What exactly is the trifecta, well, it’s nothing official by any means, but something I made up a few days ago. I would paddle Panther Marsh (unofficial name of wetland east of Panther Mountain), then paddle Panther Pond, and then hike Panther Mountain. The sky was free of clouds but there was a slight cool breeze in the air, sounded and felt like a perfect autumn day.
I started with Panther Marsh, again just an unofficial name I gave this body of water. While parking on the opposite side of the road, I was grateful that there was ample room for a safe unload and reloading of my boat. I humped it up over my shoulder than over the guard rail at roadside. It was a bit wet getting into the boat, because the launch I found to be a tad tricky. But once I was on the water it was all good. The marsh on many maps is a pond, but in all reality it is more like a river running through a wetland. I meandered through the open patches and enjoyed the unique view of Panther Mountain above me. I played around weaving through the open water and lily pads, I found many dead ends, but the area is unique and sure to house a moose someday.
I paddled back to the car and loaded up my boat to make my way a bit further up the road to Panther Pond. The carry to Panther Pond was an easy couple hundred feet, all downhill. Again the launch was a bit wet and cold, but not too bad. I didn’t spend too much time on this body of water, just enough to check out the nice view of Panther Mountain looming about 800’ feet above the water. This pond is very calm and reflective, but too bad the roar of Route 3 is so close to the edge.
I loaded my boat for the last time, got a large drink, grabbed my camera and started toward Panther Mountain, which is right across the road. The hike, just as I remembered it, started climbing right from the road. The trail is in such nice shape with dry conditions it’s always a pleasure to revisit. The pines towered over me as I made my way to the small balanced boulder along the trail.
After a final push through the hardwoods and over a semi-steep section I was standing on the rock slab summit of Panther Mountain.
After a few pictures I opted to head off-trail and right for Panther Pond, which I could see directly below me. After I got off the small ledge I was in open woods with wide open slopes in front of me, giving me many interesting views out toward Tupper Lake and the Seward Range. Once I was in the trees the views subsided but the forest stayed friendly. Quickly I was back on the foot trail about 0.1 miles from the trailhead.
Interested in paddling these quaint locations but don’t have a boat, maybe you want to hike Panther Mountain but need hiking boots, check out a local outfitters for rentals and gear. Want a paddling lesson or a guided trip; come see me at a local guide service for details.