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-   -   Rock Lake trail (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=24758)

stripperguy 09-26-2017 12:09 PM

Rock Lake
 
Anyone here been on the Rock Lake trail lately?
I'm wondering if it's wheelable.
Not the Rock River trail, but the Rock Lake trail.
Thanks in advance.

Zach 09-26-2017 12:50 PM

The one between Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake? I have been there three times, twice with a canoe and the last time was last year. It might be possible to wheel a canoe down the path, but I think it would be easier to carry as it's pretty rooty and bumpy and also swings around a bit. There is a snowmobile trail that runs along the lake sort of parallel to the road that would be very wheelable on the parts I have seen, but I am not sure where it connects to the road or another trail.
Zach

stripperguy 09-26-2017 02:54 PM

That's perfect Zach
I'm heading over there Thursday morning for a days worth of paddling and recon
Thanks

Zach 09-26-2017 10:02 PM

I hope you'll have a fun day. It's a nice lake, aside from the road noise, and the trail isn't too long of a carry. When you get to the end of the trail at the T on the snowmobile trail you can walk straight ahead and make a soggy launch from the marsh, or if you go to the right and over the bridge there are some open areas from which you can launch more neatly down there, but it's a little further.
Zach

BLRaider 09-28-2017 01:22 PM

This is a little late to help you, but I think it might be wheelable, especially being so dry lately. Zach is correct though. It is twisty, rocky and has quite a few roots. I think I would choose to cross the bridge and go on up to the campsite to launch. I was there in July, and there was a nice breeze out of the north and we couldn't hear the road noise. I will be interested to see how your day went and I hope you post some photos.

stripperguy 09-29-2017 11:01 PM

Mr Raider,
I would say the Rock Lake trail (not Rock River trail) is definitely not wheelable.
I have some very compliant wheels (Roll-Eez) and no way possible with those, or any wheels. Distance is also more than DEC signpost mileage of 0.5 miles.

Full report to follow, but here is a photo to whet your appetite:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1v...=w1360-h912-no

stripperguy 09-30-2017 09:15 AM

OK, so I have a little time to jot things down for the sake of my memories and maybe someone elses future trip.

Got to the trailhead around 9:00 AM, the trail register was chock full, I feebly scrawled my name and info on the margins of the last page. Later, there was a whole new set of pages, but that's another story.

As already mentioned, wheels would be of no help here. Per my GPS tracks, it's .75 miles from the road to the campsite launching (DEC sign says 0.5 miles).
As luck would have it, the winds were strong and gusting into the 20's, not the best for an empty solo canoe. Views are great from nearly every spot on the lake.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4m...=w1360-h912-no

I briefly tucked in behind the little island to catch a breather, then continued on to the outlet. On the island were the remnants of someone's meals. Some sort of sailor style mussels?? Who leaves a mess like this? Otters? I think it's too far of a swim for racoons.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/MU...Q=w610-h910-no

Oh, the views are pretty nice from the tiny island...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/P1...=w1360-h912-no

I poked around and checked out some of the designated campsites along the way, as well as a designated "no camping" site.
Heading towards the outlet, satellite views already told me most of the story, but it's never a substitute for boots on the ground or paddles in the water.
Here's the outlet:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/GV...=w1360-h912-no

Look carefully, and you'll see my white carbon copy wedged in the rocks.
Yeah, it was bony for sure.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/iq...A=w610-h910-no

As I was going around the bony sections, I saw a cable crossing, and the remains of a crib dam. I didn't know there was ever a dam on Rock Lake...

Below the rock gardens and dam remnants, there's a fair amount of flatwater. Probably not enough to justify carrying around the bony stuff for a casual visit, but logistically sufficient to shorten a trip to more navigable parts of the Rock River.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Wk...=w1360-h912-no

Leaving the boat behind (this was a recon trip) I buchwhacked through the mostly open hardwoods to intersect the Rock River trail.
While I did see evidence of a previous hiker, the trail is quite overgrown with much deadfall and seemingly very little use. It is marked though...

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Qf...g=w610-h910-no

Eventually, I reached the Rock River near the confluence with Dun Brook. The paddling below the dam and rock garden could shorten the carry along the marked trail to just 1.0 miles. The potential bushwhack carry from the river to trail intersection would not be for the faint of heart or weak of will.

The Rock River looked great, intimate and with a slack current. Just right for an eventual through trip to either the Chain Drain or maybe the Cedar and/or Pine Lake. There was even an old primitive campsite at the end of the trail, but it's awfully close to the water.

