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Old 09-23-2020, 06:10 PM   #1
stripperguy
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New trails near The Branch??

I think there are some relatively new trails near Palmer Pond and The Branch.
I've looked through a bunch of DEC stuff, but can't seem to find much info.
Anyone know of these trails?
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:30 PM   #2
DSettahr
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There's plans in the Vanderwhacker UMP for a network of mountain bike trails near The Branch, north of where it crosses Blue Ridge Road. However, none have been built yet (and if I were to guess, it will be years if not decades before they are constructed).

There is, however, an existing logging road that follows The Branch for a bit and provides a pleasant (if short) hike. The trailhead is the same as the trailhead for the northern end of Hoffman Notch; there's a sign and a new parking lot here. The road parallels The Branch closely for the first mile or so, and there's some nice spots to walk down to the stream and take in nice scenery. Eventually the road turns uphill and away from The Branch, and continues for maybe another mile before it ends at a gate at the boundary between State Land and the Elk Lake Preserve. Public access beyond this point is not permitted.

There's 5 or so well-established, nice campsites along The Branch also- but none are designated and all are technically illegal sites (all are less than 150 feet from the river). They clearly pre-date state acquisition of the property; likely they were used for lease hunting camps when the land was privately owned. Naturally, the Vanderwhacker UMP makes zero mention of these sites despite how obvious and well-impacted they are; so IDK if they will ever become designated sites or not.

There are plans for a new snowmobile trail running south and west of Palmer Pond, but again I believe it will likely be years before it is constructed (especially given the outcome of the tree-cutting court case that involved snowmobile trails). There's a very short segment of trail around the outlet of Palmer Pond that crosses a nice bridge before dead-ending abruptly on the south side of the outlet.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:11 PM   #3
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D,

Thanks for the info.
I'd like to try for a bushwhack up Palmer Pond Hills, anyone tried it from the north side (S of Palmer Pond)?
Not sure if it might be too much adventure for MDB though.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:23 PM   #4
montcalm
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
There's plans in the Vanderwhacker UMP for a network of mountain bike trails near The Branch, north of where it crosses Blue Ridge Road. However, none have been built yet (and if I were to guess, it will be years if not decades before they are constructed).
That's much further west.

I just checked this out in the UMP. Sorry for the drift but why in the eff wouldn't they have a connector trail between the the two proposed trail systems? Who wants to come ride a MTB trail network and have to ride a mile of Blue Ridge Road that could be singletrack?

I skimmed through quickly, but I didn't see any info on who will be building these trails or any mention of IMBA or anything else.

Is this within BETA's work area?

Here's a screenshot of the UMP map:

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Old 09-23-2020, 10:12 PM   #5
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D,

Thanks for the info.
I'd like to try for a bushwhack up Palmer Pond Hills, anyone tried it from the north side (S of Palmer Pond)?
Not sure if it might be too much adventure for MDB though.
Been in that area quite a bit. The new snowmobile bridge makes for an easy crossing of the Palmer Pond outlet. Then it's nice walking in open woods to scramble around from the north side of the hill to the south side of the hill. If you stay within about 500' of the Northway until you are on the south facing side, you will be well on state land the whole way. The south side of the hill is covered with canyons, cliffs, and all kinds of cool features. I have not been to the top of the hill, but sat pix suggest that there is a nice open view up there.

(A loop trip is possible via the Squaw Mountain walking culvert, and then returning via the new Frontiertown campground multi use trail. Think about food and beverage at the Paradox Brewery on the way back...)
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