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Hiking in the Adirondacks
Northville to Benson Road
A kiosk marks the southern beginning/end of the Northville-Placid Trail at the Waterfront Park in the small hamlet of Northville. There is a parking area for the trail located at the kiosk. There is a register and information about the trail at the kiosk. This stretch of the trail includes a 3.5 mile road walk as well as 8.6 miles of hiking in Shaker Mountain Wild Forest.
The southern start of the Northville-Placid Trail is located at a parking area with a DEC Kiosk in the hamlet of Northville. It is behind a ice cream store along South Main Street, just south of the intersection of Bridge Street. The GPS coordinates of the parking area are N43 13.542 W74 10.278 for those who have a GPS devise. There is a trail register at the Kiosk as well as designated parking for NPT hikers. From here it is a 3.5 mile road walk to reach the first off road section of the NPT.
From the Kiosk head north (right) on Main Street and then west (left) on Bridge Street. There is a Tops grocery store located a short distance north on Main Street. Do you need supplies? This is the last chance for a long, long time. There are numerous restaurants, bars and little shops located in the village. A Stewart's Store-Gas Station is located across from the Waterfront Park/Northville-Placid Trail wooden arc.
Take Bridge Street out of the village, over the Great Sacandaga Lake bridge and then turn left onto County Route 152 just before the NY 30 junction. There are nice views of the lake as you cross the bridge as well as while you are walking along County Route 152. There are NPT signs at each road junction to keep you on the right track. County Route 152 makes a sharp right turn. County Route 152 will turn left and travels to Northhampton Beach State Campground. The NPT stays straight on County Route 123.
At 1.8 miles cross busy NY 30 and continue to follow County Route 123. At 2.7 miles turn right onto Collins-Gifford Valley Road. The road climbs immediately and be sure to check out the view behind you as walk along the road. Eventually the paved road turns into a gravel road. At 3.4 miles you reach the DEC Trailhead Parking sign and turn left down the dirt access road that leads to the parking area. This ends the 3.5 miles road walk. The GPS coordinates of the parking area is N43 12.741 W74 12.512.
There is a trail register at the Collins-Gifford Valley Road trailhead. Follow the blue plastic NPT markers over a bridge to start your off trail adventure on the Northville-Placid Trail (if you are traveling north). The trail immediately ascends in the forest as you climb on the side of a ridge on switchbacks. A side trail that goes to Mud Lake is reached after 5.4 miles from the southern terminus in Northville. At 5.7 miles pass a rock formation that is sometimes used as a bear den. The trail follows the outlet of the lake before crossing the outlet at 5.8 miles and then again at 6.3 miles.
The trail crosses the outlet of Mud Lake one last time at 7.0 miles on a log bridge, where there is a campsite. The trail then descends quickly to reach the very wide West Stony Creek at 8.3 miles from the southern terminus. There are plans in the future to build a bridge over the creek, however for now you will need to cross this over 80 foot wide stream. This crossing should not be attempted during high water, after heavy rains as this would be very dangerous. The rocks are also very slippery! You might be able to find informal campsites near the creek.
The trail now climbs away from the creek and makes it's way toward the parking area on Benson Road, which marks the end of this section of the Northville-Placid Trail, 12.1 miles from the southern terminus. The trail leaves Shaker Mountain Wild Forest, travels diagonally thru the parking area, crosses the road and enters the forest and Silver Lake Wilderness. The GPS coordinates of the parking area is N43 14.853 W74 18.715.
Be sure to check out the NY DEC website at Adirondack Trail Information for updated trail conditions. We recommend that you purchase the Northville-Placid Trail (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map) to help plan your Northville-Placid Trail adventure. Look below for a detailed description, maps and pictures of this stretch of the trail.
Mile Elev Description (Northville to Benson Road) 0.0 798 feet Kiosk & Trail register in Northville off Main Street. Parking Area. Turn left on Bridge Street. 0.5 771 feet Bridge over Great Sacandaga Lake. Soon turn left on County Route 152. 1.8 820 feet Cross NY 30. 2.7 906 feet Turn right onto Collins-Gifford Valley Road. 3.4 893 feet Turn left onto trailhead access road for parking area. 3.5 891 feet Parking Area. Trail Register. Cross bridge and enter Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. 5.4 1597 feet A side trail on the left to Mud Lake. 8.3 943 feet Cross West Stony Creek. 12.1 1389 feet Benson Road Parking Area. Leaving Shaker Mountain Wild Forest.
Kiosk & trail register at Waterfront Park in Northville
Trail register at start of trail in Shaker Mountain Wild Forest off Collins-Gifford Valley Road
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