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Old 07-31-2020, 08:42 AM   #1
tenderfoot
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Short hike campsite low traffic ideas

Have been following posts about High Peaks area specifically and other areas in general getting trampled.

I have the opportunity to get away this weekend and am looking for less traveled options. Usually we are ok going pretty far in but this time we have a new comer so am looking for places where to can pitch your tent withing sight of your car or a hike in less than 2 miles (or so). Thought I was heading up Sun evening but I think that is getting pushed up to Saturday so am concerned about crowds as well. Looking in South East ADK's - staying away from High Peak circus. I understand some of my requirements contradict (easy to get to, no one there) but I am sure there are some nooks and crannies out there...

My thoughts so far:
Wakely Dam area: close to water, some car sites. I believe there is a trail that leads to a site to the right as you cross the bridge.

Wakely Pond

Good Luck Lake in Ferris Lake Wild Forest

Nine Corners lake in Ferris Lake Wild Forest

If the "fishing hole" rule applies (why should I publicize my gem of a spot) maybe a PM?

Thanks - trying to introduce someone to great outdoors AND convince an experienced person that the ADK's are way more than 46 peaks.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:16 AM   #2
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Starting to focus on Powley-Piseco Road. Was unfamiliar with it but it seems to offer numerous road side and short hike in options - similar to Moose River Plains but less known(?)
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:34 AM   #3
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Nine Corner and GL lake are high traffic..............
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:41 AM   #4
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Use levels just about everywhere are up this year. Other areas are still seeing less use in direct comparison to the High Peaks- but keep in mind that other areas also don't have the same infrastructure (numerous tent sites) as the High Peaks, so even these areas can be perceived as being at or over capacity.

I hear Wakely Dam specifically has been really busy this year. Use levels in the Moose River Plains overall are up. It sounds like it's not so bad further back in the plains but expect to see a number of other groups back there.

A willingness to bushwhack- even a short distance- really opens up your options with regards to solitude. After a half mile of bushwhacking into an off trail lake or pond, you'll likely see no one... even if it were the middle of the busiest holiday weekend the Adirondacks has ever seen. (Just keep the 150 foot rule in mind.)
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:51 AM   #5
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Another thought: From Rochester, you might also consider something in the PA Wilds. You'll likely still see other groups on any of the main designated state forest trails (Susquehannock Trail System, Quehanna Trail, Chuck Keiper Trail, Allegheny Front Trail, Black Forest Trail, etc.) but the area overall receives noticeably less use than much of the Adirondacks.

The Hammersley Wild Area (PDF link) might be of interest- the STS trail portion may be moderately busy but you'll probably see few or no other groups on any of the other trails (although be aware that any trails other than the STS may not be particularly well maintained, either).
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:29 AM   #6
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Powley-Piseco Road suffered severe damage in the Halloween 2019 storm. Currently you can drive it from the Stratford end as far as the bridge where the pavement ends. From the Route 10 end you can drive about 10 miles as far as the path to Potholers. A dirt road but okay for passenger cars. There are campsites and hiking trails - some marked and some not - and the area doesn't seem to be over-used this season. Just plan your driving route accordingly.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:18 AM   #7
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I almost cringe promoting it, but the Hammond Pond Wild Forest has many nice low traffic areas. It's a longer reach for you coming from Rochester, because it's over here on the eastern edge, but maybe worth the extra drive.

(re: The "fishing hole" rule - I used to worry when I would mention Hammond Pond, but I've been mentioning it for years now and there still seems to be very little traffic.)
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:47 AM   #8
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Had 1.5 of the three of us drop out so these plans are shelved. Very intrigued but the Powely Piseco road though and will check it out by myself this fall (prior to hunting season)

And Hammond Pond looks interesting for winter. I *think* that snow mobiles are more prevalent west of 87. So will check out that area too. Had a great two nights up by Putnam Pond a couple of years ago.

Thanks folks
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:25 PM   #9
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Do you have a canoe? Sand Lake from Powley Piseco Rd is a short carry in and has a nice campsite about halfway down the lake on the E shore. There's also a site right when you reach the lake, but it was pretty messy whenever I've seen it. With a little effort, you can paddle quite a ways down Sand Lake inlet...you'll likely not see another person.
If you are over that way, Clockmill Pond is also a nice spot to hike to and camp, very interesting and photogenic shoreline.

Messy site at end of the trail to Sand Lake



Along Sand Lake outlet at the 2nd rock dam




More pics here:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/JJ1HaxgxcyRCfq2f6

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Old 08-07-2020, 08:22 AM   #10
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Yes, we do have a canoe. Will have to try that next time out. I was a bit concerned about Sand Lake since it seems to be the first trail off of the start of that end of the road. Was not sure if it attracted traffic from folks looking for a scenic happy hour
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