Monday, January 25, 2010

Blue Ledges on the Hudson

Friday we headed on up towards Newcomb with a stop along the way at the Blue Ledges on the Hudson. The trail starts off of North Woods Club Road which is located just outside of Minerva on Route 28N. The road winds its way through the woods, rising and falling through the dense forest. The trail starts just before Huntley Pond, on the left side of the road, (parking is available on the right).

It was a gorgeous day to be outdoors, and what a wonderful trail! I can't wait to head back during the summer months, or perhaps the fall. I suspect that the trail is rather busy on weekends, but we were lucky only to see one other couple who were heading in as we were on our way out. The trail is fairly level, with just a few steady climbs up and down, and it took us about 2 hours with rests to complete the 5 mile round trip.

This picture doesn't do justice to how beautiful and amazing the cliffs are. But this is the "Blue Ledges"


Snowy trail and frozen stream.

And some really cool ice crystals along the trail.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Tales

This bout of "warm" weather made it a wonderful weekend to get out on a few short adventures.

The plan for Saturday was to head up to the Brant Lake area and snowshoe the southern access trail into Pharaoh Lake, but those plans fell through and I headed out on my own with the dogs. I wasn't keen on going to an area where I had never been before by myself, so I changed the plans and went to Thomas Mountain. The mountain is located just west of Bolton Landing on land owned by the Lake George Land Conservancy. Thomas Mountain is the shorter, and easier climb, but if you are up for a little more hiking Cat Mountain is very nice and there is a trail between the two peaks, so hiking a loop is possible. I've hiked the loop a few times before, but wasn't feeling up to it today.

The trail is very well packed down, so snowshoes were not necessary. The beginning of the trail would have been great on cross-country skis, but as the trail begins to head up, I wouldn't want to be the one on skis. Maybe the more adventurous will try that out. I ran into two skiers, but they were the only ones I saw all day. It was a beautiful day to be out and the dogs and I had a great time as always.

The view from the top of Thomas Mtn.

Shadow; always such a happy boy!

Baxter; heading back down the trail

Monday (a holiday for me at work, so I was off) dawned another "warm" day so Jake and I loaded the dogs into the car and headed up to the other side of Lake George, the east side, to the Shelving Rock area. We haven't been to the falls yet this winter and I got inspiration from another nature lover's trip that I thought it would be a great place to spend some time outdoors. Again, we were the only ones out and about and the peace and quiet was a nice change from some of the busier trails in the Adirondacks.

The falls are always so impressive in the winter. I love how every year they freeze differently creating such interesting patterns and textures. We headed down to the lake after visiting the falls to find open water, and lots of it. There was a little ice around the edges, but the whole lake, from our perspective, was open water. Our dogs (the crazy boys that they are) were even swimming! I think they must have some Polar Bear blood in them. We had a nice day, as did the dogs, and were happy to be outdoors, if even on a short hike.

I'm not sure what these are, but the color was beautiful against all the snow.

The always beautiful frozen Shelving Rock Falls.

Gushing water under the ice.

The lake was very calm and peaceful today.

Crazy Shadow, the lake is too cold for swimming!

We are hoping to get out next weekend to explore some new terrain. Anyone ever been to the Blue Ledges on the Hudson River? I've heard it's a beautiful place and thought it may be a nice snowshoe trip (and it is on our way up to the hunting camp in Newcomb which we have tentative plans to visit for the night on Friday).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas at the Cabin

This post is coming a little late, but I haven't had much time to sit down and share, so here it is now.

My husband and I decided this year to spend Christmas isolated from our family in a little cabin nestled in the woods; and it was the best decision ever made! While we love our families, Christmas is one of those holidays that is always very hectic as we try and see both of our families, and also spend time together at home.

So we planned Christmas celebrations around New Year's with the other parts of the family and headed out to the woods for a few days of peace and quiet.

It has become tradition for us to go up to camp at night, so we can ski or snowshoe into camp in the dark guided by the light of the moon (or headlamp if the moon fails us). So we went Wednesday night after I had gotten home from work. The camp was a balmy 10 degrees inside so we quickly got a fire roaring in the woodstove and snuggled into our sleeping bags to enjoy our first night in the cabin.

Thursday morning dawned with beautiful blue skies so we had a hardy breakfast and headed out to cut down our Christmas tree. We found the perfect little tree and got it set up inside and then scooted out the door again and down the frozen river to Lake Harris, which was also frozen. We walked over to the campground and wandered about a bit before heading back to camp.

Christmas morning was the most relaxing holiday I have had in YEARS! It was very nice to be able to wake up, stay in bed, and not worry about having to run around to be here or there at a certain hour of the day. We exchanged gifts, had some breakfast and decided it was a perfect day for a winter hike. So we loaded up the truck with the pups and headed to Goodnow Mountain. When we arrived we were the only ones there, although the logged showed someone had been up and down already that morning. I strapped on my snowshoes (although they weren't necessary as Jake proved by not wearing his) and headed up the trail. I was happy to have my snowshoes as they added a bit of extra traction, and it was fun to go alongside the already packed snow in the fresh powder.

The views from the top of the tower were spectacular, as always, as the air was crisp and clear. After relaxing and playing at the summit we headed down and passed a few groups of people on their way up. Dinner was lasagne, YUM!, and we spent the remainder of the night gaming and enjoying the quiet of the woods.

Saturday was rainy, but that meant we had an excuse to stay indoors, read and nap!

I wouldn't leave the family every year on Christmas... but boy was it nice to have it to ourselves for a change!