Across the Southern 'dacks
Lookouts and viewpoints became more frequent as we neared the summit, which was treed but which sported many nice clean open bedrock ledges. There were three or four main viewpoints providing lookouts to the south, east, and north. Views to the west were limited.
A high cloud deck had obscured the skies overhead and to the south, and a chill north wind was blowing. We therefore elected to have our lunch break on the lee side of the summit, on the south-facing ledges. Our chosen lookout had a nice view down to Peaked Mountain Pond and the gentle mountains of the Southern Adirondacks. Being quite unfamiliar with this area, I could name pretty much nothing that I saw.
After finishing my snacks, I took a quick visit to the windy northern lookout - a thin lane of bedrock bordered on the left by trees and on the right by a big dropoff. This lookout offered a very expansive view to the Central High Peaks, standing tall against the northern horizon. All of the biggies of New York State were visible, and from a perspective I had never seen before.
With the summit fully explored and our energy levels replenished, we began our descent back down the Peaked Mountain trail. Apart from a few steep bits on the upper part, it was a straightforward and relatively mindless walk back down to the trail's start near Thirteenth Lake.
Well-developed fall stand
Descending Peaked Mountain Trail
Turning left at the start of the Peaked Mountain Trail, we began the final leg of the day's journey, to the Thirteenth Lake trailhead.
The path became wider and more populated with hikers as we made our way north (a sure sign one is nearing a parking lot). There were many nice views out along Thirteenth Lake, and several nice campsites, both legal and not. Apart from getting a bit disoriented at one point due to a fallen tree, this final segment was easy. We arrived at Julie's car at the Thirteenth Pond trailhead at about 5:25pm.
Thirteenth Lake Trailhead
Thirteenth Lake TH Parking
The whole adventure had taken us a very respectable eight hours. Quite good considering a total distance of 23.5 km (14.6 miles). The terrain helped, however - it had been generally flat or only gently ascending or descending and the overall elevation gain and loss had been modest (perhaps 1800-1900 feet in total).
Apart from this being new terrain for us, this hike had been a nice sampling of the Siamese Ponds wilderness area. We got to see several nice backcountry ponds and lakes, the old Hooper Garnet Mine, and a nice scenic little summit.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - 13th Lake Loop and Peaked Mountain - click map to view
Hike Data - 13th Lake Semi-Loop and Peaked Mtn
* : +/- 75 feet
Julie suggested a post-hike dinner. We chose the "Chili Nights" mexican restaurant in downtown Indian Lake. The food was quite respectable and the decor was quaint (more ADK log-style than mexican, though). We had a nice conversation over dinner and then parted ways, Julie heading south and Jenn and I back towards Ottawa. Thanks again, Julie, for introducing us to something new in the 'daks. More exploration of these new (to-me) areas are definitely in order.