Weekend Getaway in the High Peaks

My wife, our pooch Crosby and I were in the great Adirondack North Country for a weekend. With lakes surrounded by mountains practically wherever you look, it was the perfect venue for a nice, relaxing weekend filled with some great hiking.

high-peaks-dog

We bagged Cascade and Porter on Saturday afternoon once the light mist subsided. The day turned out quite nice. The weather improved dramatically from the morning and while it stayed cool, the clouds broke and the views from the top were outstanding.

They say Cascade is the easiest of the 46ers. But it’s not an easy hike compared to most mountains I have hiked in the Catskills or the Greens. The terrain is more rugged, and at times, the trail is little more than a path of boulders through the forest.

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Saddleback Mountain Hike

Last month we visited beautiful Rangeley, Maine, home to Saddleback Mountain. The area is also known as the High Peaks region and has eight of Maine’s fourteen 4000-foot peaks. We rented a cabin at Hunters Cove on Rangeley Lake.

Saddleback-view

The Saddleback Mountain base lodge is eight miles from Rangeley’s main street and sits at 2400 feet. There are two ways up the mountain, 5.1 miles on the Appalachian Trail or two miles up the main face of the ski area.

We chose the ski trail. The hike starts at the beautiful base lodge and follows the green-rated Wheeler and the blue-rated Gray Ghost to the top of the Rangeley Double. We continued up the Tri Color to the top of the Kennebago Quad. There is a short, narrow trail to the summit from just above the quad.

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Sutton on a Sunny Afternoon

I tossed the hiking shoes in my trunk as an afterthought while heading to Quebec, but then quickly considered it to be the right decision. Unlike skiing or hiking, climbing is not the best way to familiarize yourself with a new place, so it made sense to fall back on the classic activity while in the Sutton region of Quebec.

Sutton-prive

This charming area, known as the Canton l’Est to the Quebecois (aka the Eastern Townships to us), is like a French speaking mirror of the Green Mountains on the other side of the border, though the mountains are not as tall as the US section of the spine, and they don’t stretch out in the same north-south orientation.

So while these peaks aren’t as rugged, they do feel at least as remote. From any peak in the area you can see rolling hills stretching in all directions. The mountains were also sculpted by the same glacial forces as those that cut Jay Peak and Mansfield and many share the same pyramid-shaped summit.

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