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Early Fall Jaunt to Vermont and the Adirondacks (Day 2 - October 2, 2022)

During the first weekend of October 2022, I took a two day weekend trip from the Capital Region of New York State up to the friendly confines of Vermont and the Adirondacks of New York State. Among the priorities for the trip were to go hiking and catch some fall foliage. But there's always so much to see along the way as well. Road trips tend to provide bountiful discoveries for bridges, scenery, history, you name it. This particular article will focus on the second day of the trip, which was mostly in the Adirondacks. Among the roads I took during this trip were NY 185, Essex County Route 4, NY 28N and NY 30. There were also stops at the Tahawus ghost town and Mud Lake Mountain in Long Lake.

Started off the day at the Crown Point Campground on the New York shores of Lake Champlain. I thought I'd snap a quick photo of the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse before I got on my merry way.

Making a quick trip into Vermont by crossing the Lake Champlain Bridge to Chimney Point and VT 17.

Chimney Point, Vermont, which is directly across Lake Champlain from Crown Point. Chimney Point was a strategic location during the early years of American history.

The northern terminus of the Crown Point Military Road, which was built in 1759 and 1760 to connect Fort No. 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire with Crown Point, providing a vital link to transport troops and supplies. Parts of the old Crown Point Road can be explored today, and there are markers placed along the old route for those who are inclined to trace it.

The last few miles of the Crown Point Road are on VT 125. Modern day VT 125 follows Lake Champlain for a few miles before going east towards Bridport and Middlebury, Vermont.

Beautiful Lake Champlain.

Lake Champlain Bridge and the Adirondacks in the distance. The fall colors are starting to show.

Another Crown Point Military Road marker along VT 125. 
Driving back into New York State.

Onto NY 185 for a bit. Many moons ago, this was the northernmost alignment of NY 8.

Going to head north for a bit on NY 9N and NY 22.

NY 9N and NY 22 follow a scenic, quiet road from Ticonderoga up to Port Henry and Westport before splitting apart.

To the right is Lake Champlain, and slightly out of view is the rail line that carries the Amtrak Adirondack train to and from Montreal.

Looking at the Town of Moriah offices in Port Henry. It was once the office of the Witherbee and Sherman Iron Ore Company/

A caboose used to help transport iron ore that was once used by the Lake Champlain and Moriah Railroad.

Downtown Port Henry. We'll veer off of NY 9N and NY 22, sticking to county routes for a while.

The Moriah Plank Road was built around 1850 to aid in the transport of iron ore from local mines to Lake Champlain in Port Henry.

Continuing straight onto Essex County Route 42 (CR 42). The two roads will intersect again a few miles to the west.

At the corner of Essex County Routes 4 and 42, featuring the yellow on brown Adirondacks signs. A few miles to the north is Witherbee, the hometown of former Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres.

Daisy Morton Methodist Center

Essex County Route 7 at Essex County Route 42.

Starting to see some fall color on the backroads of Essex County. This is on Essex CR 42.

More fall colors. And hey, we've linked back up with Essex CR 4.

Ensign Pond is to the left here.

Essex CR 4 has some nice sweeping curves. This is also the pull-off for the Broughton Ledges Trail, which is part of the Champlain Area Trails land trust.

I hiked up to Broughton Ledges for this view.

Back on the roads, the leaves are reminding me of a bowl of Froot Loops.

But this is early October in the Adirondacks, so I'm not surprised.

I spotted this old marker from 1870 on Ensign Pond Road (Essex CR 4) and decided to get the story behind it by asking the History and Legends of the Adirondacks group on Facebook. The answer I got was that it was an old boundary marker between the towns of Moriah and North Hudson. The marker is approximately 9 miles west from the old Moriah Plank Road.

More autumn driving down Essex CR 4.

The mix of clouds and blue sky were really something that day too.

If I U-turn, I can get back to Port Henry in 13 unlucky miles.

But we'll continue towards North Hudson.

