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Old 11-25-2014, 09:22 PM   #41
Justin
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Justin , I hope you change your mind . I was reminded in a PM today from a certain " holier than thou " member that I need to get a life.
Until I actually do , I would like to live vicariously through your pictures.
I may indeed change my mind and not have campfires anymore.
None of my business, but I believe regulations apply on this forum also.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:28 PM   #42
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Justin , I hope you change your mind . I was reminded in a PM today from a certain " holier than thou " member that I need to get a life.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:32 PM   #43
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It's all good , I just consider the source.
No Harm

Happy Thanksgiving to all , Be safe.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:37 PM   #44
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Can the admins even view PMs? From what I recall of the default VBulletin settings, they cannot. You have to either install a mod/add-on that grants this functionality, or access the database directly (which isn't easy to decipher unless you really know what you're looking for and how to look for it, as vbulletin stores things like posts and PMs with user ID numbers, not screen names).
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:59 PM   #45
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Can the admins even view PMs?
Heavens no. What a nightmare that would be.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:03 AM   #46
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For Justin's sake,I'm going back to using campfires. I certainly don't want to make him feel like some kind of wicked fire wretch.

Last edited by backwoodsman; 11-26-2014 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:16 AM   #47
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For Justin's sake,I'm going back to using campfires. I certainly don't want to make him feel like some kind of wicked fire wretch.
Thanks Eric, but that's certainly not necessary on my part.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Please tell Nick I said hello.
He's a great kid. We should do another trip together sometime. We can hang around in the dark and play cards or something. I'd be all for it.
Take care.
- Justin
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:59 AM   #48
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Justin - I always enjoy your pictures. Keep them coming. They keep my hopes alive when
I can't be up there.

Happy Thanksgiving! Give my best to your dad. Miss his posts, as spirited as they were. I hold out hope for him....and Pete Rose, too.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:01 AM   #49
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Heavens no. What a nightmare that would be.
Nor would we want to...
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:27 AM   #50
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Hello all. Sorry to dig this thread up again, but headed to Pharaoh soon and I'm a bit concerned about our plans vs. what you experienced hikers/campers are saying. I'm still not totally sure how to get to the area to park our vehicle and the comments regarding lugging a boat in have me very concerned.

We have an old Coleman scanoe (which is a load) with a canoe cart, but I don't remember the nature of these trails at all. Sounds like we'll have to lift the boat quite a bit. Three guys in their 40's and in good shape. Any opinions?

Sounds like about a two mile hike if we drive past the 'approved' parking area and 3 miles if we park in the approved area. Does this sound about right? Just how rugged a trail is this? is there a lot of elevation changes?

thanks for any guidance.

-Pike
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:50 AM   #51
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Hello all. Sorry to dig this thread up again, but headed to Pharaoh soon and I'm a bit concerned about our plans vs. what you experienced hikers/campers are saying. I'm still not totally sure how to get to the area to park our vehicle and the comments regarding lugging a boat in have me very concerned.

We have an old Coleman scanoe (which is a load) with a canoe cart, but I don't remember the nature of these trails at all. Sounds like we'll have to lift the boat quite a bit. Three guys in their 40's and in good shape. Any opinions?

Sounds like about a two mile hike if we drive past the 'approved' parking area and 3 miles if we park in the approved area. Does this sound about right? Just how rugged a trail is this? is there a lot of elevation changes?

thanks for any guidance.

-Pike
Hi Pike,
I believe it's about 2.5 miles to Pharaoh Lake from the Mill Brook parking area, and 3.6 miles from the official parking area.
Backwoodsman & I tried carting a 15 foot, 35 lb canoe in several years ago, and I'll never do it again! The grades are moderate, but there are several long sections of mud & rocks where using the cart was very difficult and we were forced to carry. Then when we finally arrived at Pharaoh Lake, there were about 5 canoes already on the shore, which had been left behind by others.
Now I usually just bring a paddle (or the means to make one), and search around for one of the many stashed canoes which can be found hidden (or in plain sight) around the lake.
As far as where to park, if your vehicle doesn't have high clearance and/or 4x4, it's probably best to park at the official parking area at the Wilderness boundary along Pharaoh Rd, which is off Beaver Pond Rd.
Good luck, Have fun, and please keep it clean!

Last edited by Justin; 06-28-2015 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:22 AM   #52
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My buddy and I did several overnights at Pharaoh last year. First off it's a gorgeous lake and the fishing is good. It is a high-use area especially during summer vacation time so please keep this in mind if you're looking for solitude.

