“Going north for a mile and a half on the only road that runs over the Kayaderosseras Range, the forgotten village of Mount Pleasant is encountered, with a camp site on the Vly, not far from the old post office. Nothing remains of this once busy community with its great glass factory save a few grass-covered mounds which mark the dumps of the industry. More than a century ago several hundred families were listed at the post office; every building has now disappeared. Interesting bits of glassware might be found in the dumps at the bend of the road.
“At Mount Pleasant the proposed route from Mount Greylock, Mass., and the Appalachian Trail joins the Long Path of New York after crossing the Berkshires and Taconics, the Hoosic and Hudson Valleys and across the sand past Saratoga.
Views of Sacandaga Reservoir
“Two miles northwest of Mount Pleasant Hans Creek flows under the road, emerging from a land of swamps and beaver ponds. Few trails cross the wooded slopes in the rolling top of the mountain on the road into the valley of the Sacandaga.
“Six miles down the mountain, after passing the group of mountain houses termed Fox Hill, the shore of the great Sacandaga Reservoir is reached at Batchellerville. On the way entrancing views of Adirondack peaks are glimpsed from clearings along the road. Then as the reservoir is neared views of the far-flung reaches of the Sacandaga are had to the westward.
“Crossing the bridge and perhaps pausing for a swim or to restock provisions at Edinburg, a mile and a half northwest, the hiker encounters one of the old military roads that cut through the Adirondacks. While all of the natives can point out the road that heads into the notch around Ohmer Mountain, few can tell much more.
“A glance at the map will show, however, the direct route which this old road follows, as it comes up from the south to pass through Fish House, the old fishing lodge of Sir William Johnson, Bart.
“From Edinburg, the Long Path now heads into the tumbled peaks of the Adirondacks and the short return to the grassy meadows and cornfields will soon be a memory. The hiker should stock up with provisions here, although food can be procured en route among the mountaineers in an emergency.
“Deer and bear might be companions of the morrow.”
New York Post, July 10, 1934
Romance and History Blend in Long Path of New York
(Edinburg to Round Pond)
By RAYMOND H. TORREY
The previous installment of the description of the proposed Long Path of New York, given by W.W. Cady of New York City from George Washington Bridge, New York City, to Gilboa Dam on Schoharie Creek and continued northward by Vincent J. Schaefer of the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club, Schenectady, carried the route to the village of Edinburg in Fulton County, west of the great Sacandaga Reservoir, which makes a lake as large and almost as beautiful as Lake George.
This region is shown on the Broadalbin sheet of the United States Geological Survey. A proposal for publishing the entire description in mimeographed form has been made by Mrs. Frances Fuller of the New York Mountain Club to Messrs. Cady and Schaefer and may eventuate in some such guide to the route.
The country beyond Edinburg, says Mr. Schaefer, blends romance with history, wilderness with back-woods industry and easy travel with difficult trail travel. His description of this section follows:
An Old Military Road
“From Edinburg, alter crossing Beecher Creek, the Long Path follows the ‘old military road’ for a quarter-mile north to where the Tenantville Road forks to the northwest. This road is followed for a mile and a half, passing three side roads and crossing Beecher Creek at the old mill site. Many fine views of the Sacandaga Valley may be had along the road.
“A branch road is now taken which bears due west, crossing the headwaters of a small stream to gradually veer northwest. After going a mile and a half (entering the Stony Creek quadrangle U.S.G.S.), the county line boundary of Fulton, Hamilton and Saratoga is passed. Continuing in a somewhat northwesterly direction, the old road over Mason Hill takes the hiker to the old and nearly forgotten village of Hope Falls, four and a half miles beyond the tri-county corner.
Follows East Stony Creek
“For many miles the valley of East Stony Creek will to followed and on the way the tramper will get his first real taste of the Adirondacks.
“A road which gradually changes from gravel to dirt to little more than corduroy follows the rushing boulder-strewn course of the stream to Brownell’s Camp four and a half miles from Hope Falls, north, where the road ends.
“History and tradition tell us many fascinating and intriguing stories of the route traversed by the Long Path in this section; of toiling troops of Britishers retreating to Canada, of earlier red men gliding along a narrow path through primeval forest.
