We geared up and left the car at 7:33am, hitting the trail register 15 minutes later. This time there were a few golfers on the course, even though some of the sprinklers were still running.
After we passed the Gill Brook Trail, we were in new territory for me (my sister had been in the vicinity both hiking and swimming at the boat house as a guest of a club member). We reached the dam at the end of the Lake Road at 8:58am, where we paused to take pictures and to deploy my trekking poles.
Shortly there after, we turned onto the Scenic Trail, which follows the Lower Ausable Lake shoreline for awhile. We paused at most of the scenic overlooks to take pictures (because isn't that the point of the scenic trail?) and generally took our sweet time. Neither of us had gotten much sleep the night before, which is fairly typical the night before a hike but this was more extreme because of the 4th of July fireworks that kept us both awake.
After climbing up and over several "teeth," we reached the summit of Sawteeth at 1:24pm. Two gentlemen from Connecticut who had passed us earlier graciously vacated the summit rock for our enjoyment after some casual chitchat (hikers are, for the most part, such friendly folk). Two other parties arrived from the Gothics Trail approach and we all sat around eating lunch and then taking pictures.
We enjoyed the summit, with its absolutely breathtaking views, for about an hour before starting the trek out. We both prefer to make loops whenever possible, so we headed down the other trail towards the junction to Gothics where we picked up the Weld Trail. We were greatly anticipating Rainbow Falls and it did not disappoint.
From the Falls, it was only 0.3 mile back to the Lower Ausable Lake Dam, which we arrived at at 4:16pm. All that was left was the 4 mile walk down the Lake Road and through the golf course to the car. I was so excited to remove my boots I forgot to record the time, but it was in the neighborhood of 5:48pm. That means total time on the trail was about 10 hours 15 minutes and total distance was about 13.2 miles (including a foray to an overlook that turned out to be too far from the main trail and so our pursuit was abandoned). The weather was perfect and the bugs were minimal.
Sawteeth, elevation: 4100, order of height: 35, order of ascension: 20
Not pictured: our celebratory to-go milkshakes from the Noonmark Diner.