Popular Post Thaddeus Kosciuszko Posted October 15, 2017 Popular Post Share #1 Posted October 15, 2017 A short time ago on this Forum FRoS and I threatened that we would meet up to ride our bikes on the snowmobile trails near Woodgate, NY and see Sand Lake Falls. Today we made good on our plans and found ourselves at the trailhead on Bear Creek Rd. FRoS had his fat bike. At one point I hefted it, and the thing is so light he has to put a water bottle on it to keep it from floating off in the breeze. I had a Trek 800 mountain bike. When I bought it I think the specs said the frame was made from cast iron. The whole ride was going to be about 12 miles or so. We picked this trailhead as the starting point because the hiking guide said the other way in was through a swamp that had knee-deep water. More on that later. We started out on a gravel road, and I'm thinking 'This is going to be a piece of cake!' After a short way the gravel ended, but we continued on an old road. Still good riding, not as fast as the gravel road but we moved along. Then that trail ended and the real snowmobile trail began. Or should I say, the Boulder Garden. The underbrush was cut way, but there were rocks everywhere. Now if we'd had DH with us, she would have glared at them and they would have kindly stepped aside. I guess once you get 4 or 5 or 8 feet of snow on top of rocks 1 or 2 foot in diameter it doesn't matter. Me, I struggled to find a line and eventually had to walk a good part of that. Once we got past that the trail returned to a leaf covered logging trail, and I could ride a fair part of it . We eventually came to a bridge where the deck was about 2 feet off the ground. It was intentionally built that way. Even at that height it would be buried under feet of snow. This was the creek at the bridge I thought it interesting that a tree next to the stream sat right upon a rock and ran a root off to the side to reach the soil From here the trail conditions really varied. Sometimes we rode, sometimes we walked around boulder gardens, and sometime we had to portage FRoS kindly posed to demonstrate how the Eville Adirondack Mud tried to suck his bike into the Pool of Woe we were trying to get around. There was no warning when something like this would happen. We'd ride along on what seemed to be reasonably firm ground next to one of these pools and the front wheel would vanish hub-deep into a leaf and grass covered sink hole. And I quickly learned that a mountain bike could not go everywhere a fat bike could. All the same, even with the sink holes and the portaging and the Boulder Gardens I was enjoying the ride. We saw no one on the way in, and only one couple with a dog on the way out. The Adirondack woods were quiet, and beautiful. Nearly two hours later we'd stopped to walk across another snowmobile bridge. FRoS said 'Listen...' Very faintly we could hear the sound of the falls. And so, onward. We arrived at the lean-to near the creek, and through the trees we could see the top of the falls. Now, I'm not trying to disparage FRoS' image as a grumpy old bastard, but he very kindly waited while I wandered all around and took a bunch of pictures. I'm grateful for that... The creek that creates the falls starts at Sand Lake You can almost turn around from this spot and see how the water started carving away the rock to form the first set of small falls At the foot of this small cliff are the first falls A short ways below these is another small drop at the top of a large pool After the pool the creek burbles over some rocks and makes a few bends Then it reaches what I'd call a slide, and the water makes a 90 degree turn into the top of the main falls. Off to the right side of the picture you can see the rock that the water flows over in the spring or when the water is high. The main falls are about 15 or twenty feet high. I'd forgotten my tape measure, so I'm guessing here The pool at the base of the falls was bounded by a low wall of rocks, with cracks in all kinds of places. The stream splintered, going in several dozen directions to find it way out of the pool. Like this, where the water flow not only past a large boulder but out from under it as well. There were easily a dozen little drops like this one scattered below the pool Most of the water flowed out of several large cuts in the bigger rocks opposite the falls A short ways downstream, the stream shot a small rapids before descending with less energy but with still considerable beauty along its stream bed. I was reluctant to leave. But man does not live on waterfalls alone, I only had a couple of granola bars with me, and there was no stock of canned goods in the lean to. (Although there were a couple pairs of boots and some empty liquor bottles). You know, now that I think about it, some of those bottles were full when we arrived... Hmmmm.... We headed back. We both found we rode more of the trail and walked less. FRoS told me how he rode his bike over the limbs across the trail, so I tried it. It worked! I am happy to say I may now have one mountain biking skill. I think we may have ridden most of the first Boulder Garden we encountered. Even so, it wasn't easy for me. At one point FRoS commented 'This is probably the hardest you've ever ridden to go 2mph.' And he was right, too. But it was one of the best 2mph I've ridden as well. Would I do it again? I think I might even though it was one of the more difficult rides I've done, and certainly one of the most difficult this year. But before I did I'd have to follow a suggestion I'd heard. Something about getting a fat bike fitted out with pontoons and an outboard motor... 9 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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