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Old 01-30-2016, 08:00 PM   #1
Justin
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NPT Sticker

Saw this over on the Facebook and thought I'd share it here also...
Not for profit, and many thanks to our Adkforum buddy 12trysomething for sponsoring it.

https://teespring.com/i-hiked-the-npt-sticker
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:00 PM   #2
All Downhill From Here
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Is it really known for its muddiness? Sounds like a bad trail.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:21 PM   #3
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The West Canada Lakes stretch can be moderately to very muddy. The WCLWA is a high plateau that generates its own weather patterns... usually rain. The area gets more rain than most of the rest of the Adirondacks and the trails there never really ever dry out. Also the running race that is held there every year tears the trail up and the impacts are quite noticeable for several weeks to a month after the race.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by All Downhill From Here View Post
Is it really known for its muddiness? Sounds like a bad trail.
Lots of trails can be pretty muddy in the Adirondacks. I think Rob was just going for something a little different with the logo, rather than the generic trail marker. It's not just mud, it's NPT mud!
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:35 PM   #5
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Race?

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Also the running race that is held there every year tears the trail up and the impacts are quite noticeable for several weeks to a month after the race.
When does the race take place?
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:37 PM   #6
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When does the race take place?
It looks like this year, it is July 30th.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:41 PM   #7
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Noted. I didn't have too much trouble with mud on previous hikes along it, mostly just black flies and skeeters. Millions of them.

Considering a through hike for late summer/early Fall this year, depending on how much vaca I have left.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:24 AM   #8
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It looks like this year, it is July 30th.
Aw! So if I go the first week of August it will be a mess?
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:53 AM   #9
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Nothing to worry about. The race only affects one section of the NP (the West Canada Lakes section). You will find plenty of mud on the rest of the trail as well.

To DS's point, the WCL section is naturally wetter than other sections. But most of the muddiness is due to poor trail route selection and lack of maintenance. In many places the trail is in low areas near brooks (as are many "traditional" Adirondack trails), when there is obvious, firm high ground only a few yards away to the right or left. Also, downed bridges go unreplaced for years, the trail disappears into beaver swamps, "reroutes" around these areas poorly marked, etc. So you will find plenty of wet, muddy challenges, regardless of other users.

The biggest factor is the weather when you go. Late summer like you are planning is a good time, and likely the driest, but what will matter most is the weather the week before and during your hike. That's just the luck of the draw. We went in August 2007, and happened to hit a dry week, so the mud and water was pretty manageable. Much of the NP is routed along old forest roads that were properly designed 150 years ago and still stay pretty dry. It's the more recent "foot trail" sections that get very wet.

Have fun!
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:37 AM   #10
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I doubt many of the roads are 150 years old. That's a long time in Adirondack eons. And the ones in good shape (such as those in the Western High Peaks) are much more recent, dating to about 50-60 years ago.

Much of the WCL section follows old roads too, but they were pretty poorly designed. One of the wettest sections of the trail there, from Fall Stream to Spruce Lake, is almost entirely on old logging roads, but it takes a trained eye to see it.

The ADK constructed the NPT in roughly 2 years in the early 1920's. I've always suspected that the reason they were able to get a 133 mile long trail built so quickly is that the vast majority of construction work was simply putting up trail markers on logging roads that were recently abandoned (or in some cases, still active), and that there was very little actual "trail building" to be done.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:35 PM   #11
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DS, I've been thinking about this. I agree that 150 years is probably too long. But many areas that are now wilderness along the NP were farm communities 100 years ago, and they built good, well graded and drained carriage roads between them. Much of the NP follows these old road routes, and these are the sections of the trail that are in the best condition. Of course more recent log skidder roads were only built as temporary expedients, and the disrupted soil quickly turned to mud. Sadly also, the more recent "foot trails" have not been routed, designed or built to last. So they also turn to mud.

My perception is that "Wilderness trail standards" that are currently in favor contribute to this problem. It's nice to imagine that in a wilderness, the trail should seem rustic, wandering through muddy areas and littered with tripping hazards. That way, "sports" from the city can feel like they are having a rustic experience. And I know some folks here on the forum in our very narrow, self selected elite group of hikers like a rustic trail. But the reality is that 99% of the people vote with their feet. And if there is crap in the way, they will quickly beat a path around it. They recognize, perhaps unconsciously, that the trail is a work of man, and NOT "the wilderness." So while we blather about how folks should walk through the middle of the mud, and enjoy stepping over down trees because this is supposed to be wilderness, 99% of the folks will ignore us and beat their own trail. So in the long run, the "wilderness trail standards" result in more aesthetic damage to the resource than a clear, well routed, graded and drained trail would. They have learned this at Mt. Rainier; this is why the trail up the mountain from Paradise is paved (yes, blacktop). Now I'm not advocating paving trails here. But long stretches of many of our trails would benefit from better routing and a sturdier trail bed, which would reduce the "network of herd paths" problem.

When we hiked the NP in 2007, it was readily apparent when we were on old roads, and the trail was nice and dry and solid. We enjoyed those portions the most.
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