Dave Waite Nature Photography

This blog has been created to provide photographers, artists and those who enjoy the creative process with the opportunity to express ideas about photography. Along the way I hope to share some of my thoughts, as well as some of my techinques in creating nature and fine art photographs. If you are interested in purchasing matted copies of any of these photographs please go to "view my complete profile" below and send me an e-mail. Dave

Location: New York, United States

I am a amateur nature and fine arts photographer who was trained in black and white photography in the early 1970's, worked professionally a bit and then set aside all artistic pursuits until about 2003. I enjoy the creative aspects of photography and look forward to sharing with others of similar interests.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tongue Mountain Range, Lake George New York

Saturday, April 8, ‘06
Tongue Mountain Range Loop Trail – Challenging, but well worth the effort

The day started out cloudy with a bit of sun breaking through to the West, it was a bit below freezing most of the day, a bit colder along the ridgeline as there was a light wind. There were no other hikers parked at the Clay Meadow trailhead when I got there about 8:15 in the morning. The first 2 ½ miles ascends about 1500 to the Fifth Peak leanto. There was a dusting of snow on the trail after the first ½ mile or so. At 1.9 miles there is a trail intersection where you turn South towards Fifth Peak leanto and then on to the Point of the Tongue. Actually, the leanto is 2/10ths of a mile off of the main trail, but it is well worth the small amount of extra effort. This first chance to see the vistas along this trail is a breath-taking experience as you stand 1000 plus feet above the waters of Lake George looking for miles in every direction. Even on this very cloudy day I was able to see what I assume to be Gore Mountain ski area due West.

After this point the trail gets less distinct and with the blow downs from this last winter, it is challenging at times to find the exact trail. It seems that the trail markers have been placed just close enough together to add a bit of adventure to the trip, but not make it impossible to find your way.

The trail follows the ridge line over French Point Mountain and a number of smaller ascents taking you well down into the small valleys between them. This is the far greater challenge than finding the trail through the woods. There are a couple of spots where it is far closer to climbing than hiking going down the South side of these ridges. A lot of care should be taken as the trail takes you very near drops of a hundred feet or more into the valley below. Not that anyone would drink untreated water, but the trail along the ridge is very dry, except for one of two small stagnant looking pools you pass in the valleys, so make sure that you bring adequate liquids. Even with these cautions mentioned, the times that you break out into the open on the ridgeline are truly unforgettable experiences. The views of Lake George and the surrounding area are quite amazing and well worth the time and effort to get up to them.

During the hike South towards the point I saw 5 white-tail deer, only the second time I have seen any close-up while on a trail in the Adirondacks. The other time was just a few weeks before hiking into Wilcox Lake, so maybe this means it is a good year for the deer population.
By the time you have passed the final descent and started to turn North again, you will have hiked about 8 miles and will still have another 6 to go over rough trails that often meander near the edge of the water. All of the waterfalls shown here are from this last part of the hike. The trail is strewn with rocks and roots, even more than is typical on the normal Adirondack trails, so a lot of care is needed, especially if you have just gotten done hiking the ridge.

Overall this is a very worthwhile hike, but a full day is needed for a person or group to accomplish it. With stopping to photograph along the way I was back to my car in 8 hours, having covered a bit over 13 miles.


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