The Crooked Canes Journal


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Moreau Lake State Park Stonewall Trail Hike ~ Jan 21, 2016

Journal entry by Ghost Writer



Most of us are familiar with the trails of the Saratoga County side of Moreau Lake State Park – over the years we have scheduled many of them as part of our outings. However, lesser known are the trails on the Warren County side. This part of the Park, consisting of ~1,300 acres, was acquired back in 1998 from Niagara Mohawk with ownership transferred to DEC but managed by the State Park. While there are miles of unmarked trails that dot this large tract there is but one official marked trail at this time – known as the Stonewall Trail – one that our leader, Sam, was involved in marking its route. In years past we hiked some of this trail while it was being developed but it is now a complete loop of 3.2 miles marked with light blue markers.

The access to the trailhead is sort of a challenge, especially in the winter when the gate at the end of Hawk Road is closed. For this reason our group of eleven hikers started our hike at a large pull-off at the start of Hawk Road, off of Call St. ~two miles east of the Village of Corinth. The walk was just fine – plowed and easy walking for the .4 miles to the closed gate where we put on our Microspikes and walked the next .3 miles along an icy logging road to the trailhead. Sam decided to take us on a counter-clockwise direction on the loop, taking us thru mostly open woods of mixed hardwoods with some hemlock stands interspersed – he even arranged for us to pass by a couple of stonewalls to convince us we were on the correct trail. This part of the trail was relatively flat and eventually took us to the area of the escarpment that provides glimpses of the river below. As we made our way around the bend of the trail the sun strikes us and we decide that this would make a good lunch spot – even though it was only 11:30. Most like this part of a hike – time to relax, visit and enjoy the views. We were directly above where there is a horseshoe bend in the river – directly across from the spring trailhead that we are familiar with. The river was almost completely frozen but there was enough open water that ice fishing would not be a good idea.

With lunch over we continue the loop but this time we angle down to the river’s edge – but not quite close enough to give us really good views of the ice that has built up – perhaps the river being slowed by the Spier Falls Dam a bit downstream. It isn’t long before we begin to angle back up towards the escarpment again – this time along an old logging road, past a few stonewalls and an old foundation with its hand-laid, mortarless joints still in amazing condition. We continue to climb till we reach the edge of the escarpment and back on the flat trail – crossing an old access road to the river – overgrown after many years of being abandoned – currently one of the unmarked trails I mentioned previously.

We now enter into a more mature area of the forest with mixed hardwoods and larger stands of hemlock – a very pretty part of the trail. Along the way we pass more stonewalls and a couple of old foundations with their hand laid stones. The trail passes a small wetland and crosses a small stream before taking us back to the trailhead where we started. Thanks Sam for a great hike.

Ghost Writer for Sam

15 photos



Entering the woods - added by Wanderer



One of the many stonewalls along the trail - added by Wanderer



Tom and Jim - added by Wanderer



Chillin in the sun - Jim, Rich, Tom - added by Wanderer



Jim remembered to bring me a sandwich for lunch - what a guy! - added by Wanderer



Tom can't figure out whether he wants to sit in the sun or shade - added by Wanderer



Lunch on the escarpment - added by Wanderer



Jim and Craig discussing the recently discovered 9th planet in our solar system - added by Wanderer



One of the hand-laid stone foundations - added by Wanderer



There was just a little "up" - added by Wanderer



The second stone foundation - added by Wanderer



The group along another stonewall - added by Wanderer



Katie and Linda at one of the stonewalls cornerstones - added by Wanderer



Ice art - added by Wanderer



More ice art - Lenore and Linda see a fish - how about you? - added by Wanderer




Attendees: Sam, Linda & Peter, Rich, Lenore & Jack, Tom, Don, Katie, Craig Emblidge (newcomer) and a very special welcome to Jim Israel, returning after a long absence.

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