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Old 10-15-2018, 10:03 AM   #41
montcalm
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The problem is the expectation of always meeting one's goals. Does one always summit Everest if one tries? In this day and age of instant gratification, we expect everything to be easy and attainable within the first try. Perhaps the added challenge is a welcome addition to some people. Perhaps that's what makes it more like real wilderness and more of a real adventure, instead of just sight-seeing. There are plenty of tame, canned experiences if you want that.

The trail is not what needs to change, it's the mindset.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:16 AM   #42
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Nature in these lands exists for the wild animals. We're just visitors. We shouldn't blow things up (literally!) just because you "DON'T LIKE to fail at doing the intended trip". Sorry. Nature is bigger than any one of us or our fleeting "goals".

You may have wanted an "exceptional Adirondack backcountry experience", but instead you got an authentic one.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:43 AM   #43
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I look at it a little differently; not in terms of my goals, but in terms of what we have decided to create and advertise as a "resource."

If we have decided to create a "trail", and we advertise a "trail", then a trail is what should be there. Trails go through to their mapped destinations; they don't end in unmaintained beaver swamps.

Now I'm fine with "wilderness." What is wrong here is truth in advertising. If we want to clearly say "Hey folks, we are not maintaining trails in this area. If you go, expect to bushwhack, wade through swamps, etc." then that's fine. But we have to clearly say that (not just with a crappy sign at the trailhead, or halfway in the woods).

If we invite people to enjoy what's supposed to be a "resource", then it needs to be what we advertise, or we're not "managers."
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:29 PM   #44
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Beavers

Humans removed all the predators to beavers so now there are a lot more of them out here building dams all over the place unchecked. We altered the balance that nature used to keep their populations in check along with numerous other species. So, even in wilderness areas, I think there may be times that humans should intervene and remove a select number of their population because we upset the balance through our previous actions and now it's just like the 'Pottery Barn' policy, 'If you break it, you bought it.'
I paddle on so many creeks where there really are waaay too many beaver dams I think only because there is an unchecked population that has no other place to build them. I expect to find beaver dams and I'm glad they do exist because they create navigable places to paddle and retain water through the hotter months, but if you find about a dozen of them in a 1/2 mile stretch on a single stream, that tells me there are probably too many beaver there. I would rather they be relocated or harvested than die from starvation and disease from overpopulation. I'm sure something reasonable can be figured out for this issue.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:48 PM   #45
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Reminds me of a trip to Hour Pond last fall & reading all the complaints in the lean-to log book about the unhappiness of how the trail crosses a beaver meadow that sometimes gets flooded, making crossing the dam causeway a little tricky. Both trails have the appeal of leading to a remote destination, and obviously not everyone will just throw in the towel & turn back, and it’s probably only a matter of time before a herd path is created around the obstacle, even if it’s only temporary. I will also say that some of the most memorable wilderness experiences have been when I’ve gotten off the beaten path, whether it was planned or not... Just take it as a learning experience and hopefully the next time will be much more enjoyable.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:53 PM   #46
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This is posted on the Backcountry information page for the western 'Dacks. https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/106196.html

My recollection is that it took quite some time to clear blowdown in the is area after the 1995 storm, and a lot of it was closed then. They are apparently aware of the beaver activity, and have been for a while, is it is dated 2016, but there may not be resources for clearing dams, or there may be no good alternative site for rerouting. But the information is out there on their site for anyone who took the time to look into it. It is not easy to access, either, so if the critters are as persistent there as the ones I've dealt with, it has to be done over and over, and they are not getting back there all that often to work. You are either putting workers into the woods to camp or you get a very short workday with lots of work just to get there and back on either end.

"Five Ponds Wilderness
•The Five Ponds Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities and a map of the unit.
•A ten-mile section of the Oswegatchie River from High Falls downstream to the Inlet Hand Launch (Inlet Road) has numerous fallen trees across the river which may make passage difficult. Paddlers should portage around downed trees whenever possible. (2018)
•An 800-foot portion of the High Falls Loop (part of the Cranberry 50) has been rerouted to avoid a dangerous log crossing of a beaver dam. The new route has been signed and blowdown has been removed. It is located approximately 0.6 mile east of High Falls. (2018)
•Frequent flooding from beaver activity occurs along the High Falls Trail between Wanakena and the Sand Lake Trail. The trail is an important part of both the High Falls Loop (approximately 14 miles), and the larger Cranberry Lake 50 mile trail. (2016)"
* The vast majority of people won’t refer to that.

* It does not mention the trail TO Sand Lake.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:55 PM   #47
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i look at it a little differently; not in terms of my goals, but in terms of what we have decided to create and advertise as a "resource."

if we have decided to create a "trail", and we advertise a "trail", then a trail is what should be there. Trails go through to their mapped destinations; they don't end in unmaintained beaver swamps.

Now i'm fine with "wilderness." what is wrong here is truth in advertising. If we want to clearly say "hey folks, we are not maintaining trails in this area. If you go, expect to bushwhack, wade through swamps, etc." then that's fine. But we have to clearly say that (not just with a crappy sign at the trailhead, or halfway in the woods).

