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-   -   Swede Mountain (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=20920)

Dave Bourque 08-14-2021 10:08 AM

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DSettahr 08-15-2021 10:02 AM

Excellent news. Gonna try to swing down there this week.

(I still haven't climbed Stillwater yet, either... Need to make it over that way sometime soon also.)

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSettahr (Post 286778)
Excellent news. Gonna try to swing down there this week.

(I still haven't climbed Stillwater yet, either... Need to make it over that way sometime soon also.)

You said you visited Stillwater when you were a child. I remember your comment years ago.

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 10:29 AM

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I made it to Swede. I forgot my camera battery so I had to use a low quality one. The cabin is in ruins. The tower stairs have all been rehabilitated. The tower still needs to be painted. The roof looks like it has bullet holes in it, go figure. I got to talk to the trail crew. They were kicking rocks off the trail. The trail is newly cut and is grassy compared to most other Adirondack trails. The trail also has many clearings.

DSettahr 08-15-2021 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lonehiker (Post 286779)
You said you visited Stillwater when you were a child. I remember your comment years ago.

If my understanding of the specifics of that event is correct, I was carried up the mountain. I did not climb it myself. ;)

Buckladd 08-15-2021 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lonehiker (Post 286780)
I made it to Swede. .

Can you climb up in the tower?

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 03:11 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Buckladd (Post 286782)
Can you climb up in the tower?

yes, the stairs were rebuilt. The cab is open too. You get a half view toward the west. It looks like I might of seen Crane and Gore in the distance. There is a large prominent mountain with steep slopes toward the south I think is Crane. I saw another large group to the right of that which could be Gore. There are Giant peaks to the north, possibly Dix range or Great Range. There are Multiple large local mountains sweeping along the north. I couldn't find where Pharaoh was. It looks like it would be in front of the high peaks by line of sight.

Sorry the photos are grainy. I'm going to have to go back up there with binoculars and better camera to properly identify everything.

HAYDK 08-15-2021 04:27 PM

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Hiked Swede this morning with my wife Nanny goat. I have been waiting for the opportunity to hike it, all I can say is How "Swede" it is. I went to the Warren County Recreation Mapper and printed out the trail map. The trail map indicates that it is 21.8 miles from exit 25, this is incorrect. I spoke to two other hiking parties this morning and they both had missed the trailhead and turned around at 9N in Hague. Unfortunately I went home and do not have the correct number.
I did take a picture of the reference marker number across from the trailhead, the bottom number is 1412.

montcalm 08-15-2021 04:53 PM

A few more pics here:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sw...912333!5m1!1e4

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HAYDK (Post 286785)
Hiked Swede this morning with my wife Nanny goat. I have been waiting for the opportunity to hike it, all I can say is How "Swede" it is. I went to the Warren County Recreation Mapper and printed out the trail map. The trail map indicates that it is 21.8 miles from exit 25, this is incorrect. I spoke to two other hiking parties this morning and they both had missed the trailhead and turned around at 9N in Hague. Unfortunately I went home and do not have the correct number.
I did take a picture of the reference marker number across from the trailhead, the bottom number is 1412.

That reads 41.2 miles within control segment 1 from the Warren/Hamilton County line to the Swede mountain trailhead. If anyone doesn't understand, the last 3 digits "412" is the mileage in tenths of a mile or 41.2 miles. It's counting upward from the Warren county line near Wells. If you drive in from Hague it would count downward from around 46.3 as an example. It's called the direction of inventory.

If you come in from Chestertown, route 8 will curve a lot along Brant Lake. Once you clear Brant Lake the curves will calm down and the road will widen sometimes with a second lane. It won't be long before you pass a designated paved car pull off on the (RIGHT). It's an obvious pull off not some questionable dirt pull off. When you pass this pull off the trailhead is within 2 miles. The road will climb up beside the mountain and the trailhead is immediately on the right. If you pass Elephant Rock you have gone too far.

