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Northville-Placid Trail – Tirrell Pond! | Average Hiker

Tirrell Pond on the NPT

Holy Camoly, it was cold this morning, but I’m happy to say I was warm. I brought a Katabatic Sawatch quilt on this hike because I knew it might get a little chilly, and I’m glad I did.

The quilt is long and has two extra ounces of Down to ensure it is close to its rating, and I’m pleased to say it performed with flying colors. I slept in my EOS puffy and pulled the hood down over my eyes to keep my head warm. 

I also stuffed my damp clothes and electronics into the toe of the quilt. I usually get a “Long” quilt or sleeping bag, so I have room in the toe for cold-sensitive items. My hiking clothes were dry, and the electronics were still functioning this morning.

I packed up quickly and grabbed a couple of bars to eat as I walked and warmed up.

The climb down from the summit was not quite as steep as climbing up, but the terrain was a little wild, with mushy, boggy sections and a brushy trail. However, this was interspersed with good sections, so it was not too bad.

Salmon Campsite was along a forest service road, right next to the river. I looked down into the dark, muddy campsite as I walked by, glad I had chosen to stay on the mountain the night before. But, unfortunately, the camp was also near a fairly well-used road, about two miles closer to a road than I usually stay.

The hike over to Tirrel Pond was nice. The weather was perfect, and I took my time. Unfortunately, this would be a very short Fall hike, and today would sadly be my last day.

Like many other shelters along this trail, the Tirrell Pond lean-to was next to the water, and out front in front of the lean-to was ample space for camping. This was another beautiful location, similar to Kelly Point along Long Lake.

The day was partly cloudy when I arrived at Tirrell Pond, and the trees showed off their Fall colors as I made my way around the spillway. Approaching the spillway, I glanced down to my left, noting the faint trail up to my right before crossing the newly built bridge.

Crossing the bridge, I came out on the lakeshore where quite a few boats and canoe gear were stored. Then, continuing along the trail, I veered up through the forest, passing in front of O’Neil Flow lean-to.

It took a few minutes of wandering to realize I should have taken the trail I noted earlier, so I hiked back over the new spillway bridge and rejoined the NPT.

The hike out to Route 30 was quick. I stopped to chat with some west coast leaf peepers, but the walk was not noteworthy.

The challenge for the day would be reaching Piseco, NY. I hoped I could change my reservation at the Oxbow Inn since I was earlier than expected.

Route 30 proved to be a tough hitch, but in these Covid times, hitching has gotten a little more complicated. Finally, I crossed the road and began the 4-mile walk into Blue Mountain Lake. About a mile and a half later, I passed a fellow taking photos along the lake, and he offered me a ride the rest of the way into Blue Lake.

Unfortunately, Oxbow was full, so I called Bob (Shuttler) from Piseco, and he drove an hour up to Blue Lake to pick me up. While waiting, I sat in the Corner Store, eating one of my best cheeseburgers.

The Corner Store was interesting. The owner was a one-person show and a nice guy. He had opened the store in May. It was a large old country store, and hard to believe he ran it by himself, staying open seven days a week. 

My only advice for him – charge more than $5 for your cheeseburgers.

Since the Oxbow in Piseco was full, I got a motel room in the next closest town of Speculator. Bob would pick me up and take me to Northville a day later to meet my ride.

Speculators will probably discover Speculator soon – a tiny town on a beautiful lake. It already has its small brewery, so it is only a matter of time before the crowds come. Bob told me this is the “undiscovered” corner of the Adirondacks. It is a beautiful section of New York state, and I’m not sure how long it will remain undiscovered.

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