Tongue Mountain Range of Lake George

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  1. #1

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    Mar 2008
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    Tongue Mountain Range of Lake George

    For those who don't know, the Tongue Mountain Range stick into Lake George like ... a tongue!



    So it's got views of the lake from a few vintage points. Namely the many peaks on the range.

    The range is about 10 mile long. But to make it back to the start, the shortest loop is 13 some miles. On the short days of fall, I decided that's not wise. I was right. I had trouble enough doing the 2 "half" of the range on separate days.

    Day 1, Saturday, lower range, from Clay Meadow parking. Weather, clear and crisp. I was looking forward to far reaching views from the top overlooking the lake and its many islands in the "Narrows" area.

    Up the red trail, which cut half way through the "tongue", basically a short cut to the middle of the ridge of the tongue! Made good time to the trail junction with the trail going along the ridge.

    But that's when things went wrong. Two arrows pointing left and right. Left trail was easy to see, with blue blaze. Right trail is a little harder to see because of all the fallen leaves. But I spotted a red disc nailed on a tree!

    I didn't think much about why was the disc was red. Nor did I see the OTHER BLUE DISC on yet a 3rd trail that's entirely indistinguishable from its surroundings by all the leaves!!!

    Following the red discs, I soldier on. And came upon the most brilliant color!

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    Mar 2008
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    But tried as I might, I couldn't find any more red disc on the trees any more. There're, on the other hand, several different trails going off in all directions. But all of them going DOWN! After about half an hour of going around in circles, I retrace my step back to the junction with the blue trail. Still not able to spot the OTHER blue disc going south.

    Daylight was getting short. I realized I probably can't reach the peak I was aiming for even if I find the trail. I went back down the trail towards Clay Meadow. It's the boring trail I remember doing, mostly because I didn't get even a glimpse of the lake!

  3. #3

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    Mar 2008
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    Day 2, Sunday. Weather: mostly cloudly.

    Having missed the ridge trail going from Clay Meadow, I decided I'd tried the "other" trail head on the northern end of the "tongue". Except instead of going out and back, I decided to come down the red trail to Clay Meadow Parking.

    To get back to my car, which was at the norther trail head (Deer Leap) parking 5 mile away, I locked my bike on the Clay Meadow trail head.

    Even though it was a fine weekend day, there's but one car on that trail head parking. I was thinking to myself "what do I NOT know that the locals know to avoid hiking the tongue today?" But I wasn't going to give up without a try. As I was almost ready, another car pulled into the trail head parking and the lone woman driver was very efficient in getting ready. Even though she got there a good 5 minutes after me, she was ready to go before I was. We exchanged pleasantry quickly. And I took advantage of the opportunity to ask some quick question on that section of the trail. She assured me it should be an easy walk!

    It was. So there's not much to write about. Just a fast trot to the top of Five Mile Peak. Was rewarded with beautiful view of Lake George below:



    I caught up to the woman hiker at Five Mile peak. We chatted briefly and sharing the lake view from the overlook, before the wind drove us back into the trees. And we each went our separate ways. Her back track to the trail head, and I continue forward hoping to pick up the red trail to Clay Meadow.

    Because the previous day's boo-boo, I was super careful this time. Looking back and forth every time the trail was a little iffy. The section between Five Mile Peak to the red trail clearly wasn't used by as many hikers so it took some care to not lose the trail. Trail marking was sporadic at best. I'm sure on summer day, without all the leaves, the trail is probably very obvious. But on this day, it was far from obvious!

    But with a lot of care (and the occasional back tracking), I was able to reach the junction with the red trail without much fan fare.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    At the trail junction, I again look for the southern section of the ridge trail. That's when I finally spotted that blue disc heading to the south!

    Since it was only a little past noon time, I decided to head south and tag at least the nearest peak.

    While the main trail was relatively easy to follow, the branch that lead up to the peak (and a lean-to) was easy to miss! Fortunately for me this time, I saw the little yellow disc going up and followed it to the top.



    Weather had clouded up by then. But it was still a nice view nonetheless. Wish I was up there the day before in that clear crisp sky.

    A short break followed by a quick descend of the red trail down to Clay Meadow parking. Changed into biking gear and got back to my car in no time.

    All in all, a good weekend, despite the mistake in navigation.

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