In Search of the Old Growth Forest – Hemlock Lake – South Boat Launch – August 10, 2014 4:00 Hike/Kayak/Canoe

IMG_0091WIt must be a secret….the old growth forest and or trees that everyone has been looking for on the southwest side of Hemlock Lake. Recalling background knowledge a few years back of it’s location, the Sierra Club’s and Hemlock/Canadice Coaliton protection of the area when logging was discussed years ago, and secret maps, Marty, Pam and Ellen scanned the ravine areas across from the south boat launch. At first we kayaked across the lake, found a ravine and climbed half way up the 800′ steep Marrowback Hill. Much to Pam, Gene, and Georgias disappointment we found a cluster of yellow/orange mushrooms which proved to be Jack-a-Lantern, a poisonous mushroom. However with the recent rains, I’m sure expert mushroom finders will make other good finds. Another exploration of the area took us down to the lake from Marrowback Road, through what looked like an old road, through large trees and a steep slippery ravine using Ellen’s Smart Phone GPS coordinates to the south boat launch. We “think” we have found the forest and trees, but will have to look deeper into the meaning of an old growth forest. Apparently there are different definitions and some even say there is no old growth forest on Hemlock Lake.

KayakerThis is a kayak/canoe/hike. We will all meet at the South Boat Launch on Hemlock lake at 3:45. Kayaks/canoes may want to arrive earlier to prepare their boats. After a short presentation, climbers and tourists. lead by Ellen and Pam, will carpool to a designated location off Marrowback Road on the other side of the lake, about 10 minutes away. From the road they will traverse through the DEC Hemlock/Canadice State Forest to the lake. Be prepared with poles, good soles, as the trek is steep and slippery and a some of the hike will take in a ravine area. After reaching the lake, they will be picked up by boat and transported across the lake, back to their cars.ll

Kayakers and Canoes will be led by Pati and Dena. They will cross the lake and paddle the west side of Hemlock Lake. Those that would like to hike/paddle can park their boats at the designated ravine to explore up the hill and to join the hikers coming down. Lifejackets are a must for all boaters!

IMG_0137wNaturalists and those that cannot do a downward steep hike will hike along the south boat launch road on the east side of the lake. The area is flat, and little side trips can be explored on the lake. If extra boats are available they can be transported to the west side and hike slightly into the forest area. It is very dense and there is little shoreline due to the extreme rains. This area has not been explored by Springwater Trails due to limited accessibility.

Social will be at Nanette Smith’s house 6:30 at 7099 Cokendall Road, about 10 minutes north of the south boat launch. Pulled Pork with Maple Q sauce and Cornbread will be provided. Bring a dish to pass and your own drink.


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