Get Acclimated!
Nov
30
2017

Goodbye warm-weather gear!

Sadly, on November 1, I hung the kayak and canoe in the garage, but I was still holding out for another bike outing which was scheduled for November 7. Unfortunately, as that date approached the nights grew colder and so did the days. Biking in 30-degree weather was not something our group wanted to do - so we changed plans!

Take a walk around Black Pond!
Take a walk and get acclimated!

Brr... get acclimated!

Once there is enough snow, we are eager to jump on the cross-country skis even in frigid temperatures — but getting into that mindset takes some work. We know to dress in breathable layers and to keep moving! However, this time of year, I need a little push. My friend Gretchen was our motivator for this outing, she had the location and the time planned and even knew the distance. After being inside for several days due to rain, Kathy, Trisa, and I were ready to join Gretchen in her proposed outing. My belief is you have to get acclimated, especially after experiencing our gorgeous fall weather. But, when the temperatures drop quickly, how do you get acclimated? You get outside — there is always something to enjoy!

Parking area on Keese Mills road

Meeting up!

Our meeting place was my old neighborhood — I have been there a lot lately on my bike! We met at 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 86 in Paul Smiths. Gretchen wanted to hear the highlights of what we'd find along the Keese Mills Road. I may have disappointed her — there were no stories of haunted houses or Big Foot sightings, just landmarks with funny names and a few cute stories. Growing up we made our own fun by riding bikes, hiking mountains, and just hanging out on someone's front porch as we did not have a movie theater or snack bar in our rural community. On occasion I was allowed to play baseball with my brothers and their friends, simply because I filled a spot on the field! I was not invited to partake in their hiking and camping adventures, therefore I never became familiar with the Black Pond Trail — today's destination. 

Walk the boards!
Walk the boards!

Trailhead

A short ride put us at the parking area at 12:40 p.m.. The trailhead is on the right hand side of the road, approximately 2.5 miles from Paul Smith's College. It was a bit nippy and when we got to the parking area I realized I had left my gloves and hat in my car!  Oh well, I had pockets, a hood on my jacket, my snacks and my camera!

Gretchen’s plan was for us to walk around Black Pond with a little detour to Long Pond. The loop around the 72-acre glacial Black Pond is 2.3 miles, the detour to Long Pond would only add another mile to our total distance. At the trailhead we headed clockwise around the pond. I have paddled in this area a few times, but had only walked on the trail between Black Pond and Long Pond with Trisa. Although that was a memorable little foray as I had stumbled on the walk and ended up paddling out with a very sore wrist, luckily, it was a short paddle.

Lean-to #1

View from lean-to #1
View from lean-to #1

We had only walked a short distance on the southern end of the pond when we spotted a privy off in the woods prior to reaching the first lean-to. We admired the lean-to and made comments about the high picnic table. It was a beautiful spot for a picnic. We continued to walk around the lake on the gently rolling, well-maintained path — taking special precaution to be careful on the numerous boardwalks, which were a bit slippery due to the recent rain.

Juveniles!


Hope this juevenile takes flight soon!

We were shocked to see a few juvenile loons on the pond! Kathy commented on how it is common for the juveniles to be rescued as they wait too long to head south. They require a runway just like a jet as they need to run about a quarter of a mile across the water in order to take flight. When they wait too long the ice prevents them from having a long enough runway. If they are not rescued, sadly they will freeze to death on the lake. As I am writing this blog, I am thinking I do need to visit the Loon Conservatory in Saranac Lake.

The trail!
The trail!

The moss along the trail glowed when the sun peeked out. There were many downed trees, but only one in our path. At one point, near some downed evergreens I stated it smelled like Christmas! We then passed Chokeberries bushes on the shoreline which again made me think of Christmas and the shopping which I need to do! 

Views

St. Regis Mountain
St. Regis Mountain

Near this area, Kathy pointed out that we had a good view of St. Regis Mountain, so of course I had to take a photo of the mountain that I had frequently climbed as a teen. I haven’t climbed it in years; it is on my list for 2018! On one hike we were caught in a horrible thunder and lightning storm on our way down. At that time there was a Ranger's cabin near a beautiful mountain brook where we took refuge on the screened porch until the storm subsided.  

While looking at the mountain and the pond, we spotted a small boat, I thought they must be cold on the water!

They look chilly, but happy!
They might be chilly, but they look happy!

Lean-to #2

It is a hike to the facilities at lean-to #3!
It is a hike to the facilities at lean-to #2!

We passed the intersection where we could do the loop around Black Pond or continue on to Long Pond, we continued on to Long Pond as planned to the 2nd lean-to. Gretchen headed to find the privy and exclaimed, "I found it! You have to be climb one of the 46 peaks to get to it!"  It was a good distance away and up a very steep hill! Not where I would want to venture in the middle of the night in the dark! This lean-to also had a rustic dock which we checked out.

