Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hiking - Moreau Lake State Park

Today was another beautiful day, and with my good bike in the shop, I decided to get in a somewhat longer and tougher hike than earlier this week, and something with a view.  After much deliberating and gnashing of teeth, I settled on Moreau Lake State Park, south of Glens Falls.  There's an extensive trail system there atop the Palmertown Range (map at link), accessible either from the main park itself or from Spier Falls Road along the Hudson River.  I took the cheap option, and parked below the Spier Falls Dam, ready for the steep uphill climb to the ridge.

It was indeed a steep climb up the orange Cottage Park Trail, and once up on the "plateau", there wasn't a flat stretch of trail to be found.  I did a clockwise loop around the Cottage Park, Eastern Ridge, and White Birch trails, ending on the Western Ridge trail with all of its views of the Hudson River far below.

The Spier Falls Dam on the Hudson River
A shady lunch spot.  I could see the old IP smokestack in Corinth from here.
The Hudson River, flowing downstream and northward here, heading toward Glens Falls.  This was my favorite view of the day.
Another view of the dam and former falls
The descent back to the car was equally steep and difficult, and I was glad to be done for the day.  My feet and legs were feeling it.  All told, I'd covered 7.6 miles, and climbed over 2,500 feet of total ascent, not bad for only an hour from home.   I hadn't done much hiking since early spring, and it certainly uses different muscles than biking.  A couple of big hikes coming up in early September, so it was good to get this one under my belt.

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