Back to index Sawmill Cove (Fallen Leaf Lake) hike
Trip Date:  08/31/2014

: 2.1 Miles

Vertical Gain: 50'

Group Size: 5

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Sawmill Cove Trail route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Sawmill Cove Trail Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 54.702, W 120 04.012     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 89 to Cathedral Road.  Turn west on Cathedral road and continue on it (passing by a gate which is only open during the summer months) to the parking spot which will be on your left hand side.
Hazards of Note:   None. Crowd Factor:   Minimal.  Even on a busy weekend this area is infrequently visited except by a few historically interested people or some of the residents of the cabins on this side of the lake.
General Notes:
From the parking area on the side of the road, head along the trail that starts at a blue sign warning of invasive species being introduced into the lake.  The entire trail is a well-marked dirt path, and once you get to the lake, you will turn to your right and parallel the lake for a little bit until you reach the ruins of the main Baldwin Estate lodge.  From there, continue on the direction you were heading and the boathouse will soon be visible on your left.  There is a somewhat steep path down to the boathouse, but it is easily navigatable by most sure-footed hikers.

Heading out early on the trail through the forest. Setting out early on the trail
Very soon on the left is the old caretaker's cabin.  It appears to be in much better shape than any of the other former Baldwin Estate buildings. Caretakers cabin
Most of the trail is very flat, and easy to follow as you first head down to the lake right by the cove. Heading onward toward the lake
Even for a somewhat windy day this section of the cove was very still and peaceful.  A few boaters were try to take advantage of the lack of wind along this stretch of lake. Calm lake on a windy day
Headed past the first cove area number of traces of people having lived here, but nothing like what you find a little further on. All four others
The ruins of the main lodge soon come into view, dominated by the huge central fireplace which still stands.  The rest of the building burned years ago, but the craftsmanship is outstanding on this spire. Main lodge 
One of our group checking out the chimney after first arriving at the site.
Checking it out
A couple shots of our group members checking out the location up close. Closeup at the chimney  Another Closeup at the chimney
High above the trail is the ever-present Mt. Tallac which dominates this side of the lake. Mt. Tallac high above
All that is left of the old boathouse down at the shoreline.
The old boathouse for the property
Directly across the lake from the boathouse area is a majestic view of Freel Peak.
View of Freel Peak
Directly to the west is a great view of Angora Peak and the Glen Alpine trailhead area into Desolation Wilderness.
Angora Peak
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike