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Old 05-17-2017, 02:11 PM   #1
MTVhike
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Public Transportation to the North Country

I have been researching how to get up here by public transportation and which methods are best (fastest and/or cheapest).
Air: there are airports useful for the ADKs at Albany, Burlington, Montreal, Lake Clear (Saranac Lake), Plattsburgh and (I guess), Watertown. Any others?
I or my family have used Albany, Burlington and Montreal and these airports are well served. To use Montreal, of course, requires a passport.
Lake Clear is served by Cape Air, but only from Boston. I always thought that was expensive, but one of my Elizabethtown friends chose it as a route to Seattle, via Boston. I was hoping for Plattsburgh, since it's the closest to Elizabethtown: Pen Air flies from Boston and Allegiant and Spirit fly from Florida with Spirit having connections to other cities. Although haven't used it, the fastest from NYC would be Burlington (about 90 minutes) for about $150 RT. Of course, you would have to rent a car! It's cheaper than Albany.

Train: Amtrak's Adirondack stops in Westport once a day between 2:00 and 3:00 from either Montreal or New York (and points in between); it's about a 6:00 hour trip. I've used it southbound twice and it is acceptable ($69 one way), but it gets into Penn Station at almost 9:00 PM, if there are no delays (which they're usually are). The Northbound train leaves Penn Station at 8:15 and gets to Westport at 2:04. If you can get to Saratoga or Albany, there are more trains.

Bus: Adirondack Trailways goes up US9 to Plattsburgh, with many stops along the way; it also goes to Keene Valley and, looking at the North Country Public Transit Map (co.essex.ny.us), seems to continue through Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Malone, Messena, and then down US11 to Pottsdam, Canton, Watertown, and beyond. Many individual counties have their own bus routes, including Essex, Clinton, and Franklin.

If anyone has any first hand experience with any of these possibilities, please post them.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:15 PM   #2
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https://trailwaysny.com/route-map/

Trailways route map
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:02 AM   #3
debmonster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
Train: Amtrak's Adirondack stops in Westport once a day between 2:00 and 3:00 from either Montreal or New York (and points in between); it's about a 6:00 hour trip. I've used it southbound twice and it is acceptable ($69 one way), but it gets into Penn Station at almost 9:00 PM, if there are no delays (which they're usually are). The Northbound train leaves Penn Station at 8:15 and gets to Westport at 2:04. If you can get to Saratoga or Albany, there are more trains.

Bus: Adirondack Trailways goes up US9 to Plattsburgh, with many stops along the way; it also goes to Keene Valley and, looking at the North Country Public Transit Map (co.essex.ny.us), seems to continue through Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Malone, Messena, and then down US11 to Pottsdam, Canton, Watertown, and beyond. Many individual counties have their own bus routes, including Essex, Clinton, and Franklin.

If anyone has any first hand experience with any of these possibilities, please post them.
You probably know that the train includes a free shuttle bus to and from Lake Placid, but I thought I'd mention it for others who may not be familiar. I haven't had a problem with delays going northbound, but the southbound train does often seem to be delayed long before it reaches Westport.

Years ago, I took the bus from NYC to Keene Valley and it's a long (LONG!) trip, with limited chance to stretch your legs, and the cost was about the same as the train. But the drop off point is quite close to KV Hostel, with whom you can arrange a hiker shuttle to area trail heads if you're not meeting others with a car.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:28 AM   #4
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Deb, yes, I know about the shuttle bus, but I didn't know it was free - I thought it was $25! Regarding the delays of the southbound train, it's because of the border crossing between Montreal and Plattsburgh - it takes time to check all the passengers. I hear there are plans to simplify that procedure - do it on the train?
Next week, I am taking Amtrak to Chicago and have checked out the route. I have to change trains at Schenectady. I was concerned about missing the connection, because there is only one westbound train to Chicago. I went to the Westport station and asked the Amtrak representative there and she said that they hold the train if the southbound train is late. And, there is a two hour gap so it shouldn't be a problem. Why am I doing this? I like trains, and there is free parking at Westport, which is less than 9 miles from my home in Elizabethtown. I'll let you know how it went.

Last edited by MTVhike; 06-06-2017 at 09:29 AM.. Reason: change the grammer
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for the update. I like trains too.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:27 AM   #6
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just curious
do buses still drop off and pick up anywhere along the route?
years ago we used to take the bus from NYC up to adirondacks,
we would tell the driver where to let us off, and they would drop us off near the trail, as opposed to the terminal which was miles away
and for pick up, we would have the bus schedule and waive down the bus on the side of the route, we could even pay for it on the bus, which was a couple dollars more than having a ticket
only stipulation was couldnt use under bus storage, as on side of road pick up/drop off could only bring what you can carry onto the bus
did this many times in the 80's
know times have changed, just curious if thats still allowed
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:37 PM   #7
MTVhike
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I'm not back yet but can report on the westbound leg of my trip. The trains were, as usual, late but the connection at Schenectady was fine. (There's a good Irish pub across the street). Ended up in Chicago about two hours late.
While I was in Westport, I asked the shuttle bus driver about drop offs and, at least if it's along the way, no problem.
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