SWIMMING THROUGH TREES: Take an adventure to Deer Brook Falls and beyond
Starting from state Route 73 at the Deer Brook Trail was as I remembered it, rocky with odd footing and slippery root systems. But it wasn’t long before I discovered that the trail had been rerouted.
This probably happened a while back, but it has been a while since I wandered this trail. The trail crew had utilized the slopes on the south side of Deer Brook making it easier to enjoy the clear cascading, cool waters. However, there is something to be said about scrambling along the shore of the creek, over rocky outcroppings and splashing through random runoffs.
I continued up the steady slopes of the trail, and it wasn’t long before I reached the small spur trail to the base of Deer Brook Falls. The falls are quite lovely at all times of the year, but in the spring, they are impressive. After a small period just listening to the creek, I returned to the bridge over Deer Brook and at that point decided I would continue up toward Snow Mountain and take the trail down toward St. Huberts, then a left onto the Lower Wolf Jaw Trail, which I passed earlier. This would loop me back to the High-Water Route. The plan was set in motion as I crossed the log bridge and started the steady climb.
The St. Huberts Trail was a little farther than I remembered, making me feel as though I missed it, but conferring with my map, it said otherwise. I eventually reached the trail junction and started a steady downhill stroll. The trail seemed soft in comparison to others I have been on lately. That must be due to less-frequent use. Crossing over a slab rock section that spanned a small brook, I almost ended up flat on my back, but a nice pirouette saved me. The constant slow-moving water over it had created a skating rink of red and green slime that almost stopped me dead in my tracks. Momentum was the only thing on my side.
Past this point, I wasted no time moving along to the crossing of Deer Brook, above the falls this time. In my haste, I managed to run right past the spur trail that led back to the High-Water Route and ended up farther down the St. Huberts Trail and at the second junction of the Lower Wolf Jaw Trail.
It was only a short backtrack of a quarter mile or so to get me in line. From here it was a very steep descent back to the High-Water Route, which I wasted no time in following to Deer Brook Way and then back down to Route 73.
Overall, I found the two side trails a pleasant walk in the wilderness, nothing on the massive viewing front but pleasing.
Of course, if you are in the area, I highly recommend Snow Mountain as well, and maybe toss in these side trails for a longer day.
(Spencer Morrissey is a licensed outdoor guide and author of a few Adirondack adventure books.)