Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hiking - Moose Mountain Pond

Yesterday, I joined a Schenectady ADK hike to Moose Mountain Pond, in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest, northeast of Northway exit 29. Much of the hike involved scouting a possible route for the North Country National Scenic Trail through this area, bushwhacking through unmarked woods and beaver meadows, with some waterfalls and a pond with a leanto thrown in for good measure.

The snow was hard-packed and supportive without snowshoes so we left them in the car. Once again, microspikes were the footwear of the day. From the parking area, we followed the marked trail to Berrymill Flow, passing a waterfall that we'd seen on an earlier trip in this area back in December. It looked quite different now.

Waterfall on Berrymill Brook - then and now

Reaching Berrymill Flow, there was a nice view of Owl Pate Mountain in the distance.

Now we followed the trail upward toward Moose Mountain Pond. Part of the way there, we took a side trip, bushwhacking southwest to another waterfall we'd discovered on the earlier trip in December. This one was much more photogenic before it was frozen over, and was almost unrecognizable now.

Waterfall on Moose Pond outlet - then and now

Returning to the trail, and then reaching the pond and the leanto via a bushwhacked shortcut, we stopped for lunch. This was a very nice and scenic location.

Some of us ventured out onto the frozen surface of the pond for a better view of the surrounding mountains.

After lunch, we bushwhacked from the leanto back toward the north end of Berrymill Flow, passing through several frozen beaver ponds along the way. Reaching the trail here that we'd come in on earlier, it was now an easy trip back out to the cars.

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