Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Hiking in the Adirondacks
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-01-2015, 07:08 PM   #61
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,724
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard Scrabble View Post
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
Thanks for the reply, Jim.
I am in no way disagreeing with anything that you mentioned, nor am I suggesting creating "wilderness".
I apologize if my post came across that way. That certainly was not my intent.
The ranger station is a couple years before my time, but I do remember the ranger's horse stable (the concrete footings are still there), and the twin lean-tos where lean-to #1 currently stands, and the single lean-to atop Watch Rock Point.
I can honestly say that I've witnessed things change for the negative at Pharaoh Lake since the early 80's.
Yet, in the early 90's, my high school buddies & I never had a problem finding an unoccupied lean-to, and very rarely had any issues with seeing trash left behind, cut trees, old beat-up row boats & canoes, or finding plenty of dead & downed firewood. It wasn't until after 2000 when I started to notice a HUGE difference in the amount of people there, and the resulting negative impacts. I partly blame info shared on the internet (myself included), and the fact that back then there was never a Ranger or an Assistant Forest Ranger to be found anywhere!
Thankfully, in recent years the AFR has been a steady presence in the area (during peak season), as well as Backcountry Stewards, and I've even ran into Forest Ranger Mark St. Claire in the area a couple times also. I've personally met AFR B. Jackson a few times now, and I must say that he has been doing a great job, and a very difficult one at that!
I realize marked trails & lean-tos are not what most people think of as "Wilderness", but I think we can all agree that things will never get any better at Pharaoh Lake until the DEC starts by closing the road....Either that, or they re-open the entire road for motor vehicle use all the way to the lake again, rebuild the ranger station, and keep a full-time Ranger on duty 24/7...which we all know is not going to happen!
In the end, I don't think complaining about the past will do much good. Instead, we should focus on what we can do now and in the future, and to me, closing the road at the "Pharaoh Lake Wilderness" boundary makes perfect sense as a good place to start.

Last edited by Justin; 07-01-2015 at 09:19 PM.. Reason: Added a couple thoughts
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 04:59 PM   #62
Hard Scrabble
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,188
Justin,
I was under the impression that the wood road to the outlet of the lake was closed to motor vehicles back in the 70's.
Jim
Hard Scrabble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 05:33 PM   #63
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,724
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard Scrabble View Post
Justin,
I was under the impression that the wood road to the outlet of the lake was closed to motor vehicles back in the 70's.
Jim
It was, but high clearance vehicles still (illegally) drive as far as Mill Brook, shortening the hiking distance by over a mile each way. The wilderness boundary is just beyond the last private camp on Pharaoh Rd, where there is limited parking. I've been hearing that the DEC intends to build a bigger parking area there for several years now...
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 05:58 PM   #64
Hard Scrabble
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,188
Justin,

Is that the brook that's the outlet stream of Pharaoh or Beaver Brook that's nearer to the paved road?
So the real problem is the illegal use of the road after said brook.????
Apparently the wood road is still being used, so the problem is enforcement of the law but almost unenforcible.
In my opinion, the state should install a seasonal ranger to oversee activities on the lake, and open the road from Brant Lake.
In essence, set the clock back 40 years and not try to create an artificial wilderness area which can never be instituted
Jim.
Hard Scrabble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 07:41 PM   #65
randomscooter
Native Earthling
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Scooterville, NY
Posts: 1,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
It was, but high clearance vehicles still (illegally) drive as far as Mill Brook, shortening the hiking distance by over a mile each way. The wilderness boundary is just beyond the last private camp on Pharaoh Rd, where there is limited parking. I've been hearing that the DEC intends to build a bigger parking area there for several years now...
Back in the '80's I used to drive in as far as Mill Brook. There were no signs indicating that motorized vehicles were prohibited. I haven't been there since the '80's. Is there signage on the road now?
__________________
Scooting here and there
Through the woods and up the peaks
Random Scoots awaits (D.P.)


