An Early Adirondack Trip


This past week I took a little trip to the Adirondack mountains. The mountains are around four hours drive from where I live (plus or minus depending on where you want to go) so I don’t get there too often. I make it a couple three times a year. I like going early before the bugs, the hot weather, and the crowds set in, but usually not this early. For one reason or another this was the time I had available to go, so I did.

Anyhoo, I headed up to Indian Lake (the town not the lake) and got there around two in the afternoon. My wife had lined me up with a two nights stay at the 1870 Bed and Breakfast. Proprieter Bill Zullo is following in the footsteps of his grandmother who started taking in guests in the 1960’s.

If you are looking for a homey, quiet, and comfortable place to stay in the heart of the Adirondacks, this is the place to be. Besides the accommodations, Bill (being a local) has a wealth of knowledge about the area past and present.

After meeting Bill and dropping of some stuff in my room, I headed out to do recon for the next day’s hiking. I drove south along Indian Lake (the lake not the town). Even though the weather has been warn the last couple of weeks, this is the Adirondacks and the snow doesn’t go away that quickly. In open areas it is gone, but back in the woods there is still two or three feet on the ground. I maybe should have brought my snowshoes, but I figured I would mostly try to stick to streams flowing with spring runoff.

At the south end of the lake just above Lewey Lake I found a parking area near a likely looking stream. Turns out there are several picnic areas here not far off the road except that the picnic tables are barely visible as they are just peeking out of the snow as if they are growing from spring bulbs like tulips.

Walking in the snow is a problem. I could walk on the surface most of the time, but every once in a while I would “posthole”. The crust on top would give way and my foot would suddenly drop down in a hole until I was sitting on my butt in the snow with one leg above and one leg below. Crawling out of these situations gets old real quick. My best bet was to travel in the stream itself from rock to rock where I could and just slogging through the water otherwise.

My map calls this stream Falls Brook and indeed there are some nice little falls here. I spent some time taking photos, but I didn’t go too far upstream as I planned to come back tomorrow morning. Instead I headed down to Piesco Lake to try and find trail to the big waterfall that I had heard about through the Internet.

Just as an aside – I have always pronounced Piesco like pies – co as in multiples of fruit filled confections with a co on the end. Bill told me that it should be pronounced pi – sec – o with a short i, short e, and long o. When I got home I did a little web search on this and could only find one place were anyone attempted to show the correct pronunciation and they showed it as pi – see – co with a short i, long e, and long o. Seeing as Bill lives around these parts and his grandfather was an Adirondack guide and all, I’ll have to side with his pronunciation on this one.

The Northville-Placid trail passes through Piesco Lake (the town not the lake). I got onto it out by Piesco airport off Haskells Road. The snow of course was way deep, but I found that I could move along pretty good if I stayed on the narrow band in the middle of the trail where X-country skiers had packed it down. I was looking for a side trail that headed to T Lake and the waterfall in question. I didn’t find it. I get the idea that it is not an “official” trail and with all the snow, I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t see it. I’ll look for it some other time. I walked a couple of miles into the woods just for fun and then headed back when I got tired of falling off the ridge when I wasn’t looking at my feet.

One thing to remember when you go to the mountains off season is that a lot of businesses are closed. So you may need to go a ways and plan ahead to find something like an open restaurant for supper. Never one to plan too much, I opted for junk food from a Gas and Gulp that I passed.

The next morning I left early. I was out of there before sunrise. Bill and I had not made any firm plans about breakfast and I figured he didn’t need to be getting up that early just to feed me so I skipped the breakfast part of the Bed and Breakfast deal. It turns out that he was actually up earlier than I was, but figured he didn’t want to wake me up if I was one of those tourist slugs that sleeps in all the time. Oh well.

I got to the parking area for Falls Brook in time to watch the sun rise over Indian Lake (the lake this time). Not quite as spectacular as it would be later in the year – the trees on the mountains are still bare and most of the lake, except around the edges, remains ice covered, but still pretty neat. After that I walked up the stream taking pics as I went. Early on most of the water was evenly shadowed which is usually good for water photography. As the day went on the clear sunny skies made exposures tricky, but far more interesting to my mind. I wandered along the stream in no particular hurry. I came back to the car sometime after noon.

I wasn’t sure where to go next. I drove around a while looking for other likely looking spots and some lunch. Finally I decided to go over to Cedar River Road and take it toward Wakely Dam. The road follows the Cedar River of course. Usually it goes all the way to Wakely Dam, but during the winter the road is closed part way down and is only open to snowmobiles. I stopped at the parking area and walked down the road toward the dam.

The road was mostly mud with an inch or two of snow in some parts. No one else was around so I had the place to myself. According to a sign nailed to a tree, the dam is about 4 miles from the parking area. It wasn’t a real eventful walk (I did see some grouse and some deer) and I didn’t take many photos, but it was a beautiful sunny afternoon at about 50F – just me and the trees and plenty of time for reflection. I didn’t go all the way to the dam. I decided to turn around at Wakely pond. The sun was just dropping behind the mountains when I got back.



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4 Responses to “An Early Adirondack Trip”

  1. forestrat Says:

    Just a quick correction. Bill up at the 1870 B&B e-mailed me to say that I may have mis-heard him on that Piesco pronunciation thing. He says that it should be pi – see – ko with the long e sound.


  2. Jim H Says:

    It’s spelled Piseco and pronounced Piss-eek-Oh. Some info:

  3. forestrat Says:

    Yikes! I guess my head was somewhere else when I wrote this one – had the map right in front of me and still spelled it wrong. Thanks, Jim.


  4. Bernie Kasper Says:

    Great shots Mark, looks like you had a great time, I bet this place is beautiful !!

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