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The snow is melting away now that the weather has turned more spring-like. All that snowmelt is running into the rivers and creeks and there are waterfalls everywhere. Tristan and I headed to North Hudson to search for waterfalls in Black Brook.

The Hammond Pond trailhead is on Ensign Pond Road (Route 4) in North Hudson. Follow the arrow to the left, but keep right when the logging roads branch to the left a few steps down the trail. The trail forks further on. Stay left at the fork to follow the brook.

There are lots of little waterfalls in the brook, and they got bigger as we neared Hammond Pond. The pond itself has a man-made dam and the water spilled over in a choreographed dance. The day was spectacularly sunny and the water sparkled.

Tristan amused himself by tossing leaves and sticks into the water and following their trip downstream. We worked our way around to an open spot by the pond and sat down for a snack. If there is one hard-and-fast rule for hiking with kids, it is "bring snacks." While we were munching on trail mix and chocolate, I pulled out the trail map and showed Tristan how the trail to the right lead to Bloody Pond and asked if he would like to continue.

After convincing himself that the woods would provide enough large branches to defeat the skeleton warriors at Bloody Pond (a nine-year-old imagination is an amazing thing), Tristan declared he was ready to try and we backtracked to the fork in the trail, this time heading to the right. We walked for awhile until the trail ended at a swamp. Turning around, we spotted Bloody Pond through the trees, but never found the path to it. The journey, of course, is more important than the destination, and Tristan didn't mind missing the pond, distracted as he was by the possibility of fighting reanimated skeletons.

On the way back we paused at a small pond to listen to many frogs singing in chorus and watch them swim around. It was about noon and the sun was warm enough to wear short sleeves. On the day we hiked the temperature increased 40 degrees during the morning and was almost 70F by the time we left the trail. If you hike in spring, dress in layers and leave room in your pack for the clothes you will be sure to discard later in the day.

The Schroon Lake Region is as gorgeous in spring as it is in summer. Hit the trails for the day, explore our secret ponds, then head back to town for some cozy lodging and great dining.

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