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Our 2010 Hikes - August 17

Adirondack Park Tour
Ferris Lake Wild Forest and

Moose River Plains Wild Forest

 

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We had planned eight hikes for our one day tour of the Adirondacks on Tuesday, August 17th.  We also had back up hikes just in case we changed our mind, or something happened to our best laid plans.  It's always a good idea to plan a back up to you regular plan just in case.  This itinerary included to hit as many short hikes as possible in a one day trip to the Adirondacks.  The plan was probably too ambitious, however it was worth a try.

We started our adventure at Nine Corner Lake, which is only 90 minutes from the Syracuse area.  Nine Corner Lake is a popular destination in Ferris Lake Wild Forest, located in the southern Adirondacks.  The trail head is off NY 29A, north of Caroga Lake State Campground.  The hike was a pleasant two mile round trip hike.

Our second hike was a few miles north on NY 10 to Broomstick Lake.  The small parking area off NY 10 is unmarked and can be easily passed by (as we did).  The hike was pleasant and surprising as we were stunned on the many cascades we encountered along the trail, including a 15 foot cascade just off the trail.  The total hike was a 1.7 mile round trip walk.

Our third hike was to Good Luck Lake, also located on NY 10 north of Broomstick Lake.  We saw a few cars parked in the small parking areas off NY 10 where the road crosses the West Branch of the Sacandaga River.  This is a popular place for kayaking, especially the second bridge over the river.  I believe it is possible to reach Good Luck Lake via kayak or canoe from here.

We took the short path to the lake for a pleasant 0.8 mile round trip hike.  There is a well marked pull off on NY 10, however the trail is one of two trails that leave the area and is the tougher trail to find.  From here we continued north on NY 10 and had planned to do the popular 1.3 mile hike to Jockeybush Lake.  I looked at the time and decided to skip this hike and maybe come back in the fall to do this hike.  As I passed, four cars were in the small pull off on NY 10 for the trail.

Campsite off Powley-Piseco Road at the start of the Sand Lake Trail

Our next exploration was along seasonal dirt Powley-Piseco Road.  I wanted to do the short hike to Sand Lake.  First we had to find the trailhead and after driving a bit I decided to look at my hand held GPS to get our bearings since the vehicle GPS was not picking up the road.  I could see we missed the unmarked trailhead and turned around at one of the numerous primitive campsites located along the road.

I stopped at a pull off with a group of primitive campsites and found a well worn path that we were sure was the trail to Sand Lake.  Just as it stated in the ADK Book Guide to Adirondack Trails: Southern Region the trail goes through an unavoidable wet area after hiking 0.2 miles.  When we hit this area, my hiking stick went at least one foot into the muck.  I decided instead of risking getting stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere, we would move on to our next destination, Moose River Plains.

Unavoidable quagmire along the Sand Lake Trail

Traveling to Moose River Plains Wild Forest from here really doesn't make that much sense, however I wanted to get to the plains before Labor Day and figured it would be a good day to drive through the Plains.  It would make more sense to explore more in the area we were already in, like Kane Mountain and other great spots in the Caroga Lake/Pine Lake/Piseco area or the NY 10 corridor. 

On our way, while driving north on NY 30 from Speculator, I decided to turn on Perkins Clearing Road to check out how many folks were camping on Mason Lake.  All of the pull in spots along the lake were taken, however there were still a few of the park and walk in spots available.  A really nice place for some primitive camping for free.  The future North Country Trail will travel through here.

Campsites on Mason Lake off Perkins Clearing Road

We took Cedar River Road off NY 28/30 to take us to the Wakely Dam Recreational Area.  It's a long 12+ mile drive on this paved road that becomes a seasonal dirt road a few miles prior to reaching the new Northville-Placid Trail section on the old Gould Road.  There is a small parking area near Wakely Pond for the trailhead.  This new section was opened last year that eliminated a long road walk.  There was one car in the parking area.  I also had to take a picture of the beautiful Wakely Pond from Cedar River Road.

We arrived at the Wakely Dam Recreational Area and I parked so I could take some pictures of Cedar River Flow.  There is an open area for a designated primitive camping spot right off the day use parking area.  No one was using the spot (no privacy what so ever there).  There were about 12 cars in the parking area.  I took some pictures of the beautiful Cedar River Flow and of Wakely Dam.  There were about 6 kayaks that I could see in the water.

We saw a few people camping in the area and more in the area across the dam.  You can drive your vehicle across the dam to reach the numerous primitive camping spots.  A popular free camping destination.  On our way back to the car we saw a man and woman with a black dog that look like they had been backpacking on the Northville-Placid Trail taking a break at that open campsite on the picnic table.  We drove over and registered for our drive on Moose River Plains Road.

 

There are warning signs for the road, although not as bad as I expected, I wouldn't recommend driving any faster than the posted speed limit of 15 MPH.  After just over a mile we arrived at the small pull off for the Northville-Placid Trail.  Our next hike of the day would be walking just over a mile on the NPT to a scenic campsite that has fantastic views of Cedar River Flow.

A family in a Cadillac stopped as we were preparing to sign the register and start our hike.  They asked what trail this was and where it went.  I told them it was the Northville-Placid Trail and that it went a long ways, however we were heading just over a mile to a campsite with a sandy beach as well as a scenic view.  They decided to take a hike here also.  They were driving the Moose River Plains Road and started at the western entrance near Limekiln Lake State Campground.  We did pass the family on our way back from our hike heading to the campsite.

Look below for more information on this great hike along the Northville-Placid Trail.  We continued our drive along the Plains Road, checking out some of the campsites that are located along the road.  Some were real nice and some were overgrown or in disrepair.  The NY DEC has a proposal to close some campsites and create new campsites over the next four years.

We did do a couple other short hikes on our drive and plan to come back to do three or more others.  The hikes we did were to Helldiver Pond and Icehouse Pond.  We hope to be back this fall to camp and to do hikes to the Mitchell Ponds, Beaver Lake and Lost Ponds.  We also may explore the old Benedict Creek Trail.  We haven't decided yet if we will also explore Cellar Pond.


Hike to scenic campsite on the Cedar River Flow along the Northville-Placid Trail

This hike is a pleasant walk along an old road that the Northville-Placid Trail follows.  From the register and gate simply follow the well worn path to a nice campsite just off the trail on Cedar River Flow.  The overall round trip hike is 2.3 miles with a 214 foot elevation gain.  The campsite is on the left and is pretty easy to see from the trail. 

There is a sandy beach with a panoramic view of the mountains behind Cedar River Flow.  A great place to site, relax and enjoy the scenic views.  To reach the trailhead from Indian Lake take NY 28/30 to Cedar River Road.  Drive 12 miles to the Wakely Dam Recreational Area and sign in at the Moose River Plains Road eastern entrance.  Drive 1.3 miles on the dirt road to the small pull off, gate and trail register.  You can make you hike longer if you wish.  It's another 2.2 miles to the Carry Lean To in West Canada Lakes Wilderness.  This would be a 6.6 mile round trip hike if you decide to head to the lean to.

 

 

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