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Old 06-18-2014, 05:38 PM   #1
jcumo
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Question Marcy with a 5 year old

A few years ago I moved back to NY and fell back in love with the adks. I started taking the entire family on hikes and last year my son wanted to go on a backpacking trip for his 4th birthday. I took him on a 19 mile (3day) hike and camped out at a lean to on pharaoh lake and hiked the little mountain there. It was a huge success and my son is completely hooked. Constantly since then he has asked if he can do Marcy for his 5th birthday and we are planning on going mid-late July

The plan is not solid yet but I am thinking that we will take 3 days to hike it.

Day1: hike into Bushnell falls and try to grab a lean to there. Slant rock would probably be our fall back if the lean tos were full.

Day2: Marcy and back to the lean to.

Day3: Hike out

I havnt ever paid attention to these lean tos. What are the odds that I would get one on a saturday/sunday night.

Im hoping that we get quite a bit of downtime on this hike. I have never actually seen the falls at bushnell. Pictures look like we could play in the water and look for crayfish. Can anyone confirm this?

Any other comments and suggestions are welcome. This is an activity that my son loves and I want to give him a great trip for his birthday.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:06 PM   #2
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I think it's great that your son is hooked on camping and hiking so early, and great that you want to bring him along!

Others can speak to how available those leantos are better than I can, but your plan sounds very reasonable. Just carry a tent for a back up plan. And remember that you'll need a bear canister, this being the Eastern High Peaks region.

You'll probably have a lot of company in that area on a summer weekend, and that will be a great learning opportunity for him.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #3
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There's no way to predict, but on a weekend the likelihood of having a full lean-to is pretty high. I've shared lean-tos with 6-8 other people and have never had much sleep.

My kids started at 3 months and 3 years with a hike up Cascade, the 3 month old obviously rode the entire way, but the 3 year old managed to hike a good portion on his own.

My advice would be to pick an easier destination with fewer unknowns(such as where/how to camp). One very successful outing we had when my kids were 5 and 8 was to rent a lean-to at JBL. We knew where we would be camping, and knew we'd have the lean-to to ourselves. The hike in was reasonable for their ages. My 5 year old carried a huge pack filled with cheerios and marshmallows. She was the proudest kid ever. We climbed Big Slide and Lower Wolf Jaw and spent hours splashing in Johns Brook. A very positive experience which contributed to their continuing to love the Adirondacks. Now 15 years later they've both climbed all 46 high peaks and continue to want to return.

So Marcy is a great goal -- but make sure the experience is positive to ensure everyone wants to return.

Last edited by rdl; 06-18-2014 at 10:18 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:27 AM   #4
jcumo
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Making the experience positive is my top priority. This kid is pretty determined to climb Marcy. He plays mt Marcy at home and pretends to climb it. The destination is set I just need to figure out how make the journey as fun as possible. Since he cant carry much gear I can only bring a very small cramped tent. Maybe I would be better to rearrange things at work and go mid week.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:37 AM   #5
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We went last July and arrived at the Garden parking lot at 5am on a Saturday morning, it was already full and we had to go down to the airfield overflow lot and wait for the shuttle.

Mid-week is your best bet for getting a parking spot in the Garden lot but the shuttle only runs on weekends so it is a tough call:
http://www.adirondackbasecamp.com/ga...ttle-schedule/
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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Rocking Chairs. Thats a great point. I have been so focused on what we will do on the hike I forgot about how much trouble it can be to actually start the hike.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:27 AM   #7
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Yeah, after two high peaks trips in July and August last year (Garden and Elk Lake lots), I am not planning any high peaks trips during the summer months unless I have someone who can drop me off and pick me up from the lots. September is still plenty warm enough and crowds are way down and usually the bugs are gone as well.

This summer we are concentrating on getting our boys (ages 5 and 7) exposed to more back-packing. Next week we are doing a 3.6 mile loop trail near Cranberry Lake, but it will be the first time they are carrying their own packs, half the hike into Olmstead Pond, spend the night, hike back out the next day. The youngest already has aspirations to do the CL-50. They still get tired hiking Bear and Cat Mtns around CL so not quite ready for high peaks, I wish you well.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:08 AM   #8
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There always seems to be plenty of parking at Upper Works. Hiking in to Lake Colden during the summer months gives lots of options. Its a little far for my 5 year old to do Marcy from there though.
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