“As soon as one crosses Tenant Creek over a handy swing bridge, to pick up the red (Conservation Department) marked trail to Harrisburg, heading north and northeast, he senses at once the antiquity of the route followed. The tote road has been painstakingly cleared of all boulders (a tremendous job in the Adirondacks) and through disuse has reverted to a narrow winding trail beaten deep into the hard soil.
“Four and a half miles and the Bakertown Flow is encountered as the trail heads northeast. An Adirondack lean-to is located at Wilcox Lake, northwest of the red trail following the stream.
Ancient Hemlock Marks Corner
“Less than two miles beyond Brownell's near the summit of a spur of Tenant Mountain is located a historic point, the ancient corner of the great counties of provincial New York – Tryon, Charlotte and Albany Counties, now sub-divided in part into Hamilton, Warren and Saratoga. The corner is a living, grant hemlock tree, which, when relocated and examined, on June 24, 1934, still bore its ancient blazes with several of its witness trees still standing. Blazed in 1788, the tree constitutes a living reminder of earlier, exciting days.
“The streams and ponds in this location are well stocked with trout and the clever angler could well add to his larder with the flick of a fly into some of the deep, dark pools.
“Heading east from Bakertown for a mile and a half, cutting over a ridge, the trail to Wolf Point is reached and followed as it goes through a notch running due north, reaching Bill Creek (two and a half mile after leaving the Harrisburg tote road) and passing Wolf Point, three quarters of a mile beyond. A mile and three-quarters north of Wolf Point, Madison Creek is encountered near Fullers.
Camping Spot on Round Pond
“At this point the Long Path leaves the main trail and follows Madison Creek across country, staying west of the flow till the road from Oregon to Knowellhurst is crossed. The route continues upstream, crossing Madison Creek, and follows the base of Bear Pen Mountain to a point where the outlet of Round Pond drops into the valley from the east, four and a half miles from the point where Madison Creek was first followed. The majority of all the land traversed by the L.P.-N.Y. from Brownell's is State land.
“Reaching the Round Pond outlet close to the point where it runs into Garnet Lake (enlarged mill pond covering all of swamp area depicted on the 13th Lake U.S.G.S. map), this stream is followed as it tumbles down from the pond which is somewhat south of east a mile and a quarter from the 'low-lands.' Following the western side of the lake a high rocky point just south of the inlet from Mud Pond will be found a fine camping spot.
“Round Pond is quite wild and very beautiful. Its many coves, sand beaches, abundant wild life and huge pike make it an ideal place to tarry a while if time permits.
“From Round Pond the Long Path again heads into a semi-civilized section of the mountains, with log cabins, interesting native mountaineers and beautiful scenery on every side.”
New York Post, July 19, 1934
(Round Pond to North Creek)
By RAYMOND H. TORREY
The previous installment of the description of the proposed Long Path, by Vincent J. Schaefer of the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club brought the route from Edinburg, on the new Sacandaga Reservoir, northwestward, across the Stony Creek quadrangle of the United States Geological Survey to the East Branch of Stony Creek, and followed that stream upward to its tributary, Madison Creek, then eastward to Round Pond, which is partly on the Thirteenth Lake and partly on the North Creek quadrangle.
Mr. Schaefer brought the hiker brought the hiker of the Long Path to a camp site on Stony Point, at the east end of Round Pond, where he may hear the “hoot owl from Wolf Pond Mountain or the piglike grunting of a bear in the bog east of Round Pond.”
The next day’s route, as the trail was scouted by Mr. Schaefer, goes north along the boundary of the Thirteenth Lake–North Creek quadrangles to the Garnet Lake Road following a trail and then an old road.
Views From Crane Mountain
He continues: “Crossing the road, which bears northwest, the route cuts across country up Breakneck Ridge, slightly west of due north and after going a mile and a half will hit the old road around Crane Mountain, near the home of genial and hospitable Elliot Putnam. At the point where the trail ascends Crane Mountain a fine camp will be found on State land.
