We were looking to get in a quick overnight trip before black fly season. Looking at the weather report for the weekend, things didn’t look very promising, with high winds, rain and freezing temperatures forecast for the weekend. So Skip and Jim decided on a short Friday night overnight trip with plans to extract before the bad weather arrived mid-day on Saturday.
Jockeybush Lake is a 1.1 mile hike up a 200′ grade with two small stream crossings. Access to the trail head begins across from Lake Alma on Route 10 with parking is adjacent to yellow and brown trail sign. The trail follows a stream that flows from the Jockeybush Lake into West Sacandaga River.
A beautiful rocky stream with several small waterfalls comes down from the right about halfway to the lake.
Since we were only staying overnight we packed light and decided to hike sans snowshoes. At the beginning of the trail we found compressed snow left from previous snowshoe hikers.
I packed in a pair of waterproof, 20″ NEOS Trekkers which I proposed to use for the stream crossing. The overboots were just a little small to fit over my hiking boots however, after an initial use Skip found he could easily slip them over his boots.
As we gained some elevation there was more snow cover. Hiking involved trying to stay on the packed trail or risk a quick post hole. Although we didn’t need snowshoes the lack of gaiters meant our boots filled with snow overflow and soaked our socks.
The south east end of the lake has a beaver dam across it, allowing one to cross to an area of large, flat rocks. The view of the lake from this spot is wonderful, however we found it occupied by a couple and being buffeted by winds sweeping down the lake. We followed an unmarked, but easy to follow trail around the north shore of the lake to a location where large granite ledges provided a scenic view.
While Jockeybush Lake was covered by ice it was slowly melting back from the shoreline.
We utilized a fire ring near the shore for cooking our brats, but set up our tarp on an open area back in the woods. We lowered the windward sides as much as possible. Despite 20 mph wind gusts during the night the shelter stayed intact and upright.
During the evening we heard a horned owl from across the lake, but otherwise slept great.
The next morning we discovered the fuel canister that Skip had packed for heating our water was empty. So we had water and granola bars for breakfast and hiked out. The hike out was easier and quicker due to the snow setting up in the cold temperatures overnight.