Driving south down US 9 for a bit.

Heading west on Essex CR 84, the scenic 17-mile-long Blue Ridge Road, which was named after Blue Ridge Falls and connects North Hudson with Newcomb.

Stopped at the Frontier Town Gateway and saw these old machines. Frontier Town was an amusement park, but now boasts a gateway that has a restaurant and a nearby campground.

Back on the Blue Ridge Road. It is a beautiful road and much quieter than the nearby High Peaks Scenic Byway. I may just need to let the pictures do most of the talking as we head west.

Blue Ridge Falls.

Tahawus, also known as Adirondac, is a ghost town in the heart of the mountains. Initially home to some mining operations, the town was deserted twice. It was in Tahawus at the Tahawus Club where Teddy Roosevelt was vacationing when he had to make that famous Midnight Ride whilst President William McKinley was dying from wounds suffered from an assassin's bullet. With the brief history lesson out of the way, let's turn right onto Essex CR 25 and explore.

Plenty of beautiful fall foliage ahead.

If you were to follow the Hudson River, Essex CR 25 is about as far north as you can go by car.

It's a scenic drive for sure.

This way to the High Peaks and Upper Works trailheads. This is also where one would park to explore the Tahawus ghost town.

Access around the Tahawus ghost town has been improved over the recent years, and some handy dandy informational plaques have been provided to give you a sense of what you're looking at.

MacNaughton Cottage. This was where President Theodore Roosevelt was staying when he lit out on his midnight ride to the presidency in 1901.

Much of the remains of Tahawus are chimneys and foundations.

Plus there is easy access to the Hudson River. This is a far cry from what you'll find at the Hudson River in Albany or New York City.

Did I mention that there were lots of chimneys and foundations?

The "main street" of Tahawus doubles as a hiking trail for hikes trying to access certain parts of the High Peaks.

A couple more parting shots of Tahawus.

Time to head back to the car.

Hiker shuttles have been implemented over recent years to help mitigate traffic control in the Adirondacks. While one of the main issues of concern has been along the NY 73 corridor, there is a hiker shuttle that goes to Tahawus as well, which is useful if you're going in one direction.

McIntyre Iron Furnace at Tahawus, which operated for two years during the 19th Century before operations were shut down due to flooding and inefficiency. 

Ruins from around the iron furnace are still visible.

Some scenic views can be seen with a quick pull off of Essex CR 25. You can see Mount Adams from beyond the Hudson River here.

It looks like a perfect place to take a kayak.

Fall foliage tends to come a little sooner deep in the Adirondacks, and it is magnificent.

I thought this scene of Essex CR 25 was nice.

I spotted a wood waste burner, which I didn't think existed outside of the Pacific Northwest. A wood waste burner is also known as a teepee burner, wigwam burner or beehive burner. Wood waste burners are used to dispose of waste wood in logging yards and sawdust from sawmills by incineration.

One last view of Essex CR 25 before I venture elsewhere.

Onto NY 28N, which is also known as the Roosevelt-Marcy Trail. It's a scenic byway and follows NY 28N from Long Lake to North Creek. This is around where Teddy Roosevelt picked up what is now NY 28N on his way to take a train from North Creek to Buffalo, where he would be inaugurated as President in 1901.

Some scenic views along NY 28N. I'll let the photos do some of the talking here.

NY 28N crosses the Boreas River.

Boreas River.

A hike up Vanderwhacker Mountain is part of the Adironack Fire Tower Challenge. There is a rough road that leads to a trailhead to hike the mountain, but it was gated off on this day.

Boreas River again.

A short old alignment of NY 28N leads to where the road used to cross the Boreas River.

Back to NY 28N, now heading towards Newcomb and Long Lake.

A memorial noting a bit of Presidential history. It was near this spot where Theodore Roosevelt became President when President William McKinley died.

However, Theodore Roosevelt did not receive news that McKinley died until about 4:45am that day when he reached the train station in North Creek, and it was later when he made it to Buffalo for his inauguration.

