Heaven Hill Trails- A Short Walk Through the Woods

Instead of staying inside and not enjoying the day before work, my partner and I decided to take a picnic trip to Heaven Hill in Lake Placid. This is a trail system comprised of short hikes through the woods and in open fields. We decided to do both the Big Field Loop and the Old Orchard Loop.

Every time I’ve walked this trail runners and walkers are present with their super kind and adorable pups. It’s definitely not a quiet trail if that’s what you’re seeking, but it isn’t over saturated. Lovely views are everywhere. Each field provides a different angle of the peaks. The forest surrounding the fields is lush and dense. It was full of birds during this short trip.


We were about halfway through our stroll when we heard what sounded like someone starting a large farm vehicle- turned out to be thunder. It was a good thing we both had rain coats for this chance storm. Mine was used for protecting my camera and I got soaked, but it was a warm pre-summer rain and quite lovely to embrace. The coolest part about this experience is that when we made it to the Old Orchard the storm had moved over the peaks. This provided us with a view of the now sunny day over us, and the storm emptying over the mountains. It was certainly worth the wet.


All in all Heaven Hill Farm is definitely worth a check in. On a day when you’re short of time it’s the perfect option. It isn’t far from town, and the trail is short without too much elevation gain. This trail is perfect for running and cross country skiing as well. For specifics and directions check here.

Thanks for reading, and remember that the outdoors are always there just waiting for us to meet up with them. They’re super forgiving and won’t give us a hard time for taking some space, but they’re always missing us. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get out there, just take it!

Hugs and Backpacks,
BB.

The Hike to OK Slip Falls – An ADK Must Do!

 

Last week, on one of our first 60+ degree days of Adirondack spring, we hiked OK Slip Falls. You might’ve heard of them- they’re the biggest falls in the ‘dacks.. and some of the biggest in New York. I make an effort to visit as many falls as I can while traveling. Waterfalls represent to me life, strength, and clarity. Three things I channel positivity toward each day.

 

The hike begins in Indian Lake, NY. The trailhead wasn’t difficult to find and had a great parking area. After parking it’s a short road walk to the trailhead and off you go. Packing through the woods (and in this case, followed by a trail of vampires! ADK May = Blackfly Season). This is a beautiful 6.5 mile round trip of non-taxing terrain. Slight ups and downs make for good opportunities to get your heart rate up without dragging yourself up a steep climb just yet. This is what I tell myself anyway!

 

Flowers, plants, and trees were blooming everywhere and there were some wonderful opportunities for bird watching. We were so happy to see two black-backed woodpeckers which are very difficult to find. This trail had many trees filled with holes drilled by woodpeckers. It was definitely a great place to go for birders interested in finding this rare species. A lovely walk through the woods is always beneficial anyway.

 

When we got to the middle of our hike (where the waterfalls are) we had two options. We could view the falls from our current standpoint, which was from above looking through the trees and did not involve any taxing climb, or we could hike down the ravine and see the whole thing from the bottom. Well, I LOVE waterfalls. They always move me and change my life a little bit. I consistently have inner revelations upon seeing these giant cascades of sparkling water. It’s as though the falls cleanse the sand from my thoughts and things become significantly clear again! So I said, “Let’s go! We’re doing this!”, and we were off to see the wonderful wizard of falls. (Ha Ha).

We followed the advice of two hikers passed to “be mindful”. This traverse was the steepest terrain I’ve accomplished without a harness and climbing shoes. It was a careful endeavor. It was also worth every single second.

The waterfalls live up to any writing about them. They stand at over 200 feet tall with massive amounts of water pouring over the top, cascading down the rock ledge creating tons of magical tiny falls. The water began so far away, and streamed down in a way that it seemed as though a giant was holding a pitcher of water and pouring it down into the valley.  We arrived late in the day. The sky was tinted purple and dulled by the mist. It was 15 degrees cooler by the falls. There were two huge floats of snow hanging onto the browned outer edges of the falls, waiting for the official end to Adirondack winter. 



The hike back up that hill was obviously difficult, but it was short, and again, it was worth it. It gained us several different views of the falls and one last rewarding view before our trek out. We walked out seamlessly, stepping quickly to avoid the flies, and stepping quietly to hear the birds.


As a whole this was one of my favorite hikes. It was medium distance and slightly challenging in that way. This is officially a hike that I will revisit in my future. The pure enjoyment of the walk through a dense forrest, views of the falls, and the wildlife and blooms were plenty enough for me to fall in love. A definite Adirondack must do.

Hugs and Backpacks, BB.

A Quick Stop in Georgia

We were on the first leg of our trip back home (FL->NY) and had accomplished about 6 of the 24 hour ride. We were in Georgia. It was midnight. It was raining. We were exhausted. We had no plans for sleeping. So we looked for campsites as we drove up 75.
The first.. and second.. and third.. were duds. Closed, unavailable, and closed again. We were about to set up camp in a Walmart parking lot when we went just a bit further and BAM! There it was. The perfect campsite – with a big neon open sign and lots of sleeping RVs. 

The Red Gate Campground was everything we needed at midnight. The office was “check yourself in” and pay in the morning. There was a nice bathroom with a shower. We also were directed by sign to camp in front of the office which was extremely convenient. 

The rain had picked up when we stepped out of the office. The air had a chill unknown to our Florida nights. Georgia is different. The tent was worth it.. even for this very moment. In 5 minutes we were parked, it was open, and we were in bed, listening to rain drops falling. It wasn’t long before sleep overcame us. 

At sunrise, we realized we had set up camp next to a cage with a rooster. He was letting off his “cock-a-doodle-doo!” every 3-5 minutes like an original snooze button. We accepted it for awhile before getting up, paying, and hitting the road. Not before having a look at the beautiful cock who woke us up though 😂. He was surrounded by chickens and baby rabbits in a lovely pen shaded by the branches of two huge southern oak trees. 

Just like that we were on the road again with a sunny day ahead. This was one of my favorite quick stops on the trip. The experience was really interesting. We learned a lot about finding a site, and about the ease of our magical tent. 

The biggest lesson here (and everywhere on a road trip) is to take a chance. Usually it works out.. and if not.. you’re still having fun! Life is good. 

Hugs and rooftents,

BB.