“If time permits a climb to the high summit of Crane will more than repay the hiker with one of the best views in the Adirondacks. A swim in the lake near the summit and the exploration of a cave in the crystalline limestone near the suggested camp site will make pleasant memories. Huckleberries cover the rocky ridge of Crane from July to the middle of August, and other berries augment the rations of cheese, whole wheat and raisins.
“The amateur geologist will find a talk with Elliot Putnam to be worth coming all the way. His specimens and his familiarity with the unusual rich variety of deposits in the neighborhood will delight the geological ‘bug.’
“Heading northwest for two miles the main route between Garner Lake and Johnsburg will be encountered. (Off the Thirteenth Lake sheet.) This dirt road is followed for a bit less than a half mile north to the Singing Falls on Mill Creek. A dip in the pool below the rushing water will be in order if the day is warm. Several nice camp sites nearby can be found.
“Going two miles northwest on a mountain road the route bends northeast for a half mile, then a generally northerly direction, over Kibby Brook to the Wells Road a mile and a quarter beyond.
Meet Johnny Moorhouse
“Provisions can be obtained at Bakers Mills. The Long Path heads northwest from Bakers Mills after following the Wells Road northeast for a half mile, following another mountain road up Scoot Hill. Past log cabins and mountaineers’ homes the old road ends near Johnny Moorhouse’s cabin. All those tramping the Long Path should not fail to meet old Johnny, one of the last of the old-timers whose panther stories still color an evening under the stars.
“At Echo Lodge, owned by the Schaefer brothers, a hearty welcome will await the true outdoorsman. Camp can be made at any one of a number of pleasant camp sites on the hill.
“From this place side trips into the wilder parts of the Second Pond country and the Tombstone Range might be made if time permits.
“The Long Path continues over Scott Hill, heads northwest for a half mile over a forgotten road, then due north just east of the Pug Hole, close to Chattiemac Lake (first pond on the Thirteenth Lake quadrangle – privately owned), and then just east of north, along an old lumber road toward the summit of Gore Mountain for two and a half mountain miles, to the col between the high summit of Gore (3,595 feet) and one of the Saddle Back peaks, from which point Straight Brook heads east.
Down Ski Trail to North Creek
“Over the notch and north for three-quarters of a mile, down the mountain the old site of Ives’s Dam is encountered. At this point three of the Gore Mountain ski trails diverge. The middle trail, known as the Ridge or Rabbit Pond Run, is followed as it descends the eastern shoulder of Gore Mountain in long sweeping curves and thrilling (to the skier) straightaway.
“If time permits, a trip to the summit of Gore and to the Barton Garnet Mines will be well worth while.
“At North Creek a train can be taken to Saratoga, where connections to all points may be had. This pretty little village, at the confluence of North Creek and the Hudson, is at the end of the rails. Now the high peak country starts to beckon the hiker.”
New York Post, July 24, 1934
(North Creek to Brace Dam)
By RAYMOND H. TORREY
North Creek, in Warren County, on the upper Hudson River, was the point to which Vincent J. Schaefer of Schenectady carried the route of the Long Path of New York last Tuesday. This pretty village is the center of one of the finest parts of the Adirondacks, says Mr. Schaefer.
In every direction lakes and streams, wild mountains and great stretches of unbroken woodland can be found. "It is, in a sense," he says, "the jumping off place and about the only place in that part of the Adirondacks which enjoys continued activity throughout the year. Its newly established ski runs near the village and on Gore Mountain are rapidly pushing this mountain town into the foreground as a winter sports center.
Can Take Train at End
"Since it is at the end of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad branch, the follower of the Long Path of New York can board a train home if his tramp is over, or if he desires he can take the train to this point from Saratoga or New York and either head south for the Mohawk Valley and the Catskills or north for the high peaks beyond the Boreas country. The Long Path can also be reached by heading west from any of the stations along the railroad."
Beyond North Creek
Mr. Schaefer now describes the route northward from North Creek:
“Continuing northward from North Creek the route leaves the village via the Roosevelt-Marcy highway. After crossing the Hudson River, and about three-eighths of a mile beyond the traffic light in the village, our trail leaves the hard road and heads northwest along the old road bordering the river, following it upstream.
