Hour Pond and the New Hour Pond Trail

Hour Pond is a southern Adirondack destination with majestic views of Bullhead and Hour Pond Mountain. But what draws me to Hour Pond most is the new Hour Pond Trail from Thirteenth Lake.

Paddling Thirteenth Lake

Like many others, this adventure started on Thirteenth Lake. Along the northwestern shore, we paddled beyond Peaked Mountain Brook to the next inlet stream coming off Hour Pond Mountain. We beached our boat, found the red trail and started climbing.

This route is old and must have been a trail back in the day. It passes through a narrow slot on the height-of-land between the Thirteenth and Hour Pond drainages.  It was a largely unmarked hunter’s path / backcountry bushwhack when I first skied it.

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Balm of Gilead Mountain Cliffs, NY

I’ve wanted to post about the cliffs on Balm of Gilead Mountain for quite a while now. I go up there regularly, but never seem to get pictures that do the view justice.

Balm-of-Gilead-Mountain-Sign

My last walk was no different, except this time I’m posting.

For me the hike starts from the Garnet Hill Lodge Ski Center in North River, NY. It’s not an official trailhead, but it’s probably ok to park here in the summer when lodge demand for parking is lower than it is in winter.  If you’d like to use this access point, I’d recommend asking for permission in the ski shop or in the lodge.

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The Peaked Mountain Pond Trail, NY

The Peak Mountain hike at the northern end of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness is normally reserved for clear days, to take advantage of sweeping views from the summit. But with forecasts calling for thunderstorms later in the day, I was looking for a close-to-home hiking option, so I could be at the trailhead early.

Twin Pines campsite on 13th Lake.
Balm of Gilead from Thirteenth Lake

I hadn’t been up the Peaked Mountain Pond Trail in several years, so I decided to go for it. The morning dawned clear, and I had visions of snagging fleeting views from the top. I made it to the trailhead at the end of the Beach Road at 7am.

As I walked along the shore of Thirteenth Lake, I could see that Balm of Gilead summit was in and out of the mist, and I knew the odds of seeing anything from the summit of Peaked were slim.

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