STONY POND & vicinity, skiing, hiking, camping near Minerva NY.

Vanderwhacker Wild Forest, Adirondack Park. Feb 13, 2019 - STONY & BARNES PONDS ski from Rt.28N (2,050') in Minerva. Forecast for 12"-18" but got 4"-8" (on top of 20" base) - fine with me, trail-breaking was easy, skiing was perfect, skis climbed & glided great. 2 miles to E-facing lean-to on Stony Pond (intermediate), view across the pond to Green Mtn (2,796'). Snowmobile trail that gets very little use from snowmobiles but those wide new snowmobile bridges are welcome. Picnic table built Oct 2018 was an Eagle Scout project; thunderbox (no outhouse). Cross the pond to the NE arm, Saw a beaver pulling a branch into hole in the ice. Picked up the red trail but paralleled it on beaver pond before rejoining red trail. Topped out at 2,270' then dropped 400' in the next half mile (intermediate+) to remote BP - lots of fun! Back almost the same way. 8.6 miles.
Jun 23, 2017 - STONY POND hike/paddle, from Rt.28N. Vanderwhacker Mountain WF. 2.1 mile walk to the pond, fairly dry at first but last mile has some muddy sections. Have skied in a few times but never visited in summer. 3 new snowmobile bridges + 1 new footbridge over a wet area - this trail does not get much snomo use, more popular with skiers & snowshoers. The lean-to that used to be in the clearing at pond-side has been moved back in the woods, near where the outhouse used to be; there is a thunderbox further back in the woods. Saw a 6" leach on 1st look into the water so abandoned any ideas for swimming. Canoed the shoreline of this large C-shaped pond. S part is outlet of Clear Pond; went up over a 4' beaver dam which creates a large pond with boggy shores; sheep laurel & pitcher plants flowering, some bullhead lilies. Spotted a loon on nest, observed with monocular from afar - another loon approached, the loon on the nest slipped off & into the water & the other loon climbed up to sit on the nest. Light mosquito & black fly activity on the trail; deerflies by the water landed annoyingly on my exposed limbs but did not bite. 2.9 mile paddle; 7.2 miles total.
Feb 2, 2014 - Feb 2 - STONY POND thru ski, Rt.28N to Irishtown. 6-10" dense wettish powder on some icy base - very good skiing, did see some rocks but generally easy to miss, some icy spots near the end. Center Pond Outlet -thin ice near beaver dams, turned around before reaching Center Pond. From high point between Stony & Sherman Ponds we dropped 1,000' to Irishtown - wheeee! Falls Brook Yurts. No sign of recent snowmobile use. 7.7 miles, 3.7 hours.

Mar 15, 2010 - STONY POND. Minerva area. 15" avg heavy wet snow, some thin & wet spots, will have lots of stream crossings by end of the week. Temp in mid-40s. Water on top of snow & ice on the pond - altho ice is thick I wouldn't want to ski on this. Old rowboat near the leanto. Made a fire at the leanto, ate lunch, had a nap, enjoyed the peacefulness. I usually ski across the pond but this time explored the up & down trail to the E past cliffs. 4.5 miles, 4 hours.

Jan 27, 2008 - STONY & CENTER PONDS thru trip ending in Irishtown. Good base with up to 8" powder - packed by snowmobile from Rt.28N to half mile S of Sherman Pond. From SE end of Stony went up Center Pond's outlet (trailless) - mostly open with 2 spots where one has to bushwhack 100-200 yds. thru woods - easier than taking the trail. Lunched at island on remote Center Pond. Back to Stony, steep up & down to Sherman Ponds, 900' drop in the last 2 miles down to Irishtown (after 1st drop the snowmobile tracks turned R thru a private inholding, bear L to stay on trail) - exhilarating. Interesting bench made of old downhill skis before last stretch run to road; rentable yurts not far from trail; icy spot after bridge over Falls Brook. 8 miles, 5.5 hrs.


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