The Taconic Crest Trail is the third Northeast Ultra 8 hike that I completed. It traverses a mountain range that makes up the northern half of the border between Massachusetts and New York and hits Vermont for a hot minute. Jeff, John, Michael and I got a Tentrr in Vermont for the night before and after, and hiked the trail on a perfect Saturday in May. The trail mostly cuts through mellow terrain in hardwood forest with the occasional vista and pond, but there are definitely a few climbs not to scoff at. We were alone for the most part but we started to see people around Berlin Mountain, and White Rocks with its Snow Hole seemed popular.
Water stash at Petersburg Pass parking off Route 2 in Petersburg, NY
Car drop at Taconic Crest Trail parking off Route 346 in Petersburg, NY
Car drop with resupply at parking on Madden Road in Hancock, MA
Parked at Taconic Crest Trail parking off Route 20 in Hancock, MA
Hiked Taconic Crest Trail over Tower Mountain to Berry Pond Circuit Road
Left on Berry Pond Circuit Road to Taconic Crest Trail
Left on Taconic Crest Trail over Berry Hill to Potter Mountain Road
Left on Potter Mountain Road to Main Street
Right on Main Street to Madden Road
Left on Madden Road to resupply car and Taconic Crest Trail
Straight on Taconic Crest Trail over Misery Mountain and Berlin Mountain to water stash at Petersburg Pass
Straight on Taconic Crest Trail over White Rocks and Bald Mountain to Route 346 parking
Date: 15 May 2021 Distance: 36.5 miles Moving Time: 12:01:54 Pace: 19:45/mile Elevation Gain: 8921′
In mid-August 2020, Jeff and I headed to the Adirondacks for a long weekend of hiking and backcountry camping. The primary purpose of the trip, aside from getting away from the pandemic for a few days, was to knock off some of the summits from the Adirondack 46 High Peaks list, and subsequently the Northeast 115 list.
PART 1 – DONALDSON, EMMONS, SEWARD, & SEYMOUR
The first two days of the trip Jeff and I tackled a group of peaks in the Seward Mountains of the High Peaks. We made a loop of it and camped near the Ward Brook lean-to. It was a good amount of hiking with a few views, but it was overshadowed by the steep and muddy hike down from Seward to Ward Brook.
Parked at Seward Trailhead off Ampersand Road, Saranac Lake, NY
Hiked Blueberry Trail to intersection with Culkins Brook Truck Trail
Right on Culkins Brook Truck Trail to intersection with Culkins Brook Trail
Left on Culkins Brook Trail to Seward Range Trail
Right on Seward Range Trail to summit of Donaldson Mountain, Mount Emmons and back to summit of Seward Mountain
Continue on Seward Mountain Trail to intersection with Ward Brook Truck Trail
Right on Ward Brook Truck Trail to Ward Brook lean-to
Hiked up Ward Brook Truck Trail to intersection with Seymour Trail
Right on Seymour Trail to summit of Seymour Mountain and back
Left on Ward Brook Truck Trail to intersection with Blueberry Trail
Left on Blueberry Trail back to parking lot
Date: 13 & 14 August 2020 Distance: 22.6 miles Moving Time: 10:48:09 Pace: 28:40/mile Elevation Gain: 5994′
PART 2 – COLDEN, TABLE TOP, & PHELPS
The second day of the trip, after driving from our first hike, we lucked out on a parking spot at Heart Lake. We hiked in to Lake Colden, through the amazing Avalanche Lake, and lucked out again when we found a decent campsite near the Opalescent River. On day three, we hiked three mountains just north of Mount Marcy, all of which had amazing views! We lucked out a third time with a nice campsite near Marcy Dam. On the fourth day we hiked out before sunrise.
Parked at Heart Lake Program Center on Heart Lake Road, Lake Placid, NY
Hiked Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy Dam
Right on Avalanche Pass Trail to Lake Colden campsite
Back down Avalanche Pass Trail to intersection with Mount Colden Trail
Right on Mount Colden Trail to summit of Mount Colden and on to intersection with Lake Arnold Trail
Left on Lake Arnold Trail to intersection with Lake Arnold Crossover Trail
Right on Lake Arnold Crossover Trail to Indian Falls and on to intersection with Van Hoevenberg Trail
Left on Van Hoevenberg Trail to intersection with Tabletop Mountain Trail
Right on Tabletop Mountain Trail to summit of Table Top Mountain and back
Right on Van Hoevenberg Trail to intersection with Phelps Mountain Trail
Right on Phelps Mountain Trail to summit of Phelps Mountain and back
Right on Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy Dam campsite
Left on Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy Dam and back to parking lot
Date: 14, 15 & 16 August 2020 Distance: 20.8 miles Moving Time: 9:49:03 Pace: 28:19/mile Elevation Gain: 6234′
PART 3 – CASCADE & PORTER
On our last day of the trip we got an early start to hike a few more mountains before heading home. After starting in the dark we got to Cascade Mountain in time to see sunrise and cook some breakfast. We hit Porter Mountain on the way out and then made the long drive back to Maine.
Parked at Cascade Mountain Foot Trail parking off Cascade Road in Lake Placid, NY
Hiked Cascade Mountain Foot Trail to Summit of Cascade Mountain and back to intersection with Porter Mountain Trail
Left on Porter Mountain Trail to summit of Porter Mountain and back
Left on Cascade Mountain Foot Trail back to parking lot
Date: 16 August 2020 Distance: 5.9 miles Moving Time: 02:58:43 Pace: 30:03/mile Elevation Gain: 2391′
Each fall a couple of friends and I try to take a long weekend to do some backcountry hiking and camping. In 2016 we planned a multi-day hike in the Great Range in the Adirondacks in New York. For me, this was the start of a new peak list. Having recently finished the New England 4000 Footers, I was looking forward to the Adirondacks 46 High Peaks. So, we took a Thursday and Friday off and headed to New York.
For this hike we parked at Garden, hiked up to The Brothers, Big Slide Mountain and Yard Mountain, hiked down to Johns Brooks Lodge and then halfway up to the Wolfjaws to camp at Wolf Jaw campsite. On Friday we hiked up to the Great Range and traversed Lower Wolfjaw, Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong Mountain, The Gothics, Saddleback Mountain, and Basin Mountain and then hiked down to Slant Rock campsite. On Saturday we hiked up to Little Haystack and Mount Haystack before heading back to Garden Parking, following the valley out. The hike was over 24 miles and included 10,000 feet of elevation gain.
It was a five hour drive from where we lived to Keene Valley, New York, so we started in the dark on Thursday morning. We needed to rent a bear canisters so we stopped at The Mountaineer, an outdoors equipment shop, for the canister and some other supplies. I spilled my coffee down the front of my shirt on the drive, so I picked up a new shirt so I wouldn’t smell like food in bear country.