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Old 04-24-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
adirondackcamper
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Pharaoh Lake/Grizzle Ocean Trip

I'm planning a two night trip to the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area the weekend of the 5th of May. Just looking for some pointers. I live in south jersey and have only been to the adirondacks a handful of times, going to Oxshoe Pond each of those times. Also did a day hike into Tubmill Marsh once. First concern i would have would be, how is the temp/weather there in the beginning of May? The Only other thing i'm not 100% on is where i want to hike in from. I have it down to either starting at crane pond rd, hitting Oxshoe Pond for the first night. But i have already done this three previous times. Is anyone familiar with the Putnam Pond Campground enterance? I'm really kinda leaning towards this because I wanna check out Grizzle Ocean and possibly camp there the first night, or hell maybe go north from Putnam Pond and check out Rock, Little Rock Pond, Clear Pond, and North Pond. From what iv'e seen on my National Geo. Map i have theses four pond seem to be very close to each other? Anyone who has been there any words of wisdom would be greatfully apprecaiated.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:21 PM   #2
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I'm thinking of hiking into GO for my Friday constitutional. I'll let you know how the trail is after all this rain/snow.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:28 AM   #3
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I've hiked in this area quite a lot, though not recently so I have no information on trail conditions.

Weather in early May can be almost anything. I once encountered snow on May 17, in other years May can be hot and, therefore, buggy.

Though the Putnam Pond campground doesn't open until later, there is access to the parking area near the boat launch, where the trail to Grizzle Ocean and then to the loop around the pond begins. The entire loop around the pond is about eight miles and is not challenging but a very pleasant hike. The lean-to at Rock Pond is particularly scenic, and the old graphite mine is interesting. (Be sure to bushwack a short distance up the hill from the mine drainage tunnel to the actual mine, which is a small pond of strange green water, with lots of old machinery scattered around). A side trip to Treadway Mountain is definitely worth the trip, with views of Pharaoh Mountain and Pharaoh Lake.

Last edited by danceswithflies; 04-25-2012 at 07:29 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
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Definitely go prepared for bugs.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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Hey ADKcamper,

I've stayed at Putnam/North Ponds and carried my hornbeck-style canoe into clear pond rock and little rock pond, but not grizzle ocean. I would say, if you're looking to cover the as much water as you can while you're there, I would bag staying at grizzle, the trailhead is at the far end of Putnam and not all that close to the other bodies of water. Clear has beautiful leanto and not a bad carry from the campsite on the point of Putnam where it leads in to North.
I don't know what the carry is like going from Clear to Rock, but it appears to be short with just a pretty mild up and down. Rock and little Rock both have leanto's and those trails are considerably shorter from North Pond. Obviously we can't account for fallen trees, but the hike back to either either rock or Little rock would be your safest bets, with no problems as far as streams or puddles going into Rock or Clear, not sure the same can be said of Grizzle Ocean trail.
It's funny that I'm planning a trip this fall back to Crane and Oxshoe, which I've never been to, looking forward to it. Can you tell me about the trails back to Crab, Gull and Burge Ponds? Looking to carry my Hornbeck into those ponds, wondered if any of those trail's is good enough to use a canoe carrier on?

Thank you
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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Brookies- thanks for the info. How far a hike is it from Putnam parking area to Grizzle Ocean? As far as Oxshoe goes it is beautiful, the lean-to sits just a ways up from the pond, with a beautiful veiw of the pond. I beleive you can see Pharaoh Mtn. Or Treadway Mtn from the waters edge were the boat sits at oxshoe pond. Oh yes by the way there is a boat at Oxshoe that i believe DEC put there for campers/hikers to use. Not sure if its still there, i haven't been to Oxshoe Pond since Aug of 2004. Iv'e never carried a canoe in, just backpacked, but the trail from Crane Pond Rd only takes 45 mins if you can make it all the way up to the final parking area before the trailhead. As of the last time i was there, the trail is in great shape and a very easy hike. Oxshoe Pond is the reason i fell in love with the adirondacks. Unfortunately Iv'e never been to Crab Pond, Gull or Burge Ponds so I have no advise on those sorry. Anyone know how far a hike Devil's Washdish is from Grizzle Ocean? From what iv'e read on here it sounds like a must see?
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Hey adirondackcamper,
1st things 1st!! Welcome to the forum.
Do you have a canoe? If so, you could start on Putnam at the boat launch, and paddle to the trails for either Rock or Clear ponds, both have scenic lean to's. There is also a very large waterfall downstream from Rock Pond, very large. And as others mentioned, the old mine, boiler, quarry, Treadway Mt are all worthy destinations. i have photos from that area from this time last year. BTW, last year, night time temps were in the 20's.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:40 PM   #8
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Thank you for the welcome. And awesome pics man. Iv'e decided to definaly start at Putnam Pond, just not sure which direction i wanna head, Do you know how far Grizzle Ocean is from the parking area at Putnam? Oh and no I don't have a canoe, i'm hiking in
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brookies4ever View Post
I'm planning a trip this fall back to Crane and Oxshoe, which I've never been to, looking forward to it. Can you tell me about the trails back to Crab, Gull and Burge Ponds? Looking to carry my Hornbeck into those ponds, wondered if any of those trail's is good enough to use a canoe carrier on?
If you're carrying a pack canoe, you might be interested to know that there is a little known path that leads to the northern tip of Oxshoe Pond from the back of the campsite at Crane Pond on the hill next to where the Glidden Marsh outlet flows into Crane. It's a little hard to find the beginning because of the multiple herd paths leading away from the campsite, but the path to Oxshoe heads up the hillside away from the campsite and the stream, then around the west side of a small swamp, and to the north end of Oxshoe Pond. There is some blowdown and it is not very cart friendly, but it's a quick hike.

