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Old 05-07-2008, 05:29 PM   #21
Neil
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Got a naive question. Why is the trail most commonly done S-N? The sun?
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:44 PM   #22
hillman1
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better beer and food in lake placid. Gives you something to look forward to each day when you wake up.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:03 PM   #23
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better beer and food in lake placid. Gives you something to look forward to each day when you wake up.
lol...

I've always said that when I get around to doing the trail, I'm going to have somebody drop me off in Placid, then walk home....

You might have just changed my mind for me.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:28 PM   #24
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better beer and food in lake placid. Gives you something to look forward to each day when you wake up.
Hahaha! I'm going to erase the N on my compass and replace it with a B. I can see myself now, like Homer Simpson, walking trance-like with my compass in hand, chanting, "Beer" all the way to Placid.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:32 PM   #25
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Got a naive question. Why is the trail most commonly done S-N? The sun?
Yep
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:34 PM   #26
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I can't say that I agree with that.

Forever wild means limiting mans impact...reducing access and the type of access are means to that end. And no, I haven't lost sight of the 'why' we have Wilderness areas.


Why is it we need to change today what was considered 'in compliance' back when the APSLMP was approved?
there's already a thread here with reference to the "Forever Wild" as it applies by statute.

And it was not in compliance, just ignored as are many other things, that i suppose sooner or later will be addressed.

For what it's worth, I too am opposed to most of what they are going to do from Whitehouse to Benson.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:35 PM   #27
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Why is it we need to change today what was considered 'in compliance' back when the APSLMP was approved?
I see what you're getting at. I apologize if my previous post was a little contentious.

The "non-conforming" issues listed in the APSLMP are usually long-term ones that might not be resolved for a while.

But within a specific area, there may be older facilities that were grandfathered in but must eventually be removed. If you have a copy of the Silver Lake UMP, you'll find a list of non-conforming facilities on p. 26. It includes the suspension bridges at Whitehouse and other details, including the road to West Stony Creek. So this trailhead is just one of several details that DEC will have to work on.

As for why the APSLMP didn't identify this road as an issue, I honestly can't say. It might have been an oversight. Possibly, this parcel wasn't added to the Silver Lake Wilderness until later. I'm looking through the UMP and can't find any explanation of why it might have been overlooked.

Nevertheless, it is a road within a designated Wilderness Area, so there isn't much DEC can do about it--at least, the portion on state land.

As for the proposed new lean-to and new section of the NPT, only 4.5 miles would be in the Silver Lake Wilderness. The remaining mileage (and the lean-to) will be in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest.

New trails and lean-tos ARE allowed in Wilderness Areas. For lean-tos, there are setback guidelines (100 feet from shorelines) and separation guidelines (500 feet to 0.25 mile from other lean-tos) for new structures.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:35 PM   #28
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I'd like to see a reroute only because the 10+ mile road walk of the NPT is a little discouraging and really, not in keeping with the whole intent of a "wilderness" experience.

Alternatively, I am reluctant to see "wilderness" on a collision course with "civilization". As a resident of Gifford Valley Rd I don't want to see more traffic than necessary but I'm completely enthused by the prospect of a real, wilderness route between Northville and Benson. Phrases like "turn about is fair play" and "you get what you wish for" loom large in my vision.

So, as a bushwhacker in my own back yard, I now get a chance at being part of the "official" NPT. I tend to be enthused; we'll see how being at the begining of the trail works out.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:38 AM   #29
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No apologies necessary.

It does seem odd that DEC didn't improve and maintain the road any over the years though. If the Wilderness area was in compliance, then they should have taken step to keep the erosion under control. I doubt the access road and parking area were overlooked back when the APSLMP was accepted and I'm pretty sure that road was there at the time. I'll check though.

I forgot the lower section of proposed trail was in the Shaker WF. Thanks for reminding me.

The suspension bridge at Whitehouse is another bone of contention for me. I see no reason to remove it. It's really neat and I hope that it doesn't get torn down.

