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Old 03-10-2006, 09:50 AM   #1
GSLgal
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Question Southern end of Northville-LP trail?

Ok, I need lots of advice for my 1st ever backpacking trip. I've done lots of hiking and car camping, but never BP'd. This trip is at the request of my 14 yr old son. He is hoping for solitude. Current plan is hike into Silver Lake from Benson day 1. Hike to CanaryPond & back to Silver lake day 2. Back out to benson day 3. Considered the through hike to Whitehouse but thought to camp at the same place both nights so we could day hike gear-free on the middle day. My 2 main questions at this time are: Anyone know how busy that area is likely to be during the week in summer? I know the N-LP is popular but was hoping that most action was up towards the high peaks end. And I'm concerned about biting off too much for a 1st time...the hike in is 7.5 miles. The longest hikes we usually do are 10 miles with just a day pack. But usually with big elev. changes. That section looks relatively flat on the topo. I'm hoping levelness of trail will compensate for the weight on my back. Thanks for any & all advice!
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Old 03-10-2006, 10:18 AM   #2
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That part of the trail is probably NOT going to be busy during the middle of the week. When I hiked that section a couple years ago, on a weekend, I met only two people, and they were heading for Silver Lake (I was on my way to the Mud Pond leanto). It is a relatively level trail through there.

In my experience on the trail, I really didn't meet very many people at all. Between Piseco and Wakely Dam, I didn't run into anyone (on the trail) at all until I got to the campground at Wakely. There were some people in the other leantos at Spruce Lake but I had one all to myself. Between Long Lake and Averyville, I met only two people, and they were heading south while I was heading north ... in fact I had Duck Hole all to myself on a beautiful Friday night!!
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Old 03-10-2006, 01:31 PM   #3
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GSLgal, Congradulations, and welcome. You are a brave soul anddeserve admiration of all. Start slow and easy , don't over do. Better to hang out and smell the roses along the trail than to be too agressive to start. Go for it, and enjoy. We find that for my boys 6-7 miles a day is about right in good weather, too much in bad....have a backup plan.
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Old 03-10-2006, 03:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwc
That part of the trail is probably NOT going to be busy during the middle of the week. When I hiked that section a couple years ago, on a weekend, I met only two people, and they were heading for Silver Lake (I was on my way to the Mud Pond leanto). It is a relatively level trail through there.

In my experience on the trail, I really didn't meet very many people at all. Between Piseco and Wakely Dam, I didn't run into anyone (on the trail) at all until I got to the campground at Wakely. There were some people in the other leantos at Spruce Lake but I had one all to myself. Between Long Lake and Averyville, I met only two people, and they were heading south while I was heading north ... in fact I had Duck Hole all to myself on a beautiful Friday night!!
My experience is similar to kwc's - including once having Duck Hole to ourselves (3) all day long on a beautiful sunny day! Of course that area is popular, but the southern end far less so.

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Old 03-10-2006, 04:15 PM   #5
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I hike that area almost every weekend during the summer/spring/fall. Sometimes I see no one and other times I run into 15-20 people.During the week I see even less people. The hike into silver lake is pretty easy going and very pretty. I think you'll have a great time in that area.


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Old 03-10-2006, 06:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input all. My son has read many Gary Paulson books and has a picture in his mind of roughing it in the "wilderness". Too many people will surely ruin the effect, but it sounds like we should be pretty lonely. Since we're less than 30 min. from the trail head (can't believe I've never been on it!) and he's got all summer off, we have the luxury of waiting for days with a good weather forecast - but I know enough to always be prepared for rain. Sounds like the trail is easy enough that the distance won't be an issue. I'm not worried about my 14 yr old - he's a long distance runner - it was my middle-aged butt I was a little concerned about. Thanks for putting my mind at rest. New Question: I'll bring a tent, but anyone have opinions about the lean-to's vs. a tent? Are there good camping spots for a tent at Silver Lake? Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:28 AM   #7
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tent vs. leanto is a personal preference: obviously bring a tent just in case. Personally, I prefer the leantos. There is a lot of bugs on this trail since it is so close to bodies of water and at low elevations, so when I hiked it I slept with a bug net on every night in the leantos. Maybe the tent would help with that, but it depends on how roughing it your son wants BTW it is so removed from high traffic areas that if you do meet somebody in the leanto, they probably have some wonderful stories to share with your son.

I just wanted to bring up a point about you hiking to the Whitehouse... I do not remember that being a terminus point. There is a beautiful swimming hole under the bridge to it, but you still have to go all the way to Piseco to exit the trail (from my understanding). On the map, the "primitive road" you see going to Whitehouse is really a logging trail that is used as part of the NPT. I could be wrong though.

Sounds like a good time!

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Old 03-12-2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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you can drive to Whitehouse from Wells ... road isn't plowed in winter (past a certain point). it gets narrow as you approach its end at Whitehouse.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwc
you can drive to Whitehouse from Wells ... road isn't plowed in winter (past a certain point). it gets narrow as you approach its end at Whitehouse.
I also understand that this road may be closed in the near future. True?
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:25 AM   #10
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Yes the road is set to close as I understand it.


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Old 03-13-2006, 05:08 PM   #11
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I believe the road closure was shot down and it will remain as it was.
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:50 PM   #12
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This was posted here. As it stands now the road is closing.

By PETE KLEIN

Staff Reporter

RAY BROOK-When the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) met on Thursday, Feb. 9, Eric Kasza told APA commissioners the DEC is still planning to 'work with the Town of Wells' on closing the last 0.7 miles of West River Rd. in the Town of Wells before the end of the five-year period covered by the Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) on the Silver Lake Wilderness.

Kasza is the DEC team leader for the Silver Lake Wilderness UMP.

Wells Supervisor Brian Towers and Highway Superintendent Clay Earley Jr. were among those in attendance at the meeting to see if any changes had been made to the Draft UMP since public hearings were held this past summer. Both were disappointed to learn that all of letters, public comments and resolutions passed by local governments in support of keeping the West River Rd. open had no effect upon the final draft.

'They didn't listen,' Towers said.

After the presentation was complete, Towers had a chance to speak with several commissioners, including Deanne Rehm.

Towers warned Rehm and others, 'If boulders go up to block the road, there will be problems. People who have used this road all their life will move them.'

In October, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution which said in part, 'The West River Road has been repaired and maintained by the Town of Wells for more than a century, and therefore meets the threshold of being a Town Road by Use in accordance with Section 189 of Highway Law'

The resolution went on to call for the road to be kept open. Other Adirondack county, towns and villages, plus local government groups, soon followed with similar resolutions sent to the DEC, APA and elected officials.

Towers was disappointed all efforts have proved fruitless but continues to hope a way can be found to keep the road open. He and others are concerned closing the road could result in confrontations similar to fist fights that took place when the Crane Pond Rd. in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness was closed.
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:34 AM   #13
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I was relying on my ADK guide book which describes the West River Rd access to Whitehouse in its directions to the Big Eddy trailhead. We've decided to just do the out & back from Benson staying 2 nights at Silver Lake with a day hike to Canary Pond (or a little further) on the middle day. I was thinking about driving to Wells and exploring the Whitehouse area as a day hike as a seperate trip though. The suspension bridge, etc. sounds so appealing. Good to know about the road closure! Anyone know if there will be parking at the new terminus of West River Rd.? An extra .7 mile really won't make the trail head inaccesible unless there's nowhere to leave your car.
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:09 AM   #14
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I believe I had read someplace there will be parking at the new terminus.


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