Monday, July 22, 2013
7/22/13 Bernard Mountain
Another nice day with temperatures in the 70's and a mix of sun and clouds. I couldn't remember a bad experience with deer flies at Bernard so that's where we headed. The plan was to do the West Ledge Trail because, unlike most Western Mountain Trails, it has views from the ledges on it's lower part. We seldom see anyone in this area and it is not as well used as the eastern part of the park. There is parking area for only three cars and today it was full. Finding no other spot to park nearby we drove to Mill Field and took the South Face Trail up instead. This is a steady climb through woods. No deer flies.
There was no water for Kelley on the trail and when we reached the junction with the West Ledge Trail we stopped to have some. She usually passes on my water, preferring to find her own, but she drank it today.
The summit is wooded and has no views. Two deer flies appeared, one landing on each of us. They both met the same fate. We saw no others the rest of the hike.
A short ways further on the trail is a sign for an overlook. This is the view.
At Little Notch we started down on the Sluiceway Trail. This is steeper than the trail up and has some work arounds for Kelley( all of which she managed without my help) but runs along a stream at times. Today it appeared to be completely dry and I was disappointed for Kelley's sake. Then she went ahead and out of sight and I heard splashing. When I caught up she was in a small pool she had found beside the trail.
When we reached Mill Field we walked over to the reservoir for lunch and a swim for Kelley.
It's quite small and old. It has a 10 foot wide stone dam and sluiceway at it's end, with water tickling over it. . It seemed much to small as a drinking water source and I tried to find more information about it but there was not much available. It was perhaps a fire reservoir or "pumper chance" .
A good hike with nice weather. It took us two hours and was more strenuous than the flat hiking we had been doing during the hot spell and that felt good.