Friday, August 1, 2008

Camping - Brown Tract Pond

We've been going to Brown Tract Pond every year for over 10 years now, just for a couple of days each summer. We canoe on the pond, or on other nearby water, and hike trails that are too far to do as a day trip from home. Aside from that, it's just sitting by the campfire, reading, and generally relaxing for a couple of days.

We drove up on Wednesday afternoon, July 30, and got everything set up anticipating some rain showers later. We canoed around the pond, while noticing a few raindrops, and headed back to the site for dinner. Setting up an extra tarp for a cooking area was a good idea, since there was more light rain before dinner. But the real downpour came around 8pm, and lasted until we finally took shelter in the tent around 10. No campfire tonight, and not much else to do but go to sleep at that point.

On Thursday morning, we hiked to Shallow Lake, about 1.5 miles from the campground. Skies were grey, and it felt like it could rain at any time, but the forest was lush and green, and blueberries were abundant. We crossed this stream on a couple of logs on the way to the lake:

When we got to the lake, the sun actually came out for a few minutes. We had come here once before with an inflatable boat and paddled out to the rocks in the center background of the picture.

On the way back to the campsite, the skies opened up again and we donned our ponchos. After changing into dry clothes and having lunch, we drove to South Pond, north of Blue Mountain Lake, to do some paddling. With a strong south wind and a long fetch, this lake was a bit rough, but we made it to a couple of small islands and disembarked for a breather. After that, it was a free ride back to the put-in spot, courtesy of the wind. A cold front had passed through, and there would be no more rain, as skies were clearing and temps had cooled.

After a quick swim with the cool air temperatures, we had dinner, started a fire, made some popcorn, and read some more. When darkness came, the stars were incredible, and we took time out to go see them reflected in the pond.

On Friday, it was time to head home. I had discovered a nearby small "mountain" (2370') that appeared to have some open rocks and cliffs on top, but had no trail. This mountain was not described in any hiking guide, but looking at Google Earth, I could see the cliffs. It was less than a mile from the road, and on our way, so we climbed it. And we were not disappointed. There was a 180-degree view from the top, including the pond where we had stayed and some other local peaks. Unfortunately, it was a very hazy day, and the pictures did not come out well, so we'll be going back next year on a better day.

Arriving home, it was time to unpack and dry everything out, and get ready for the next adventure.


  1. Thanks for your writeup. How could my family and I find this mountain you wrote about?

    Also, do you know the campsite numbers well? We just reserved # 26. We are hoping to be able to put our canoe right in from the site.



  2. If you go to this link, Wadworth Mountian is in the middle of the screen (sorry about the wrap),-74.68566&z=15&t=T&marker0=43.80851%2C-74.65502%2Craquette%20lake\%2Cny

    Start in from the dirt road on the trail to West Mountain. After crossing a low area and a small stream, you'll reach a height of land. Bushwhack SW along the ridge until you get to the open rocks.

    When we camp there, we tend to go up the hill where the sites are more separated and quieter, so I'm not familiar with the waterfront sites.

  3. Make that "Wadsworth Mountain".

  4. HI I am about to book a campsite at Brown Tract Pond for a weekend this summer, have you ever stayed at campsite #86? Any info you can give me about? I plan on bringing 2 canoes and hopefully being able to launch at our site. Thanks for any feedback!! Kym

    By the way, great blog!

  5. Kym, we usually stay up the hill away from the water, and carry our relatively light canoe down to the water as needed. I don't know much specifically about the waterfront sites or the ones down the road, such as #86.

  6. Rich, thanks for the blog. My wife and I have been camping at Brown Tract for many years.
    At first with the kids and now we get away every summer. We usually go up in August and will be there again this year.

    For those with questions about the campsites and canoes, from my memory so no guarantees:

    Sites 22, 23, 27, 29 are on the shore and you can keep the boats right at your site. 29 is a nice site for a small RV.

    Sites 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, and 19 are more up on a ridge but have access down the hill to the water and if your fit you can drag your canoe or kayak.

    Sites 88, 87, 86, 85, 84, and 83 are along the main dirt road away from the toilets. They are on the water side but up on a ridge. It is a bit of a climb to get to the edge.
    If you have a canoe be prepared to launch it at the boat launch and paddle it over to the shoreline below your site and keep it there below your campsite for the duration of your stay.

    Site 89 is my favorite spot. Great for tents or an RV. It's well away from the campground and only has an outhouse. It's a bit of a hike to the flush toilets. It's right on the water and right at the edge of the stream that goes to Raquett Lake. Good luck reserving it though. It's usually reserved for the entire year long before the campground opens for the season.

    Sorry, I don't know much about the sites on the other side of the beach area.