The Shanty Cliffs, NY

If you go west on Route 8 out of Wevertown NY, about five miles past the Eleventh Mountain trailhead, you’ll find a parking area near the confluence of Shanty Brook and the East Branch of the Sacandaga River.

Shanty Cliffs NY

From there you can catch nice glimpse of Shanty Cliffs and begin hiking toward the outcrop that hovers 700 feet above the road. This past weekend I was with former DEC forest ranger Steve Ovitt, looking for a hike that would let us enjoy the peaking foliage.

We started by walking down to the river for some easy, beautiful views. Then we set off up the west side of Shanty Brook.

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Hooper Garnet Mine, NY

Garnet mining is an important part of the history of the Gore Mountain region. And, right in our neighborhood, is an old abandoned garnet mine; the Hooper Mine on Garnet Hill.

Hooper Garnet Mine in NY

The garnet from this area was (and is) prized for the way it fractures, making it very valuable for abrasives like sandpaper. In 1878 the Barton family began mining on the backside of Gore Mountain.

Twenty years later Frank Hooper started his mining operation near Balm of Gilead Mountain. Hooper’s mine wasn’t as rich as Barton’s, but to some extent, he made up for it with ingenuity.

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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 the 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 drainages. It was an unmarked hunter’s path and bushwhack when I first skied it.

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