limited our exploration. Although, Cathead was looking pretty good yesterday.
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