Frick Pond: Flynn and Big Rock Trails

FlynnBigRockMar2017_15camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Sunday, March 19th I had planned to go to Frick Pond again and break out some more trails. I knew this would be a sort of futile effort since the temperatures during the week would reduce the amount of snow drastically. I still though it would be fun. Cindy had a meeting after church but said she wanted to go with me. I drove home and Sheila and I waited for her to get home. Cindy returned at about 1:30 PM and we got ready to head out. I decided to dress a little more lightly tan on the previous few trips as the temperature was hovering around 40 degrees. I was concerned that the higher temperatures would melt the snow and make it even more difficult to hike but decided to try it anyway. My plan was to hike up the Flynn Trail and down the Big Rock Trail. At Times Square we would hike the Logger’s Loop back to the Quick Lake Trail and the parking area. As of Saturday the Flynn Trail was untouched and I expected it to be that way when we arrived. Sheila was ready to go ay any time and Cindy got herself dressed as we left Livingston Manor just before 2:00 PM. After driving out the DeBruce Road and up the Mongaup Pond Road we arrived at the Frick pond trailhead parking area at 2:10 PM and got ready to hike. There appeared to be only one car in the lot but as we were getting ready another car arrived. We crossed the road an 2:15 PM and started out by hiking up the Flynn Trail toward the junction with the Big Rock Trail. MY fears concerning the softening snow were conformed as we hiked the rail through the woods where there was less snow. Less snow should have meant an easier hike but the softened snow was heavier and more difficult to walk through. The sun was warm but there was a slight breeze. As we turned right onto the woods road following the blue blazes of the Flynn Trail, we were met by completely pristine snow! I took a few pictures and then we started up the trail. It was tough going as the trail is all uphill with only a few spots that flatten some. I started to count my steps so that when I took a rest I could try to beat my “record”. Occasionally I would stop for a longer time to take a few pictures. I kept thinking we were farther along than we were and at one point I pulled out my GPS to find we were still short of a mile. I knew that I could make the next .8 miles but that it would be slow going. We passed the “meadow” on the right of the trail and I knew there was about half a mile to go. Right after this point there was a slight downhill that felt really good but it was followed by more climbing. As we approached the junction with the Big Rock Trail, Cindy decided to pass me and break the trail. I’m sure she was trying to help but it left me feeling defeated and deflated. I had hoped that I could break trail all the way to the junction and missing by .15 miles was disappointing. I reached the junction at 4:30 PM after hiking 1.7 miles and was VERY happy to find the Big Rock Trail was packed by snowmobiles. I knew this would make the trip back much easier! I took a small break and then turned left to follow Cindy down the hill on the Big Rock Trail.

FlynnBigRockMar2017_18Cindy was keeping up a quick pace downhill as she always does and I just wanted to take it easy and recover. At one point she stepped off to the side of the trail and indicated I should go ahead. I didn’t see the point but did not want to argue. I started down the hill stopping at one point to take some pictures of the trail broken by the machines. As we neared the bottom of the hill, we came to a large tree across the trail. Some machines had apparently gone over the tree while oaths had gone around. I went around the right end of the blow down and then heard snowmobiles coming. We stepped off the trail to the right and three machines game by us slowing as they passed. We continued own the hill arriving at Times Square. We had taken about 30 minutes to descend the 1.2 miles on the Big Rick Trail while the 1.7 mile ascent of the Flynn Trail had taken 2 hours and 15 minutes! Cindy decided we would turn left and walk the Logger’s Loop back to Gravestone Junction. The skies were more overcast now and there was a little less sun. This part of the Logger’s Loop is only .6 miles long but has a little uphill grade for the first part. My legs were very tired especially around the hips but at least the trail was well-packed. We had walked the trail the day before breaking fresh snow and then others had walked it to pack the snow even more. Even though it wasn’t as well groomed as the Big Rock Trail it was much easier walking in the set track that it was the day before. It was also much easier than our long haul up the Flynn Trail. At 5:20 PM we were back at Gravestone Junction after hiking only 3.5 miles. We turned left and hiked the Quick Lake Trail back to the register and then continued on the woods road back to the car. When we arrived in the parking area at 5:30 PM all the other cars were gone. We had hiked 4 miles in 3 hours and 15 minutes for an overall rate of 1.2 mph! This was slow but acceptable given the brutal conditions.