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Our 2010 Hikes - March 17Exploring the North Country Trail
State Bridge to Stacy Basin
plus a couple of hikes in Rome Sand Plains
Date: March 17, 2010
Mileage hiked: 6.7 miles total
Location: near Rome, NY
Trailhead #1: NY 46 Parking Area at State Bridge.
Trailhead #2: Hogsback Road for Rome Sand Plains.
Name of Trail: North Country Trail / Old Erie Canal Trail plus Wood Creek Trail and Blue DEC Trail in Rome Sand Plains Unique Area
Hike Difficulty: Easy for all trails.
Trail Conditions: Dry and Excellent along the North Country Trail. Good with some snow covered sections in Rome Sand Plains. As you approach Wood Creek, the Wood Creek Trail becomes very wet.
Features: Old Erie Canal, Rome Sand Plains.
Links: Rome Sand Plains Unique Area and NCT - State Bridge to Lock 21
Although the weather has been awesome here in central New York, there is still a lot of snow of many of the hiking trails, especially at the higher elevations. We still wanted to enjoy the great weather and decided to continue to work on our winter hiking legs along the North Country Trail from State Bridge to Lock Road at Stacy Basin.
We usually walk this section of the NCT as we wait for the warmer weather and better trail conditions. The trail was dry and hard packed when we visited on St Patricks Day. Great place to enjoy the nice early weather, stay dry and work on those winter hiking legs.
You decide how far to hike along the North Country Trail as the trail follows the old Erie Canal for 5.1 miles from State Bridge at NY 31 to Canal Road at Stacy Basin. There is a large parking area off NY 46 just north of the NY 31 junction. There are small parking areas at most road crossings along the trail. The trail follows close to NY 46 the whole way. There are picnic tables and grills at Verona Park, located at Starks Landing where German Road crosses the trail. Use the link above for more info.
North Country Trail at Stacy Basin along the old Erie Canal
We also decided to explore Rome Sand Plains Unique Area while we were in the area. We parked at the DEC parking area off Hogsback Road. We first hiked the Wood Creek Trail. There is a DEC Trail register at the start of the trail. A pleasant walk with only a bit of snow still on the ground. There was one major blow down that was easy to climb over. There were other minor limbs and such along the trail. Red DEC Trail discs help you follow the path to the creek.
The trail becomes a bit wet and muddy as it approaches Wood Creek. A great spot for a break along the bank of the creek. Scrappy dove in and was surprised on how deep the creek was. I had to coax her further down the creek to get her out from her cold swim. As you retrace your tracks back, at first the trail is tough to follow as you leave the banks of the creek. Once you find well worn path, your on your way back to the DEC parking area.
Wood Creek Trail in Rome Sand Plains Unique Area
We then walked a few hundred feet west along Hogsback Road to hike the DEC Blue Trail. This is a loop through pine barrens. There is a DEC sign at the road for the trail. Your following Blue DEC Trail Discs. The trail is well marked, which is nice since there are other trails in the forest. As you start be sure to veer left toward the blue disc as a snowmobile trail veers right.
On the day we hiked (St Pattys Day), there was still a lot of sections of the trail with snow. Don't let that stop you from hiking this great loop over the next few weeks as the snow continues to melt (we hope). The trail follows old logging roads to complete a 1.9 mile loop (1.6 miles according to the DEC sign).
Scrappy on the Blue Trail in Rome Sand Plains Unique Area
DIRECTIONS: The NY 46 parking area is located 0.5 miles north of the NY 31 junction at State Bridge. Continue north on NY 46 for the other trailheads.
To get to the Hogsback Road parking area for Rome Sand Plains Unique Area, take NY 46 to NY 49 west. NY 49 to Lauther Road. Turn right onto Hogsback Road. The parking area is on the right.
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