HAYDK 08-15-2021 06:21 PM

If your coming from Hague just look for the big yellow sign at the paved pull-off, on your left. If your driving from exit 25 you will not see the sign until you pull in the parking area.
Lonehiker thanks for the clarification of the the reference marker. wikipedia version
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_marker

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by montcalm (Post 286786)

Thank You, I think I can Identify Pharaoh and Stevens Mountain now. Pharaoh is to the right of Stevens. It's not as high as I thought it would be considering all the hype over it and it's area. It's only 2500 to 2600 feet. Prominence does matter though.

Lonehiker 08-15-2021 07:37 PM

Trail Report:
A couple things I noticed:
-The trail uses blue markers and several arrows to help. Some signs are yellow though and many demand you stay on the trail.
-The trail is grassy, but not tall grass. A lot of the grass is flattened down.
-The canopy is quite open in most areas. It’s not the typical Adirondack trail with a thick canopy. I had some sun exposure here.
-The climbing pitches here are brief.
-There were several small downward undulations along the way.
-There were 2 major switchbacks.
-The tower is climbable, but the cabin is collapsed

Instead following the old trail, the new trail switchbacks twice around two knobs leading up to the primary ridge.

The trail starts by the big yellow sign. Currently you step over the parking guard rail to get to the trail. You walk down to the small stream, cross it, and climb up over a very steep bank. I hope they correct this part of the trail, because it’s treacherous. Once on top of the bank the trail is level with a lot of chopped wood on it. You can see North Pond and the parking area from here. The trail will start climbing and swing right toward the west, through a pass. It will then undulate down to a hair pin which is one of the major switchbacks. There is an arrow not on the trail, but back in a clearing still visible. It swings east then south as it climbs along and on top of a drainage. As it reaches the second pass it will turn east again up and over the pass. After the pass the trail undulates down again until it reaches a muddy area. The muddy area has a path across part of it, reinforced with rocks and earth. After the mud area the trail will swing up and begin to gain the primary ridge turning west again as part of the second major switchback. You will pass a knob on the left with a clearing and the trail levels off. The trail will swing up again reaching the top of the ridge line. Near the end, the trail drops down again on the north slope somewhat precariously on the side of the mountain. It will eventually swing back up again to the knob just before the tower. There is an evergreen canopy here. I could barely see the tower through the trees here. Finally the trail drops off the knob, joins the old jeep path, and finishes at the tower in just a few minutes.

Dave Bourque 08-16-2021 09:50 AM

From the cab the views include; Crane, Gore, the 3 Brothers, Stevens, Pharaoh, Treadway and the High Peaks. A small sliver of Brant Lake is visible. It was too hazy to identify any peaks further out but I believe Snowy might be visible. Other than a couple of small buildings in the distance there are no signs of civilization. While the trail follows unattractive slash roads, the summit was not lumbered and is very pleasant. The summit is owned by Warren County. There is talk of selectively cutting a few trees which would re-open the views towards the east.

DSettahr 08-25-2021 10:56 PM

I made it up Swede this afternoon. Short but nice hike. A few observations:
  • Most of the trail is well constructed but there's a few short stretches that either need more work or should've been routed differently. The first hundred feet or so out of the parking lot is most noticeable- it's by far the steepest stretch of the trail and it's already quickly turning into a muddy otter slide. There's a few other stretches that need more/better drainage work and soil stabilization (and honestly possibly even a reroute or two), including one causeway built across a particularly muddy stretch using stone retaining walls that was incorrectly backfilled with organic soils rather than mineral. For the most part, however, the trail was dry and pleasant to hike on. There are also some patches of punji sticks that present a tripping hazard- and accordingly, also a lung-puncturing hazard- and they really need to be cut flush with the ground ASAP.
  • All of the new signage- literally every single trail marker, every "stay on the trail" sign (there's a bunch), every posted sign, and every arrow sign- has been nailed flush with the trees each sign is posted on. The consequence of this is that the majority of this signage will last a few years at the most (whereas by leaving several inches of the nails protruding from the trunk of each tree, many of signs could've easily lasted 1-2 decades).
  • The lower two-thirds of the trail or so pass through very heavily cut over industrial timber lands. In the absence of some sort of on-site interpretation, I suspect that this likely to promote lower levels of enjoyment- and even some level of conflict- among many visitors. I'm also hopeful that Lyme Timber has agreed to leave a buffer in place around the trail during future harvests- but I'm not sure that I hold out that much hope for this sort of protection.
  • A substantial amount of work has visibly gone into the tower itself. All new wooden steps and flooring, plus chicken wire for safety. And if my observations are correct, a new foundation as well. Kudos to whoever did this work.
  • There are excellent views to the northwest from the tower- but all other directions are blocked by trees that are just about as tall as the tower itself. I had the thought while standing in the tower that it might be worth cutting a few trees to enhance the view further. Based on Dave's post above, it sounds like I'm far from the first to have this thought.

