Prospect Mountain – 5.21.17

Prospect Mountain is one of the more popular hikes in the Lake George area. With a toll road leading to the summit, it’s an an accessible mountain with pretty views of Lake George.  It has a reputation of being one of the easier hikes in the Lake George area, however it is steep and might be a bit challenging for an out-of-shape hiker. With water and rest breaks it’s definitely doable for anyone.

The trailhead is right in the heart of the Village of Lake George off of Montcalm Street.

It took Jenna and I about an hour and 30 minutes to get to the top. From the trailhead to the summit is about 2 miles. At the top there is a picnic area and a parking lot.

We stopped for about 30 minutes on top to have a snack and walk around. The descent was fast! There was a lot of open rock to walk down which may be tricky in wet conditions.

Prospect Mountain
Distance 4.0 mi RT
Elevation gain 1,625′
Summit elevation 2,021′
Total time 2 hrs, 30 minutes (including stops)

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Winter Hike: Cat and Thomas Mountain Preserve

If you are looking for a nice hike not too far from the Albany area, check out Cat and Thomas Mountains in Bolton Landing, near Lake George. It’s about an hour from Albany and the hike itself is pretty easy!

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The trail follows an old road for a while, and eventually re-routes into the woods for a little bit. It is a gentle incline. There wasn’t much snow on the ground, but the trail was covered in ice! Thank goodness for microspikes!

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We took the yellow trail to the summit of Cat Mountain first.

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The summit is expansive and has great views of Lake George! We ate a snack and then headed back down and followed the blue trail to Thomas Mountain.

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There is a cabin situated near Thomas’ summit, with a loft and couch inside! Apparently it is first-come-first-serve if you want to stay here over night. It has an amazing view of Lake George.

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{thanks to Greg for these photos from his GoPro!}

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We decided not to go over to Thomas, but to instead head back down to the car and check out the Outdoor Sports and Fitness Expo in Saratoga, followed by dinner at Druthers.

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Cat Mountain Loop
Distance: 8.04 mi
Total elapsed time, including stops: 4 hours, 34 minutes

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Gear used: Katoohla microspikes, tasc performance district pants, tasc performance northstar fleece, osprey sirrus daypack, EMS freescape jacket, vasque snowblime winter hiking boots

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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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Brown and Five Mile Mountain – Tongue Mountain Range

On Saturday I took my good friend Sarah on a hike near Lake George. I hiked with her for the first time back in 2008 when I was first getting into shape and we hiked Sleeping Beauty together–it has been nearly six years since we did that hike! I wanted to do an easy hike on Saturday because I still had to do my long run on Sunday, so I picked part of the Tongue Mountain Range–the trail to Five Mile Mountain.

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The book of day hikes that I have boasted that this hike had amazing views. About 3 miles into the hike I deemed it the book of lies.

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Two miles in we reached the lean-to and possibly the summit of Brown Mountain, which had a small view of the surrounding mountains, but mostly of the trees. I did get to see many tiny red salamanders on the trail, along with plenty of mushrooms.

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The book I had also said that the summit of Five Mile Mountain was .7 miles away from the lean-to. It seemed like it was more than that–unfortunately I forgot to wear my GPS so I couldn’t track our mileage. The trail kept winding up and down and eventually we came to what we thought was the summit.

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It had a pretty, although limited view of Lake George, not as good as the book made it seem. But it was nice to stop and enjoy the sun for a little bit, while we chatted with the two other people up top–the only other two we saw on the summit.

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Not many others were hiking this trail on that day.

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Brown Mountain & Five Mile Mountain via the North end of the Tongue Mountain Range Trail
~8 mi RT
Brown Mountain Elevation: 1,965′
Five Mile Mountain Elevation: 2,258′

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Adirondack Ragnar Relay

Its official. We’re Ragnarians!

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Team B.A.D. started off in Saratoga Springs at 8:00 Friday morning! Melissa, our team captain, started out the 192.7 mile relay with her first leg in Saratoga.

