Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hiking - Pilot Knob

With rain coming in on Saturday and lasting for several days, Holly and I got out for a hike on Friday to Pilot Knob, on the east side of Lake George.  I was scheduled to lead a hike in the Catskills on Saturday, but the weather wasn't going to let us get through that one dry, so I cancelled it and we got out on a nice day instead.

Most people use this trailhead to climb popular Buck Mountain, to the north, with its well-worn trail.  There is no official trail to Pilot Knob, just an unofficial well-worn path with intermittent markers, once yellow, but painted over to match the color of the tree bark.  The path doesn't go to the actual summit, which is privately owned and has no views.  But the knob northwest of the summit has wonderful views of southern Lake George.  There were also many views to the north as we climbed steeply up the ridge, but unfortunately, I failed to capture any of these.  And since we did the hike as a loop, we missed them on the way down.

From a smaller knob just below the destination knob, we got a nice view of the final push to the top.
Our rocky destination straight ahead
We didn't see many wildflowers on this hike until we were near the top.  There we found clumps of bluets, and one lonely trailing arbutus.

The view from the top was pretty spectacular, with the lake and its islands spread out far below.

Beyond this summit, the path continued to a col, where we descended quickly to a marked trail below.  From there, it was an easy walk out to the car.  We decided that if/when we do this hike again, we'd want to do it in reverse.  The climbing would be easier, and we'd have views all the way down the ridge on the descent from this uncrowded summit.

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