View Full Version : Santanoni Range - Is This The Wrong Time Of The Year?

08-03-2004, 06:25 PM
I was hoping to get to NY's Daks and do the Santanoni Range this Labor Day Weekend, however, after searching through the recent list of Trail Conditions for NY on VFTT I see there are none .

Now I know that trail is known for it's muck, and what with all this rain the East has seen this past month, I'm wondering from the lack of a trail condition report(s) if that's an indication to stay away from the trail this time of year?

Any imput is appreciated.

08-03-2004, 06:35 PM
Oops! I looked through the "Trail Conditions" link at the bottom of this site but didn't do a "Search This Forum" prior to posting this thread. However, I just did a search and found a few reports from the recent to read through. But still, any imput would be greatly appreciated.

08-03-2004, 07:01 PM
I just got back on the 22nd and the route is in great shape. The only significant mud is from the herd path to Bradley Pond leanto and the bog on the way to Couchie. We had gotten a fair amount of rain on the 16th-18th so I suspect that unless we get a downpour, it is a great time to go. As for route finding, Couchie was the only one that had any issues, and it was all due to my stupidity. Once I found the herd path, it was very easy to follow. Santanoni and Panther were as good as most trails.

Get lots of water before you leave Panther Brook on the way up! Good luck, and have a blast!

(Note: after reading crazymama's post below, I must just be getting used to ADK mud ;) She is right about the intermittent mud bogs, but I didn't find them to be that bad until I got past the herd path on the way to Bradley)

08-03-2004, 07:30 PM
I just did the Santanonis on July 23-25. The approach from the trailhead to the start of the herdpath had a number of muddy bogs to hop through. There's also a wicked string of mud bogs between the start of the herd path and the Bradley Pond Lean-to area. The part that is the worst is the "maintained" trail. **

I got the impression from the looks of these trail bogs that they are semi-permanent. I wouldn't wait for them to dry up to do the Santanonis! You just have to learn to enjoy the mud. I know I improved my rock hopping and log hopping skill from that trip alone. I also came to appreciate the good points of ankle-deep mud (after I stepped in knee-deep mud a time or two.)

Sherpa is correct---once you get on the herdpath up to the mountains, there is little in the way of muddy/wet spots.

Despite the conditions, there were loads of people camping back in the Bradley Pond Lean-to area the weekend we were there.

**Does anyone know if there is any planned maintenance on this trail? The "trail" is so wide around these mud bogs, it seems that it would be better to lay out some long logs for people to walk across rather than let this mess continue. I would be willing to put my muscle where my mouth is.

08-03-2004, 08:53 PM
**Does anyone know if there is any planned maintenance on this trail? The "trail" is so wide around these mud bogs, it seems that it would be better to lay out some long logs for people to walk across rather than let this mess continue. I would be willing to put my muscle where my mouth is.

And so would many others, but there is a lot of red tape involved in approving maintenance. First and foremost, the area in question is on private land. There is a current thread on this topic on Adkforum.com. Pete Hickey posted that the trail neads a major re-route, but apparently the landowners have not allowed work to be done and we are essentially stuck with what we have.

08-04-2004, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the info rhihn...

I'll look up the thread you are referring to. It seems like the owner would welcome maintenance, as keeping the trail as it is results in unnecessary damage to the property and environment. There are a couple of very nice bridges and stairs at the beginning of the trail (clearly on private land), and then the condition deteriorates dramatically. I had just assumed that the "bad part" was on state land.

08-04-2004, 06:22 PM
Looking at my map, a tiny portion of the trail before the lean-to, and the lean-to, appear to be on state land. My recollection is that the trail gets bad just after a sudden sharp drop in the trail. I don't recall seeing any boundary markers on the trail, however - but maybe I was too busy looking at my feet!

08-04-2004, 06:59 PM
Good memory, rhihn. There is a sudden drop in the trail, about 60 feet or so, during which there are two downed trees to go around or over, (one of each as I recall) and then the trail comes to a low area, which starts the muddiest part. It's another 10-15 minutes or so from there to the start of the herd path, when it really gets muddy. The herd path is on State land, as opposed to the old route to Santanoni, which wasn't - See our friend James Burnside's description of his trip up Santanoni.

