Hiking Indian Head

Hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday weekend! It really is still summer because the weather here has been quite hot and amazing. Yesterday, Christine and I wanted to do an easy hike so we decided on Indian Head, a spot in the high peaks that is not a high peak but has an amazing view. We left Albany at 7:30 and drove up to the Ausable Club Parkin lot in Keene since that’s where the trail for Indian Head starts. The hike begins at the AMR gate (like many of the other hikes I’ve done).

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The hike itself is mostly just a dirt road walk. It wasn’t too exciting. Until the Ausable Club shuttle driver pulled over and told us that there was a BEAR up ahead in the beaver pond! He said the bear was young and wouldn’t bother us because it was far enough away. Sure enough, we continued down the road and when we got the beaver pond, there he was!

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Its hard to see, but the black blob in the middle of the picture is a black bear! It was the first time I had seen a bear hiking. I knew it would happen sooner or later because I’m out in the woods a lot. Bears are active in this area so it’s good to be cautious! He started running away and climbed right up a tree. Too funny.  I can’t believe we saw a bear!

Anyway, four miles of walking down the road later, we came to a trail on the left right before we got to Ausable Lake.

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The trail to Indian head was less than a mile up and soon enough we hit the junction for Gothic Window.

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Gothic Window is a clearing through the trees where you can see Gothics. But there’s a much better view just head on Indian Head itself.

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Christine and I had both been dying to get to Indian Head. The views from the cliff are iconic and we’ve seen them for ages all over the internet. One photo was even my iPhone background. Steeping onto the lookout cliff was surreal.

You can’t even believe what are you looking at! Its just breathtaking.

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You can see upper and lower Ausable Lake, along with Sawteeth, Gothics, Armstrong, Upperwolfjaw and Lower Wolfjaw on the right.

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Gothics and Pyramid.

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Also, Cloudline sent me a pair of their technical hiker socks to try out on my hikes.

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What I love about Cloudline wool socks:

They are made of premium merino wool. Their merino wool blend naturally regulates moisture, temperature, and has antibacterial properties that resist odor. Also, they are made in the USA which is always a nice bonus! The socks are thick and cozy! They may have been a tad bit too warm for a hot 80 degree day in the mountains, but I can’t wait to wear them when snowshoeing and hiking this winter! Their technical hiker socks run $20 a pair on their website and are currently having a free shipping promo for labor day weekend!

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Extremely happy feet! These socks are also available on Amazon!

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Anyway, Christine and I sat at the top of Indian Head for a while, ate our lunch and took a bunch of crazy pictures since we had the summit to ourselves the entire time.

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It was a day well spent! I would HIGHLY recommend this hike. The hardest part is the distance since you are walking: 8 miles total out and back on the dirt road. The trail itself up to Indian Head was easy.

Indian Head
Total Distance 9.3 miles RT
Total hiking time 5 hours 13 minutes (includes long break on top)
Ascent 1,552′
Elevation 2,634′

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Black Mountain Firetower

Looking for a nice, easy hike not too far from the Capital Region? Look no further! Yesterday Jona and I hiked Black Mountain, a hike not too far from Lake George. At 2,665 ft., Black Mountain is the highest mountain in the Lake George region. Not only is there a firetower at the top (closed to the public), there is a power generating wind turbine! I didn’t realize that until we got up there so it was a nice surprise.

We had a late start and parked at the lot on Pike Brook Road at around 1:30PM. I think this may have been my latest hike start, but it was a short one so we weren’t worried at all.  The first mile or so is on a fire road and then the trail begins to climb gradually.

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We took one short break for water but made it to the summit in 1 hour, 10 minutes! The summit is 2.9 miles from the parking lot.

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There were gorgeous views of Lake George to be seen.

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Wind turbine.

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Solar panels and firetower.

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We stopped for a few minutes to have a snack and enjoy the view then headed down the trail behind the firetower to do the loop back to the car.

The other side of the mountain had some nice lookout points to the other side of Lake George.

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This trail was a lot more interesting, but was a bit overgrown because it is probably a lot less used, except by this guy.

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Eventually we came to a junction to take us to Black Mt. Point (trailhead accessible only by boat), or to Black Mt. Pond. We went to the ponds.

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So pretty! There is a lean-to right on the pond that would make an excellent camping spot! Someone must have just left because there were embers still in the firepit.

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Lovely trail by the pond.

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From here you can almost see the firetower on top of Black Mt, the one on the right. It looks like a tall tree.

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It was a lovely hike and enjoyable walk in the woods.

Black Mountain Loop
Distance 7.1 miles
Elevation 2,667 ft
Elevation gain 1,272 ft
Total time including stops 3 hrs, 41  min
Firetower challenge 6/28

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Snowshoeing at Five Rivers

Yesterday Christine and I went for a short snowshoe adventure at Five Rivers. We only had about 45 minutes of daylight to work with, but we did have a special bonus–the full moon!

We even saw some deer munching on something under the snow. I didn’t get any pictures of them because they wouldn’t have come out, but it was pretty neat.

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We probably wandered around about a mile on the trails. It was fun!
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