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Hiking in the Adirondacks
This is one of the most remote and rugged areas in all of Adirondack Park. There is nearly 170,000 acres of wilderness and once you leave the safety of Piseco, there is nothing but wilderness for 30 miles. In reality, with the exception of dirt Cedar River Road and Wakely Dam, there are no signs of civilization for nearly 50 miles until the trail reaches Lake Durant State Campground. No stores, no roads, no homes, nothing but wilderness, except for the occasional lean to and campsite.
Anyone hiking this stretch of the Northville - Placid Trail should be fully prepared to expect anything. Be prepared for washed out bridges, water crossings, beaver activity, blow downs and enough supplies to get you through to Blue Mountain Lake (50+ miles away). You may not see a person until the Cedar River Flow area. This is a tough, rugged section of the Northville-Placid Trail. This can be a very dangerous place for those who are not prepared.
This is one of the most scenic sections of the whole Northville-Placid Trail. Below are pictures, maps and a detailed description of this wild 29.7 mile section of trail. The DEC has proposed a reroute of the Northville-Placid Trail that would take it away from Wakely Dam area of Cedar River Flow and off both Moose River Plains Road as well as Cedar River Road. We have not seen if this proposed route was approved.
Be sure to check out the NY DEC website at Adirondack Trail Information for updated trail conditions. You can find more information from the official Northville-Placid Trail website.
Mile Elevation Description (Haskell Rd to Moose River Road) 0.0 1670 feet DEC Trail sign at the corner of Haskell Road and County Route 24. Follow Haskell Road to end. Parking. 0.7 1689 feet Bridge for Cold Stream. Maps show parking area (did not notice any good parking here). Follow blue marked trail into forest. 1.6 1730 feet Cross Brook 4.9 1953 ft
Cross Fall Stream. Begin a long climb.
6.0 2320 ft
End of long climb. Trail descends. Watch out for side woods roads.
7.2 2072 ft
Cross a wide Jessup River on rocks.
7.5 2209 ft
Trail turns sharply left. The woods road to the right leads to International Paper land.
8.3 2329 ft
Puncheons. Then cross Bloodgood Brook. Then more puncheons.
9.7 2400 ft
Spruce Lake #1 Lean To.
10.25 2396 ft
Spruce Lake #2 Lean To.
10.5 2405 ft
Spruce Lake #3 Lean To.
12.8 2366 ft
Cross outlet of Sampson Bog on footbridge (washed out in 2006). Small falls below bridge.
13.2 2321 ft
Cross small stream on footbridge.
13.7 2335 ft
Cross small stream on bridge.
14.3 2342 ft
NPT turns left. French Louie Trail goes right. Cross West Canada Creek on footbridge. Lean To.
14.75 2356 ft
Side trail on left leads 0.1 mile to South Lake Lean To.
14.85 2352 ft
Cross outlet of South Lake on extensive footbridge.
15.3 2407 ft
Side trail on left leads to West Lake #1 Lean To.
15.4 2399 ft
Caretakers Clearing. Trail register. Northville-Placid Trail turns sharply right here.
15.5 2377 ft
Wet section. Beaver activity can usually be found in this area. Cross water on footbridge/puncheons.
15.9 2384 ft
Mud Lake is off to your right.
17.2 2356 ft
Cross Mud Creek on a bridge. NOTE: Bridge was reportedly washed out in early September 2010.
18.2 2485 ft
Kings Pond is off on your right. Cross Kings Pond outlet.
18.8 2461 ft
Yellow marked side trail on right leads 0.5 mile to Cedar Lakes #1 Lean To.
19.9 2694 ft
High point on trail while on Cobble Hill.
20.6 2459 ft
Side trail on right leads to Cedar Lakes #2 Lean To. Cross the deep waters of the Beaver Pond outlet on a bridge.
20.9 2469 ft
Trail on left leads ten miles to Otter Brook bridge.
21.3 2470 ft
Cedar Lakes #3 Lean To.
21.5 2446 ft
Cedar Lakes Dam. Trail register and soon junction of Cedar Lakes Trail on right.
21.8 2424 ft
Trail turns left. Begin old rerouted section which is now the trail.
22.6 2299 ft
23.75 2208 ft
Reach old trail again. Trail veers left. Old trail and old foundation for bridge can be seen to right.
24.8 2323 ft
Junction of Sucker Brook Trail on right. Colvin Brook Lean to is one mile along this trail. Lewey Lake is 7.9 miles away.
25.6 2116 ft
26.3 2126 ft
Carry Lean To
26.4 2127 ft
Old road on right leads to the river.
26.7 2103 ft
27.1 2150 ft
Old road on left leads to Little Moose Lake.
27.3 2157 ft
Another old road comes in on the left.
27.5 2136 ft
Cross Wilson Brook.
28.5 2104 ft
Trail comes close to Cedar River Flow. Nice campsite on right with sandy beach and great view of Cedar River Flow.
29.5 2182 ft
Cross Payne Brook on a culvert.
29.7 2217 ft
Pass by gate and reach trail register. Turn right on seasonal dirt Moose River Plains Road. End of this section.
DEC sign at Haskell Road
Campsite along the NPT near Cedar River Flow
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