Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hiking - Waterfalls and big trees on the NCNST

Yesterday, I joined a Schenectady ADK trip to scout the location for a new section of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST). When completed, this trail will extend over 4,000 miles from North Dakota to Crown Point, on Lake Champlain. The exact route through the Adirondacks is still being determined, and we were checking out a possible route for one of these sections on our trip.

The area we were exploring was adjacent to Berrymill Pond, northeast of Adirondack Northway (I-87) Exit 29. The plan was to follow existing trails southward, and then continue bushwhacking along Berrymill Pond to a beaver pond previously reached on a trip from the south by our leaders Walt and Norm. That would result in an entire road-to-road section having been explored. Other explorers in the group included Susan, Dale, and Herb.

Our route - north to south and back again

Starting south from the car on the trail along Berrymill Brook, we soon came to the first of many waterfalls we'd see on this trip.

Waterfall on Berrymill Brook

Reaching the point where we'd leave the established trail, we started through open woods along the east side of Berrymill Pond, ducking out through the trees for an occasional view.

Southbound along Berrymill Pond

Reaching the outlet of Moose Pond high above, there was another very nice waterfall, the best of the trip.

Waterfall on Moose Pond outlet

The entire route south passed through an area that contained many dozens of huge white pines that towered above us.

One of numerous 2-3' diameter white pines

Near the destination beaver pond, Walt and Norm recognized landmarks that they'd reached northbound on their previous trip, so our mission was accomplished. We stopped for lunch on the shore of the beaver pond before returning north the way we'd come.

Beaver pond - the lunch spot at our southernmost point

We varied our route a little on the return, trying to bypass a few of the tougher areas we'd discovered earlier, but the return trip took about the same time. Reaching the north end of Berrymill Pond, we stopped for pictures in the waning afternoon light.

Owl Pate overlooking Berrymill Pond

As always, the last mile seemed endless, but we finally reached the car not long before sunset after a satisfying day. With its waterfalls, ponds, cliffs, and huge trees, this area will provide a very attractive addition to the NCNST.

No comments:

Post a Comment