By Lu Blanchard, UticaOD.com, Link to original post WITH PHOTOS
Now some people would not consider a misty, drizzly day in the 30′s as perfect, but to the nearly 20 Tramp & Trail members who chose to hike into Little Woodhull Lake it couldn’t have been a nicer day! It began with a fly over of thousands of geese coming across the sky in wave after wave as we watched from the parking lot in Mapledale. It was a full 15 minutes before the “V” shaped formations stopped coming directly overhead and even then we could still see more bands on the horizon. No one had never seen such a huge migration.
Little Woodhull Lake trailhead begins off North Lake Road which many area residents know as the one that takes you to the Buffalo Head Restaurant. Just before reaching the lake there is a small parking lot on the right and the trail is on the left-the register is up the hill aways. Although it starts with an incline, the trail levels out and really doesn’t have a lot of major ups or downs, just some minor slopes. It is fairly wide in most areas, as Adirondack trails go, but there are spots after it breaks off to Sand Lake Falls trail that become pretty overgrown. There was a lot of blowdown and debris from the high winds we’ve had this fall, but we moved aside most of it as we went. The larger trunks fell to the cuts of a folding saw and the rest were simply picked up by one or more hikers and tossed to the side of the trail. Trail maintenance is something T&T is used to doing and on this trail it will make for a better skiing experience later this winter.
The trail leads one through forest, swamp, mud and along a lovely brook to its terminus in Little Woodhull Lake. There is a semi-trail – not sure if it was an animal or a human herd path- that leads to an obvious camping spot. The shoreline is very wet and spongy and shows signs of beaver activity. We were able to spot two lodges and both appeared to be homes of active beavers. Perhaps a family group has taken over the lake and is willing to tolerate each other. We all decided we would like to try to hike to Sand Lake Falls some day next summer -maybe even make it an overnight. It was a good day – no one was injured or lost and the Buffalo Head was open for some post-hike refreshments when we returned.