“After going along the river for three and three-eighths miles the road heads uphill, after crossing the outlet of Clear and Long ponds, at the site of the old power house.
(This part of the trail is at the corners of four United States Geological Survey quadrangles. The route leaves the North Creek quadrangle, going up the Hudson, enters the Thirteenth Lake quadrangle, then the Newcomb quadrangle, then goes east into the Schroon Lake quadrangle.)
View of Gore Mountain
“On the way the hiker will see the great pile of rock that makes Gore Mountain, to the south. This view will be doubly interesting if the hiker has recently descended from the slope of that mountain (as described in the previous installment), and has a chance to view at close hand its peaks, ledges and hollows. On the fascinating and surprisingly accurate map of the Province of New York, compiled by Claude Joseph Sauthier in 1779 the Adirondacks are but vaguely indicated and the only mountain deemed worthy of reference and marked by the caption 'A Very Remarkable Mountain,' was Old Gore.
“Heading a bit west of north crossing into Essex County, a spur of Moxham Mountain is crossed as the old, nearly forgotten road dips into the valley of Deer Creek.
“If vague tradition proves anything the road along Deer Creek follows one of the old prehistoric Indian trails which ran through the land of the beaver, fording the Hudson at the place where North River now stands.
Follow Deer Creek North
“Deer Creek is followed north for a mile and three-quarters past old cabin sites built back in the old wolf days. Attempts at striking up acquaintance with some of the native mountaineers will reward the tramper with rare insights into the life of New York's hinterland.
“Although the radio and the automobile are fast destroying the local color, out of the way places such as Scott Hill and Deer Creek Valley still retain some of the older charm.
“Crossing Deer Creek, the route heads along the northern base of Moxham Mountain, going in a generally east-northeast direction for three miles to the village of Minerva (on the Schroon Lake quadrangle).
Last Chance for Provisions
“This is the last chance at a store for many miles. In fact, it would be well to carry food to last the hiker to Adirondack Lodge, on the other side of Marcy, a matter of three days, more or less.
“A mile beyond Minerva, on the road northeast to Irishtown and Minerva Stream, an open lean-to on the shore of Minerva Lake, an artificial body of water a short distance north on Jones Brook, may be used for shelter. There is swimming also.
“Heading generally northeast from Jones Brook a mile and a quarter, Minerva Stream is crossed to the abandoned settlement of Irishtown. Near the old church the route bears north and continues along the east bank of Minerva Stream, along the western base of Snyder Hill, and three and three-quarters of a mile from the bridge crossing west of Irishtown the Long Path again leaves the dirt road at Bigsby Hill and heads into the mountains along a Woodland trail.
“At the place marked Bigsby Hill on the Schroon Lake quadrangle the Long Path takes the tote road to Cheney Pond. Although this road is now nothing more than a mountain footpath, the absence of rocks, the worn sides of rocks on the edge of the old road and the ancient corduroy indicate that at one time the old road into the ‘Boreas country’ was well traveled and of considerable importance.
Nearing the High Peaks
“From Bigsby Hill our route leads into the now abandoned State Game Refuge, named after Frank B. Bachman, to whom it was a memorial. Six and a quarter miles is the distance to the first glimpse of the flow at Cheney Pond. At one time a beautiful body of water, the gates of the dam are now used only in flushing logs down the Boreas.
“A mile beyond the Blue Ridge Road is crossed. If the Boreas River is low it can be forded below the road; if high, its eastern bank is followed and the river crossed on the road bridge.
“A mile north of Boreas Bridge we find the ruins of Brace Dam, the former lake only a weedy flow.
“The tramper is now nearing the high peaks country. Within a day he will sleep in the depths of Panther Gorge in the shadow of old Marcy.”
New York Post, July 31, 1934
(Brace Dam to Panther Gorge)
By RAYMOND H. TORREY
The Long Path of New York, described in recent installments by Vincent J. Schaefer of the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club of Schenectady, N.Y., and carried last Tuesday to Brace Dam, north of the Blue Ridge-Lower Tahawus Road, in Essex County (on the Schroon Lake Quadrangle of the United States Geological Survey), now begins to enter the high northern Adirondack peaks. “From the summit of Crane 'Mountain,” says Mr. Schaefer, “from the road near Kibby Brook, from the slopes of Gore, or perhaps from the shores of Cheney Pond, the mile high summit of Tahawus, and the great guardian peaks on every side send out a command that the hiker must obey.”
