The subtitle of this entry would have to be: “or, How we got completely lost from the start and still ended up in the right place despite a bit of trespassing.”
Also, there is an important holiday message at the end.
OK Slip Falls is a brand new trail in the Adirondacks. I was up visiting the folks in the middle of Autumn, the leaves had mostly changed and I was up for some hiking. I always let my mother pick the hike, as she knows the trails better than I do since I was only visiting and she lives there and hikes all the trails. It’s a good bit of sense. So she picked this brand new trail with a waterfall in it that her friend’s daughter had hiked earlier in the week and had written down directions for the hike. It wasn’t a long one, about 5 miles total. However, the directions were a little vague on the starting point. It said there were lots of No Trespassing signs, but that the park had newly bought the land so it was alright. It neglected to say there were two of these properties right next to each other.
Yes, we picked the wrong one, but no one was home to correct us, and we went off into the woods looking for the first part of the trail that was a logging road. After about a half hour of following a game trail (we found a hunting tower) we found the log road and began the hike for real. One thing troubled me on the log road. It seemed to be mostly downhill. This means that when we were leaving, we’d have to walk all the way back up it. Not a good prospect and we did all spend a good chunk of our time on the way out cursing the never-ending hill road.
After a long time on the log road (I think it was 36 telephone poles or so), we found the path into the forest that would lead to the falls. Supposedly there is a loop if you wanted to go to the bottom of the falls and then climb out and come back. We were not about to try that (I only hike a few times per year right now and everyone else knew their limits), so we took the main path, or the one on the right.
Since the path is new, this was not an easy hike. There was a lot of climbing over fallen trees and keeping an eye out for roots and stumps in the newly fallen leaves. Also, since it had rained a few days before, you had to be careful not to slip on the leaves or rocks in small creeks that we passed over. The markings on the path were sparse, so there were definite moments we questioned if we were going in the right direction. Of course, that was about when we’d find another marker, so on we’d go. Right before the falls we entered a maze of twisting and turning paths and markers. Without them, we’d probably never have guessed the right way. But then the trees opened up on our lunch spot.
If we had wanted to continue going forward there was a very steep path covered in nettles, so we opted to turn around and go back the way we came. This included cursing the never-ending hill.
Once we got back to the car, we drove down the road to see if there was another entrance. And there was, complete with a sign in book (another thing we hadn’t seen on our hike. Oops). So we knew for next time if we ever want to hike it again.
On a side note, with the holidays coming, I have designed two calendars of various shots. The first is of NYC – mostly the parks. The second is the Adirondacks. Please go here for more info.
Next week: Some views of Gore Mountain during the Harvest Festival.