Today was an intro day - for Denis, who was relatively new to the Adirondacks. We wanted an outing that was big on scenery and relatively modest (Pu-like, shall we say) on distance, effort, and unpleasantness. Also along, in addition to myself: Jenn, Pu and Roch.
Noonmark was a relatively obvious choice. It satisfies all of these characteristics. And, if Denis was up to it, we could always tack on Round Mountain, and for a little bit of extra effort, you get another excellent little peak and trail. After all, this was the very first hike that Pu had joined us on - nine years ago!
We started off hiking up the gravel road towards the golf course - something the rest of us had done before, but new for Denis. We turned left onto the driveways leading up to Noonmark's trails, and soon a hiking path led away into the forest. Pu started to "unconciously" speed up the pace, and we had to remind him that this was supposed to be an intro hike, with an intro hike pace. Unconciousness is not a defense!
Upon reaching the junction with the Stinson Trail (the steeper trail that leads up Noonmark's North Ridge), we turned onto it, immediately noticing the suddenly steeper grade. It isn't too long up this steeper grade, after a few twists and turns and easy scrambling, that we arrive at the first lookout. This is one of the reasons that this trail up Noonmark is so nice. The rewards start not long after starting your hike!
After the first lookout, the trail's steepness moderates somewhat, and enters the mostly coniferous zone. We kept going at nice constant, moderate pace, maximizing our ability to chat, enjoy the scenery, and not get too sweaty.
Even though we've hiked Noonmark many times, the many beautiful lookouts along it's upper stretch, as it climbs Noonmark's craggy and semi-open North Ridge, are always worth it.
Another Excellent Lookout
Denis has summit in sight