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Old 05-09-2018, 01:06 PM   #1
tgoodwin
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Porter Mt. from Garden Trail closed

A few weeks ago I was able to share some good news that Owls Head in Keene would again be open to hikers mid-week as it was last year. *Unfortunately, I must now report that the one private landowner on that trail (below Little Porter) has decided to close the trail as of May 31. *He cited problems that I don't believe were caused by hikers using that trail, but a letter in February (after he informed the DEC of his intent to close the trail after the required 90 days), and two conversations in person have not caused him to change his mind. *I pointed out to him that this closure will do nothing to stop those who research Big Slide or The Brothers on Google Maps and believe that his access road is the route to take.

I would add that I am assuming he will enforce this closure "vigorously". *I base that assumption on his denial of my request to walk his road so that I could begin to plan for a reroute that would not be on his property.

There is definitely a feasible reroute around the west end of the private property, but it certainly won't happen this season. *By bushwhacking, I have so far located the two relevant corners of the property and identified a good site for a bridge over Slide Brook. *The trail will theoretically leave the Brothers Trail just before it dips to cross Juliet Brook and work its way on generally easy terrain to the brook crossing. *After that it will be a long traverse on a steep side hill to join the existing trail just below the final steep climb with stone steps to Little Porter.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:31 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info, Tony. Of course this is a lightly used trail, but it has great historical significance.

I support the rights of private landowners. So as much as I am unhappy about this closure, I will respect it.

Thanks for doing the homework to figure out a reroute. I hope that you can get the DEC to actually work on this reroute. But as I read other threads, I see that they are busy destroying access to Porter from the other side, destroying the perfectly good existing parking at Chapel Pond, etc.

The DEC may be too busy destroying perfectly good things to actually get any positive work done.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up! I've had this trail on my "must visit" list but I guess it'll have to wait a bit longer (or visit before May 31st).

I assume you mean the private property that extends like a peninsula into state land (center of photo below)? If so, the Little Porter trail will have to swing waaay over to the west to circumvent it. That's a lot of new trail!

Or is it the triangular property (south of the "peninsular property") shown in OpenStreetMap (link below) but, curiously, not on the Essex Country map?

Little Porter Mtn Trail


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Old 05-10-2018, 03:41 PM   #4
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TB;
Yes, the trail will have to swing way to the west and actually past the western boundary because at the western boundary the banks on both sides of the brook are very steep. By going 3-400 yards further upstream, there is an excellent place for a bridge over Slide Brook as well as much gentler approaches to the brook.

That triangular piece of land below is state land, but for some historic reason is classified as wild forest rather than wilderness. My only guess is that the separation is due to there once being a jeep road that accessed the camps near the end of that "peninsula". I'm pretty sure those camps did not have a deeded right of way because they weren't apparently allowed to rebuild a bridge that got that jeep road over Slide Brook. The "hypotenuse" of that triangle pretty much follows the original route of that road, but that use had ended long before the state started classifying Forest Preserve lands.

Go to Google Maps and search for The Brothers and ask for directions from Lake Placid. The proposed route will amaze you, and while you're there, write a "one star" review that criticizes the directions.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:24 PM   #5
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Google Maps definitely has that one wrong! You can add it to the list of other glitches like "Gothics Trek", a circular route drawn around Gothics North Face.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.13552.../data=!5m1!1e4

To be fair, their bad route is based on bad routing data. Whoever coded "Porter Mountain Trail" must've used an outdated source. However, if I remember correctly, you brought the Lake Road to Google's attention and they still show you can drive along it (although with a warning that it's a private road).

BRouter does a better job of finding a route from Keene Valley to First Brother. However, that's because the trail, and Interbrook Road, are coded properly (in OpenStreetMap) and allow the router to do its job correctly.

Regarding Juliet Brook, is that a local appellation because I can't find that name elsewhere (like USGS Topo or USGS Hydrography).
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/491164082

PS
Can you clarify the name of Interbrook Road?
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:35 PM   #6
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TB: Juliet Brook is a local appellation, named after a Juliet Gibson whose family owned much of its length years ago. I have added that name to the current High Peaks Trail Guide, so maybe in the next remapping it will actually get on the maps.

Starting early in the 20th Century, there was a hotel called Interbrook Lodge and located about a mile up from Keene Valley. It was to the right of the current Johns Brook Lane and situated about midway between Johns Brook and Slide Brook. Johns Brook Lane has at times been called "Interbrook Road", but the recent e-911 road naming/numbering decided to go with Johns Brook Lane with a short side road to the site of Interbrook Lodge.

"Lane" in the current naming scheme indicates a dead-end road, and "Way" indicates a private road. There are a few other road designations such as "Drive", but pretty much any road not pasted as either "Road" or "Lane" must be assumed to be private.
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