Total Time: 1:20 hours
Estimated Distance: 2.1 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult snow and ice conditions
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points of Interest: Frozen lake
Pros: Hike on a lake
Google Map of Parking:
View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map
The lakes in Harriman had been consistently frozen for several weeks now, and according to the rangers the ice was 14 inches thick (it needs to be 6 inches thick to be safe). Lake Welch is a big lake with a few islands, and makes a good winter hike. You'll usually meet some ice fishermen as its the first lake in Harriman coming from the southeast part of the park. We parked in the boat launch area right after the causeway, and entered the lake by the boat launch. We headed east/southeast towards the islands, and then walked along to the beach area on the eastern side of the lake.
It had briefly warmed up over Friday and Saturday, so the top snowy layer on the lake was partially melted, making the top part of the ice wet and slushy and very difficult to walk through. Despite having waterproof boots, we both got our feet very wet from this hike. Once we got to the beach we realized it was too difficult to walk back on the lake, so we took the road on the shore of the lake which was plowed, and when it ended we hiked along the path on the side of the lake. Even the hike part was very difficult, with a thick cap of ice above the snow that sometimes you floated above and sometimes you sank through.
|Map of the Route
|Ice is Safe!
|Trail Towards Lake Welch Boat Launch
|Sandyfield School Site Plaque
Sandyfield was a hamlet that was covered by the Lake when it was Dammed
|"No Aquatic Hitchhikers!"
|Me at the Beginning of the Lake
|Looking Southeast Towards Jackie Jones Tower
|Me on the Island
|The Gap Between the Two Islands
|Knee Deep in Snow.
Parts of the Island Were Really Deep when you Sunk in!
|Shimmy Navigating Through the Dense Brush on the Island
|Shimmy Relaxing on the Lake
|Shimmy With the Expanse of the Lake
|Frozen Lake Welch from the Beach, Facing West
|Shimmy on a Lifeguard Chair