jan 08-26-2021 08:19 AM

"Otter Slide" is a very accurate description of the first section of the Swede Mt. hike. I climbed it Tuesday with a group of 7. One person opted to skip the hike and wait in the lot after looking over the start. One word of caution... there is a loose rock partway up the slide that when (not if) it dislodges could be dangerous to anyone below. Watch your step, and watch the climbers above before you start up.

Dave Bourque 08-26-2021 10:08 AM

The majority of the trail work and all of the tower efforts were done by the Warren County DPW. They deserve most of the kudos. Volunteers helped with trail clearing and hardening. The route the trail takes was very specifically defined by the easement Warren County purchased. The easement is very narrow. We suggested several trail re-routes but our requests were denied. The new trail does not follow the original trail. The original trail was through a beautiful hardwood forest and headed more directly up the mountain through a few notches in the cliffs. As far as the "otter slide", Warren County originally planned on constructing a bridge over the outlet of North Pond. Shortly before the trail opening was announced they decided against the bridge. The bridge efforts were to include some stone steps up the embankment. There are still plans on improving this section. With the trail closing for the season on September 10th, this work will not begin until next spring. Long ago there was a wooden foot bridge over the outlet. The trail then immediately turned left and followed the shoreline to a spot where there was no embankment. Unfortunately any re-routes are not an option. The summit is owed by Warren County so any selective thinning of trees do not need NYS permission. At one time the views were almost 360į. Some people might not be in favor of some carefully done cutting but I agree with DSettahr. The mountain has already been extensively lumbered. Losing a few more trees would restore the views we once had. As I have mentioned before, this fire tower peak is going to be very popular. When I drive by the trailhead during the week the parking lot is full.

Nehasane 09-09-2021 05:27 PM

If you havenít yet gotten out to check out the new fire tower trail near Hague on Swede Mountain, youíll have to wait a while: the trail and tower are closed as of September 10, through December 16. When it reopens, you can enjoy views to the north and west of Gore, Crane, and 11th Mountains, along with Brant Lake.

Lonehiker 09-09-2021 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nehasane (Post 287066)
If you havenít yet gotten out to check out the new fire tower trail near Hague on Swede Mountain, youíll have to wait a while: the trail and tower are closed as of September 10, through December 16. When it reopens, you can enjoy views to the north and west of Gore, Crane, and 11th Mountains, along with Brant Lake.

Friends of mine just made it in time :dance:

Dave Bourque 11-23-2021 10:20 AM

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Volunteer efforts have greatly improved the otter slide.

TCD 11-23-2021 10:52 AM

Wow, that's really nice looking work. Those are the kind of steps hikers will use, rather than going around. (I hope the wood is pressure treated, so it will last.)

Who did the work, if I can ask? It looks great, and whoever did it deserves to get credit.

Hear the Footsteps 11-23-2021 05:25 PM

Steps were put in by ADK Glens Falls-Saratoga chapter.
See Adirondac Nov-Dec 2021 pg 35.

Reminder the trail and tower are closed for hunting season, September 10 - December 16. Source of this is https://warrencountyny.gov/news/coun...r-hague-public

TCD 11-23-2021 05:50 PM

Excellent. Good for them. Very well done.


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