The path from the start of the herd path up the trail to the lean-to is the muddiest, sloppiest, wettest trail I have ever been on. I just got back from a three day trip, which called for 4 passes over this trail - and it is a trip. On our way in Sunday, Scoutmaster Tom missed a log and went in to the base of his butt. He said he was lucky to get some purchase with his poles, or I would have had to go over and help him out.

By the way, on our return from Panther and Santanoni on Monday, we saw a very clear foot print from what we think was a medium sized bear in the path - and it had not been there at 7:30 in the morning when we started our hike.

The trail up Panther Brook wasn't too bad to Times Square, but there were some first class mud slogs on the way over to Panther, and a whole bunch more on the way from Times Square over to Santanoni.

Granted, it had rained for three days before we got there, but I have been on this trail 3 separate times now, over several years, and while most of the trail from the Upper works up isn't too bad, especially in a dry year, the stretch between the cairn and the lean-to is never dry. Bring your long gaiters, extra dry socks, and a sense of humor if you go.

08-05-2004, 03:16 PM
I'm heading up there this weekend (dayhike), I'll be sure to report back. :)

I've been to Bradley Pond before. The last 1/2 mile before Bradley Pond was horrible hiking in. No mixing words. And then it rained that morning before we were forced to leave due to the weather, and horrible got worse!

I'm better equipped now, and as ronandjohn posted, I'm armed with PLENTY of humor (especially knowing exactly what I'm about to get myself into). :p

08-05-2004, 11:05 PM
I did Allen last Thanksgiving day, then only to head up to the Bradley Pond Lean-To to meet up with some folks to do the Santanoni range. I had the most beautiful weather while up on Allen http://community.webshots.com/album/102558334ifemOK but when I left to hike up to the BP lean-to it started raining.

It rained all day and into the night, it poured cats and dogs, and in the middle of the night it started to snow. So the next morning, everything was frozen, except for the snowcovered muck. The conditions were pretty bad so everyone bailed on the plan to head up on the range, so we headed on out and got a hotel room near Schroon Lake for the night.

My solo of Allen went great that trip...but now it's time to make a second stab at the Santas.

08-06-2004, 10:52 AM
You can get your mud bath in the Santa's!

I hiked up to Bradley Pond Lean to Thursday 7/29, and hiked the Santa. Range and out on Friday 7/30. Never in my hiking life have I seen such mud. Going back to the lean to on Friday to pick up gear and head out I stepped off a slippery board and into mud upto my waist. That made me real happy.

One of the nice ladies who was at the lean to Thursday night did something similar and required assistance out of the mud.

Twice more during the trip (once in col to Couchie) I stepped in mud up to my knee.

I managed to bend a treking pole in the mud on the way out.

I say, bring your since of humor and piggy instincts and enjoy the pain in the butt that only the Santanoni Range can offer.

08-07-2004, 09:04 PM
Santanoni Range

Conditions 8/7/04: This was a VERY long dayhike, much longer than I expected. Blue Trail to Bradley Pond is in its usual crap condition. Gaitors a must, trekking poles lowered the odds of any spills (I didn't fall in once). Mud IS deep in sections, so don't just walk down the middle of it. I was testing it with my trek poles and one section was thigh deep! Trail to Time Square (to get to TS go left at the first small clearing when you make the ridge) is generally good for a trail-less trail, but lots of rock hopping and wet rock (slippage). Couchie stinks, 3-4 false summits, a large bog, lots of wet and steep bare rock, and hardly any view. It's not even 4,000 feet (hell, not even 3900!!!). The 46rs need to put McNaughtin in its place :D. Trails to Santanoni Peak and Panther are well defined with an occassional muddy spot. View from Panther was obscured in clouds when I climbed it (last of the three), but in the early AM Santanoni offered good views of the valley fog and some of the peaks not shrouded in low clouds.