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Old 10-04-2017, 07:57 PM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Lizard Pond from Baldwin Springs, WLWF, 4 Oct, 2017

Since Tredhed and I hadn't been to Lizard Pond in over five years, it was time to re-visit this beautiful location in the heart of the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. According to the lean-to log, most people visit Lizard Pond after canoeing or snowshoeing across Garnet Lake. As always, we like to take the road/trail less traveled. Baldwin Spring, here we come!

Leaving the house early this AM, we made good time up the back roads to our destination. There was a slight delay on County Rd. 12 as we waited for the morning flight to depart Rwy 34 at the Stony Creek Int'l Airport (no taxis, no wifi, no cell service, nothin but good country living).



Leaving the bright lights and big city of Stony Creek behind, we turned off of Wolf Creek Rd. and headed "over the hill" on West Stony Creek Rd. We were surprised by the Thurman highway crew replacing a culvert and grading the insanely rough road. After a 30 minute, kidney jarring ride "over the hill", we made it to the pullout adjacent to the East Stony Creek. (Please don't try this route in anything other than a high clearance vehicle, it's brutal.) A short walk across the snowmobile bridge and down the trail brought us to the Baldwin Spring trailhead.



Baldwin Spring is a neat little clearing in the middle of the forest. The ATV tracks led us to believe it's very popular with riders who love mud wallows.



A short detour lead us to the spring and revealed some delicious water.



Yummy spring water and mud wallows behind us, we set off up the Bartman Trail for the Lizard Pond junction. After a short walk, we came to the junction and headed out towards Lizard Pond. Every muddy spot we crossed there were several sets of moose tracks. Sadly we saw none of the majestic beasts... some day.

The trail was in pretty good shape for the first mile or so, with beautiful large pines shading the early October sun.



We checked out the spur trail to Indian Pond and sure enough, 100yds. down the path, the beaver had dammed up the East Stony Creek and the trail was impassable. We backtracked and then walked farther up the Lizard Pond trail. as we went further up the trail, it became more overgrown with brush and some blowdown. Nothing like our last trip here in 2012 http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.p...ht=lizard+pond

The toughest part of the trail was the last ten minutes, as there was some large blowdown in an area over an overgrown beaver pond. Very thick stuff. Thankfully, the trail was well marked with freshly posted yellow disks for us to re-find the way.



Blasting through the thick stuff, we made it to the pond in one piece. As we neared the lean-to, an Air Guard C-17 buzzed the tree tops at 500' momentarily breaking the silence of the "wilderness".



The plane didn't seem to bother the resident loon who was fattening up on freshly stocked trout (thanks DEC!). The view of Mt. Blue from the lean-to was pretty good even though the leaves were kind of washed out.



We enjoyed looking at the ledges that we may climb some day; some day?



Of course, Crane Mt. loomed over the north end of the pond, mocking me with its insanely steep cliffs and unnecessarily exposed ladders.



After some time watching the loon, a vulture or two and swarms of migrating monarch butterflies, we had a little lunch. A short rest followed and it was back down the trail to Baldwin Spring. The Thurman Road Crew had left for the day and we didn't have to dodge any graders or backhoes on the slow ride back "over the mountain". All told, we spent about five hours in the woods today and didn't see a soul. The lean-to and pond we very clean and extremely enjoyable. I'm plotting my next visit to this neat corner of the WLWF. A true gem!
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:39 PM   #2
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Tick, You can thank a group of A-holes who think it's fun to tear up a road with FWDs and leave it almost impassable for people who just enjoy looking for the beauty in The Big Woods.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:17 PM   #3
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I snowshoe'd up this those ledges on Mt. Blue once. It was at the limit of doable. If I were to do it again, I'd go around.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:55 PM   #4
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Nice area! Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:00 PM   #5
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Very nice!
Man what a day to be out!
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the props folks!

As for the crummy condition of West Stony Creek Rd., most of the "high clearance vehicle required" spots seemed to be on the steep hill. The ruts and gullies looked like they were caused by water erosion. When the road got down to Madison Creek, the wallows and ruts were obviously from gross buffoonery by the aforementioned citizens.

From what we could tell, there were several vehicles that forded the 3' deep East Stony Creek. They must have had a heck of a lift kit and a snorkel to get through that. There were plenty of fresh truck tracks on the first part of the Bartman Trail as well.

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Old 10-07-2017, 11:18 AM   #7
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Was the Gun and Pups clubhouse still at Baldwin Springs or is that long gone,years ago we use to 4wd in there when it was legal.At times you could drive out to a place called Big Bend(?) on the Oregon Trail.You could also cross the creek and drive to Wilcox Lake.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabe View Post
Was the Gun and Pups clubhouse still at Baldwin Springs or is that long gone,years ago we use to 4wd in there when it was legal. At times you could drive out to a place called Big Bend(?) on the Oregon Trail.You could also cross the creek and drive to Wilcox Lake.
We didn't drive down to the Gun and Pup, but I'm pretty sure they're still there. We did pass a couple of hunting camps close to Baldwin Spring. They all looked pretty nice and well maintained.

A couple years ago, I remember seeing fresh truck tracks on the Oregon Trail headed towards North Bend, but they turned around about halfway there. ATV tracks seemed to be more common as the road degraded. You can see where back in the day, trucks drove all the way there and even farther up the Bartman cutoff.

Different times.
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