|May 18, 2015 (Mon.)
|Elevations: 3899 feet, 3861 feet; Order of Height: 50, 57
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Caroline Doucet
A repeat of our pleasant 2010 loop over the two main peaks of the Mckenzie Range, just west of the actual lake of Lake Placid.
We parked at the start of the re-routed Lake Trail, on Blodgett Road (the old Chipmunk Lane access is closed). This new stretch bypasses all of the upscale homes and boathouses, but eventually rejoins with the old Lake Trail route (some attention required to follow properly). From there, we continued along the Lake Trail as before, to a point below Moose's summit, then caught the trail that leads up to it. The morning was humid but sunny, clear, and still.
Shortly after heading up-slope towards Moose, we were drenched in sweat.
The snows of winter had all but melted away, and we had a mostly dry ascent to Moose's summit. Some excellent trail clearing and a very un-eroded path provided a quite straightforward ascent, despite being a bit steep in places. A stop at picturesque Loch Bonnie, about halfway up, was welcome.
We took in the limited views from Moose's summit, then continued on, along the ridge trail over to Mckenzie. This, in my opinion, is the gem of this loop: a long, meandering, beautiful little path, soft and springy, relatively free of blowdown, and through picturesque taiga-type woods. And very secluded; likely you'll meet no one else. The first half from Moose is best; the second half that climbs up over bumps to Mckenzie's summit is a little bit less enchanting.
We stopped on Mckenzie's excellent western lookout for lunch, then continued on, hoping to beat some approaching bad weather. We descended the more-travelled southern approach to Mckenzie, and the extra wear and tear on the trail was quite apparent. Once at the valley floor, we turned left on the Mckenzie Pond / Jackrabbit ski trail and completed the section back to Whiteface Inn Road (Blodgett is perhaps just a hundred yards farther, completing the loop).
Please refer to the link below for the full trip report with lots of pictures.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: May 2015 McKenzie and Moose Mountains Loop