Monday, December 25, 2017

Klondike Curiosity...

With so much discussion and interest in this relic from the past in Schenectady, I decided to visit the actual remnants. It was a short trek from the Mobil station on Broadway but probably impossible in any other season due to the thick underbrush.

Check out the view from Google Street View

Here's what it looked like  back in it's hey day!
(historical photos courtesy of Facebook Group “My Upstate NY Photos”)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Luther by Foot and a Round Lake sideshow

Luther Forest

After a very rainy trip upstate on Sat morning and freezing temps Sunday morning the dreaded inevitable happened!. When I rolled into Luther Park for a morning ride, I could not get the bike off the rack as the lock was frozen! Bummer! I really wanted to GPS the new flat loop on the south side that I had discovered last time so I hiked in instead.

The main trail in was pretty icy and the icy crunchy footprints would have made a bad ride in but once I got to the flat loop, it looked deliciously rideable and I regretted not having the bike.

A fat biker passed by me quite a few times - he was grooming the trail for others but otherwise I saw no one in the park. The sun came out and although it was cold... it was a pleasant hike.

A thin layer of ice was on all the conifers. They were bent from all the extra weight and leaned in everywhere into the trail.

Curiosity led me to climb up this bank and see the dirt pit on the other side...

After finishing the GPS on the flat loop, I ventured down on the loop that leads to the bottom on the canyon. With no foliage, it was amazing how much of the whole area was visible.
(click to enlarge)

After finishing my hike and getting only 9975 steps :(bummer) --  I decided to drive around the Forest Roads a bit and then I headed to Round Lake.

Round Lake

This little village is such a unique anomaly. Built ages ago as a Methodist Camp, tightly-spaced colorful gingerbread houses and a huge ancient auditorium give it a fairy tale quality.
The tracker organ in the auditorium is one of the oldest in the country and I remember the thrill of going to a concert here with my parents when I was younger...


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Pond Gut 909

I spent the weekend in upstate NY, visiting my mother and helping her reorganize her apartment. My original plans were to explore an abandoned mill up in Rock City Falls with a couple of local historians but my upstate trek partners said conditions will be lousy (super cold and 5 inches of snow cover) so I cancelled that and regretfully didn’t even bring my mountain bike!


Saturday, on the way up, I stopped at 909 to check out a little of the Pond Gut area. Although I had created a map for the area (link) and biked and hiked much of the rest of the park — this section was unfamiliar to me.

It was cold but sunny and an enjoyable hike. I hiked in on the fire road and checked out a bit of the Yellow trail (Pirate Creek). It's really a nice trail and I am anxious to ride it. As I got to a couple of old foundations - my phone battery died before I could take any photos! &#% Super bummer -- but that made me determined to return on Sunday on my way back home.

The Fire Road in...
Where I turned off to hike the Yellow


Sunday’s weather was morbidly gray and overcast--more appropriate for an Edgar Allen Poe tragedy than a hike in the woods but I was anxious to photograph those foundations and get some steps... FitBit keeps you motivated!

Once the foundations were photographed, I trekked onward and upward on Getaway. What a magnificent trail! Once past an initial steep climb (incidentally that was roughed up by ATVs... ugh) I proceeded on tight singletrack over rocky hillocks, tapered valleys, cuts thru blowdowns and constant undulating topography that makes this one helluva great trail!

I had started late in the day and as it was already getting a bit dark so regrettably my original plans of hiking all of Getaway and returning via the fire road wasn’t gonna happen (traipsing in unfamiliar woods in deep darkness is not my idea of a good time!). I turned around once I got to the edge of the ravine and wisely headed back - by the time I got in the car it was turning dark!

Old foundations
More old foundations
 On Getaway - what a wonderful trail!
Getaway rocks!
End of the line for me today at the ravine's edge...

I'll be back to check out the other Pond Gut Trails next time I travel upstate!

Further Info

Check out the Trailforks map

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Bit of the Saugatuck Trail

 On my day off on Monday I decided--for a change--to hike a bit of the Saugatuck Trail.

Part 1

I started from a small parking lot on Glen Road right next to the river and hiked on the Blue Trail down to the overlook at the north end of the reservoir. It was hilly but pleasant hike, passing numerous stone walls, remnants of old carriage roads and even a few isolated glacial erratics...

Part 2

I next drove down Rt 53 and found a small lot to park. I hiked north to a large hill that overlooked the lake where a remnants of a house once stood. On the way back down and out, I snuck over to the shore's edge to snap a nice parting shot of the reservoir.

I stitched together a pseudo-panorama -
taken before descending the hill

It was fairly sunny all day and I'll be back over the winter months (perhaps with snowshoes if needed) to hike some more of these trails.