I'll have to download another copy of these UMP's...I can't seem to find mine.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:52 AM   #30
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Got a naive question. Why is the trail most commonly done S-N? The sun?
My guess is that it is because the trail is named the Northville/Placid trail and not the Placid/Northville trail.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:27 AM   #31
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The suspension bridge at Whitehouse is another bone of contention for me. I see no reason to remove it. It's really neat and I hope that it doesn't get torn down.
The bridge issue is a park-wide thing. I agree that this and other similar bridges are fine as is. So far as I know, DEC doesn't plan to actively remove any of them. It's just that, under the current guidelines, DEC would have to replace them with wood structures if the old ones ever failed... but wood bridges can't span wide streams.

There is a bridge in the High Peaks that has been out for quite a while, and the DEC & APA have been considering options to replace it. I don't know where things stand at the moment, but I know some of the options considered were:

1. Constructing a steel bridge, but then covering it with wood to give it a "natural" appearance

2. Laminating wood beams together to create a longer span

With option #2, there was actually some concern expressed that the amount of glue (or whatever) needed for the lamination would be "excessive". And IMO, option #1 would be insulting.

I think I understand why the APSLMP was written the way it was--to make it a little harder for DEC to build bridges in the backcountry and keep them from building too many--but ultimately, there are just some situations where a steel bridge is more practical. So long as it isn't some towering behemoth visible from miles away, and so long as they aren't building them over every little creek, I don't have a problem with the existing ones... as you can see here.

NPT footbridge over the Cold River
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:43 PM   #32
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I was at the trailhead today and it looks as if it is already closed to vehicles.

The barrior was closed and there were signs posted on either side of it that stated:


Foot Trail
Road Closed to Motorized Traffic
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:12 PM   #33
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This is a bridge on the Foothills Trail across the Toxaway River in South Carolina (actually this part may be in North Carolina, I don't remember). It was built by Duke Power as part of their permit for a hydro project. According to the guidebook it's 225 feet long, and IMO looks about as natural as you're going to make a 225-foot long bridge. As I recall there wasn't much metal aside from the cables and the bolts to hold it all together. As you can see, the foottread was wood.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:26 AM   #34
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According to the guidebook it's 225 feet long, and IMO looks about as natural as you're going to make a 225-foot long bridge.
I agree with Colden. A wood bridge can only get you so far and past a certain point, you're going to have to add metal (unless you build a rope bridge, Amazon jungle style ). That bridge in Carolina that you're referring to doesn't look too shabby at all, considering the distance it's spanning. Also looks like it keeps the use of wilderness-disrupting metal to a minimum. The idea of building a metal bridge and covering it with wood to make it look natural just seems ludicrous.

I wouldn't be at all opposed to maybe a smaller version of that bridge. Though some people probably wouldn't like the idea of putting a suspension bridge on the NPT, even if it is wood.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:57 PM   #35
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I am not a structural engineer, nor do I play one on TV, but...

It strikes me that a wood bridge would have a shorter lifespan than a metal bridge. I've seen a wooden suspension bridge in New Hampshire, in the Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness Area. It is nowhere near as long as the one seen above, but when I last saw it in 2006 the Forest Service had it closed off. If you looked closely, you could see how the wood towers were starting to rot.

A wood bridge looks nice, but frankly whether it's made of wood or metal a suspension bridge is a suspension bridge. Might as well use the material that will last the longest... so long as DEC removes the old bridge completely and doesn't just leave it in ruins in the river. And yes, DEC has done this recently at the West Canada Creek.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:10 PM   #36
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There are reasons for bridges in wilderness areas and the primary reason is safety. While we all hope for the most wilderness experience we can get, do we really want to die for it. An example is the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail in Maine. The wilderness river crossing there in the past actually killed people trying to cross. I'm hoping we can come to a compromise with river crossings, wilderness experience and safety.
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