The jeep road to Mill Brook is rugged at best. You will need a sturdy, high clearance 4X4 to drive it. For reference my buddy has a maxed-out, high suspension 4X4 and it was nerve-racking in spots. Its steep and there are a lot of large boulders to traverse. It does cut a mile off the portage but to me its not worth risking a flat tire or getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere. The official parking area is at the end of Pharaoh Road on the north end of Brant Lake. If the lot is full you can drive a bit up the jeep road before it get's too rugged. There are pull-off's up the road that people park in which can be reached with a standard SUV or pickup.

We carried kevlar canoes with full packs and the hike was moderate in spots and easy in others. The trail is well maintained but rocky so hauling a canoe with a cart will be a challenge. It can be done but please be prepared to carry your canoe across some reasonable stretches. We did see several canoes and a rowboat on shore so you could just bring a paddle or oars too.

Having a boat opens up the campsites on the North end of the lake. These are away from the lean-to's and provide some solitude. The lean-to's are always occupied during the summer and can be quite loud.

Pharaoh is a beautiful lake and one of my favorite backcountry destinations in the Adirondacks. Best of luck. Treat it well.

Last edited by Pauly D.; 06-29-2015 at 10:17 PM..
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:02 AM   #53
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The above posts are correct. The drive in to the Mill Brook parking area is extremely rough- if you don't have 4WD and high clearance, I wouldn't attempt it. And yeah, bringing a canoe in on a portage cart is doable, but it won't be the easiest portage you've ever done with the cart. I've seen groups abandon their attempts partway to the lake, and stash their canoe in the woods off trail for retrieval on the hike out.

And yes, the north part of the lake does tend to be the quieter end of the lake, but this isn't a sure bet, either- groups will often hike into the lake from Crane Pond with the intent to camp at the northern end. It's also not unheard of for groups to access the lake from Putnam Pond. One thing is for sure- if you go on a nice weekend, you can definitely expect to see other groups. Definitely be prepared to hike (or paddle) extra distance before you find an open site.

Definitely make sure you end up camped either at a lean-to, a designated tent site (marked with a yellow plastic disc that says "Camp Here"), or at a location at least 150 feet from any trails or water, in accordance with the state land use regulations. For your convenience, here is a map that shows the locations of the 6 lean-tos and the 11 designated tent sites on the lake (the black lean-to icons are obviously the lean-tos, the green triangles are the designated tent sites): http://i.imgur.com/UUXvNOK.jpg

And please- be careful about campfire impacts- use only dead and down wood, and minimize both the size and the duration of your fires if possible. Pharaoh Lake is a high use area, and unfortunately some of the sites there have become very highly impacted, with dead and downed wood extremely scarce and evidence of illegally cut trees common. The continued existence of some of the campsites and especially some of the lean-tos on Pharaoh Lake is dependent on the success of re-vegetation projects that the DEC has implemented in the vicinity. There is also always the possibility of the ultimate consequence- a complete ban of all campfires (this is exactly what happened in the High Peaks). (I know that this is re-iteration of posts earlier in this same thread, but it is a message that I feel bears repeating.)
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:44 PM   #54
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My kids learned to swim at Pharaoh
We drove my old jeep on the wood road to get there in the 60's.
The state maintained a seasonal caretaker cabin and rented rowboats and canoes at the outlet.
Then came the "Wilderness".
What was once a place for families to camp that was transformed to a walk in destination.
We made a trip into the lake after that.
Garbage was everywhere. The new breed refused to carry out what they carried in.
Leanto's were burned by campers lighting a fire in the structure.
The "Watch Rock" leanto is no more.
Progress??
Jim
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:17 PM   #55
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My kids learned to swim at Pharaoh
We drove my old jeep on the wood road to get there in the 60's.
The state maintained a seasonal caretaker cabin and rented rowboats and canoes at the outlet.
Then came the "Wilderness".
What was once a place for families to camp that was transformed to a walk in destination.
We made a trip into the lake after that.
Garbage was everywhere. The new breed refused to carry out what they carried in.
Leanto's were burned by campers lighting a fire in the structure.
The "Watch Rock" leanto is no more.
Progress??
Jim
I hear you, Jim.
I also enjoyed many great times as a little kid at Pharaoh Lake...Winter, Spring, Summer, & Fall.
I remember sitting in the old Watch Rock Point lean-to 30+ years ago looking out over the lake in complete amazment, with barely anyone else around other than my father and his buddies, and thinking that it was the greatest place on earth!
I found it ironic when I took my sister there for her first time just a couple years ago, and there were bags & bags of trash and a pile of old boats & canoes collected and gathered right at Watch Rock Point along the shore, which were to be taken out via helicopter. Hats off to the hard work done by the AFR and others, but talk about an eye sore! Many of the bags of trash had been ripped open with bottles and beer cans floating in the water... Needless to say my sister was not so impressed with the view!
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I'd love to see the road barricaded at the wilderness boundary, and all of the lean-tos removed. I'd bet that would help cut down on the garbage leaving, tree cutting, rowdy riff-raff, but that's just my humble opinion. In any event, I think that the DEC really needs to start by closing the road before any real progress is going to be made. Other people that I have chatted with whom also visit the area often seem to agree.

