Collins Lake

Collins Lake, Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area (8/4/2012)

Three years ago we hiked this area east of Edison Road, exploring the expansive remains of Thomas Edison's Edison Concentrating Works. Today we decided to head back and hike the area west of the road.

We parked at the Edison Monument and then headed past it north on a woods road, exploring a bit of the ruins and gaping open mines before crossing Edison Road continuing on the western side. The woods road, though a bit difficult to find from Edison Road, is easy to follow heading west. After getting to the power line cut we turned left, taking in some nice views NW, albeit obstructed by the pylons and powerlines. We took the meandering path in the cut south to Collins Lake, a large and incredibly beautful lake that sits for the most part below the power lines. But you hardly notice them. What you do notice is the solitude. It feels as if you are in the middle of nowhere. We spotted a beaver or an otter swimming to the bank towards us but, as luck would have it, he submerged as soon as I readied my camera and began zooming.

After reaching the southern bank of the lake we continued south along the cut next taking a woods road east until we reached yet another woods road, indicated as Ridge Road on Google Maps, which we took north. We took several spurs west to abandoned mines that were fenced in because of the danger they presented. We next turned right on the woods road labeled Triangle Road on Google Maps, crossed Edison Road and then descended to the abandoned RR bed which we took north back to the car.

Total distance today was 5.2 miles in 3.5 hours. The heat and humidity were a bit onerous so we're glad that the hike was mostly level, with just a few climbs along the powerline cut and on Ridge Road.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Edison Monument

Rear view

Kids! At least they got the top hat right

Ruin of Corliss Engine House

Sink hole at Corliss Engine House

Gaping hole of Roberts Mine

Water in quarry

View to quarry


Woods road

Old powerline cut

Tiny frog

Tiny mushroom

View NW from cut

Goldenrod in cut

Rocky climb in the cut

View north

Zoom to quarry

Pylon pollution

View south

Wildflowers abound

Black swallowtail

Yellow swallowtail

First glimpse of Collins Lake


Look at all ...

... of those ...

... flowers!

Busy bee

Busy swallowtail

Flower macro



Lake through trees

Fire ring and bench

View south

View north

Lily pads

[photo by Laura]

Gorgeous blanket of lily pads


Taking ...

... a breather

Southern tip


Critter tracks in mud

Near southern tip

Collins Lake ...

... from southern tip

Lotus flower and bud

Lotus flower


View north from southern tip

View of dam


Ruins south of lake


Back into cut

Red-tailed hawk on pylon

Meandering path through pylons

Rocky descent

Dan in cut [photo by Laura]

Gorgeous butterfly

Tiny dragonfly

Ridge road & another woods road

Striking aqua moss

Puddle frog


Woods road spur

Another puddle frog



A rocky Ridge Road

[photo by Laura]



Ruins on Triangle Road

Solid wall

On RR bed

Ties still in place

Remaining ties

Spike in tie

RR bed with tie

Field near monument

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