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Hiking in Adirondack Park
The 47,177 acre Blue Ridge Wilderness is located in the Central Adirondacks, near the communities of Raquette Lake, Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake. The wilderness area's northern and eastern boundaries are roughly defined by NY 28 as it arcs from the South Inlet of Raquette Lake to Cedar River Road. The area is bounded on the south by Cedar River Road and on the west by the Moose River Plains Wild Forest and Great Camp Sagamore.
Many people enjoy hiking the famous Northville-Lake Placid Trail that was established in 1922. A 2009 reroute was completed which eliminates some road walk and the trail going through the private lands of McCane's Resort. The trail now follows the Cedar River Road for 0.9 miles past Wakely Dam, leaves the road and travels northwestward along an interior road known as the Gould Road for about 1 mile. Then it proceeds northeastward for approximately 6.6 miles through the Blue Ridge Wilderness to intersect the existing trail just south of Stephens Pond and continues to Lake Durant Campground on NY 28.
Others enjoy big game hunting in the fall, cross-country skiing near Great Camp Sagamore, and backcountry camping at the lean-tos on Wilson Pond, Cascade Pond and Stephen's Pond. The Cascade Pond lean-to was removed in 2009. A new lean-to was constructed on the east side of the pond, a few hundred feet eastward (toward the Northville-Placid Trail) along the trail past the old lean-to site.
The area is dominated by the Blue Ridge, which ranges ranging from 2,700 to 3,497 feet in elevation and running in a general east-west direction for a distance of more than six miles. On the lower north slopes of the ridge there are a number of attractive little trout ponds with foot trails leading to them from NY 28.
The Wakely Mountain Primitive Area is adjacent to the Blue Ridge Wilderness and consists of 235 acres of State Forest Preserve lands in the Town of Lake Pleasant. The primitive area encompasses the Wakely Mountain fire tower, observer cabin, and helipad. A hike to the tower is rewarded by panoramic views of the central Adirondacks. NOTE: The firetower was closed in 2017 by the NY DEC due to safety concerns.
Hiking Trails in the Blue Ridge Wilderness
Northville-Placid Trail - travels for nearly 12 miles in the Blue Ridge Wilderness Area from Cedar River Road in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest to the Lake Durant State Campground. This 133 mile hiking trail is a popular backpacking trail in the Adirondacks.
Wakely Mountain Trail - travels about 3 miles from Cedar River Road in Moose River Plains Wild Forest to the 3744 foot summit of Wakely Mountain. There is a 1650 foot elevation gain with the majority of the climb during the final mile of hiking. NOTE: The firetower was closed in 2017 by the NY DEC due to safety concerns.
Sagamore Lake Trail - travels 3.8 miles around Sagamore Lake, creating a popular loop hike.
Cascades Trail - travels 1.4 miles along the western side of the South Inlet of Raquette Lake. It visits the Sagamore Cascades.
Powerhouse Trail - travels 1.6 miles along the eastern side of the South Inlet of Raquette Lake.
Wilson Pond Trail - travels 3.1 miles to the Wilson Pond Lean To. It passes Grassy Pond on the way. There is a marked parking area along NY 28.
Cascade Pond - travels from Durant Road 3.5 miles to reach the Northville-Placid Trail north of Stephens Pond. On the way you'll pass the Rock Pond and the Cascade Pond Lean To. There are designated roadside campsites near the parking area for the trailhead.
Wilson Pond-Cascade Pond Crossover Trail - travels 1.6 miles between the Wilson Pond Trail and Cascade Pond Trail. It is unmarked.
Sawyer Mountain Trail - travels 1.1 miles to the 2160 foot summit of Sawyer Mountain. There is a 630 foot elevation gain for this hike.
Sprague Pond Trail - travels 0.4 miles to Sprague Pond. The trailhead is located off Cedar River Road.
Death Brook Falls Trail - travels 0.3 miles to a waterfall. The trailhead is off NY 28.
Popular hikes in Blue Ridge Wilderness
Sagamore Lake Loop Sagamore Cascades Powerhouse Trail Death Brook Falls Grassy Pond/Wilson Pond Sprague Pond Wakely Mountain Rock Pond/Cascade Pond Slim Pond/Bear Pond Sawyer Mountain Northville-Placid Trail Stephens Pond
Bridge over Rock Pond
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