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Old 07-05-2017, 07:43 PM   #1
Tick Magnet
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Wilcox Lake via Bakertown, WLWF, 5 Jul 2017

Today's "Lunch at a Lake" brought Tredhed and I back to one of our favorite childhood destinations; Wilcox Lake in the aptly named Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. We've been to Wilcox Lake a dozen times, but never from Bakertown. I don't know why, but it just didn't happen until today.

After a bumpy two mile ride from Harrisburg Lake, we arrived at the outlet ford site and suspension bridge.



We quickly donned our packs, crossed the nice bridge and enjoyed a few hundred yards of classic pine flanked old road walking.



That quickly changed after we passed the Moosewood Club. We were warned about the mud wallows and abused condition of this old road, but it was still a shock to see the impact ATVs have on these old woods roads.



We soon came to the fisherman's path crossing point of the East Branch of the Stoney Creek and discussed the best way to get to the other side. Tredhed put his Army training to use and shimmied across the cable, while I played it safe by putting on water shoes and wading across.



We both made it across safely and headed up the unmarked fisherman's path to the lake.



Soon enough, we arrived at the new lean-to located on the eastern shore of the lake. I was thrilled that the construction crew was able to use much of the old lean-to materials when they built this beautifully sited gem.



The extremely clean site opened up to a great view of the western shore and it's own lean-to, almost a half mile distant.



After mousing around the new site and making the appropriate log book entry, we took the fisherman's path (now marked with yellow disks) to the location of the old lean-to. I always liked the view of New Lake Mt. from this site.



Our final destination today was the west shore lean-to and a little lunch. The loons announced their presence while we nibbled on our sandwiches and enjoyed the moment.



All that was left to do was make a quick log book entry and pack up. We decided to make this a lollipop hike today and exit the lake via the yellow disked DEC trail to the East Stoney Cr. suspension bridge. Sadly, the ATV's had used the steep trail leading away from the lake and left quite a few ruts. After we turned left on the red disked trail to the creek, there were still more ATV tracks in the mud.

When the suspension bridge came into site, we took a quick break to enjoy the views of the East Stoney Cr.



Turning left on the blue disked old road, the ATV ruts continued until we reached the Moosewood Club where we were surprised to see a pickup truck hauling a lawnmower for a little camp maintenance. After exchanging waves and "hello's", we were soon at the ford/bridge and the end of our "Lunch at a Lake" adventure.



An absolutely perfect early summer day for a four hour hike on yellow, red and blue disked trails to one of our happy places. With the exception of the nice gentleman in the pickup truck going to the Moosewood Club, we were the only people in the woods today.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:44 PM   #2
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Great post! Thanks for the intel! I've heard about the cable crossing. Now I know what I'm in for.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:18 AM   #3
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Nice photos T-Mag, thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:11 AM   #4
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Great post! Thanks for the intel! I've heard about the cable crossing. Now I know what I'm in for.
The water was pretty low (shin deep) and wading wasn't an issue. However, judging by the mud and debris on the shore, it had been a couple feet higher during last weeks rain. The cable crossing would have come in handy then.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:48 AM   #5
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Nice report, great photos!! Thanks for sharing another adventure.
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for the great TR. I have been there several times, but always from the trail the comes up from the Brownell Camp. I didn't know there was a new lean to. I guess I am going to have to find my way up there again this year.

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Old 07-06-2017, 09:52 PM   #7
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Funny that messed up boat is still where Russ and I left it this spring. But it isn't sea worthy anyway.
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:12 AM   #8
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Funny that messed up boat is still where Russ and I left it this spring. But it isn't sea worthy anyway.
Yeah, that boat has a gash in its hull that's bigger than the one that sunk the Titanic.

Thanks for all the props guys, even with the ATV ruts and derelict boats, it was a great day in the woods!
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:04 AM   #9
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Years and years ago we used to drive in to Wilcox with Jeeps when it was legal,then we grew up and switched to mtbikes.A favorite ride was from Harrisburg to Wilcox then on to Willus(?) Lake,from there a L to Middle,Murphy and Bennett.Once back on the road up to Tenat Falls or was it Hope Falls area and the trail back to Harrisburg.A very long tiring day but got to see a lot of area.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:29 AM   #10
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Years and years ago we used to drive in to Wilcox with Jeeps when it was legal,then we grew up and switched to mtbikes.A favorite ride was from Harrisburg to Wilcox then on to Willus(?) Lake,from there a L to Middle,Murphy and Bennett.Once back on the road up to Tenat Falls or was it Hope Falls area and the trail back to Harrisburg.A very long tiring day but got to see a lot of area.
That's a heck of a bike loop!

I'm sort of surprised I don't see more mt. bikes on the trails that I hike. Harrisburg to Wilcox Lake seems like a no brainer.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:00 PM   #11
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Please report the ATV activity to the DEC, not that they will do anything, but if enough people bitch about it.

I seem to remember a suspension bridge where you guys took the cables/waded. The trip from Harrisburg makes a nice ski trip.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:27 PM   #12
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Please report the ATV activity to the DEC, not that they will do anything, but if enough people bitch about it.

I seem to remember a suspension bridge where you guys took the cables/waded. The trip from Harrisburg makes a nice ski trip.
Item 1: Done and done!

Item 2: As far as there being a suspension bridge where the cables were, I can't say. The current suspension bridge is about 1/2 mile downstream from the cable crossing. As far as I can remember, that bridge has been in it's current location.
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Old 07-07-2017, 04:16 PM   #13
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I'll see if I have a photo...
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Old 07-07-2017, 04:48 PM   #14
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As I remember, there were two suspension bridges, one not far from Bakertown, your Moosewood Club and then the one over the East Branch. After crossing bridge 1, we walked thru an area of white pine that looks like a plantation, then we crossed the East Branch.

It's only been 31 years since I did this trip and you know what time does to you.

I see your last photo of a bridge and a ford. Perhaps that's the first bridge I'm thinking of???

I've been in a couple of times from Brownell's, but 31 years from Harrisburg.

The lake is pretty, but it's not my favorite area. I was there last year and there were no signs of ATV activity going to the lake. Shame that it's allowed to happen. LOTS of litter at LTs as well.
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