Albany County Line to Fawn Lake

AlbanyLineFawnLakeAug2014_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, August 19th I wanted to go back to Schoharie County and Albany County line to start the Long Path section from the Albany County Line to the Switz Kill. I planned to park where I had ended the last hike on Lawton Hollow Road near the shale pit on the county line. The weather forecast was good with no rain in sight and temperatures only in the low 70’s. I left Livingston Manor just before 7:30 AM. I got Sheila in the car and we headed up the Beaverkill Road to the Barkaboom Road. At the end of the road I turned right on BWS 10 and took it to Route 28 in Margaretville. We turned right and then left to follow Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge and North Blenheim. In Middleburgh I turned right to head east on Route 145 to Huntersland Road just out side of town. I turned left on Huntersland Road and drove 2.7 miles and made a left on Lawton Hollow Road. After driving 3.9 miles on Lawton Hollow Road, I pulled over to the left side of the road where there was a shale pit and room for several cars. Just passed this spot on the right was a “Welcome to Albany County” sign. We got ready to hike and started east on Lawton Hollow Road at 9:10 AM. The first .5 miles of the hike was slightly downhill on Lawton Hollow Road to the intersection with Bradt Hollow Road. The trail description said to turn right on a gravel road but the road was paved and had been for a number of years. The description certainly didn’t mislead me but further reinforced the notion that these descriptions are old and have not been updated in some time. We walked south on Bradt Hollow Road for about .7 miles gaining about 260 feet in the process. I didn’t see many aqua blazes and began to wonder if I had missed the turn off the road. Just over the top of a rise there was a brown and yellow sign for the Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area on the left side of the road. It had blazes that indicated a right turn onto a snowmobile trail. The trail had been mowed but was beginning to grow up again. There was a heavy dew and I wondered how my boots would hold up. From this point on most of the trail followed snowmobile and Nordic ski trails and woods roads. The aqua blazes were very clear and I only had to stop once or twice to make sure I was headed in the right direction.

AlbanyLineFawnLakeAug2014_05At 2.1 miles we crossed High Point Road and began walking through stands of Norway spruce and red pine. At about 2.7 miles we came into sight of a beaver pond and I stopped to take a few shots before continuing on the trail which turned right shortly after that. The trail stayed near the pond briefly and then turned away from it to the left. Just before the 3 mile mark we entered a lane through some spruce trees. I happened to look to my right and saw a spherical, black object. On closer inspection it turned out to be a bowling ball! As we continued to walk through a wet area ahead, I couldn’t help but think about the person that would deposit a bowling ball in the woods. We began an uphill walk which brought us to Bradt Hollow Road at 3.6 miles. We walked out onto the road and turned right and almost immediately left onto a gravel road. We took the next right into a snowmobile trail. The blazes here were hidden and the grass on the trail was not mowed. The snowmobile trail paralleled the road for at least a quarter mile and I regretted not simply walking on Te road. The trail began to swing east away from the road and began to follow an extremely straight woods road which seemed to be the boundary between private and state land. We walked mostly downhill for about a mile where we met Beaver Road. Many of the back roads aren’t very different than the trails so I did not put Sheila on her leash. We turned left on Beaver Road and walked downhill for about .2 miles where the trail turned right off the road at 5.1 miles. The trail description stated that this turn was at 5.25 miles so when I didn’t immediately see blazes, I began to wonder.

AlbanyLineFawnLakeAug2014_14I picked up the blazes after a short walk into the woods and we continued downhill on a snowmobile trail that led us to Tubbs Pond which, strangely, was not marked on my GPS. We stopped by the dam and I took a few pictures of this secluded gem. We continued across the bridge just downstream from the dam. The bridge wasn’t really necessary as there was little water in the stream. When we got to the parking area, we continued to walk on the access road to 5.8 miles where we turned right on Fawn Lake Road. The day was warm and a little humid but otherwise pleasant. It was only about .4 miles to the end of the road at the Fawn Lake parking area. The road paralleled the lake shore and as we walked I could hear people out on the lake in a boat. We walked to the upper part of the parking area to find where the Long Path continued on a snowmobile trail. We walked down to the lake and found a DEC truck. Sheila went for a swim while I took a few pictures. This was our turnaround spot for the day so we started back to the car at 11:30 AM. I decided I did not want to repeat the exact route we had taken out since there was nothing spectacular to see. We retraced our route back to Tubbs Pond and back up to Beaver Road. As we walked up Beaver Road we continued passed the trail and walked .3 miles out to Bradt Hollow Road. We stopped to get a drink and a snack. I stowed my poles and put Sheila on her leash. As we were about to leave, I noticed that there were several beautiful horses in a paddock next to the road. We turned right on Bradt Hollow Road and walked .9 miles to the intersection with Cook Hill Road. There was a small parking area here and a sign describing the wildlife management area. We followed Bradt Hollow Road to the right and I knew it was a simple matter of walking to Lawton Hollow Road on taking a left. The road was exceptionally straight and headed almost due north. At 9.9 miles we crossed High POint Road and at 10.3 miles we were back at the point where we had turned off the road onto the trail earlier in the day. It was just .7 miles back to Lawton Hollow Road where we turned left and walked the .5 miles back to the car. We were back at 1:15 PM having hiked 11.5 miles in 4 hours with a vertical gain of 1550 feet.