Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hiking - Moose Mountain Cliffs

Every autumn, or almost anyway, Holly and I set off to climb Moose Mountain, off NY-30 just south of the Sacandaga Campground near Wells, NY. Moose has no trail, at least not yet, and it's a pure bushwhack from the car to the summit cliffs. There are plans to add trails here in the future, but we're selfishly hoping that never happens.

Today was our 9th trip up this mountain, and we like it because we avoid the leaf-peeping crowds that are found on the more popular trails. I handle the GPS, and Holly follows the compass bearings I give her and guides us through the woods. As can be seen from the map below showing 7 of our trips, we're a pretty good team and have this one down pat. We occasionally wind up "exploring" a little, either intentionally or not, but also often recognize the same boulders or downed trees on the return trip that we passed on the way up. (The red line to the east is the route of one of the proposed trails which we were trying to follow. The red lines to the west were somewhat less intentional on one of our early trips.)

We always head first for the western summit and its viewpoint, which is now rapidly growing in. This is consistently about 90 minutes from the car.

After lunch, we dropped back to the col between the two summits, and went to a much more open view on the eastern summit. Cathead Mountain (center) and the West Branch of the Sacandaga River can be seen from here.

The fall colors this year seemed very subdued. We weren't sure if we were just too early, or whether we had already missed the brighter reds, many of which seemed to be on the ground underfoot.

It was such a beautiful fall day that we hated to leave. But the ice cream calling us from Northville drew us off the summit and back to the car. After a very wet couple of weeks, it was nice to finally get outside on such a perfect day.

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