I guess you might call this a do-it-yourself High Peaks adventure with a bit of an added bonus. It was such a long-planned trip with a bunch of cool stuff to see that we decided to make this a two-day adventure, and over the course of two blogs I will share this outing from last spring.
Street and Nye are by far not the most popular of the 46 High Peaks, and while I really do enjoy Street, I figured it was time to ramp up the adventure a bit on these two guys. With a bit of advanced planning, which entails getting out the map and spreading it wide on the dining room table, we had it set in motion. At first I was just exploring the idea of having a simple one day adventure, but after a bit more research decided it would be more fun to extend it through a three-day weekend. Of course, as usual it involved a long stretch of trail in and out from camp, but it also included a serious amount of bushwhacking and five separate peaks. My eyes were drawn to a series of mountains called Three Peaks, right near where I planned for the bushwhack route up Street and Nye, and nestled in there was what looked to be a quaint little back-country pond, hidden from the view of those passing by.
It was an early Friday morning that we set out for our adventure, which started at the end of the Northville/Lake Placid Trail. The trail was in decent shape before us, aside from a few beaver flows that were bursting at the seams, but we made do and pressed on. The Chubb River ran ever so close to us at times, and at others well off in the distance, but none-the-less it offered interesting views out over flowed lands. With the ease of undulating hills along the trail we made good time, especially when the trail moved further away from the river and the threat of beaver and spring damage. It wasn’t too long before we were at the old Northville/Lake Placid Trail (NPT), which had been rerouted due to heavy beaver activity and flooding, many years ago.
From here we would start our climb toward Wanika Falls, which was our camping destination for the next couple of nights. The climb was quite steady and a bit tiring as we hauled our heavy multi-day packs filled with real food. We opted out of the freeze-dried yumminess and went for the hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, bread, and Spam of course; you name it we probably had it. We didn’t take the time to set up camp, we went right for the peaks, it was early yet and we had plenty of time. Dropping our heavy packs and loading up our smaller day packs, that we also hauled in, we were off. Now nearing high noon, it was getting buggy and muggy, two of the expectations of an Adirondack spring.
We retraced our steps back to the NPT, which was only about 0.1 miles from camp and continued to climb up the shoulder of the lowest peak of Three Peaks. We would save this one for last however, we wanted to visit the unnamed pond that was tucked away nicely in between the three and do up the two taller summits first. The pond which we aptly named “Three Peaks Pond” was roughly a quarter mile away up a steep slope of rock jumbles and “femur eaters” for us to step in. The heat and the initial 7-miles to camp was taking a toll on our legs at this point, we had no choice but to slow the pace a bit and take it a few steps at a time. Direct sun and mid-80s felt like a sauna under our long pants, but we didn’t really have a choice but to wear them, we didn’t want to get all scratched up.
Standing at the pond, or I should say what was left of it, we looked out over a mud pit lined in green grasses and dotted with dead tree remains-it was actually a neat spot. Even though it had very little water, we were in a remote wilderness that doesn’t get seen; we hadn’t planned on swimming anyway. From here we ventured a bit south to start our climb up the slopes of the highest of the Three Peaks at around 2940’ in elevation, not a small peak by any means. The ferns grew tall on the north side, and fresh from new season growth it was like a plush carpet. The grade wasn’t all that steep but again our legs and now hunger pains slowed us to a crawl. We summited to a fully treed top, covered in ferns and a bit of aged deadfall, we hadn’t planned on much of a view, so we got what we expected.
After a break to diminish our thirst and hunger we started down the gentle slopes, more northerly now toward the second highest peak of Three Peaks. We could see Black Pond down below, a bit out of our way so we knew we would miss it - maybe another time. The ferns continued to cover the slopes, but the brackens now were hiding trip factors we didn’t have before, an added layer of dead-fall hidden beneath the veil of green. Boy, it looked friendly on the surface, but underneath was a twisted mess that would chin-bang us for over a quarter mile.
The climb up Three Peaks #2 was a cakewalk and not really much of a climb at all, but we were fine with that. We did poke around on this one for a bit, but all we could find was a slight view through, and over, the lower trees - and that was only if we hoisted ourselves atop a dead snag. The thick humidity in the air didn’t help our viewing efforts either. Next we were off to the final peak, which was a bit lower than us and even less of a climb. Three Peaks #3 ended up being the one with the most spruce to push through, but only for a short amount of time. We didn’t end up sticking around too long, just a couple pictures and we were off.
Once we hit the NPT again, we didn't waste any time getting back to camp, getting it set up, and cooking up some real food - not granola bars and GORP. Once our bellies were full and we took a cooling dip below the falls, we started to plan a bit more for tomorrow and our bushwhack up the stream to Street and Nye.
Check back soon for the continuation of this adventure! Want to plan your own 3-day weekend trek? Check out our hiking pages for some great ideas, and if you need more help planning your adventure or buying the right gear, check out our sporting goods stores - they'll be glad to guide you. If you have questions, you can also always throw them out here, and I'll point you in the right direction. Don't forget to check out our upcoming events page for some great days to plan for.
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