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Old 06-20-2018, 10:28 PM   #1
Kevin7
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Current Conditions on Lake Arnold to Skylight Trail?

I'm thinking of hiking to Skylight via Lake Arnold next Tuesday (June 26). Does anyone know the current trail conditions?

This will be a challenging hike for me, my toughest yet. Is this trail likely to be a lot drier and easier to hike in August?
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:42 PM   #2
DSettahr
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That stretch never really dries out. Once every few years, the DEC sends a trail crew in to redo the bog bridging and things are great for about a season, and then the soils (mud) get shifted around by water and conditions are worsened until the next cycle of meaningful maintenance.

I haven't hiked it recently myself but I did speak to a group that came through there a few weeks ago that was camped at Feldspar. Sounds like you can expect the usual- floating bog bridges that disappear down into the water when the weight of a hiker presses down on them.

The hike in to Skylight from Upper Works is a little bit longer but also comes without floating bog bridges or loss of elevation from Lake Arnold to Feldspar. These tradeoffs may or may not make this a desirable alternative for you.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:48 PM   #3
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Thanks, DSettahr.
I want to do it as a loop with a return over Marcy, so I am rather committed to the Lake Arnold route.
Do you think it would be somewhat drier in August?
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:15 AM   #4
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Personally I love that loop. I've done it a few times (although last time was 3 or 4 years ago), and never had *that* much trouble. The upper Opalescent valley where the swampy part happens is a beautiful area. The stringers in the swamp are pretty negotiable, with care -- maybe a wet foot at one point. Then again, I'm light (high 140s) and fairly agile.
You should throw in a side-jog up to Skylight if possible. Not that much added elevation, and it's a great peak.
I do it in the direction you described, counter-clockwise. Then you get to Marcy later when the crowds have reduced (or gone, depending on your speed) -- and the VanHo is long but well graded & maintained. You can almost float down it. Just have a good headlamp in case it takes longer than you think (speaking of which, the days are longer now than in August).
Have fun! It's a classic.
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:28 AM   #5
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Yeah, like Rickhart says, it's not that bad... but no, it also never really dries out and you can typically expect wet feet to some extent.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:02 AM   #6
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Last summer at the OpeyFootSoakey swamp.

http://i.imgur.com/WxSaQpF.gifv

If you fall off those planks, the water is waist deep (so I've read). Plumbing the depths with our poles suggested it wasn't far from the truth.
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