Last edited by Justin; 06-30-2015 at 07:38 PM..
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:07 PM   #56
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I found it ironic when I took my sister there for her first time just a couple years ago, and there were bags & bags of trash and a pile of old boats & canoes collected and gathered right at Watch Rock Point along the shore, which were to be taken out via helicopter. Hats off to the hard work done by the AFR and others, but talk about an eye sore! Many of the bags of trash had been ripped open with bottles and beer cans floating in the water... Needless to say my sister was not so impressed with the view!
The plan had been only to remove the old shingles from the roofs of lean-tos 5 and 6, along with the derelict boats and a couple of other pieces of large trash that had been around for a while (including a large old propane tank that was sunk off of Watch Rock- a backcountry steward volunteered to swim down and retrieve it). What happened is that one group (or more) of campers at Watch Rock, upon seeing the bagged shingles waiting to be picked up by the helicopter, took it upon themselves to add their own trash to the pile rather than carry it out.

This is why we can't have nice things.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:07 AM   #57
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The plan had been only to remove the old shingles from the roofs of lean-tos 5 and 6, along with the derelict boats and a couple of other pieces of large trash that had been around for a while (including a large old propane tank that was sunk off of Watch Rock- a backcountry steward volunteered to swim down and retrieve it). What happened is that one group (or more) of campers at Watch Rock, upon seeing the bagged shingles waiting to be picked up by the helicopter, took it upon themselves to add their own trash to the pile rather than carry it out.

This is why we can't have nice things.
Not to mention that the junk was sitting there for a couple months or more before it was finally picked up...
It's only a matter of time before people start adding to the pile.
What a shame it had to be right at one of the most scenic locations in the entire Adirondacks!
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:49 PM   #58
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Justin,
In the late 60's the state maintained a caretakers cabin at the foot of the lake and employed a seasonal ranger to provide some degree of authority.
At that time, the lake was quiet and clean.
There were even state provided rowboats and canoes for daily rental and a telephone at the cabin to report emergencies.
In the early 70's the area was declared a "wilderness", the cabin was dismantled and all traces removed.
I made one trip there after that to find mountains of garbage at the double leanto on the Watchrock peninsula.
Justin, we can't create "wilderness". Pharaoh Lake has been heavily used for over fifty years, not a 'wilderness" in any sense of the word. The lake is there and will attract many visitors, I'd like to see the state reinstitute a seasonal ranger to provide some semblance of order to a beautiful place.
Jim

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Old 07-01-2015, 05:34 PM   #59
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+1

We can't "create" wilderness.

I did not start visiting these ares until about 1984, so I wasn't here for the 1970s Peter Berle destruction.

I am an advocate of increased Ranger, Assistant Ranger and Caretaker presence in the backcountry. That is the best fix for some of the current problems.

But we've gone in the opposite direction, sadly. The idiocy of the 1970s started the trend. Also, as with any government agency, it's all about concentrating power and jobs "inside the beltway." So there are fewer people out in the woods where they can make difference.

Advocacy groups that scream for "more more more" wilderness, without any thought to the true nature of the land or how it can be protected also add to the problem. Heck, a few months ago in ADK magazine "Conservation and Advocay" column I read a discussion bemoaning that there was so much more wilderness land now and not enough Rangers to cover it, but in the next paragraph screaming for still MORE wilderness.

I think we should take a big chunk of the EPF, STOP buying land for a few years, and use the $ to restore the needed backcountry presence.

But that's a fantasy; it's all about building an empire in Albany, and it's not going to change.
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:52 PM   #60
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I agree.
There are areas in our state that should certainly be classified as wilderness.
But there are other places that have been used for generations.
We can't turn the clock back.
The "Wilderness" rage came about in the early 70's with good reason.
We should protect environmentally sensitive areas like the High Peaks.
I think that it's all about funding.
Our state can spend millions for downstate transportation, but can't afford $20,000 to pay a seasonal ranger.
Jim
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