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Old 01-12-2020, 10:13 PM   #1
Sinite
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Henderson Lake Fall Paddle N' Hang.

Here's a rambling video with a bit of a ranting review of my Outdoor Vitals hammock set up and then plenty of footage of Henderson Lake during fall foliage.
https://youtu.be/rT7XWfn-0CU
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:07 PM   #2
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Nice video.

It's funny that you talk about soil compaction in the campsites. My master's thesis work was in monitoring of impacts at backcountry sites. One of the things that I did was time infiltration rates- basically how long it took about 6 inches of water to completely soak into the ground, both on site and off site (off site measures gave a "base line" level to compare the on site measures against). At most of my off site measurement locations, it took ~6 inches of water mere seconds to completely become absorbed by the ground. At the most heavily impacted campsites, it would take up to 30 minutes (and in one instance, over 40 minutes) for that same amount of water to completely soak into the ground.

It's also funny that you talk about cutting of trees near the campsites- I've done that for site impact assessments also. At the most heavily used sites in areas where fires are permitted, the stumps can number well over 100. When there's that many, you have to use a crayon to mark each stump so that you don't mistakenly double count any.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:18 PM   #3
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I paddled Henderson for a day in September of 2018. Memorable place and I hope to go back for a camping trip, either in one of the sites, or at the leanto on the north end (where I ate lunch). Thinking of combining with a carry to Preston Ponds...Hornbeck boats are made for that kind of trip.

Was your campsite on the point just south of the access "arm" of the lake? Looks like a pretty spot, and I believe there are a few others along the shore.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:05 PM   #4
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There's currently 3 designated tent sites, all on the south end of the lake. They're OK- all of them are set back off the water some distance, and as Sinite mentions there's some minor drainage issues but they are otherwise decent. They receive light to moderate levels of use.

The lean-to is on the north end of the lake, and is fairly popular- and unfortunately there's no designated tent sites in the vicinity so if it's occupied/full, you've got a bit of a paddle back down to the south end of the lake to find a tent site if you're not willing to do the 150 foot thing.

The UMP amendment for the High Peaks that was recently adopted I believe allows for a few additional tent sites to be designated on Henderson Lake but I'm not sure what the planned timeline is for getting them established/designated.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:32 PM   #5
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Thanks. I don't mind the 150' routine. Did it on Boreas Ponds the year it opened to public and before the development of the road. Does take some luck to find a spot, but I'd take a shot at it. Are there designated sites on Preston Ponds? What is an online source for that info? OSM shows leantos but not sites.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:34 PM   #6
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There is one designated tent site at Preston Ponds, located on the southeast end of Upper Pond, just off the trail from Henderson Lake. If hiking towards Duck Hole, you'll see Preston Ponds first (and an obvious side trail down to the water). Continue on the main trail past this side trail for about 200 more feet, and the designated tent site will be on your left just as the trail starts the climb up to Hunter Pond. It's a small but nice site (although when I was last there there were a few widow makers in the vicinity).

I believe that there are tentative plans to designate another tent site somewhere closer to Lower Pond, but again I don't know exactly if/when that will happen.

If you're able to get a boat to Preston Ponds, it's a nice paddle. You should be aware that there is still a small inholding of private property (a private camp) on the southwest shore of Upper Pond.

Duck Hole is also worth the visit if you're willing to travel even further. In addition to the 2 lean-tos there, there's 2 designated tent sites. Both sites are set back away from the water- 1 site is in each of the 2 grassy clearings located on the uphill side of the trail register.

Regarding finding the location of tent sites generally... Unfortunately, there is no single good resource for finding tent site locations across the entire Adirondack Park. The DEC/APA publishes a GIS shapefile that contains tent sites- but it's horrendously inaccurate and very noticeably incomplete. It appears to largely have been based on a one-time inventory of sites in existence, and not sites that were officially designated for use- so the consequence is that it includes even some not-legal sites. It's also missing many sites that do have the "Camp Here" disc. The unfortunate reality is that even the DEC doesn't even know where all of the designated tent sites are.

Fortunately, for the High Peaks specifically, there is an excellent resource: The Adirondack Mountain Club's High Peaks Map. While still not 100% accurate (it's an ever-updated work in progress), this is hands down the best resource for designated tent site locations in the High Peaks- better even than any of the DEC's documents.

Open Street Map is getting better. A crowd sourced inventory effort (led by a member of these forums) has also lead to many of the designated tent sites in the High Peaks also being shown on those maps, making it another good resource- although as you point out, it's still missing a number of the sites. Most of that crowd sourced inventory effort has admittedly been primarily focused on those tent sites that are most conducive to overnight trips to summit High Peaks. (Yet Open Street Map is still more accurate than the DEC's publicly available documentation).

Last edited by DSettahr; 01-14-2020 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:00 AM   #7
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Duh- I use the ADK maps and completely forgot they have the little triangles for campsites. Thanks for the reminder!

Definitely want to take the Hornbeck on that tour...

Thanks again
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:51 PM   #8
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We need to learn to love the outdoors in a more gentle fashion !

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
Nice video.

It's funny that you talk about soil compaction in the campsites. My master's thesis work was in monitoring of impacts at backcountry sites. One of the things that I did was time infiltration rates- basically how long it took about 6 inches of water to completely soak into the ground, both on site and off site (off site measures gave a "base line" level to compare the on site measures against). At most of my off site measurement locations, it took ~6 inches of water mere seconds to completely become absorbed by the ground. At the most heavily impacted campsites, it would take up to 30 minutes (and in one instance, over 40 minutes) for that same amount of water to completely soak into the ground.

It's also funny that you talk about cutting of trees near the campsites- I've done that for site impact assessments also. At the most heavily used sites in areas where fires are permitted, the stumps can number well over 100. When there's that many, you have to use a crayon to mark each stump so that you don't mistakenly double count any.
Man that is something! Not too surprising to after years of observation, but still...

Thanks for checking out the video! My hope is to educate as well as entertain. Hopefully I am getting better at it!
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:54 PM   #9
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Henderson to Preston, nice!

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Originally Posted by 2505 View Post
I paddled Henderson for a day in September of 2018. Memorable place and I hope to go back for a camping trip, either in one of the sites, or at the leanto on the north end (where I ate lunch). Thinking of combining with a carry to Preston Ponds...Hornbeck boats are made for that kind of trip.

Was your campsite on the point just south of the access "arm" of the lake? Looks like a pretty spot, and I believe there are a few others along the shore.
Yes, the site is just south of the arm. I really enjoyed it! I have also really enjoyed that trip up to Preston Ponds! I hear that duck Hole is still worth a paddle and hope to get up there this year. Hopefully the view has not been covered up by small trees.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:01 PM   #10
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Hammocks make for a great way to do leave no trace camping with the 150' rule.
Check out Shug on Youtube to learn about proper set up. It takes a bit of learning, but once you get it dialed in it is awesome! I bought hammocks specifically for camping where there is no official site. Ne need for a flat spot, or even a dry one.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Yes, the site is just south of the arm. I really enjoyed it! I have also really enjoyed that trip up to Preston Ponds! I hear that duck Hole is still worth a paddle and hope to get up there this year. Hopefully the view has not been covered up by small trees.
Trees are starting to reclaim the lake bottom but the views are still spectacular. It will be a long while, I think, before the area fully grows in. And some decent sections seem to be becoming more bog than forest, so there very well may always be views.

It's especially a good spot for wildflowers during the summer.
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