Exploring around Wyman, West Mill Brook


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Dec 25, 2003
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Northampton, MA
West Mill Brook area never has disappointed me and last Thursday was no exception. After navigating the access road through the brook and under the interstate we found ourselves at the parking area near the Dix wilderness eastern boundary. It was a late start, 10 AM, so we hustled our way up the old road along the brook. We decided to leave the road earlier than we normally would in order to enjoy the brook in a more up close and personal way. With the water level in the brook on the low side it made it very easy to cross back and forth over the brook to avoid steep banks or other obstacles. When we got to the crease that heads NNE between Wyman and Bear Mountain, where there is evidence of an old logging camp and beaver flow that at one time was probably a man made pond for facilitating the past logging activity, we followed it up between Bear and Wyman. When the crease began closing in and became difficult to navigate we began a traverse up to the ridge/shoulder that comes down from the Igloo on Wyman. Normally we follow this ridge up to the summit of Wyman, however this time we continued north over the lower part of the ridge and into the crease that is just north of the ridge. We climbed steeply through mostly open forest to the S of the stream that resides in the crease until we reached the area that is between the Igloo and the rock outcroppings that are to the NNE of the Igloo. From there we went north and spent a fair amount of time exploring the out cropping that we could clearly see from past trips to the Igloo. What a treat that was. It’s amazing how a relatively small shift in position can dramatically affect a view. The view from these outcroppings is dramatic. To the S you see past the Igloo right up the Niagara valley, to the east you look right down the Bear, Buck, Sanders trio, to the N your view is down into the Lindsay brook watershed, north over the Underwood/Underwood canyon area, raise your eyes a bit more to take in Rocky Ridge and Giant. Best of all is the view of the knobby, rocky, slabby east side of the Wyman ridge. This is the area that the slight change in viewing angle from the Igloo to the area we were in made a huge difference. I really did not have an appreciation for how dramatic the east side of the Wyman ridge is until I had this view. The amount of open steep slab with rugged outcroppings was thrilling just to look at and for somebody with scrambling and free climbing skills it would be an awesome playground. A large portion of the Spotted Mountain/Grace Peak ridge can be seen above the Wyman ridge as well. We poked around this rocky area for an hour or so then headed back S to catch the view from the Igloo before we were to head down and out. We arrived on top of the Igloo late in the afternoon and were amazed at how much less dramatic, yet still quite nice, the view is from the Igloo. Instead of heading down the E shoulder of Wyman, to head back like we usually do, we decided to head down S from the Igloo to where we left the West Mill Brook. It was a much more direct route, however, it was very steep and you had to be very very careful not to step in or slip into the many holes hidden by freshly fallen leaves and forest duff. Definite leg breaking terrain. It would be an awesome snowshoe on lots of consolidated snow but otherwise I think I’ll stick to the shoulder in the future. The slope flattened out just as my knees started to complain and we were back at West Mill Brook as the sun got low and the clouds brought on an early dusk. After a short stop at the waterfalls where the brook splits and goes its separate ways we were back on the old wood road at dark for a peaceful stroll back to our vehicle.
The next day we hiked the Nun-da-ga-o loop trail in the Soda range. It was my first visit to this area and it did not disappoint. The trail had some minor ice and snow on it that made some of the short scrambles a little bit of a challenge. We hiked the loop in a clock wise direction and near the end were past by some young ladies who were hustling along to beat the impending darkness. All in all the views along the way were stellar and it should be on any Adirondack hikers bucket list.
Some side notes as follows- Anyone who has interest in exploring this area should pick up a copy of Tom DuBois book “Under The Fast Lane” to find out about the different ways to access this area and other areas in the eastern Dix Mountain Wilderness area.
We stayed at the Maple Leaf motel in Schroon Lake. We have been staying there since the Davis Motel closed and have been happy with the accommodations in the past, this time the cleanliness left something to be desired.
We had dinner one night at Sticks and Stones in Schroon Lake and found the food and local beer to be very good and reasonably priced. Breakfast at Pitkins was of the usual good quality.
We missed the Severance store, hopefully someone else will resurrect it.


Well-known member
Aug 18, 2004
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Nice hike! Great detailed report! Thanks for the plug for my little book!

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