"Pushing the limits of easy."
randomscooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 09:41 PM   #66
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,724
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard Scrabble View Post
Is that the brook that's the outlet stream of Pharaoh or Beaver Brook that's nearer to the paved road?
So the real problem is the illegal use of the road after said brook.????
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomscooter View Post
... I haven't been there since the '80's. Is there signage on the road now?
I'm not aware of any current signs against driving the road, however it is technically within a designated "Wilderness Area", which by law prohibits the use of motorized vehicles.

Unfortunately, it seems that it's one of those cases where the DEC chooses to turn a blind eye, not unlike the Crane Pond Road situation a few miles north, which is another discussion that has been talked about for decades now!

Again, in order to help curb some of the ongoing issues at Pharaoh Lake, why not start by closing the road at the Wilderness boundary once and for all?

I know it's only another mile or so of hiking, but we have to start somewhere...

Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 10:49 PM   #67
Harvey44
Member
 
Harvey44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North River
Posts: 151
All attempts to recreate wilderness (in NY anyway) are arbitrary. Almost everything was cut over to the bone ~150 years ago. If you believe in having any (psuedo) "wilderness" in NY you're accepting that people had to be restricted from using the land in ways they used it before.
__________________
NYSB: NYSkiBlog.com
Harvey44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 10:49 PM   #68
Pauly D.
Member
 
Pauly D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 213
I've driven up the Pharaoh road to Mill Brook and there weren't any signs saying not to. Believe me if I knew it was officially closed I would not have done so as I value preserving the forest.

Same goes for Crane but I parked in the lot at the beginning of Crane Pond road for that one. The only reason that I knew the road was closed to the public are the numerous articles and posts online about the infamous standown in the 1980's.

As far as Pharoah goes I would advise parking in the main lot and not drive to Mill Brook. It will take you just as long to drive it as it is to walk it. It's very rough and only cuts a mile off your hike or portage.
Pauly D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2015, 06:54 AM   #69
randomscooter
Native Earthling
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Scooterville, NY
Posts: 1,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
I'm not aware of any current signs against driving the road, however it is technically within a designated "Wilderness Area", which by law prohibits the use of motorized vehicles.

Unfortunately, it seems that it's one of those cases where the DEC chooses to turn a blind eye, not unlike the Crane Pond Road situation a few miles north, which is another discussion that has been talked about for decades now!

Again, in order to help curb some of the ongoing issues at Pharaoh Lake, why not start by closing the road at the Wilderness boundary once and for all?

I know it's only another mile or so of hiking, but we have to start somewhere...
I agree completely that the road should be closed at the designated wilderness boundary. Same with the Crane Pond Rd.

Two ways of doing this. Option "A", they could gate the roads, put up signs, and enforce. Option "B", move the wilderness boundary by changing the designation of the road corridors. I just returned from Yosemite. The land management plan out there very specifically draws the Wilderness lines to exclude certain road corridors. Doing so chops up the wilderness into smaller pieces, but leaves no room for misunderstanding which roads can be driven and which ones can't.

I personally prefer option A. But I'll admit I drove into Crane Pond a month or so ago.

An example up my way of this situation is the South Meadows Rd. It's in the wilderness, yet the road is open three seasons. Jersey barriers are installed for winter/early spring.

But Option A comes with its problems:

We all know that there are people who will use intimidation to get their way. Some who want to continue driving in to Crane Pond will tear down barriers and signs, and may even threaten to throw trash fish into the backcountry ponds/lakes. We know that this kind of people will follow through with these threats. So what do we do? We roll over and let them have their way. Kinda sucks, but sometimes it's best to wait for this kind of people to run out their allotted time on Earth before moving forward. Change occurs slowly sometimes. Sometimes it seems not to occur at all, but is really just waiting for the nasty specimens of mankind to die off. Change is generational. Sad but true.
__________________
Scooting here and there
Through the woods and up the peaks
Random Scoots awaits (D.P.)


