Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hiking - Nun-da-ga-o Ridge

The Nun-da-ga-o Ridge, formerly known as the "Soda Range", lies just east of the village of Keene, NY, and just west of the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. The "trail" is unmarked and unmaintained, but is easy to follow, and provides nearly continuous views from open rocks back toward the High Peaks.

Holly and I hiked the 6-mile loop in the clockwise direction starting at the "P" shown above. The unmarked ridge path begins a short distance up the shoulder of Big Crow Mountain, which we did not climb. Almost immediately, we savored our first views, a wide-open look back at Cascade and Pitchoff Mountains to the west.

The views continued as we worked our way up and down rock outcroppings and progressed eastward along the ridge. This shot shows Big Crow in the immediate foreground, and the ridge we've followed to the right. And always the High Peaks, in nearly every view.

A little further along, we caught a nice view toward the towering Jay Range to the east. That's another untrailed gem we've been meaning to explore.

After several hours, we reached the summit of Weston Mountain, the highest point on this ridge at just under 3000'. The views were about the same, except they now included little Lost Pond, high on the ridge below.

After a well-earned break, we descended the half-mile to Lost Pond, and got a nice view of Hurricane Mountain and its fire tower across the pond.

Continuing to the south end of the pond, we could now see Weston rising above us in the distance. It didn't look very high, because the pond is still high on the ridge, and we had a good deal of descent left to do.

Leaving the pond, we headed down along its outlet to the junction with the trail to Hurricane, which starts from the same parking area. From here, it was an easy walk out on a very good trail. On the way home, we made the traditional stop at the Noonmark Diner for ice cream.

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