Be Careful on Private Land
“After crossing the Blue Ridge road at Boreas Bridge,” Mr. Schaefer’s description continues, “the hiker heads into country that gets wilder every step. If his provisions are low he must do what he can to obtain food from the occasional mountain cabin toward Newcomb (west). There is no habitation on this side of the high peaks.
“A mile and a half on the trail which climbs over the ridge after leaving Brace Dam, the hiker leaves State land and passes over private land for a considerable distance. Care must be taken that no fires are built and that the schedule is so arranged that it will not be necessary to camp before again reaching State land in the depths of Panther Gorge.
“About three miles northwest of Brace Dam, the proposed route meets the river trail at the southern tip of Boreas Ponds Flow. At this point it heads due east and then north, crossing Le Claire Brook about three-quarters of a mile beyond the four corners. The route now follows that of an old tote road, and after a mile and a half crosses Synder Brook, which flows into Boreas Pond. Two and a half miles more, still heading into a somewhat northeasterly direction, and after crossing five mountain streams, Casey Brook is met and followed upstream, for three-quarters of a mile, where the Conservation Department Blue Trail from Elk Lake is encountered and followed.
Out of Hudson Watershed
“The hiker has now left the watershed of the Hudson for the time being. All of the waters seen for some time drain eventually into the Atlantic by way of the St. Lawrence River.
“For the rest of the route to Lake Clear of Heart, the Long Path lies on the trails marked and maintained in most part by the Conservation Department.
“Reaching the Elk Lake-Mt. Marcy trail near the summit of Dividing Ridge, it is three-quarters of a mile, mostly downhill, to the Cold Slough of Upper Ausable Lake. Crossing the swamp the Blue Trail is followed up and along a shoulder of Bartlett Ridge and, after three rough miles, reaches the wilderness camp in the depths of Panther Gorge. Here, close to the tumbling, ice-fed waters of Marcy Brook, under the cathedral roof of giant primeval spruces, the hiker will find rest in one of the most charming spots in the world.
“If time does permit the Range Trail Loop, the route up the Devil’s Half Mile to Four Corners Camp and out to Lake Clear of Heart via Lake Arnold Camp, the Van Hoevenburg Trail, or by way of Lake Colden and Avalanche Pass might be made in a day.
To the Summit of Mt. Marcy
“The loop should be made if at all possible, as it is one of the greatest trips in that charming country. Climbing out of Panther Gorge on the Long Path route, a blazed trail is followed to the summit of Mt. Haystack (4,918 feet). This trail, whose upper end is marked by rock cairns, measures a mile by map. The climber will feel that the distance should be tripled before Haystack’s rocky summit it reached. The climb is one of the hardest in the mountains, but more than repays the effort.
“From the summit of Big Haystack, the route heads north down to Little Haystack, where it intersects the Blue Trail leading east-northeast over the range, about three-quarters of a mile beyond the high peak.
Sub-Alpine Flora on Summits
“Before climbing Basin Mountain, Snobird Camp is met at the base of the mountain. A mile beyond the Haystack’s trail intersection is the summit of Basin (4,825 feet), with one of the finest views to be seen in the high peak area. A mile beyond Basin Mountain summit is Saddleback (4,530 feet). A half mile beyond in the col before Gothics is a lean-to.
“Although actual distances in these mountains are not great, the effort to pass over them will tax the endurance of all. If time permits, exploring the rock summits will repay the nature students. A sub-alpine flora covers most of the wind-swept summits, the delight of the amateur and professional botanist.
“He who has tasted the charm of the wild country may now understand the reasons why so many heed the call of the rock-clad summit of Marcy, ‘the Cloud Splitter’. The climbers encountered in this area are of a different ‘breed’ than some of the places near the hard roads. A night spent on the trail with chance companions will provide additional subjects for the log of pleasant memories.”
New York Post, August 7, 1934
(Panther Gorge to Four Corners Camp)