Sunday, November 23, 2008


I took a friend up on the PKR trails on a frosty late November day. It was his first time up and I think that he enjoyed his hike. This little preserve has a way of growing on you.

I didn't see anyone and only saw a few squirrels and a late in the season chipmunk. That was a little surprising as they usually are are all tucked in for a long winters nap by now. With the cold snap that we are having the ground is frozen solid, so the flurries that have fallen over the past couple of days have stuck in isolated pockets creating some beautiful scenes.

The waterfall is stunning as it is an ice falls already!!!! Last your it was flowing free into late December.

Looking out from the Gazebo, we could see that Warner Bay was frozen from shore to shore to the 5 mph zone. I feel bad for one pontoon boat owner, whose boat is frozen solid in the Lake. It was nice at the Gazebo as the air was crystal clear and we could see north far into the Adirondacks. You can see that the snow guns were blazing on Gore. I hope that the ski areas have a good year. The irony will not be lost on me if this year turns out to be one of the best for snow, but no one has any money for a ski pass.

Use care on the trails as there are a couple of icy spots, but other than that there are no issues effecting you travels on the PKR.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Leave No Trace Part 2

2. TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES Hike in the middle of the trail; stay off of vegetation.Camp in designated sites where possible.In other areas,
don't camp within 150 feet of water or a trail.

While camping is off limits on Pilot Knob Ridge, making sure that you stay on the trail is the important thing to take from this rule. The trails on the PKR are, even in the wet season good, but even when there is water on the trails you still want to stay in the trail's thread. I know, who wants to walk through the mud? However, keeping in the trail's thread is important in keeping the trail from widening past it's intended width. You will notice on very busy, wet trails that there will be areas where a 3 foot wide trail widens to 6 or more feet to avoid a wet area on the trail. This will cause the wet area to increase in size as hikers try to keep their feet dry and becomes a vicious cycle. So if you think that you will be slogging through some early spring hiking you will want good water proof foot gear and gaiters to keep you pants dry. You may find that depending on the time of year that you may have over prepared for the hike, but when you are hiking a trail for the first time it is best to be prepared.

Also, do not cut switchbacks to shorten your walk. This is a problem that we continue to have on the Orange trail near the driveway. There are two heard paths that if they are allowed to continue will end up causing the trail to eroade faster as the water from the hill is beginning to run straight down the herd path. remember that Leave No Trace means that you do not want to create a new path.