The informal system of trails in the Adirondacks has always fascinated me.
Sure, we have a more than a few well-trod/well-marked examples, but the trails I find most fascinating are the ones that you would simply have to know about. The un-signed and un-marked variety. Living near a great deal of state land, I’ve gotten an education in the last six months. You see, City Boy assumed that all the trails would be marked, or heck, at least written down. Not so.
After a bit of work in the morning, a friend and I took off with our two dogs and headed out for Jones Pond. Down Rainbow Lake Road and take a left? Nuh-uh. There’s a trail that leads through state land – down the old railroad bed, off to the West behind old Camp Gabriels, and North(ish) to the back side of the pond. There were a lot of ATV tracks out behind the old camp just off the railroad bed, but once we veered North and entered the more-foresty forest – pristine woods and piney trails. Seems like the beasts like this highway-to-the-lake quite a bit too – we saw a lot of deer tracks and plenty of evidence that bears had been around.
It got a little swampy in the center – maybe one mile in – but not terribly so. If you wore decent boots and hippy-hopped it a bit, you’d be fine. Of course, I forgot to change out of tennis shoes, and ended up with wet feet. No big. After the short squishy/swampy section and a slight rise, we were back to pine needles and dry ground.
A lot of the downed trees have been cut and the trail cleared, but the last stretch has some trees across the path at this point. Nothing major though. I stepped right over all but one of them. (Much amusement was derived from guessing whether the dogs would go under, or over each downed tree.) There’s an awesome view portal approaching the pond.
Once you’re reached your destination, there’s a right nice clearing, a tiny beach, and a great view. We had a picnic of mini-Snickers bars and Smarties. But the real treat was watching the dogs play fight – My clueless dog terrorizes my friend’s dog, the other dog snarls and fakey-bites back, clueless dog terrorizes my friend’s dog, the other dog snarls and fakey-bites back … over and over and over.
And that’s what passes for entertainment over here in the Franklin County woods. You have a great hike too!