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Old 08-13-2018, 01:41 PM   #1
JohnnyVirgil
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Wilcox Wild forest trail question

I saw an interesting annotation on a map for this area -- specifically for the pine orchard trail. It said "Trail 23 is not recommended for groups less than 3 persons" -- I had never seen a warning like that before. Does anyone know why they would go so far as to call this out on a map?
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:21 PM   #2
DuctTape
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I saw that too. I have no idea. I did a "Wilcox Loop" trip a few years back. The only part which caused some confusion was the NE corner where a dozen snowmobile paths seemed to converge. But the western edge of the loop was a no brainer.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:37 PM   #3
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There are lots of inaccuracies & weird little bits of misinformation on many of today’s maps. Definitely makes you wonder how that it is still possible with today’s technology.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:30 PM   #4
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My daughter and I were on that trail today.

No worries
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:00 AM   #5
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That's a warning that was carried over from an older edition of the ADK Guidebook that covered that area. The stretch of trail between Dorr Road and Pumpkin Hollow Road to the south is not well maintained, has lengthy stretches without trail markers, and has several unmarked junctions. Accordingly, the ADK Guidebook recommended that hikers on this trail carry a map and compass to aid in navigation as simply following the established tread may not suffice. It also recommended hiking that trail in a group rather than solo due to the difficulties in navigating this trail, and it was this later recommendation that was repeated on the first few editions of the National Geographic maps.

I personally hiked this trail back in 2004/2005 and it was indeed a bit of a challenge to follow the trail- not nearly as bad as the guidebook seemed to suggest (I thought), but definitely not a trail that was beginner friendly. I've not returned since, so I can't comment on how accurate the warning is today. The current edition of the National Geographic Map has changed the warning to a more general "trail may be hard to follow" message.

I always thought it was interesting that this particular stretch of trail warranted such a warning when there are so many countless other stretches of trails in the Adirondacks (mostly unused snowmobile trails) that are in similar shape- brushy due to lack of maintenance, missing trail markers, unmarked junctions, etc.

The warning was never meant to indicate that the short stretch of trail between Dorr Road and the Pine Orchard itself was hard to follow- that stretch of trail has always been well traveled and maintained, due to the amount of interest in the Pine Orchard area and the level of visitation that destination receives.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:17 PM   #6
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Interesting tidbit of info, DSettahr, thanks!
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:06 PM   #7
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Presumably the idea of having three people is that one or two could scout the trail all the while staying within earshot of a person who is at the "last known good location"?
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:00 PM   #8
DSettahr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titanium Spork View Post
Presumably the idea of having three people is that one or two could scout the trail all the while staying within earshot of a person who is at the "last known good location"?
I don't remember the exact rationale that was given (or if one was given at all). I also don't have immediate access to that edition of the guidebook to check- it was the edition with the color-coded covers and the rounded corners, for the Southern Adirondacks.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:37 AM   #9
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I just rode my bike from Creek Road through to RT 8 a couple weeks ago. I've wondered about the warning on the map as well because it doesn't seem that difficult to follow. There are lots of trees down with two large blowdowns about 4 miles in from Dorr Road.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I don't remember the exact rationale that was given (or if one was given at all). I also don't have immediate access to that edition of the guidebook to check- it was the edition with the color-coded covers and the rounded corners, for the Southern Adirondacks.
I used to work with Linda Laing, who wrote the first edition of the book you are referring to. I happened to have it on my shelf, so I looked it up. It just says: "This is a long walk (12 to 14mi round trip) for the hiking group that does not leave a car at the trailhead near the Flaters' off Windfall Road. Due to the poor condition of the trail and disuse by hikers of the section between the old farm ruins on Coulombe Creek and the old road through Pine Orchard, it is not recommended that anyone hike this section without a group of at least three persons and prior knowledge of, and experience in, the use of map and compass." That's it. So it appears to be just an overabundance of caution?
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