Posted on April 27th, 2010 2 comments Add a comment >>
You’ve got to be fast to take part in the Great Adirondack Trail Run. The Mountaineer will accept the first sixty applicants to sign up for the 11.5-mile race this Saturday and expects to fill all the slots in just twenty minutes.
The race will be held Saturday, June 19. Participants will run through the Giant Mountain Wilderness, starting on Route 9N and ending at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. Along the way they’ll cross the wide-open summit of Hopkins Mountain. The elevation gain is about 2,900 feet.
If you’re not up for that, you can take part in a 3.5-mile fun run from the Baxter Mountain Tavern on 9N to Keene Valley.
This is the charity race’s sixth year. In the past, it has drawn criticism from people who object to holding organized races in Wilderness Areas.
The fees for adults are $40 for the main trail run and $20 for the fun run. The fees are cut in half for children sixteen and under. Proceeds from the race will be donated to the Au Sable River Association and the Boquet River Association.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. On your mark, get set, go …
Posted on November 19th, 2009 3 comments Add a comment >>
Trail running is a popular sport out west but not so much in the Adirondacks. I run on trails fairly often and rarely encounter another runner, so I was bit surprised to see a fellow jogger on a trail near Moss Lake last weekend.
But in retrospect, I am not that surprised: The 2.5-mile loop around Moss Lake is nearly ideal for running. Most of the route follows an old woods road that’s used for cross-country skiing in winter. The run can be extended by taking a side trail to Bubb and Sis lakes—for a total of 4.7 miles.
Moss Lake is on the road from Eagle Bay to Big Moose in the western Adirondacks. It once was the site of a Girl Scouts camp. In the 1970s, after the state bought the camp, Mohawk Indians took over the property and declared it to be an independent nation. They occupied the site for a few years before a legal settlement was reached. A sign at the trailhead relates this history.
If you’re unsure whether you’ll want to extend your outing to Bubb and Sis lakes, run the loop counterclockwise. That way, you won’t reach the side trail until late in the loop, and you can better judge if you’ll have the time and energy for the detour. The following description assumes a counterclockwise direction.
From the trail register, the trail heads slightly downhill and turns left, soon passing a side trail that leads to a deck overlooking Moss Lake. After a small uphill, the trail parallels the northern shore. This section is somewhat rocky, but not as much as typical hiking trails.
After passing a boulder field on the right, the trail descends to cross a small stream. At 1.3 miles, you come to a large bridge over the outlet, with a view of the lake’s south bay.
At 1.8 miles, you reach the junction with the trail to Bubb and Sis lakes. Turn right if you want to take the detour. You’ll reach Bubb Lake in 0.6 miles and Sis Lake in 1.3 miles. If you continue another 0.15 miles, you come to a path on the right that leads through a hemlock stand to the shore with a good view of Sis. This is a good turnaround spot, though you could continue (on rougher trail) for another 0.9 miles to a trailhead on Route 28.
Once back at the junction, turn right to continue the loop. You’ve got only 0.7 miles to get back to your starting point. The trail descends to another large bridge, this one over the inlet, and then ascends to an unmarked junction. Bear left here. After another small down and up, you’ll pass through a clearing with some scientific apparatus and then arrive back at the trail register.
For a good view of Moss Lake, walk down the short side trail from the register to a beach on the eastern shore. Note the osprey nest on the dead tree on the lake’s island.
Directions: From NY 28 in Eagle Bay, turn north onto Big Moose Road and drive 2.2 miles to the Moss Lake parking lot on the left.
Posted on October 2nd, 2009 Add a comment >>
The next time you’re in Lake Placid and looking to kill an hour or two, check out the new 2.5-mile trail at Henry’s Woods on the outskirts of town.
Locals have been using the trail for a while now, but village and town officials celebrated its official opening just this week.
I went there after work the other day and was impressed. This is not a wilderness trail: it’s five feet wide and most of its surface is covered with crushed stone. But it’s ideal for a short hike or jog at the start or end of your day. Come winter, it will be great for cross-country skiing.
The trail was designed by Tony Goodwin, executive director of both the Adirondack Ski Touring Council and the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society. It was constructed by Steve Langdon and Jeremy Burns.
Henry’s Woods is a 200-acre preserve off Bear Cub Lane owned by the Uihlein Foundation. The preserve is named after the philanthropist Henry Uihlein.
The trail passes an unfinished kiosk at the start and reaches a junction at 0.3 miles–the start of a 2-mile loop. I went clockwise, climbing steadily through a hardwood forest for about 0.4 miles. The trail continues on the level at the higher elevation for about 0.5 miles before beginning a series of descents and returning to the junction. The downhills will be exciting on skis.
There are plans to construct two other trails. These would provide views of Lake Placid and the High Peaks.
Directions: From NY 73 , turn onto Old Military Road near the ski jumps south of Lake Placid village. Drive 0.8 miles and turn left onto Bear Cub Lane. The entrance for Henry’s Woods will appear on the right in a tenth of a mile. If coming from Saranac Lake, turn onto Old Military Road from NY 86. You will reach Bear Cub Lane on the right after 3 miles.
Posted on September 28th, 2009 2 comments Add a comment >>
Last weekend I climbed Lyon Mountain, the 3,830-foot peak west of Dannemora. What a great view! I had been up it a few times before but not since the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) rerouted the trail.
The old trail was an old jeep road that shot straight up the mountain. It was a rubbly mess. The new trail switchbacks up the eastern face, so gradually that at times you hardly realize you’re climbing. At 3.3 miles, the rerouted trail is about a mile longer than the old one, but it’s much easier on the knees.
In fact, the trail is so user-friendly that a strong trail runner could probably jog up it. I didn’t try that, but I did jog on the way down, and it was exhilarating.
Another change is that the fire tower on the summit has been refurbished. From the cab, you can see in all directions: the High Peaks to the southwest, the Champlain Valley and the Green Mountains to the east, and the St. Lawrence River to the north. Chazy Lake is spread out at the foot of the mountain. The view also now encompasses the huge wind farms just outside the Adirondack Park.
Kudos to ADK for redesigning the trail. And to the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, which bought Lyon Mountain from Domtar Industries in 2004 and sold it to the state in 2008.
Word must be getting out about Lyon (our publisher, Tom Woodman,wrote the new trail in the January issue of the Explorer), because there were more than 20 cars at the trailhead when I began my climb on Saturday afternoon–many of them from Quebec.
Directions: From the village of Dannemora, drive 9.3 miles east on NY 374 to Chazy Lake Road. Turn left and go 1.7 miles to a dirt road on the right. Follow the dirt road nearly a mile to its end. If coming from the south, turn onto Chazy Lake Road from NY 3 in the hamlet of Saranac and follow it 9.6 miles to the dirt road. (Chazy Lake road takes a left turn at 0.5 mles and a right turn at 2.4 miles, the latter at a four-way intersection.)