"Pushing the limits of easy."
randomscooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2015, 04:53 PM   #70
Hard Scrabble
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,188
Justin,
Back in the 60's i drove to a parking area off Beaver Pond Rd. There was a wooden bridge over "Beaver Brook" ??? beyond which was 4 wheel drive territory. Sometimes flooded.
The next brook that we crossed was the outlet of Pharaoh with a steep downhill, across the brook and a steep uphill on the other side.
Where is the present parking area??
Jim
Hard Scrabble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2015, 05:50 PM   #71
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,724
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard Scrabble View Post
Justin,
Back in the 60's i drove to a parking area off Beaver Pond Rd. There was a wooden bridge over "Beaver Brook" ??? beyond which was 4 wheel drive territory. Sometimes flooded.
The next brook that we crossed was the outlet of Pharaoh with a steep downhill, across the brook and a steep uphill on the other side.
Where is the present parking area??
Jim
Jim,
I'm not sure if you can see the map that I posted above, but I think you may
have what you are referring to as "Beaver Brook" mistaken for what is
actually called "Mill Brook", which is the outlet of Whortleberry Pond & Crab
Pond. Pharaoh Lake Brook joins Mill Brook just east of the parking area
near Mill Brook.

Perhaps 'Beaver Brook' was just a local name used by the old timers, as there
are numerous beaver dams along Mill brook, which often causes the flooding
at the crossing.

Here is a portion of the 1953 Paradox quadrangle, which clearly
shows Mill Brook, and I also labeled the two parking areas along Pharaoh
Road again:





...And here is the same map from 1897, which also clearly shows Pharaoh
Road, and Mill Brook...


Last edited by Justin; 07-07-2015 at 06:04 PM..
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2015, 04:49 PM   #72
Hard Scrabble
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,188
Thanks Justin,
The old parking area was at Mill Brook crossed on a wooden bridge. That parking area was easily excessed by two wheel drive vehicles. The road beyond was often flooded in the spring.
The road beyond the Mill Brook bridge was 4 wheel drive territory, although I once saw a VW Microbus parked on the knoll just before the last brook crossing.
I remember a couple of fixtures at Pharaoh. Tex Morehouse and a guy named Whitey, You could follow their trail by the beer cans that they left behind.
Tex drowned while fishing one of the back country ponds near Brant lake.
He was a genuine Adirondack character with a heart of gold. He would bring in milk for my kids while we were camping at the lake. He reminded me of French Louie.
Jim
Hard Scrabble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2015, 08:33 PM   #73
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,378
Hard Scrabble- You wouldn't happen to have any photographs from that era, would you? I've been trying to find photos of Pharaoh Lake prior to the road closure and prior to the removal of the ranger station, without much success.... I did find a couple of old photos online from the 70's about a year ago (including one that showed the original lean-to on the very tip of Watch Rock), but that is about it.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2017, 11:17 PM   #74
electbc
Outdoorsman
 
electbc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Northern N.J.
Posts: 81
Reviving this old thread. How would winter access be to the official parking lot? It would be awesome to snowshoe and winter camp up at Pharaoh lake.
electbc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2017, 07:48 AM   #75
Pauly D.
Member
 
Pauly D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 213
It's fine. Here's a photo from the South entrance last year. I think they put in a bigger parking area this year too.

The trail is very nice to snowshoe or ski into Pharaoh. I've not camped there in winter but it would make a good location.

__________________
Oh I'd rather go and journey where the diamond crest is flowing...
Pauly D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2017, 09:18 AM   #76
Tick Magnet
Member
 
Tick Magnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ballston Lake, NY
Posts: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauly D. View Post
I think they put in a bigger parking area this year too.
We test drove the new parking lot back in September. It's nice. Lets hope they plow it out this winter.

__________________
Tick Magnet
Tick Magnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2017, 10:41 AM   #77
Jackson
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 172
sadly I have crossed Pharoah Lake off my list of future trips.
Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2017, 01:18 PM   #78
JohnnyVirgil
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Porter Corners, NY
Posts: 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
sadly I have crossed Pharoah Lake off my list of future trips.
Winter? Or do they allow snowmobiles?
JohnnyVirgil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2017, 08:15 PM   #79
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,724
Pharaoh Lake is a beautiful & special place...summer & winter!
Please help keep it that way!
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2017, 11:38 PM   #80
electbc
Outdoorsman
 
electbc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Northern N.J.
Posts: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyVirgil View Post
Winter? Or do they allow snowmobiles?
The No Motorized Vehicles rule in the Wilderness area includes snowmobiles.
electbc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.