Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Peaked Mountain: 07/17/2016
They say that variety is the spice of life. In my opinion it’s also one of the keys to a successful family hike. My kids are all about the streams, waterfalls, woods, ponds, plants, wildlife, wetlands, cliffs, caves, cabins and fire towers along the way that make the hike interesting. For them, getting to the top of some mountain just for a view is “boring.” Well, you can’t beat the hike to Peaked Mountain Pond and up Peaked Mountain for variety, so off we set this past weekend.
Before long we turned away from the lake, following Peaked Mountain Brook. The white pines and paper birches of the lakeshore quickly transitioned to maples, hemlocks and huge yellow birches. The stream must be a torrent in the spring, but even in mud-summer there was enough flow for us to enjoy its cascades and small waterfalls.
As the trail ascends to Peaked Mountain Pond, it passes a series of beaver meadows which offer a first view of Peaked Mountain’s rocky summit. It would seem to be a perfect setting for a moose, but we saw none on our hike. As a sidenote, my sole Adirondack moose sighting was just a few miles away on Barton Mines Road nearly 25 years ago. Moose are certainly more numerous now, so I figure I’m due for another.
It took us somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours to reach Peaked Mountain Pond. It’s a beautiful setting, with Peaked Mountain rising dramatically from the northeastern shore. We found a battered old aluminum canoe stashed along the shoreline that I paddled out onto the pond. It leaked a bit but was surprisingly seaworthy. I’d like to know who carried that thing 2.7 miles from the trailhead.
By the time I caught back up with Beth and the kids they had almost made it back down to Thirteenth Lake. I love hiking with my family, but it’s great to log at least a few solo miles too.
If you go: Follow Thirteenth Lake Road approximately 3.4 miles from Route 28 in North River to a right onto Beach Road (unpaved). It’s less than a mile to the trailhead and parking area. The trail to Peaked Mountain Pond is 2.7 miles (one-way). Peaked Mountain is .7 miles beyond the pond, with approximately 700 vertical feet of climbing.