The public is invited on all trips unless otherwise indicated.
Questions about outings? Contact Marianne Hebert, Vice-Chair - Outings
April - June, 2012
Contact Bill Mueller about Outings
March 25 (Sunday) McKenzie Mt Dana Chudzinski (TL), Brian Baston, Bruce Brownlee. Hit the trailhead about 9:00 to overcast skies. First part of the trail followed the jackrabbit ski trail. Wet in spots but overall trail was in good shape with gradual grades. Trail started to steepen when we turned onto the McKenzie trail, a small increase in grade at first but increasingly steep. By the time we summited, visibility was near zero. Having a great group more than made up for it.
April 7 (Saturday) Church Pond Bushwhack
We hiked in from Rt. 56 at the old trail entrance (now overgrown) near Fox Marsh, following state land to the head of the marsh and crossed a wet area into the big hemlocks, spruces and yellow birches of the Church Pond tract. Over a few more hills and valleys, following the compass, we reached Church Pond with its big white pines and a sheltered spot for lunch. After lunch, an exploratory trip took us along an esker south of the pond and into a firm bog with some frozen pieces. Along the way were many bear scats full of beech nuts (so at least some of the beeches are still surviving). Backtracking, we passed through more beautiful groves of hemlock, birch, maple and spruce. The trip just whetted the appetite for more exploring.
Left photo, L-R: Doug Dominy, TL Tom VandeWater, Duncan Cutter, David Katz, Brad Lapoint, Bill & Pat Mueller, Doug Chamberlain, Anne Burnham, John Wood, Tom Ortmeyer. Foreground: Anne’s dog, Freddy. Photo: John Barron.
Right photo: John Barron. Photo: David Katz
April 21 (Saturday) Spring Wild Flower walk Tom & Ann Ortmeyer (TLs), Marianne Hebert, Dan Foster. We braved a cool rainy day and walked the Clarkson woods. Sightings included trout lily, red trillium, white trillium, painted trillium, dutchmen’s britches, Canada mayflower and bluets. We also found a pileated woodpecker who was intent on his bugs and paid us no attention. We then stopped at the observation tower from which we saw heron’s nests but no herons yet.
April 22 (Sunday) Catamount Earth Day Hike
On top of foggy Catamount we found some snow. Half the group gave their nature reading there. Then we visited the shore of Carry Falls Reservoir, which was almost full, and the other half gave their readings there. The rain held off. Several participants were glad to discover these trails.
Back row, L-R: Gene Kaczka; Jean Giblin; Carolyn Kaczka; Jaeyoon Yang; Bill Mueller; Dan Foster; Eugene Li; Martha Orologio; Dorothea Gelb; Mia Yang; Simon & Beth Robinson; Jaehyun Yang.
Front row, L-R: TLs Susan & John Omohundro; Yuzhuo Li; Connie Martin; Tom Ortmeyer.
Photo: John Barron.
April 28 (Saturday) Everton Falls Cleanup with the Nature Conservancy - Duncan & Lois Cutter (TLs), Carolyn Kaczka, Richard & Susanne Arens, Bill Mueller, Terri Persons, Doug Munro. We usually plan the Everton Falls cleanup for the last Saturday in April to avoid snow and black flies. No black flies, but there was a late snowfall that hindered pickup of roadside trash. All of us enjoyed walking the Hardwood Trail, and as the temperature crawled above freezing the snow moved from powdery to crunchy. We lunched on a fallen spruce log that was out of the wind on this beautiful sunny day. There was talk of canoeing opportunities from or to this site, including the 18-mile trip from the outlet of Meacham Lake to Everton Falls.April 29 (Sunday) Red Sandstone Trail Work Day John & Susan Omohundro (TLs), Niall & John Barron, Ron Johnson, Tom Ortmeyer, Jeff & Rebecca Miller, John Dewar & Sandy McCloy, Dick Mooers, eight students from Canton College’s Outing Club and four students from Potsdam College’s Circle K. We formed seven separate project crews, each headed by a veteran trail worker, and all finished their tasks in about two hours. Switchbacks, rock hops, bridges, and side-cutting. The weather was perfect for work: blue skies and cool breezes and no bugs.
April 29 (Sunday) Spring “Mud Season” Potluck Party
A couple of dozen people enjoyed the traditional spring potluck dinner at Potsdam Presbyterian Church. Betsy Robinson gave a very informative presentation about the career and accomplishments of oceanographer and environmentalist Rachel Carson. On a recent visit to Cambridge, MA Betsy came upon a mural paying tribute to Rachel.
The mural memorializes women activists killed by cancer (including Rachel Carson), celebrates political activism against cancer, condemns environmental carcinogens, and insists on the right to a clean environment.
Photo: Betsy’s friend Erica Chilson.
May 5 (Saturday) Azure Mountain Hike and Spring Clean-Up Mike McLean (TL), Carolyn Kaczka, Marianne Hebert, John Wilson. A nice day for a hike and a bit of trail work. Reorganized the sign-in register, brushed in some false herd paths, put up new trail markers, and with the help of some Potsdam boy scouts we ran into on the summit, moved most of the rock pile on the summit to areas needing erosion protection.
May 6 (Sunday) Downerville State Forest Hike
The group explored a newly-developed network of hiking and mountain biking trails in Downerville State Forest along the north branch of the Grasse River. The trails were constructed by volunteers, most of whom were students and faculty of St. Lawrence University or members of the St. Lawrence Mountain Bike Association, with the cooperation of the New York State DEC.
