I didn’t have much time today to get out on the coast so I filled my water bottle and put on a few layers for a stroll around the trails at Point Au Roche. Only 9 miles north of Downtown Plattsburgh, Point Au Roche always fills my need for some time outdoors without taking much time. All of this comes at my favorite cost of free!
I always tell myself that I will try a new trail when I get to the park, but my feet never listen and take me off down the Long Point/Deep Bay trail to the parallel trail that winds close to the cliffs hanging over Deep Bay of Lake Champlain. The cloud cover today was just right to maintain a great balance of sun and shade to create magnificent shadows on the trails. Last night we had a mix of sleet and freezing rain to add a glaze to the inch of snow that was covering the ground so I wasn’t going to sneak up on any wildlife on my trip with the amount of crunching under my shoes. At one point I thought I heard a rather large animal off the trail that I had stopped to investigate just to find it to be a grey squirrel crashing through the ice-covered snow.
At the end of the parallel path, I stopped to sit on the rocks and soak up some sun . The sun was positioned perfectly to highlight the majesty of the wind turbines miles away. I only stayed long enough to take in the sights before my final destination at the end of Long Point Trail. Long point ends on a rocky outcrop about 12′ above the water with great views south toward the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains and East toward the highest peaks of the Green Mountains. There is a great spot here at the tip of Long Point to get to the rocky shore of Lake Champlain. I have visited this spot many times by way of foot or kayak when I stop off to eat lunch. Today I sat on the crusty snow to enjoy the warmth of the sun on my face and enjoy the solitude.
Time was against me to stay longer so I took the shorter route back to my car straight down Long Point trail. When I got to Deep Bay Trail I couldn’t help but notice that despite the fact that I had seen no one on the trails that there was a very large number of vehicles in the lower parking lot. Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures we have experienced this season, there were at least twenty fishing shanties set up on the ice in Deep Bay! This is the only ice I have seen on Lake Champlain this year, but it is enough for the hardy men and women looking to take advantage of some great fishing. I haven’t yet tried ice fishing, but I’m certainly thinking that this might be my year.