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Yes, it was raining…for the whole day on Friday.  Anyway, our van (van 1) was first to go, meaning we had the earlier start. We each ran our legs until We got to the the first major exchange to let van 2 take the lead.

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Look who was working at the exchange in Saratoga! Alicia! She was awesome for coming out in the rain as one of our Team’s volunteers.

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My leg was the 5th leg and I ran from the SPAC parking lot to the Saratoga Race Track (in the pouring rain!) We were required to wear reflective vests at all times because the weather was so bad. My leg was 3.2 miles, which I ran in about 30 minutes (9:36 pace).

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Despite the weather, and the fact that every piece of gear we owned got wet, we still managed to make the best of it. We had some hours to kill until we had to meet up at the next big exchange, which was at Million Dollar Beach in Lake George.

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There were indoor showers, indoor bathrooms and concessions at this exchange, which was a plus!

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We hung out until it was time for Melissa to start her second leg.

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Shortly after we met her at the next exchange. It was going to be getting dark soon! Each runner had about 7 hours in between runs so it was nice to get to rest the legs for a bit.

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(If you can’t tell–that’s a runner coming in, getting ready to swap slap bracelets –Ragnar’s version of the baton)

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My next run was starting around 9PM, which was a straight shot up Route 9N from Bolton to Hague–right along Lake George. It was SO dark I couldn’t see the lake, but I bet it would have been a nice view! It was still drizzling, but it wasn’t cold, thank goodness! I had my headlamp, tail light and a mini flashlight. Chris actually paced with me during my run, and its a good thing he did. I ended up rolling an ankle .6 miles into my run! It HURT. Another van, which happened to be filled with nurses and EMTs stopped for us and taped up my ankle. (Thanks ladies!) I debated on walking the rest of the leg, but it was dark and getting later and later, so I made the decision to keep running. It wasn’t comfortable but in wasn’t in horrible pain either. I finished the remaining 5 miles, slowly. I did, however, make the decision to NOT run my final leg of 8 miles. I figured it would be best to stay off it because I have a little over a month until my marathon and didn’t want to risk injuring it further.

Now our van wasn’t scheduled to run again until 4AM. We pulled into one of the major exchanges and tried to get some sleep. Obviously, it wasn’t happening in a cramped van. I managed to get a few minutes of sleep, so I felt okay.

At around 7:30am, Chris and our other teammate Kyle split up my third leg because at that point, 8 miles was going to be ALOT for both of them to run at once since they had both ran their legs plus extra legs (Chris ran with me on my second leg, Kyle ran with Kristin on her second leg). I’m so thankful they could take over. They gave that leg everything they had! You guys rock.

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(a portion of what was supposed to be my 3rd leg)

After our van’s leg it was about 8:45 am. Our van was DONE!! We exchanged with van 2 at Ausable School and went inside with our sleeping bags to try to get some sleep. They also had breakfast of pancakes and eggs!

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Unfortunately, it was some of the worst food ever. The pancakes were spongy and the eggs were rubbery, but it was better than nothing. 🙂

A few of us went into the gym and managed to get 2 hours of sleep, which was nice.

Finally, it was time to drive up the the finish line at Lake Placid! Van 2 was supposed to be coming in around 2:00! We met them at the finish line and crossed together. It was awesome. We were DONE! I can’t believe we ran almost 200 miles, in the RAIN.

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Time for beer! Lake Placid Brewery’s UBU Ale!

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Ah, Ragnar. It was an experience I’m so glad I got to partake in. Sure, it would have been more awesome if the weather had cooperated. It was tough, it was wet, at times cold, cramped and we were all very tired, but we got through it! WE CAN SAY WE DID IT. Melissa did a great job as our team captain, too! People might wonder, why the heck would anyone want to run the dark, rain, and through the night on little sleep? Because we’re runners, and we’re crazy. 😉 We love running.

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