Whew. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write a trip report. It’s not that we haven’t been out and about – we have. It’s more that our little adventures have been sandwiched in between this, that, and the other thing. It’s been a crazy end to summer.
But one cloudy afternoon last week we decided to check out Blueberry Mountain in Keene Valley, which is right down the road next to Marcy Field. We only had a few hours to spare so we were looking for something relatively short. We’d been itching to check out Blueberry Mountain for quite sometime because we always pass the trail junction for it when we’re cruising the town trail. This particular trail will also take you to Porter Mountain, though it’s a longer approach than the traditional Cascade/Porter climb.
We set out around 3:30 for the 4.8 mile round trip. A couple of online resources will tell you this hike is only ~4.2 miles, but the sign at the trail head says differently. I never know who to believe, so we’ll go with 4.8 just to be safe. A half mile here and there normally doesn’t make a difference to us, but we do our best to limit the mileage for Willa Jean. She could hike forever, but we want to be careful until she stops growing.
Not too far in we stumbled across this adorable little salamander. I just think they’re so cool looking. He tried to scamper off into the pine needles to hide, but Dave convinced him to pose for a minute.
The trail is pretty moderate for most of the way and then gradually steepens. We were actually kind of surprised at just how steep it did get. There are a few open ledges and fun little scrambles for such a short hike.
Of course, what’s a trip report these days without a Willa Jean update? I’ve quickly learned that hiking – a dirty undertaking on its own – is even dirtier when you bring a dog along. Especially a puppy who is easily riled up and still doesn’t grasp the meaning of “off.” It’s a badge of honor.
Dave and I can’t quite figure out what exactly it is that sets her off when we hit the halfway point. EVERY hike, whether it’s a loop, out and back, or a walk down the street to the post office, she goes nuts when we get halfway. Racing up and down the trail, attacking every stick and stone and pinecone in her path. And, my personal favorite, wrestling with tree roots.
Oh, Willa Jean, may you never lose your enthusiasm for life. And roots.
The Blueberry Mountain trailhead is located off of Route 73 by Marcy Field in Keene Valley. From 73 turn onto Airport Road and follow the road to a large parking area towards the back end of the field. Blueberry Mountain is 4.8 miles round trip. It took us just under 3 hours with a crazy puppy and some lingering on the summit.