The Crooked Canes Journal

Viewing 21 of 70 - 2012


Van Dusen Perserve ~ Apr 19, 2012

Journal entry by Ken Gericke

Hi CCs....20 fellow hikers joined in a fun outing on a gorgeous spring day....sun, sun, sun, high 60s, no black flies...just perfect. Three cars from WCMC met with those who had driven directly to the trail head on West Mountain Road in Queensbury, and we really filled up the parking spaces of the Van Dusen Trail parking area. After the required chatting, hellos, and equipment checks, we were off up the marked trail. The Van Dusen Preserve is approximately 90 acres of the Queensbury Land Conservancy. Until 2003 when it was donated to Queensbury, the property had been owned continuously by the Van Duesen family dating back to the mid 1700s. The trail is a 1.9 mile lollypop shaped woodland path through varied hardwoods, pines and stone walls dating back to those early farming days.

We didn't stay on the marked path for long, picking up a side trail that headed towards Lower Butler Pond. We made a stop allowing Kirk to catch up, a late start due to a Dentist appointment. Jack took advantage of the time to clear a good sized downfall from the trail with his camp saw. With help from Lenore and Ed, Jack made short work of the log, but when it broke, it snapped back and caught Lenore a very hard blow to the knee. Fortunately, she wasn't badly hurt....what a trooper! Off again, we regrouped above Lower Butler pond dam.

The route remains fairly level for awhile, running along a ravine with the Butler Pond outlet stream below...very pretty woods and a small cascade to boot. Reaching Buckabee Road, 21 hikers walked about 1/2 mile east, not a single car in sight, to another unmarked trail for the return. We passed through a recently logged area, clear cut and scarred....many lamenting the need for responsible forestry.

Well, the 'fairly level' finally ran out and we headed up a steep side trail, with 200/300 feet of elevation gain in just 1/4 mile, to a lovely rock overlook for lunch. What a nice spot, gorgeous sun and breezes, with views to the south and west....West Mtn Ski area, Darling Mtn, and Lower Butler Pond, where we had recently passed, far below. As a bonus, we had a surprise Birthday celebration for Don McMahon and Tom Gibbs. Lenore brought candles, some scrumptous homemade brownies, and we sang Happy Birthday to our elder statesmen. How old are they? Were records kept in those days??

Back on the trail, carefully picking our way down the precipitous slope, we returned to the marked Van Dusen Preserve trail. Another 1 1/2 mile to go, we passed through beautiful forest, a few spring flowers, bluettes, and a couple areas where Hurricane Irene windshears had toppled some very large oaks and hemlocks. Finally, back at the parking area, a little tired, but happy and well satisfied by a fine day, with good friends, in our sensational Adirondacks.

Many Thanks to Tom, Don, Peter and Linda, Kirk and Claire, Lenore and Jack, Leon and Karen, Fran, Margaret, Bunny (new hiker), Ruth and Jim R, Nancy, Diane, Jim I, Karen Burke, and Ed.


4/21/12 - Wanderer . added 5 photos.

4/21/12 - Wanderer . added 3 photos.

12 photos

The trail crew...Ed, Jack and Lenore



Natures fungus gargoyle along the trail

Spillway at Butler Storage Reservoir - by Wanderer

Shoreline of Butler Storage Reservoir (not to be confused with Butler Pond) - by Wanderer

Falls on the Connecting Stream Between Butler Pond and Storage Reservoir - by Wanderer

Looking South From Overlook With West Mt. - Left and Storage Reservoir - Center - by Wanderer

Lunch (Partial Group) From L to R: Leon, Don, Bunny, Margaret, Jim I, Claire, Fran, Diane, Kirk, Linda, Karen Burke - by Wanderer

Don and Tom - Belated Birthday Celebration at Overlook - by Wanderer

The Trek Out - by Wanderer

Taking a Rest - by Wanderer

Viewing 21 of 70 - 2012


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