Sunday, October 24, 2010

Martin Dunham Reservoir Hike - Part 1

I woke up one Sunday morning in October, did my daily chores and decided that I really should go hiking somewhere. But it seemed as if I'd already done all the trails which are reasonably close and not too difficult. I got out my trail notes and began picking through them. I found a map I'd printed out from the internet of the trails in Grafton Lakes State Park. I'm quite familiar with the park in some ways, but have never hiked its trails. I then noticed a trail around Martin Dunham Reservoir. This reservoir is across the highway from the main park and mostly known only to the locals. I felt certain that I would find few if any other people on that trail. So I loaded the four hiking dogs into the car and drove to Grafton, New York. If you click to enlarge this picture, you'll see some of their happy yet anxious faces in the car windows:

Indeed, no one else was around anywhere. No other cars were parked along the road. The autumn colors blazed brightly around the perimeter of the lake:

I also figured the terrain would be fairly level. This was beginning to look like it would be a wonderful hiking experience. The dogs and I began our hike and I, confident that we were alone in this wilderness, let the dogs off the leash and did not fuss at them. The puppies were not too bad and Seamus, as is his custom, mostly just walked by my side:

A photo op with a squirming armload of Papillon puppies:

47 seconds of dogs playing as we walk the leaf strewn trail:

The first mile or two of the trail followed the shoreline and the views were many and stunning:

The dogs had no lack of drinking water or wet paws:

It was developing into a golden, sunny day:

Grafton sits high up on the Rensselaer Plateau and this State Park is not far from Dyken Pond Nature Preserve, the site of several recent hikes with the dogs. The morning air was chilly, but both the hiking and a hooded sweatshirt took care of that. Warm dogs helped also:

The forest types varied from one spot to another. We walked through beach/maple forest into hemlock forest into mixed spruce/pine and back again. Always on our left was the shimmering Dunham Reservoir. But we were just beginning our hike. I'll post more tomorrow and in the days to come:

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