Lean-to #3

Paul Bunyan tables!
 Paul Bunyan picnic tables!

Back at the intersection we crossed the footbridge which is between Black Pond and Little Black Pond to continue on the Black Pond loop. Across the bridge was the 3rd lean-to, this too had a large picnic table, I commented they must have been building it with Paul Bunyan in mind! At this site we noticed the beautiful signage indicating all directions! 

Footbridge separating Black Pond and Little Black Pond!
Footbridge between Black Pond and Little Black Pond

Woods and Water Trail!

On our way out we talked about coming back to explore this area more due to the number of trails. We were specifically interested in the Woods and Water trail which appeared to be wide. Upon getting home I searched the internet and learned the VIC property covers 3,000 acres and has 25 trails! The trails are for walking, traditional xc skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing! The Woods and Water trail is 3-miles long one way and a footbridge crosses a Heron Marsh! It sounds like a beautiful trail and I am anxious to ski it.


Can't wait to check out the Woods and Waters trail!

Our outing on this chilly day was perfect, just enough to get our bodies a little adjusted to even colder temperatures and an inspiration to get out more! The ladies were headed to Saranac Lake and so was I - this walk had worked up an appetite. Now, to decide which delicious spot to grab a bite to eat!

Get Acclimated!
Nov
30
2017

Goodbye warm-weather gear!

Sadly, on November 1, I hung the kayak and canoe in the garage, but I was still holding out for another bike outing which was scheduled for November 7. Unfortunately, as that date approached the nights grew colder and so did the days. Biking in 30-degree weather was not something our group wanted to do - so we changed plans!

Take a walk around Black Pond!
Take a walk and get acclimated!

Brr... get acclimated!

Once there is enough snow, we are eager to jump on the cross-country skis even in frigid temperatures — but getting into that mindset takes some work. We know to dress in breathable layers and to keep moving! However, this time of year, I need a little push. My friend Gretchen was our motivator for this outing, she had the location and the time planned and even knew the distance. After being inside for several days due to rain, Kathy, Trisa, and I were ready to join Gretchen in her proposed outing. My belief is you have to get acclimated, especially after experiencing our gorgeous fall weather. But, when the temperatures drop quickly, how do you get acclimated? You get outside — there is always something to enjoy!

Parking area on Keese Mills road

Meeting up!

Our meeting place was my old neighborhood — I have been there a lot lately on my bike! We met at 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 86 in Paul Smiths. Gretchen wanted to hear the highlights of what we'd find along the Keese Mills Road. I may have disappointed her — there were no stories of haunted houses or Big Foot sightings, just landmarks with funny names and a few cute stories. Growing up we made our own fun by riding bikes, hiking mountains, and just hanging out on someone's front porch as we did not have a movie theater or snack bar in our rural community. On occasion I was allowed to play baseball with my brothers and their friends, simply because I filled a spot on the field! I was not invited to partake in their hiking and camping adventures, therefore I never became familiar with the Black Pond Trail — today's destination. 

Walk the boards!
Walk the boards!

Trailhead

A short ride put us at the parking area at 12:40 p.m.. The trailhead is on the right hand side of the road, approximately 2.5 miles from Paul Smith's College. It was a bit nippy and when we got to the parking area I realized I had left my gloves and hat in my car!  Oh well, I had pockets, a hood on my jacket, my snacks and my camera!

Gretchen’s plan was for us to walk around Black Pond with a little detour to Long Pond. The loop around the 72-acre glacial Black Pond is 2.3 miles, the detour to Long Pond would only add another mile to our total distance. At the trailhead we headed clockwise around the pond. I have paddled in this area a few times, but had only walked on the trail between Black Pond and Long Pond with Trisa. Although that was a memorable little foray as I had stumbled on the walk and ended up paddling out with a very sore wrist, luckily, it was a short paddle.

Lean-to #1

View from lean-to #1
View from lean-to #1

We had only walked a short distance on the southern end of the pond when we spotted a privy off in the woods prior to reaching the first lean-to. We admired the lean-to and made comments about the high picnic table. It was a beautiful spot for a picnic. We continued to walk around the lake on the gently rolling, well-maintained path — taking special precaution to be careful on the numerous boardwalks, which were a bit slippery due to the recent rain.

Juveniles!


Hope this juevenile takes flight soon!

We were shocked to see a few juvenile loons on the pond! Kathy commented on how it is common for the juveniles to be rescued as they wait too long to head south. They require a runway just like a jet as they need to run about a quarter of a mile across the water in order to take flight. When they wait too long the ice prevents them from having a long enough runway. If they are not rescued, sadly they will freeze to death on the lake. As I am writing this blog, I am thinking I do need to visit the Loon Conservatory in Saranac Lake.

