Thursday, September 1, 2011

Conditions Report From The Northville-Placid Trail

What follows is a guest post by Tom Wemmet Chair of the Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) Chapter of Adirondack Mountain Club and the webmaster for which features the latest trail conditions, hike planning help, and more. The Almanack asked Tom to tell us what he knows about conditions on the Northville-Placid Trail following this week’s storm.

Well, hurricane Irene certainly left her mark on the Adirondacks as roads, bridges and trails have been washed away and closed in many areas of the Eastern High Peaks. Irene also left her mark on the Northville-Placid Trail as part of the Duck Hole Dam breached with the result that Duck Hole Pond is dewatering.

Although the Eastern High Peaks are currently closed to hiking, the Northville-Placid Trail remains open. We do know for sure that the Duck Hole area has been affected but we believe that the rest of the trail is still open for hiking.

One unknown at this time are the lean-tos along the Cold River that are downstream from Duck Hole. These include the Ouluska Pass, Seward, Cold River #3 and #4 lean-tos. These all lie within a few feet of the River and thus may have been damaged or destroyed by the recent floodwaters especially with the addition of 61 acres of water from Duck Hole Pond. Also unknown is the status of two suspension bridges, one over the Cold River and one over Moose Creek.

It appears that the southern section of the NPT from Upper Benson north to Long Lake may have fared much better. Kevin Cotter, the trail steward for the NPT from Upper Benson to Rock Lake, recently visited his section of the trail on Tuesday, August 30th. He reported that there were new blowdowns but that the trail was passable, stream crossings were no problem, and the trail had its usual wet and muddy areas.

So, as an alternative to hiking in the Eastern High Peaks this coming holiday weekend, head to the Northville-Placid Trail for an overnight, section hike or thru-hike. You will find some new blowdowns and wet and muddy areas but otherwise an enjoyable adventure.

Photo: The breech in the Duck Hole Dam. Taken during an overflight by Kris Alberga, DEC District Forester on Monday afternoon, August 29, 2011.


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