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An excellent day, but just one

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  • An excellent day, but just one

    I headed up to the ADKs yesterday, with a plan to hike two straight days. My truck found the small parking area for Silver Lake Mountain so that was the start of my day. I found this trail to be down right gorgeous. Dirt and pine needles, and just enough rocks and large trees to make the setting feel like I was in the movie Red Dawn. (The first one, not the abomination with the Norks). I got to the top in about 25 minutes and found the views to be almost 180 degrees, mostly facing southwest and west. The most obviously distinguishable peaks (to me) were McKenzie, Whiteface, with Catamount in the foreground. I don’t know how popular this hike is, but I really like it!

    Next I drove to the furthest trail on my lists, Lyon Mountain. This firetower hike is just over 3.5 miles to the top, with over 1900 feet of elevation gain. The trail took me through various areas, some hardwoods, some pines. Lots of meandering switchbacks so nothing too steep. Even though it was a beautiful day, it was extremely windy at the top. Climbing the tower made me feel a bit uneasy, but I survived. Nice views of a Chazy Lake and Vermont mountains and adk high peaks in the distance, in the other direction. A word of warning, there is a chipmunk that resides at the top that expects you to feed him. I think there could be a story there, about a trail steward that was cursed, awaiting a lovely maiden hikeress to kiss him and free him from his summit prison. I digress...my other encounters with woodland creatures included a garter snake and several grouse. Not at the same time.

    I thought this was going to be it for the day, but it was early and I was still motivated. I decided to hike a third summit, distant from my CNY home. Poke-O-Moonshine was in my sights. This seems like a very popular trail, maybe I’m the only one left on this forum who hasn’t hiked it? So I probably don’t need to explain it to y’all, other than the giant boulders and stone steps gave it a Land of the Lost vibe. (Not the goofy movie, the old series on tv)
    I had stopped in Keeseville and bought a sub from an Italian place, and brought that to the summit for dinner. Again, very windy but this tower cab was locked. Boo!! Spent the most time here, but didn’t stay for the sunset because of the wind.

    I realized that I probably hiked too much and my knees wouldn’t be up for a big day today, so I cancelled my second day. Oh well, my granite friends will be there waiting for me.

  • #2
    Wolverines! Just watched that last month for the first time in probably 20 years. Still great.

    That's a good size day. You knocked out ~4500' of ele gain. Well done. Three great peaks. Glad you enjoyed them. From your description of Poke-o-Moon I assume you went up the Ranger Trail? Worth going back another time for the Observer's Trail. Different vibe on that approach but very nice. Silver Lake is under appreciated. Probably because you can knock it out so quickly but the view up there is fantastic.

    So one of the ADK6Pack and 3 of the ADK Blue checked offed. What do you have left on those?

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    • #3


      Yes, I took the Ranger’s trail. I was surprised to see the lean-to near the top and was fascinated by the observer’s cabin and it’s story.
      I need Pharaoh for the 6pack.
      The last three for the blue challenge are going to be awesome: Hurricane, Catamount and Jay.
      I’ve done 8 firetowers this year. I was thinking next year I can do an overnight to get Vanderwhacker, Goodnow, Blue and Owl Head. 2 each day.

      edit to add: the Ploughman’s Lunch Pilsner At Ausable Brewing Co. is delicious!

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      • #4
        Nice TR! I live 10 mins from Poke-O. The new Ranger trail is a great little hike.

        Catamount will complete the classic 4 that everyone in Clinton County hikes!

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