The trail!
The trail!

The moss along the trail glowed when the sun peeked out. There were many downed trees, but only one in our path. At one point, near some downed evergreens I stated it smelled like Christmas! We then passed Chokeberries bushes on the shoreline which again made me think of Christmas and the shopping which I need to do! 

Views

St. Regis Mountain
St. Regis Mountain

Near this area, Kathy pointed out that we had a good view of St. Regis Mountain, so of course I had to take a photo of the mountain that I had frequently climbed as a teen. I haven’t climbed it in years; it is on my list for 2018! On one hike we were caught in a horrible thunder and lightning storm on our way down. At that time there was a Ranger's cabin near a beautiful mountain brook where we took refuge on the screened porch until the storm subsided.  

While looking at the mountain and the pond, we spotted a small boat, I thought they must be cold on the water!

They look chilly, but happy!
They might be chilly, but they look happy!

Lean-to #2

It is a hike to the facilities at lean-to #3!
It is a hike to the facilities at lean-to #2!

We passed the intersection where we could do the loop around Black Pond or continue on to Long Pond, we continued on to Long Pond as planned to the 2nd lean-to. Gretchen headed to find the privy and exclaimed, "I found it! You have to be climb one of the 46 peaks to get to it!"  It was a good distance away and up a very steep hill! Not where I would want to venture in the middle of the night in the dark! This lean-to also had a rustic dock which we checked out.

Lean-to #3

Paul Bunyan tables!
 Paul Bunyan picnic tables!

Back at the intersection we crossed the footbridge which is between Black Pond and Little Black Pond to continue on the Black Pond loop. Across the bridge was the 3rd lean-to, this too had a large picnic table, I commented they must have been building it with Paul Bunyan in mind! At this site we noticed the beautiful signage indicating all directions! 

Footbridge separating Black Pond and Little Black Pond!
Footbridge between Black Pond and Little Black Pond

Woods and Water Trail!

On our way out we talked about coming back to explore this area more due to the number of trails. We were specifically interested in the Woods and Water trail which appeared to be wide. Upon getting home I searched the internet and learned the VIC property covers 3,000 acres and has 25 trails! The trails are for walking, traditional xc skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing! The Woods and Water trail is 3-miles long one way and a footbridge crosses a Heron Marsh! It sounds like a beautiful trail and I am anxious to ski it.


Can't wait to check out the Woods and Waters trail!

Our outing on this chilly day was perfect, just enough to get our bodies a little adjusted to even colder temperatures and an inspiration to get out more! The ladies were headed to Saranac Lake and so was I - this walk had worked up an appetite. Now, to decide which delicious spot to grab a bite to eat!

Crafting an art evening
Calling All Rock Hounds

E-Newsletter Signup Form

About The Author

Blog Topics...

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
The upcoming date less then 1 day.
The Development Board regular meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Village Offices, 2nd floor, at 39 Main Street. Development Board Members...
Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
The upcoming date less then 1 day.
St. Bernard's School students will be caroling around town on Tuesday, December 19, 2017! With little legs, we will only be able to carol on Broadway (as far as Bloomingdale Avenue) and...
Thursday, December 21st, 2017
To event remaining 3 days
Volunteers are needed to help with the Adirondack Snowshoe Fest, slated for February 24 and 25, 2018. The event planning committee will be available to answer questions on December 21st from 7:30-8:...
Friday, December 22nd, 2017
To event remaining 3 days
The lights will be bright on Broadway for Friday nights in December starting the 1st until the 22nd.  The following businesses will be open till 8 pm:  Book Nook Goody Goody's...

Recent Blog Posts...

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
Lets do this! With less than a week until Christmas, its time to check those final things off your gift list. In Saranac Lake, shopping downtown offers a low-pressure experience and so many...
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
If a game of King of the Hill that ends in tears and a handful of snow down your collar is your typical day of winter-family-fun — let me help you out! Saranac Lake is bursting...
Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
New Year's Eve is a special, even unique, holiday. It is the only one which celebrates both the old, and the new. It is a time to look backward and forward. To take the stress off of such...
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
The Adirondacks are a geological treasure chest. They are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the world's largest continental shields. These mountains, rivers, and lakes...
Fly to Saranac Lake via Cape Air The Adirondack Regional Airport, your "Gateway to the Adirondacks," provides quick and convenient access to and from Logan International in Boston, MA. Daily flights are provided...
Woods and Water Defined by nature, recreation, heritage, learning, creativity, and cuisine, we invite you to explore our historic routes and waterway connections.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Interested In
Sign Me Up!