Griffith Lake Backpacking Trip
Friday, August 24 -
Staying at Emerald Lake State Park the first night worked out well, avoiding the need to create a campsite in the dark. The ground there was hard-packed but pretty flat and smooth. Taking advantage of the setting, the Scouts cooked an involved breakfast the first morning and dithed the unnecessary materials for the remainder of the trip. Four Scouts, three leaders and a relative were on hand for this trip.
That Saturday, after a short drive from Emerald Lake State Park to the trailhead, we hit the trail before 10:00 AM. The entire first day's hike was uphill, and we completed the 4.5 miles in about four hours. Upon arriving at the camp site, we set up our tents as quickly as possible and soon were hit with a heavy and long rain. The tents held, but some of the Scouts had decided on making a tarp tent instead of using a full tent. The camping area had platforms, so again, we did not have to sleep on roots or rocks.
The last day, to ensure we would have some uphill hiking, we detoured to the Appalachian Trail / Long Trail for a packs-off hike to the top of Baker Peak. This brought the day's hiking to 6 miles. Shortly after we left Griffith Lake, the AT through hikers who had shared it with us passed us on the trail for another of their endless long days. We got luckier with the weather, encountering no rain that day. ASM Keevan and ASM MacNeal found a geocache near the top of Baker Peak. From there back, the trail was steeply down hill, ensuring that we would feel legs for a few days.
See our actual trail (GPS data recorded by ASM Keith MacNeal):
While we did see some interesting mushrooms along the trail, we were in densely forested areas almost the whole time. As a result, we did not encounter any edible berries this trip. The trails were fairly well-maintained and well-marked. The Lake Trail had blue blazes and the LT/AT had white blazes.
This was our 44th consecutive month with at least one overnight camping trip.
Narrative originally posted on Trimble Outdoors by Keith MacNeal:
The Lake Trail trailhead is on South End Road in Danby, VT not far from the intersction of Route 7. Parking is available at the trailhead. The trail is blazed with blue rectangles. The trail is moderate with a continuous climb to the lake and tenting area. The tenting area has a composting privvy and a grey water dumping station. Water is available from the lake. There is a $5 fee per person per night payable to the caretaker.
Day 2 we hiked out on the Applachian/Long Trail to the Baker Peak Trail. The AT/LT is marked with white rectangles. We dropped packs at the intersection and climbed to the vista on Baker Peak. This section of trail is mostly rock. The climb up is worth it, as there are great views of the valley to the west. We climbed back down, put the packs back on and continued down the Baker Peak Trail (blue blazes). Trail is steep in places. We turned back onto the Lake Trail out to the cars.
More info can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/greenmountain/htm/greenmountain/links/recreation/hiking/docs/south_pdf/griffith_lake_baker_peak_via_the_lake_trail.pdf (no longer at this address)
Page updated 3/5/17.