The trail to Gull pond is very short and very easy...10 minute walk if that.
A fun way to extend a trip to Gull Pond is to climb to the top of the cliffs that overlook the pond for great views, and/or bushwhack down the draw at the southern tip of Gull Pond to Harrison Marsh...the woods are pretty open and Harrison Marsh is pretty cool and paddleable.

The trail to Crab Pond from Oxshoe is also pretty easy, but it is a slight climb, and not very cart friendly.
Crab Pond is very shallow and really not worth the effort to paddle, especially in low water. The deepest part of the pond is at the northeastern end, and the rest of the pond is barely deep enough to float freely through.

The path to Burge Pond from Tubmill Marsh is more along the lines of a bushwhack.
There are some remnants of an old path, but it is not obvious in a lot of sections and there is some blowdown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adirondackcamper View Post
How far a hike is it from Putnam parking area to Grizzle Ocean? Anyone know how far a hike Devil's Washdish is from Grizzle Ocean? From what iv'e read on here it sounds like a must see?
It's about 2 miles from the Putnam Pond parking area to the Grizzle Ocean lean-to.

A good way to visit Devils Washdish is to combine it with a trip up Treadway Mtn. Just before the trail up Treadway starts to climb again into the burned areas, you can bushwhack down the draw and follow the stream down through the steep gorge to the Dish, or you can also follow the trail to Pharaoh Lake where the DWD's outlet flows into Wolf Pond, and follow the outlet upstream.
It is a scenic place with the cliffs of a shoulder of Treadway right above the pond, but it is a very buggy place in warmer weather.

Last edited by Justin; 04-25-2012 at 09:21 PM..
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:50 PM   #10
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I was there about 15 years ago. It was very wet and very buggy. That was August. May will be wetter and buggier.

I'm new to the forum and still feel funny giving advice, but when backpacking in the spring, it is best to try and stay at altitude, away from bogs, swamps and bugs that will drive you crazy.

If you are going out when the bugs are most prevalent, you want to set up camp high where it is cooler and a bit windier. This way, you don't have to be zipped up in your tent. You can sit outside and enjoy the stars and the sounds of night in the wilderness without being chewed upon.

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Old 04-26-2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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It's about 2 miles from the Putnam Pond parking area to the Grizzle Ocean lean-to.

A good way to visit Devils Washdish is to combine it with a trip up Treadway Mtn. Just before the trail up Treadway starts to climb again into the burned areas, you can bushwhack down the draw and follow the stream down through the steep gorge to the Dish, or you can also follow the trail to Pharaoh Lake where the DWD's outlet flows into Wolf Pond, and follow the outlet upstream.
It is a scenic place with the cliffs of a shoulder of Treadway right above the pond, but it is a very buggy place in warmer weather.[/QUOTE]

thanks Justin,

2 miles is not bad at all, I thought it was further then that. I agree with the side trip up Treadway, from what I have read on here, and seen in pics, seems like it has great veiws
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:01 PM   #12
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Just got back from a short walk up to Grizzle Ocean from Putnam Pond. The trail is in very good shape considering what it went through during Irene. We crossed four new bridges and a lot of new rock work on the trail. The trail was clear of blowdowns. The rocky spots were rocky. The wet spots were wet, but not a quagmire (gigity). The trail around the pond is also in good shape and well marked.

It was neat to see the washed out beaver pond across from the lean-to. Lots of blooming trillium in the first half-mile of the trail. The wind, snow flurries and cold temps let us enjoy another bug-free hike.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2f1a Grizzle Ocean.jpg (82.9 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg 2i1 GO through the trees.jpg (96.4 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg 2e1 washed out beaver dam.jpg (150.3 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg 4c1 Trillium.jpg (100.7 KB, 88 views)
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:11 PM   #13
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Awesome pics. Thank you for the post and trail info
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