L-R at Harper Falls: TL Marsha Akins, John WIlson, Carolyn Kaczka, Janice Lee and Mike Secone (foreground), TL Jim Akins (background).
Photo: John Barron.
May 12 (Saturday) Peavine Swamp Trail Hike
The “Peavine Nine” (if you include the two dogs, Max and Heidi) enjoyed ideal weather for a short outing. The palette of spring greens (some closer to yellow) displayed their youthful exuberance; the forest floor was carpeted with trout lilies, trillium (painted, in particular) and more. The group split in two, with one cohort taking the long side of Loop 3 from the Ranger School to the lean-to (about 4.7 miles round trip) and the other the short side (3.0 miles RT).
L-R, at the Ranger School boat launch near the Peavine Swamp trailhead: Junko Geddes, Neal Burdick (TL), Marilyn Levitan, John Wilson, Dan Foster, Marianne Hebert.
Photo: John Barron.
May 19 (Saturday) Lampson Falls to Harper Falls Bushwhack Ann & Armond Spencer (TLs), Ken Williams, Ron Larsen, John Wilson. It was a nice (warm) day and the falls were in great form. We achieved our goal after some rough going along the river. One participant, however, was heard to say “There I’ve done it twice, I don’t have to do it again.”
May 20 (Sunday) Dial and Nippletop TL Dana Chudzinski, Alicia Schantz, Paul Strobell, Paul Etu. The hike began at 7AM on a day that forecast “clear and hot.” We began to climb steady for the first mile or so. Then a lot of up and down to the summit of Dial with great views. After a quick break, down the col then up to Nippletop, again with great views. Temperature on top was 86 degrees, no breeze, clear as a bell. Great day.
May 26 (Saturday) Big Slide and the Brothers
We had perfect weather for this very scenic loop with unfolding vistas of the Great Range. We met several people we knew from the Long Island Chapter out on a trail maintenance sweep; so far as we could tell the trail needed no maintenance that day - the conditions were excellent. Several of us stayed overnight to celebrate Peter and Toni’s receiving their finisher’s certificates at the 46ers banquet on Sunday.
L-R on a ledge of The Brothers: TL John Barron, Lenka Halamkova, Brian Baston, Alicia Schantz, Peter Blood, Toni Towle.
Photo: June Fait.
May 27 (Sunday) Third Annual Spring Waterfall Hike Blair Madore (TL), Margaret & Cole Madore; Cherie, David & Julian Heuser; Lila & Charlie Hunnewell; Suzanne, Donnie, Monique & Hunter Bosjolie. Our third annual waterfall hike went off without a hitch. The Copper Rock Falls trail follows the south branch of the Grasse River along continuous rapids, rocks and waterfalls. Although the water level was not high it was still spectacular. Everyone enjoyed lazing by the waterfalls in the warm sunshine. There was a very social atmosphere to this hike as we all made new friends. Especially impressive was 3 year-old Hunter, who hiked the whole way (1.4 miles) by himself without getting cranky - well, not until he fell into the water! A special treat for all were the many (50+) Pink Lady Slipper orchids we saw along the trail.
June 2 (Saturday) Orchid Hunt at the Ranger School: Pink Lady Slipper Adventure Bill & Pat Mueller (TLs), Richard & Susanne Arens, Ellen & Emily Woodworth, Tyler Sweeny. Pink Lady slippers were indeed in abundance on the Esker Trail on this cloudy, slightly drizzly but pleasantly cool day. Many other wildflowers were spotted, including clintonia and jack-in-the-pulpit. We were treated to a view in the Ranger School’s main classroom of the wonderful new forest/wildlife mural commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the school.
June 10 (Sunday) Goodnow Mountain
Six adults and two children enjoyed this moderate hike. There was a fire tower to scramble up, a possibly haunted barn near the summit, and a great view. We could identify some small mountains and water features to the south and a great many of the High Peaks to the north. We deemed the water too cold for a swim afterward, but ice cream was popular.
On rocks, L-R: Brian Baston, Sylvia Haq.
On platform, L-R: Liang Zhang, Jan Halamek Sr, Jan Halamek Jr, Vojtech Halamek, Lenka Halamkova.
Photo: TL John Barron.
June 16 (Saturday) Cranberry Lake - Newton Falls - Wanakena Bike Ride
We had good weather and a good group for this 28-mile road cycling trip. We started at the Cranberry Lake Civic Center and followed the Oswegatchie River to Newton Falls, a nice scenic route along the river. From Newton Falls we cut over to Route 3 and back to Wanakena for a catered lunch in the gazebo. We enjoyed the view of the Oswegatchie coming into Cranberry Lake from the historic footbridge. We finished with ice cream and/or a quick swim in the lake after we completed the loop.
L-R: TL Tom Ortmeyer, Marilyn Levitan, Peter Blood, Toni Towle, Jan Halamek, Gene & Carolyn Kaczka.
Photo: John Barron.
June 17 (Sunday) Rocky Peak Ridge
After arranging cars to make this a one-way trip we started out on the Zander Scott trail. From Chapel Pond the “climbing” started with spots along the way for great views. The day was clear and perfect for a climb. Before long we were at the junction to Rocky Peak Ridge. All in the group had climbed Giant so there was no need for a side trip. Down the col we went and enjoyed an incredible ridge climb with great views. After lunch we headed down the East Trail to New Russia.
L-R: Brian Baston, Lenka Halamkova, Peter Blood, Toni Towle, TL Dana Chudzinski.
Photo: hiker from another party.