Here's that campsite with the Rock in the background, and another photo looking downstream on the Rock.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_U...=w1360-h912-no

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Yn...=w1360-h912-no

Phew, I'm tired all over again just recounting the day's explorations!
Anyway, from my perspective (slightly masochistic and skewed towards the obscure) it looks like a Rock Lake-Rock River-Chain Drain-fill in the blank through trip is feasible. Maybe come next spring, when there's more water and less vegetation...

Zach 10-01-2017 01:11 PM

Thanks for the report and pictures, it's nice to see what it looks like this time of year as I have always gone in August. I had wondered if that was a dam when I was there in 2014 but I don't know much about such things. My favorite spots on the lake itself were the beaches on the east end, and the point with the campsite between them.
Zach

stripperguy 10-01-2017 03:07 PM

Zach,
Here are a few more photos of the dam remnants, but they need narration.
This 1st photo shows the dam itself, with the old logs forming "cribs" that restrained piled stones.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/K1...=w1360-h912-no

This next photo shows a cable crossing just downstream from the dam remnants.
If you look carefully, you should be able to see the cribs in the foreground.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1W...=w1360-h912-no

This view is tricky to interpret. It shows the piled stones along the right bank, looking towards the river. I remember seeing a similar construction at Lester Dam.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wZ...Q=w610-h910-no

And lastly, here is the Rock downstream from the dam. It's been a dry September, so a spring trip might offer some hope. This was not too easy to carry around as the shores were not carry friendly.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gX...=w1360-h912-no

I spoke with my nephew and son yesterday, and we're surely going to give it a go in the spring. Maybe stay somewhere on the lake and day trip with empty boats to the nether reaches of the Rock River. If it's as nice as we think, we'll eventually do that through trip that I've been babbling about for some time now.

BLRaider 10-02-2017 12:26 PM

Nice photos and great information. After I sent the message last week, I got to thinking I was probably wrong to say the trail might be wheelable. Thinking back to when I was there earlier in the summer, I sort of took middle ground, saying it might be wheelable, but that it was twisty, rocky, and rooty.
Bad combination for a cart, and crappy evaluation for someone looking for good intel.
The trail register was a mess in July also.
It looks like you had a great day. Nice views from the lake. I look forward to heading back there again.

Justin 10-02-2017 12:44 PM

Beautiful photos! :thumbs:

stripperguy 10-02-2017 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BLRaider (Post 262924)
Nice photos and great information. After I sent the message last week, I got to thinking I was probably wrong to say the trail might be wheelable. Thinking back to when I was there earlier in the summer, I sort of took middle ground, saying it might be wheelable, but that it was twisty, rocky, and rooty.
Bad combination for a cart, and crappy evaluation for someone looking for good intel.
The trail register was a mess in July also.
It looks like you had a great day. Nice views from the lake. I look forward to heading back there again.

No sweat, BL... I brought wheels with me just in case. It didn't take long to decide to leave them in the car. Funny about the trail register. As I drove past the Rock River trailhead, there was a DEC truck and a DEC girl just coming out of the woods. When I was unloading my stuff, she briefly pulled into the parking turnout for the lake trail, but then left abruptly. I came out around 5:30 or 6:00PM, and there were all new pages and with 4 groups that had signed in, came, and went while I was diddling around. I never saw any of them, maybe they saw me?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin (Post 262925)
Beautiful photos! :thumbs:

Justin,
Thanks, man.
Hey, didn't you bushwhack to those cliffs on the Stark Hills? Via Unknown Pond? Or was it from the Rock River trail? Or maybe I'm mixing the memories of your trip to White Birch Ridge?

Justin 10-02-2017 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stripperguy (Post 262931)

Justin,
Thanks, man.
Hey, didn't you bushwhack to those cliffs on the Stark Hills? Via Unknown Pond?

Yes...not really a cliff, but a south facing clearing just above Unknown Pond...

Stark Hills (and the clearing) above Unknown Pond:https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TK...=w1024-h768-no


Unknown Pond (and beyond) from Stark Hills:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Y4...=w1024-h768-no

stripperguy 02-03-2018 08:20 AM

Rock River???
 
Has anyone here paddled the Rock River from O'Neill Flow Rd to Rock Lake?
The fairly recent NYS easement looks to make this legal, if not necessarily feasible...

bluequill 02-04-2018 02:11 PM

No, but it is on the radar for an ice-out paddle or when the road opens.

stripperguy 02-06-2018 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluequill (Post 265723)
No, but it is on the radar for an ice-out paddle or when the road opens.

Early May for me...
Anyone else have any experience on that stretch of water??


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