Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hiking - An Adirondack potpourri

Yesterday was a crisp clear day, a nice day to be looking down from a small mountaintop. It's getting increasingly challenging to find one nearby that we haven't already climbed, but near the Garnet Hill XC Ski Center in North River, NY, , we found just what we were looking for. Balm of Gilead Mountain is a hike of less than a mile to an outstanding view over 13th Lake from its summit ledges. On the way down the mountain, we successfully located a geocache just off the trail.

View SW, with 13th Lake below

Peaked Mountain (r) and Blue Mountain (bkgd)

This area has several interesting attractions, all within about a mile of the parking area at the ski center. Without returning to the car, we turned next onto the trail to William Blake Pond, a small body of water originally dammed to provide water for running the nearby Hooper Garnet Mine. A partially buried rusty pipe along the trail is all that remains of that era, leaving a pretty pond behind.

William Blake Pond

Finally, and again without returning to the car, we turned onto the side trail to the abandoned Hooper Mine. This mine was begun in 1898, and was in use in the early 1900s. Remains of a few buildings and equipment are scattered around the perimeter, and great views can be found by following informal paths to the cliff edges above.

Hooper Garnet Mine

Garnet in rocks near the mine

Leaving the mine and returning to the car, we figured we'd probably covered a total of only 5-6 miles, but had discovered a lot of variety in a relatively small area. The usual ice cream stop completed the day before heading home.

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