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Northville - Placid Trail 

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

 

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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.  This proposed plan has not been approved as of August 2010.

May 2011 -> The bridge over West Canada Creek has been washed out from the major flooding this spring. This is creating a dangerous creek crossing that should be avoided and bypassed. Find the latest info from the Northville-Placid Trail website.

9/8/10 --> NOTE from NY DEC: The bridge over Mud Creek, on the Northville Lake Placid Trail northeast of Mud Lake, has been washed out.

Be sure to check out Guide to Adirondack Trails: Northville Placid Trail 4th Edition for more information on the Northville-Placid Trail.  Also check out the NY DEC website at Adirondack Trail Information for updated trail conditions.  If you have any updates for us please contact us at northville-placidtrail@cnyhiking.com or if you'd like to share any pictures of this fantastic hiking trail.


 

Mile Elevation Description (Haskell Road to Moose River Road/Cedar River Road.)
0.0 1670 ft

DEC Trail sign at the corner of Haskell Road and County Route 24.  Follow Haskell Road to end.  Parking.

0.7 1689 ft

Bridge for Cold Stream.  Maps show parking area (did not notice any good parking here).  Follow blue marked trail into forest.

1.6 1730 ft

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

Cross stream.

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

Cross brook.

26.3 2126 ft

Carry Lean To

26.4 2127 ft

Old road on right leads to the river.

26.7 2103 ft

Cross stream.

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.

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