The Crooked Canes Journal


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Saddles Tract ~ May 2, 2018

Journal entry by Tim Ward



Surprisingly, on May 2nd, we had 13 people show up willing to risk all in a area well known to be notoriously over run by an out of control number of Big Foot.  Not only that but no sooner had we got under way we found ourselves bogged down in a swamp when it was noticed the trail makers had overlooked a dry ridge just 50 feet away as a better option, maybe typical in Whitehall. Thereafter a boring section was tolerated for maybe ½ mile then a pleasant dry ridge with views of the Taconics was ascended climaxing with a sudden short steep rise to the main white blazed trail.  This trail followed the main NE-SW ridge with good Vermont overlooks before it steeply climbed North Saddle Mountain with its surprising views of South Bay, Diameter and the impressive mass of mountains east of Lake George.  Because of the recent rains the brooks were full.  The South Bay Valley features many waterfalls from straight freefalls over 100 feet high to steep open cataracts several hundred feet high to so many more of every description.  Some day this may be noticed and more appreciated.  We descended to Lake Champlain and Devil’s Den, a terrarium like bowl featuring a curtain falls, deep overhanging ledge and a yew, pine, and hemlock rain forest below.  Another lovely flume stream was followed up to a woods road which we walked passing an abandoned farm to the Ward’s homestead.

The buds were all swelling this pleasant warm day promising a green explosion soon but at least the cool April allowed us to enjoy a rich carpet of varied colored mayflowers nodding in the spring breeze in season.

Hopefully soon this 2500 acre State Forest will have a more extensive well marked and maintained trail system.  The Saddles Lot, just like Whitehall, has potential as so many say.

5/7/18 - Diane Wisell added 3 photos.

5/10/18 - Wanderer . added 23 photos.

26 photos



Cliffside Cuties enjoy lunch with a view. - added by Diane



Tall waterfall on the far side of South Bay along a road named Rattlesnake Way. Really, Rattlesnake Way! - added by Diane



Bigfoot DOES inhabit the Saddles. And he was watching us! Just look at his snarly bad-frame-of-mind lip! - added by Diane



Beginning the long and steady “up” from the trailhead - added by Wanderer



Tim leading us thru the first obstacle of the day - added by Wanderer



Yes – there was more “up”! - added by Wanderer



Checking out the views east from the first overlook. I think they believe they could see Mt. Washington, NH if they looked hard enough. - added by Wanderer



View of Clear Pond (?) - added by Wanderer



Wetland alongside the trail - added by Wanderer



Checking out a small pond while enjoying a break - added by Wanderer



Trailside rock formation - added by Wanderer



Selecting the perfect lunch spot - added by Wanderer



Close-up of the fire tower and windmill on Black Mtn. - 7+ miles NW from our lunch spot - added by Wanderer



View NW across South Bay with the Mtns. on the E side of Lake George on the horizon. L to R – Sleeping Beauty, Erebus and Black Mtns. (please correct me if I am wrong) - added by Wanderer



Cliffs of Sleeping Beauty Mtn. – 6+ miles W from our lunch spot - added by Wanderer



Long cascade and waterfall across South Bay from our lunch spot - added by Wanderer



Cliffs of “The Diameter” from our lunch spot - added by Wanderer



Beginning our long and steep descent to South Bay - added by Wanderer



Another overlook – NNW view– South Bay below with Sugarloaf Mtn. in the distance - added by Wanderer



Continuing down – on a narrow ledge! - added by Wanderer



Hiker jam on another ledge - added by Wanderer



What was Scott thinking? - added by Wanderer



Massive rock walls lined our descent - added by Wanderer



Scott must have told Tim that it was the easy way - added by Wanderer



All we need is the epitaph to be inscribed – any suggestions? - added by Wanderer



Boardwalk to Mary and Tim’s place - added by Wanderer




Attendees:  Diane & Kurt, Margie, Fran, Scott, Jayne, Barbara, Bob, Denis, Dan, Jim R., Peter, Bigfoot and our guide Tim

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