Friday, May 11, 2012

Finding Duck Pond - Part 1

I was spending the Easter weekend up at the farm and celebrating Easter by hiking in the magnificent Santa Clara Tract of the Adirondacks with my four youngest dogs. I'd just hiked the Canoe Carry down to the St. Regis River and the access trail to Madawaska Pond although No Trespassing signs prevented me from reaching the pond. I'd wanted to hike St. Regis Mountain but was having problems with weakness in my legs, presumably a lingering side effect of a drug the doctor had me try. But there was still a nearby hike I'd tried last year but wound up on the wrong trail - Duck Pond. I turned at this sign onto the oddly named Four Mile Road. It reads, at the bottom of the sign, "Caution: Rough Rd:"

Four Mile Road is less a road than a trail and, I've read, some people hike it instead of driving it. But it wasn't really all that bad. It was, however, incredibly narrow and brambles and tree branches scraped both sides of my car as we passed through the forest. It was warm, so I rolled the windows down. Daphne and Clover watched out the window at nearby Azure Mountain:

I stopped to photograph what the trail guide called an oxbow, a channel on the St. Regis River flood plain which had been severed from the main current when the river washed out a new shortcut:

"C'mon, Dad. Aren't we going to get out of the car and hike again?":

I drove past the gate which had turned out to be the wrong trail last year and parked at the end of the road. There was another gate, this one surely the gateway to the Duck Pond Trail:

It soon became apparent that this trail was not heavily used or meticulously maintained as windfall trees blocked it in many places. This was fine with me. I liked lonesome wilderness trails without lots of other people:

More and more windfalls. I could understand a wind burst taking down lots of trees, but these had all been dead when they fell. The bigger question was what was killing these relatively young trees? I guess I'll never know:

We hadn't gone very far when I saw Duck Pond through the trees:

Duck Pond sat deep down in a sort of hole formed by the surrounding eskers. An esker is a serpentine ridge of gravel, believed to have been formed by streams under or in glacial ice many eons ago:

I didn't see any easy route down to the water's edge so we walked as near to it as we could. That's an esker to to the left, by the way:

Duck Pond was a quietly lovely Adirondack lake, an unspoiled gem which few people knew existed. I'll post more about it tomorrow:


  1. What a beautiful dog! Charming posture, and I love dogs with curly hair.

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    1. Seamus is a giant of a dog, but gentle and sweet natured. He's good with everybody and with other animals. He's also the most intelligent dog I've ever encountered. He's a purebred Poodle although he's neutered and not registered.