If we invite people to enjoy what's supposed to be a "resource", then it needs to be what we advertise, or we're not "managers."
this
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:01 PM   #48
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Keep the beavers, make trail reroutes a priority, especially ones that lead to premiere destinations of that wilderness area and are especially hard to get around. I personally have no problem doing a little bushwhacking, this dam / pond / marsh / dense forest was particularly difficult to get around, to the point of being almost impossible for the vast majority of people.

A reroute expectation is perfectly reasonable I believe.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:09 PM   #49
Justin
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Tim, just curious if you also notified DEC of your experience..?
Perhaps this flooding is relatively new, hence why it’s not mentioned in any of the newer trail condition reports, and maybe the problem will be addressed (or is planned to be addressed) soon...?
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:11 PM   #50
montcalm
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There are people who live in the area and update the trail conditions on facebook if you know where to look. It's not hard to find or figure out.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:16 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by TCD View Post
I look at it a little differently; not in terms of my goals, but in terms of what we have decided to create and advertise as a "resource."

If we have decided to create a "trail", and we advertise a "trail", then a trail is what should be there. Trails go through to their mapped destinations; they don't end in unmaintained beaver swamps.

Now I'm fine with "wilderness." What is wrong here is truth in advertising. If we want to clearly say "Hey folks, we are not maintaining trails in this area. If you go, expect to bushwhack, wade through swamps, etc." then that's fine. But we have to clearly say that (not just with a crappy sign at the trailhead, or halfway in the woods).

If we invite people to enjoy what's supposed to be a "resource", then it needs to be what we advertise, or we're not "managers."

I understand what you are saying, but I don't agree. There simply is no way for lesser used trails with lots of beaver activity to be maintained that well. If these trails were as well traveled as the ones in the High Peaks, it would never happen, but they are not, and that is some of the appeal to them.

If you can't whack your way around a beaver pond, then perhaps you don't have the skills necessary for this area. And AFAIK, there are far less S&R issues in 5 ponds than the high peaks, so I don't think it's a safety issue.

And if you really insist, wait until February until those ponds are frozen over and go then.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:13 PM   #52
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I look at the flat water above beaver dams from a different view point.
Sometimes I have been lucky. As a geologist I would study topo maps and aerial photos looking for beaver habitat in the middle of forested areas. Several times we got very lucky. After a visit to the area verify flooded forest we would go back in early winter to walk on the ice while taking magnetometer data. Collecting M measurements works best if you can stay at a constant elevation. The 1970s version of this very portable instrument was about the size of a large loaf a bread.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:15 PM   #53
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Montcalm, you misread my comment.

I'm not saying the trails have to be perfectly maintained.

I'm saying that if we have CHOSEN to not maintain the trails in an area, then we have to advertise that. And if people have to search for the information, then we have NOT "advertised" it, and we are NOT competent managers.

Remember, the Adirondacks are supposed to be a tourism jewel that attracts people from out of state to spend their $ here. They should not have to search through a bunch of BS disorganized websites to avoid being surprised by an unmaintained trail.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:50 PM   #54
montcalm
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I guess that is true, TCD. I'm not sure it's been advertised anywhere that 5 Ponds is all that easy to negotiate, but perhaps someone not in the know would just look at a Nat Geo map and decide to give it a shot.

I know I've had my challenges in that area, but I never go in expecting it to be easy or go as planned. This is the mindset that I speak of.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:13 PM   #55
Justin
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There are people who live in the area and update the trail conditions on facebook if you know where to look. It's not hard to find or figure out.
There are a few videos on YouTube also, including a few by Forest Dweller himself, who definitely seems genuinely very unhappy in this 5 part rant... (language warning):

Trail Flooded by Beavers, Five Ponds Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:14 PM   #56
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Remember, the Adirondacks are supposed to be a tourism jewel that attracts people from out of state to spend their $ here.
I have to disagree. Apart from Andy's TV commercials, where is that officially stated? I don't believe that is what the Adirondacks is supposed to be, or why the "park" was crested in the first place. Some overly trampled and commercialized parts have unfortunately turned into that, but thankfully I don't think that is a fair characterization of what the whole of the Adirondacks is supposed to be, or in fact is.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:19 PM   #57
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There are a few videos on YouTube also, including a few by Forest Dweller himself, who definitely seems genuinely very unhappy in this 5 part rant... (language warning):

Trail Flooded by Beavers, Five Ponds Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Wow, that is bad...
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:27 AM   #58
Justin
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Wow, that is bad...
Yeah that’s some world class whining going on there!
Only thigh deep? A pair of crocs & a pair of convertible pants and that crossing is no problem.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:32 AM   #59
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Yeah that’s some world class whining going on there!
Only thigh deep? A pair of crocs & a pair of convertible pants and that crossing is no problem.
The beaver are doing us a favor and making access more challenging....
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:37 AM   #60
montcalm
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Yeah that’s some world class whining going on there!


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Only thigh deep? A pair of crocs & a pair of convertible pants and that crossing is no problem.
Or if you are really squeamish, a pack raft. Then you can float on your destination pond when you get there.
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