Passing by the point where NY 28N meets the roads to Tahawus and North Hudson.

Memorial to Ernest Rist in Newcomb, who did much for Newcomb and the Adirondacks. There is a scenic viewpoint of the High Peaks at this spot.

This is a common stop for me (and others) while passing through Newcomb on NY 28N.

Picture this. Newcomb. 2022.

Back on NY 28N.

And here we cross the Hudson River again. There is a sign that says Source of the Hudson River, but the true source is much further north, at Lake Tear of the Clouds near the summit of Mount Marcy.

Harris Lake in Newcomb.

Harris Lake in Newcomb.

Back on NY 28N with few interruptions between here and Long Lake.

Historical marker mentioning an early landowner who helped develop the area around Newcomb.

NY 28N is a beautiful road between Newcomb and Long Lake.

Shaw Pond, just before Long Lake.

Now on NY 30 in Long Lake. This was the site of Hamilton County's only blinking traffic signal, which has since been removed.

NY 30 crosses Long Lake here.

Turning right onto the curiously named Kickerville Road for an afternoon adventure.

Which involved crossing this simple wooden bridge.

To hike to more fall foliage, of course.

Starting the hike to Mud Pond Mountain.

With a short detour to Mud Pond itself.

The trail is closed during the summer months due to a nearby scout camp, but it is a perfect fall hiking destination. The trail is flat for a good part of it.

That last 0.7 miles can be steep though.

But check out the views from the summit. The views from the summit of Mud Pond Mountain face mostly to the south, along with some easterly or westerly views.

The close by lake you see is McRorie Lake. The trail to get to Mud Lake Mountain passes close by this lake.

But you can also see parts of Long Lake poking out in the distance.

Back on NY 30 at Long Lake. Most of the remaining journey will take us south on NY 30 on our way our of the Adirondacks.

Motel Long Lake is in view from the beach at Long Lake along NY 30.

Long Lake.

The NY 30 bridge over Long Lake.

The lake looks inviting on this warm early autumn afternoon.

Bridge plaque commemorating the original bridge over Long Lake.

Famed painter Thomas Cole, well known for his paintings of the Catskills, also made his way up to Long Lake for some of his artwork.

Getting close to NY 28N and NY 30 have a concurrency between Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake.

Although the signs don't seem to indicate a concurrency.

I made a quick detour to Buttermilk Falls along the Raquette River in Long Lake. This is one of many waterfalls named Buttermilk Falls in New York State, maybe a couple dozen in total.

The Raquette River is part of the St. Lawrence River watershed.

Buttermilk Falls living up to its name.

Back on NY 30 southbound. I'll let the photos do most of the talking from here on out.

Approaching Blue Mountain Lake.

NY 28 and NY 30 have a concurrency between Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake. This is not the only place where NY 28 and NY 30 intersect, also having a concurrency at Margaretville in the Catskills of Delaware County.

I detoured onto NY 28 for a bit for this view of Blue Mountain Lake, and Blue Mountain in the background.

NY 28 at Blue Mountain Lake.

Back on NY 30 (and NY 28) on this wrong-way concurrency towards Indian Lake.

Lake Durant to the right.

Downtown Indian Lake.

NY 28 parts way here on its way to North Creek and Warrensburg, while NY 30 goes south through the heart of Hamilton County. It should also be noted that NY 28 makes up much of the Central Adirondack Trail and NY 30 makes up the Adirondack Trail, both state scenic byways.

There is a scenic overlook along NY 30 just south of Indian Lake with these sweeping views towards the east.

Dusk is settling in, but I wanted to get a few more photos in.

Lewey Lake

Lewey Lake

Mason Lake.

Mason Lake at sunset.

NY 30 meets NY 8 in Speculator, and that ends the story for today.

Sources and Links:
Early Fall Jaunt to Vermont and the Adirondacks (Day 1 - October 1, 2022)


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