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North Country Trail
This section of the North Country Trail begins in Alleghany National Forest in Pennsylvania off PA 346 near Willow Bay Recreational Area. This 21 mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail is the start of the NCT in New York for those going west to east. This stretch of the NCT coincides with the Finger Lakes Trail after the NY State border. You are following the normal NCT blue blazes to start until you reach the NY State border, then its white blazes.
After ascending for just over a mile the trail reaches the New York State Line and the western terminus of the 550 mile Finger Lakes Trail. The North Country Trail will coincide with the FLT for the next 370+ miles. The Finger Lakes Trail continues on to the Catskills and ends at the junction with the Long Path. This point is also the southern terminus of the Conservation Trail. The Conservation Trail also coincides with the NCT for nearly sixty miles before turning away on its journey to Niagara Falls, Canada and the Bruce Trail.
As you enter New York State, you leave Alleghany National Forest and enter Allegany State Park. There is a trail register here. In another four miles you'll reach Park Trail #1. The NCT turns right and follows Park Trail #1. Turning left will take you to an old fire tower on Mount Tuscarora. Trees have pretty much blocked the views from the fire tower. In another two miles you'll reach the Willis Creek Lean To. This is the first of three lean tos along this section of the trail. The trail crosses Willis Creek and will soon reach Coon Run Road, then Coon Run. Watch the white blazes. Trail follows old grades for awhile. At 10.25 miles from PA 346, cross ASP 3 and begin to ascend Mount Oneida. In just over two miles you'll reach the highest point along the trail on Mount Oneida at 2189 feet.
After a descent and crossing of streams plus passing an old lean to, in 3/4 mile you'll reach Stony Brook Lean To. This is the second of three lean tos along this section of the trail. At a junction of Park Trail #9, you'll be at the highest point on the trail in Allegany State Park at 2271 feet. It's another 3/4 mile before you'll reach and cross ASP 1. There is a large parking area near the crossing. The trail is level before a gradual descent, then climbs, then descends again. At 3.6 miles away from ASP 2, reach the junction of a blue blazed trail that goes 2.2 miles to the Park Administration Building on Red House Lake. There is an old dirt floor lean to at a stream. The NCT turns left and climbs to the top of a ridge before descending to the junction of an orange blazed trail in 0.5 miles. The orange trail lead 0.5 miles to the blue trail.
In another 0.5 miles reach the Beck Hollow Lean To. This is the last lean to along this section of the trail in Allegany State Park. The next available camping spot along the trail is about 12 miles away in Bucktooth State Forest. There's another 2.5 miles of hiking before reaching ASP 2. There are views as you descend toward the park road. This section of the NCT ends at the intersection of Bay State Road and ASP 2. This section of the North Country Trail (as well as the Finger Lakes & Conservation Trails) is one of the most popular sections of the trail in New York State, especially with backpackers. The trail travels twenty miles within Allegany State Park.
Look below for a few pictures, maps and trail description of this section of the trail.
North Country Trail Kiosk at PA 346 Trailhead
Park Trail 1 leading to old Mt Tuscarora Fire Tower (picture by Kirk Doyle)
Willis Creek Lean To (picture by Kirk Doyle)
Beck Hollow Lean To (picture by Kirk Doyle)
Mile Elevation North Country Trail Description 0.0 1381 feet
PA 346 Trailhead. Trail register. Parking. Following blue plastic diamonds. GPS N41 59.066 W78 54.143
1.1 2022 feet
Enter New York State, trail register. Start of the Finger Lakes Trail & Conservation Trail. White blazes begin.
2.15 1997 feet
Reach old Brown Hollow Road.
2.5 1835 feet
Trail veers right off old road.
4.1 1589 feet
Cross Wolf Run Rd
5.1 1920 feet
Junction with Park Trail 1 and turn right. Turning left leads to fire tower.
7.0 1657 feet
Willis Creek Lean-To
8.4 1643 feet
Cross Coon Run Road. Some shoulder parking GPS N42 00.152 W78 49.096
10.25 1641 feet
Cross ASP 3, then cross stream and begin ascent up Mount Oneida. Parking lot to the north. GPS N42 00.441 W78 47.668
12.35 2189 feet
High point on trail while on Mount Oneida.
13.25 1966 feet 14.5 2271 feet
Trail turns left at junction with park trail #9. Highest point along trail in Allegany State Park.
15.25 2209 feet
Cross ASP 1 There is a parking lot to the east. GPS N42 03.273 W78 45.922
16.9 2211 feet
Begin a steep descent.
17.4 1933 feet
Junction with blue blazed trail
18.15 2018 feet
Junction with orange blazed trail
18.65 1919 feet
Beck Hollow Lean-To
19.6 2041 feet
Begin steep descent toward Bay State Road.
20.8 1373 feet
Right on Bay State Rd
21.0 1367 feet
Reach ASP 2 and the end of this section. Shoulder parking. GPS N42 06.466 W78 46.511 For a continuation see Bucktooth State Forest.
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