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Old 08-02-2011, 01:41 PM   #1
tgoodwin
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Unhappy Lake Placid SOA Trail access lost

Based on a conversation today with the current president of the Lake Placid Shore Owners Association (SOA), the access from Chipmunk Lane is no longer permitted. This access has been described in the three previous (11th, 12th, and 13th) editions of the ADK High Peaks Guide, but will of necessity be dropped in the upcoming 14th edition. This ruling applies to all access along the entire west shoreline whether one parks on Chipmunk Lane or elsewhere. The signs on this section have always said, "...At the owner's pleasiure and the user's risk." Now for various reasons (that I won't list so as not to blame any particular user group) the owner is no longer "pleased."

This now means that it is no longer legal to descend McKenzie via the Bartlett Pond Trail, unless one bushwhacks to avoid the private land. Furthermore, the only legal approach to or from Loch Bonnie is via the trail that reaches the lakeshore on a parcel of state land just south of Undercliff. One may still land at the north end of Lake Placid to access Eagle Eyrie as that is all state land. All other trails remain unaffected.

The DEC is aware of this change. Even before this loss of access, preliminary work on the McKenzie Mt. Wilderness Area UMP has included a parking area on Whiteface Inn Lane and a new access route to the Two Brooks Trail via state land or foot trail easements on private land well away from the lake. Whether this loss of access will accelerate implementation of the new route remains to be seen.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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Tony, is it possible that access will be granted on an idividual basis, ie, if I asked someone in particular (the landowner, whoever that may be) and gave them a date that I was climbing, car type, # of hikers with me, etc?

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Old 08-02-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Without identifying any particular user group, would it be possible to describe specific behaviors/actions which ultimately led to the landowners' decision. The reason I ask is so we can use this as an opportunity to educate about proper behavior/actions while on the trail (and especially private land).
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:50 PM   #4
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Here are some answers to questions posted on this and other forums. 1) Don't count on gaining individual permission to use this approach as there are multiple landowners involved and the SOA would not give any "blanket" permission. 2) The reason for the closure was likely a combination of increased use due to the more detailed description in the 13th Edition of the High Peaks Guide, the privately published guidebook, and the Adirondack Explorer article a few years back. Also cited were users other than hikers who tend to travel at greater than walking speed. 3) The approach to McKenzie Mt. from Whiteface Inn Lane is still open. Once on Moose Mt., however, one must either backtrack, descend the Two Brook Trail to the brook and then bushwhack back on state land, or descend past Loch Bonnie to the piece of state land on the Lake Placid shoreline. 4) It is not possible to imagine that these landowners would ever grant a public easement to the DEC like the AMR easement. There is also no point in "appealing" this decision to the SOA.
In my view, the only solution is rapid implementation of the DEC's proposed access on state land.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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was wondering if anyone has heard of any updates about this?
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
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Too bad that your search for information turned up this old post. Since then, actually just about a year ago, the SOA has marked out a route via Blodgett Rd. that is legal. Blodgett Rd. is on the left on Whiteface Inn Lane just after the Jackrabbit Trail but before the old Chipmunk Lane approach. Park on Whiteface Inn Lane, walk up Blodgett Lane and follow markers that go left at the imposing-looking gate. The marked route parallels the driveway and then goes right and down to the board fence that blocks access to the old route along the lake.

This will hopefully be a temporary accommodation as there is a continuous strip of state land higher up the hillside on which a more formal trail can be built. Only catch is that the DEC must finish the UMP for the McKenzie Mt. Wilderness Area first. This plan is expected to recognize most of the resurrected SOA trails as official trails, but don't hold your breath on when that will happen.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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great,thanks a lot for the detailed directions.
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:26 PM   #8
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I'm interested in doing the McKenzie Mtn / Moose Mtn / Loch Bonnie loop in October. It's not clear to me whether returning along the lake through the private land is permitted. Does anyone have an update on this? Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:14 PM   #9
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Look at post # 6. It's legal in both directions.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:52 PM   #10
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Thanks, tgoodwin, that's what I was hoping. What I should have asked (I wasn't very clear -- sorry) was whether the trail was open to the public all the way to/from Undercliff along the lake shore. From your response, I'm guessing that it is. We'd like to come down past Loch Bonnie on our loop back if possible.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:46 AM   #11
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Yes, currently you can hike the Lake Trail from just south of Undercliff back along the lake. A slightly shorter route stays close to Minnnow Brook until it meets the Lake Trail just above the large camps on the shore. The Lake Trail is not shown on current maps because it is entirely on private property and could be closed at any time. The current route of the Lake Trail stays back and away (but sometimes within sight of) the private camps. There are many sharp twists and turns that are not always that well marked. If you find yourself heading for a mowed lawn, go back and look for the trail.

An alternative way to reach Loch Bonnie and Moose Mt. is to paddle to the piece of shoreline that is state land just south of Loch Bonnie. There are signs at the start of the trail, but a green pedestal for Lake Placid Village Electric is another landmark that helps in finding this obscure landing. The trail starts pretty much up a dry stream bed, but eventually starts to look more like a trail. At a flat area about 1/2 mile up there is a 90-degree right hand turn, but otherwise the trail is followable to the junction with the trail along Minnow Brook.

While these trails described above and the other SOA trails north of McKenzie are marked, they are little-used and have not received thorough annual maintenance. I would rate them as actually harder to follow than the unmarked "herd paths" on the High Peaks. Happy exploring!
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