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Old 06-15-2019, 03:22 PM   #1
RipVanWinkle
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Jessup River Road

Is anyone aware if the Jessup River Road is open all the way out to the spruce lake trail head?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #2
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I am interested in the same and the condition of the road, especially in terms of a standard clearance vehicle.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:21 PM   #3
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http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_for...appcstfcel.pdf
http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49562.html
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9200.html

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts
•The Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
•All seasonal access roads in the Speculator Tree Farm Tract are open to public motor vehicle use including the first two miles of Robbs Creek Road. (6/13)
•All seasonal access roads in the Perkins Clearing Tract, are open to public motor vehicle use. (6/13)
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:34 PM   #4
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...especially in terms of a standard clearance vehicle.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:04 PM   #5
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It's that impossible Justin? Can you please tell me about the Pillsbury Lake Spur and the connection to the Whitney-cedar Lakes trail; is it marked and easy to follow? Thanks
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:26 PM   #6
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It's that impossible Justin? Can you please tell me about the Pillsbury Lake Spur and the connection to the Whitney-cedar Lakes trail; is it marked and easy to follow? Thanks
You mountain adventurers and your city cars.
Last time I was through there that portion was basically a bushwhack trying to follow old faint blue paint markings.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:57 PM   #7
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Yeah, stuck with vehicle for the near future. I figured that for the trail, but since it's described on the WCLW page, I thought it might have got some maintenance. Thanks again.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:21 PM   #8
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From the Webpage referenced above:
"The easement lands are mainly a mix of flatlands, low hills, and a few mountains. The Jessup River, Miami River, Kunjamuk River and Sacandaga River offer outstanding opportunities for water-based recreation.

A system of dirt roads provides public motor vehicle access to the easement lands and adjacent forest preserve lands. Some of these roads are rough and only high four-wheel drive trucks and other high clearance vehicles use those roads or section of roads identified on the map."

I don't see anything in the Spruce lake section of the road on the referenced pdf map that is labelled as requiring 4 wheel, but high clearance is always a good thing on back roads.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:38 PM   #9
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It's worth noting that a lot the website descriptions of infrastructure (roads and trails) for various land units (easement lands, wild forests, wilderness, etc.) were written by employees who work in an office and likely have never actually set foot on the units of land they were tasked with writing descriptions for. When you look through most of the individual pages for various state land units, it's pretty obvious that they just went through the GIS information and listed every trail that the DEC has ever mapped out, regardless of whether any of these trails are still maintained or not. With less-frequently used trails especially, I would (unfortunately) take anything that the DEC website has to say about said trails with a grain of salt.

My general experience with the road to the Spruce Lake trailhead has been that it is usually accessible by 2WD but not always. It depends on how wet it's been, and how much recent logging activity has taken place in the Perkins Clearing easement- there's a lot of logging going on, the logging trucks especially have a tendency to tear up the roads pretty good with muddy ruts. In any case, even when the road is in good shape, with a low clearance vehicle you'd be well advised to drive slow and watch for rocks. I'd plan for the drive from Route 30 to the Spruce Lake trailhead to take anywhere from 1-2 hours.

I hiked the fisherman's paths connecting Pillsbury, Whitney, and Cedar Lakes back in 2009 and they were rough going even then- I can't imagine that the 10 years since has done these trails any favors. I don't think these trails ever actually got any "official" state maintenance, either. Rather, I think they were left over remnants from when the area still had private inholdings and camps, prior to the Perkins Clearing land swap (pdf link). At one point they got inventoried and included in the DEC's GIS database.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RipVanWinkle View Post
Is anyone aware if the Jessup River Road is open all the way out to the spruce lake trail head?



Thanks in advance


I hiked to the Sampson lake Lean-to on June 1st from the Pillsbury Trailhead and the roads were all in good shape. These roads, at that point, could be used by a regular clearance two wheel drive vehicle as long as youíre careful! Hope this helps!

-Addison


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Old 06-18-2019, 01:27 PM   #11
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...I hiked the fisherman's paths connecting Pillsbury, Whitney, and Cedar Lakes back in 2009 and they were rough going even then- I can't imagine that the 10 years since has done these trails any favors. I don't think these trails ever actually got any "official" state maintenance, either. Rather, I think they were left over remnants from when the area still had private inholdings and camps, prior to the Perkins Clearing land swap (pdf link). At one point they got inventoried and included in the DEC's GIS database.
I probably should’ve clarified... When I was through there last fall, the Whitney-Pillsbury Lake-Pillsbury Bay/Cedar Lakes paths were very easy to follow. Someone(s) (not me) had went through a couple years ago & cleared them free of all blowdown & encroaching brush. I mean not even a log to step over, or a branch to duck under. A portion was even re-routed a little further up the shoulder of Noisey Ridge.
However, the old path (marked with occasionally blue paint blazes) that once lead from the French Louie trail around the western end of Pillsbury Lake to its outlet & connects with the freshly cleared paths back to Whitney & Cedars was still basically a bushwhack. The newer Nat Geo maps shows this route around the western end of Pillsbury Lake (I believe the map at the Pillsbury Mtn trailhead register kiosk also shows this route), but when I was there last fall it was basically still unfollowable.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:37 PM   #12
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Thanks for that clarification, Justin. Sounds like someone went through and opened the trails up a bit.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:41 PM   #13
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Thanks for that clarification, Justin. Sounds like someone went through and opened the trails up a bit.
Yeah the increase in use at Whitney has been very noticeable past few years,
perhaps no doubt due to a few past internet discussions.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:21 PM   #14
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I wouldn't be surprised if the inclusion of the tent sites on Whitney on the official DEC map for the WCLWA also played a role. I've definitely noticed in other areas that site usage increased at some sites after they got included in the official DEC maps for that area.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:30 PM   #15
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I wouldn't be surprised if the inclusion of the tent sites on Whitney on the official DEC map for the WCLWA also played a role. I've definitely noticed in other areas that site usage increased at some sites after they got included in the official DEC maps for that area.
Good point. And just to clarify even further using the map in the link which trail I was referring to that was still overgrown last time I checked (red arrow)...

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Old 06-18-2019, 10:30 PM   #16
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Does anyone have some photos of Whitney Lake they'd be willing to share? Has anyone fished it?
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Last edited by TrailBlaser; 06-19-2019 at 05:56 AM..
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:00 AM   #17
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Does anyone have some photos of Whitney Lake they'd be willing to share? Has anyone fished it?
I have a ton of photos from over the years, Iíll send you a few via pm.
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