Preseason winter camping on Veteran’s Day weekend has become a regular occurrence for the WinterCampers.com crew. This year was no exception. Matt picked out a hike along Cascade Pond a bit north of Old Forge, NY. The weather was iffy as the 4 campers set out on the drive to the trail head.
A light rain/snow mix was falling and forecasts were calling for increased wind and more snow showers to fall. At the trail head a light snow was already on the ground, it was chilly but dry. Matt, Mark, Len, and Chris set off. It was an easy hike following an old woods road with little elevation change.
At the trail split the team stopped to decide which fork to take. Matt, having the foresight to study the map and trail description left back in the car, convinced the other hikers it would wise to take the trail to the left instead of the one to the right that Mark was lobbying for. Matt explained to them that the camping area is on the left side of the lake and if they took the right trail it would increase the hiking distance by at least 2 more miles. After just a short walk on the left trail a large open area was found, where the old girls camp along the lake once existed, and all were excited to see the possibilities of tenting locations and sunshine.
Matt set about taking pictures to capture the moments while Chris and Len set up the tipi as Mark read off the directions. The stove was assembled by Matt, stove pipe by Mark, Len and Chris and all climbed inside to eat some lunch and lay out their gear so the sleeping bags could begin lofting.
After lunch and a short relax the team continued along the trail to find the Cascade waterfall at the far end of the lake. A few wet areas were along the trail that took a bit of caution but within a short walk we could begin to hear the falls. There was nice filtered sunshine along the trail and at times the team even took pause to soak up the warm rays. Cascade falls is a nice low flowing falls of about 30 feet perhaps.
Pictures and exploration took place around the falls and then all headed back to the campsite where some wood was scavenged and cut up. Firemaster Len was left to start the fire while Matt, Mark and Chris basked in the warmth and listened to the snow squall move in to whiten the ground again.
The group hung out in the tipi and then made their dinners. Lasagna for Matt, Beef with potatoes and gravy for Mark, can of soup for Chris and Len prepared his cylindrical meats on a stick which he cooked inside the tipi wood stove. By 8:30 we let the wood stove go out and everyone was fast asleep by the evidence of snoring. Temperatures got down into the mid to high 20’s that night and all slept soundly. The group awoke around 6:30, prepared their breakfasts and took their time packing things up before hiking out a little after 8 am. All in all a great trip, great location and worth checking out again especially for a jamboree type trip.
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