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Castle Rock - Adirondack Park

posted Apr 30, 2012, 9:26 AM by Phil Spitze   [ updated Apr 30, 2012, 10:24 AM ]
On a fantastic sunny day on 4/29 I set out on my second hike in the Adirondacks of New York State. For this outing, I chose Castle Rock, which offers some great exploration of the fallen rocks and boulders at the base of the cliff. More on that in a bit. But first, let's head up the trail.


There are two trails to chose from, a Southern route and a Northern route, marked by red and yellow disc markers. For this trip, I took the Southern route up and the Northern route down, creating a nice loop of 4 miles total. The first feature of the trail is this log bridge which crosses the stream you will follow most of the way back down.


Farther up the trail, you encounter this huge split rock - about 10 feet in height - which gives you a taste of the boulders to come.


As always, the forest offers a great chance for some macro photography. Here is some tri-colored fungi. I have to wonder if the different colors indicate different growing conditions over time.


Make a left turn and you see the path heading up to the "castle gates" as most guide books refer to the fallen rocks and boulders at the base of the cliff.


Lots of neat nooks and crannies to explore in this area...





Throughout many parts of the forest, there are these little yellow flowers growing and sporting what to me look like a beak.


Now, up to the summit via a couple of short but technical climbs and I found there is still some snow and ice hanging on to the last days of a cold spring.



These icicles were tinted from the particles picked up as the water seeped through this fallen and decaying log.


And, finally the summit!  Here is the view to the South, overlooking Blue Mountain Lake and its village on the far shore.


The view to the West and the peaks and ranges beyond.


As a bonus, I shot a short video of the last 30-40 feet before the summit to give you a real-world experience!

YouTube Video



Following the red markers, I made my way down and along the Northern route towards Chub pond. Many streams feed into and flow out of this body of water, so I always had the company of the sounds of running water.


Lots of little falls and trickles along the way to stop and photograph...



And, of course more subjects for macro shots. The ridge patterns of these leaves really appeal to me.


A triple cascade viewed from the trail above.


A neat little natural water slide along the rocks.


And the last forest cascade of the trip.



A truly excellent second trip into the Adirondack Park, and without any doubts I will be back!

Thank you, Mother Nature!

-PHIL