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Old 09-22-2020, 02:26 PM   #1
wiiawiwb
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Buttermilk Pond

Recently, a friend and I hiked to Buttermilk Pond from Lily Pond and lost the trail at a cedar swamp about 1/2 mile from Buttermilk Pond.

https://naturalatlas.com/map/@43.710323,-73.636379,14z

The trail up to the cedar swamp was easily followed but literally stopped at the cedar swamp. We saw some grasses that looked like something may have been through and followed those for a little while but we got a late start and had to head back. On our way back, we kept looking at the trail to see if we missed a turn off but didn't see one.

Does anyone have experience with this trail to Buttermilk Pond from Lily to know if it does go through the cedar swamp or I missed a turn off?

p.s. Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to rotate the cedar swamp picture.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:56 PM   #2
DSettahr
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I day hiked there once from Grassville Rd, in 2013. I remember that the trails to Buttermilk were not well maintained then- sounds like there hasn't been much (if any) upkeep in the seven years since.

Here's a link to the photo album from my hike: https://photos.app.goo.gl/yAyHmqv9QaHSwnxN9

I did the loop from Lily clockwise, taking the north leg first. I remember that the north leg was somewhat easier to follow than the south leg, although that's not saying much- the trails east of Lily Pond clearly weren't at all a priority for maintenance.

I do remember the cedar swamp that you mention on the south leg- even before I checked my photos it's one part of the hike that stands out in my memory, 7 years later. It was tricky to follow the trail through the swamp then; there was a lot of blowdown. I imagine it hasn't gotten any easier.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:27 PM   #3
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I know why you were there. I was there (as you know) in the fall of 2015 during a large unsuccessful SAR incident. One of my assignments was to sweep my team along the ridge to the NE from Duck Pond. I think we encountered the swamp you mention. It was tough going with heavy soft damp moss, difficult to walk through and many downed trees to negotiate over. You may have noticed remnants of colored flagging tape in places, but the miles of cotton string cris-crossing the area would be gone by now. Total bushwhack, did not see or use any obvious trail. If there was a trail, I am sure rangers or others searched it and nearby edges.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:31 PM   #4
Justin
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It’s been several years since I’ve been there also but I will second what DSettahr mentioned, as that is what I remember as well while doing a clockwise loop. I lost the trail a couple times in a shady cedar swamp in between Buttermilk & Round Pond (although your photo doesn’t seem to match what I remember, so maybe we are confused on the same “cedar swamp”)...?

Last edited by Justin; 09-22-2020 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:14 PM   #5
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I was last up there in 2016 and have the same picture you posted. I remember that area on the way into Buttermilk from the last junction, but I was able to navigate through it to the other side OK. "Path" seemed to be on the edge of the grassy area. I'm sure it's grown up since then. I don't imagine a lot of people go back there.

Ditto to what everyone else has said in regards to the loop back to Round Pond. I ended up off trail in the nasty dark swamp too. Even after back tracking, it took me a while to find the trail again. There was a 200 yard section that was very hard to follow. After that, it was OK. Not great, but at least you could follow the track.

Time to get back up there and explore some more

https://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=23703
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
I know why you were there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
I was there (as you know) in the fall of 2015 during a large unsuccessful SAR incident. One of my assignments was to sweep my team along the ridge to the NE from Duck Pond. I think we encountered the swamp you mention. It was tough going with heavy soft damp moss, difficult to walk through and many downed trees to negotiate over. You may have noticed remnants of colored flagging tape in places, but the miles of cotton string cris-crossing the area would be gone by now. Total bushwhack, did not see or use any obvious trail. If there was a trail, I am sure rangers or others searched it and nearby edges.
I did notice there were still many colored flagging tapes on the trail. Those who endeavored to grid search there deserve accolades. Kudos to them. It was very difficult walking. I felt I could tip left or right every time I stepped on heavy moss or grass stumps.

I just pulled up both Google Earth Pro and Bing maps. I'm wondering now whether the trail is located on the left (north) side of the cedar swamp. We went to the right (south) side as we saw grasses bent indicating someone before us had gone in that direction.

I'm including a picture from GE and a link to Bing Maps. Do you agree the trail looks to be on the left (north) side of the cedar swamp?

https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=92fa3...=2&form=S00027
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File Type: jpg Buttermilk Pond cedar swamp.jpg (108.6 KB, 85 views)

Last edited by wiiawiwb; 09-22-2020 at 10:49 PM..
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:04 PM   #7
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The cedar swamp I remember being on the loop part of the trail network, rather than on the side trail that connects the loop to Buttermilk Pond. It was between Round Pond and the junction with the aforementioned side trail. This would place the swamp due north of Round Pond, and accordingly west of (and outside of) the aerial image you linked to.

The swampy areas in the image you linked look more like beaver meadows than cedar swamps. If you check the photo album I linked, I have a photo of this area, showing open, grassy meadow with lots of dead trees killed by beaver activity. In contrast, the cedar swamp is much more densely forested with evergreens.

Using your bing maps link, I marked the approximate area that I believe is the cedar swamp in question.

With regards to navigating the swamp, from what I remember (and my memory is admittedly very vague), the trail more or less went right through the middle of the swamp rather that sticking to one side or the other.

If you were to return to the area, I'd suggest trying the north leg of the loop to access Buttermilk Pond. Again, even though it was overgrown and poorly maintained, I did find that leg to be relatively easier to navigate in comparison to the south leg of the loop (or at least in comparison to the section of the south leg that connects Round Pond to the junction with the side trail to Buttermilk).
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