Adirondacks High Peaks

We left for Keene Valley, NY last Friday to hike the low trails in search

Ausable River along route 73
Ausable River along route 73

of some late winter/early spring landscape photographs, and to  start learning the area for future nature shoot trips. After a 5 1/2 hour ride we checked in at our inn, then drove several miles to the ADK lodge at much higher elevation. Although it was partly sunny in the valley, the clouds were low with steady snow at the lodge.  There, we learned that we could not hike most of the trails of the High Peaks, due to the “8 inch rule.” This requires show shoes, even if the snow is 8 inches packed. Somewhat discouraged, we drove back down to the valley along route 73 and shot the following photograph of the Ausable River.

Later, we drove further south to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve Club. Although this is

Spring break-up on the Ausable River
Spring break-up on the Ausable River

private property which extends all the way to the Upper Ausable Lake, there is public parking and the public can hike the club’s trails. We drove the loop road, reading the signs, so we would know where to park and start hiking the following morning. The next morning we arrived at the parking lot at first light. We hiked up the loop road, signed in at the head of the West Lake Trail, put on our microspikes, and went in.  Most of the trail kept us within easy view of the Ausable River, where I took the second photograph. Given that we could not climb to get better views I couldn’t shoot a wide variety of scenes.

Further down the trail we crossed the river to the east side and out to Lake Road. Walking

Giant Mountain
Giant Mountain

back, I photographed Giant Mountain from the AMR Club’s golf course.  Many hikers were climbing this mountain at the time, as evidenced by its parking lot, located across route 73 near where we parked, which was full. Giant is infamous for its massive dirt and rock slide in the early sixties which shut down route 73 and trapped several cars and their occupants.

So while I didn’t get a wide variety of shots, we now know where we want to go on our next trip–we hope later this month.  Then, we will hike directly down Lake Road to photograph the dam at the Lower Ausable Lake very shortly after sunrise, and return via Rainbow Falls.

If you have hiked this area, do let me know.




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