Exploring Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area

June 15, 2010:

Eight hours of bushwhacking more than ten miles and climbing nearly 3,500 vertical feet brought me to nine of the 119 named features in Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, Adirondacks Forest Preserve, New York, as part of my goal to reach all 119: 44 bodies of water, 14 lean-tos, 11 streams, and 50 summits.

In to Sucker Brook, up Spectacle Pond Hill, down and back across Sucker Brook, up Number Eight Hill, then to The Dam Hill, then Number Six Hill, north to Franks Hill, then out to Number Seven Hill, back south over Franks Hill again (this is where I started to get tired), down and over to Orange Hill, and finally up Pine Hill. Then a bushwhack off Pine Hill back to the trail. Trail hike back to the trailhead.

I actually returned to the trailhead feeling better than I did when I started the hike. A day of eastern white pine glades, glacial boulders, bald summits, and the company of white-tailed deer, whose shaggy brown springtime coats now sheen orange, seem to refresh me no matter how much distance or climbing I cover.

The goal for this hike was to not use my compass at all the whole day; instead, using only my topographic map and the sun’s position for navigation. I’m happy to report the compass stayed in my pack all day and I always knew where I was.

–Erik Schlimmer

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