Monday, May 19, 2014

DEC Plans To Adopt Ski Trails Near Tupper

Bog River skierA few years ago I spent several hours skiing some informal trails in the Forest Preserve along the Bog River in Tupper Lake. I liked the trails so much that I wrote an article describing the experience.

I got some heat for the article, because after it was published the state Department of Environmental Conservation removed the trails’ home-made markers and signs. I also wrote an article for the Adirondack Almanack that can be read here.

But there may be a happy ending to the story: DEC is proposing to adopt and maintain the trails.

In all, DEC plans to mark seven miles of trail for hiking and cross-country skiing. Because the trails follow old logging roads, little other work will be required.

Bog trails mapDEC proposes to build two parking areas on Route 421, which leads from Route 30 to Horseshoe Lake. From the first parking area, hikers and skiers will be able to travel in a six-mile loop, crossing Round Pond Outlet near its confluence with the Bog and later crossing the Bog twice, once near Winding Falls and again near the trailhead. Starting at the second trailhead will give people the option of doing a seven-mile “lollipop” trip or a three-mile round trip to the Bog.

The department is also proposing to adopt and partially reroute an informal footpath to Goodman Mountain, which is located just a few miles away. It would construct a parking area and kiosk at Lumberjack Spring.

Bill Frenette, the late Tupper Lake historian, had petitioned the federal government to name the small peak after the Goodman family. Charles Goodman had a summer house on Tupper Lake and built the stone bridge near Bog River Falls. His grandson, Andrew, was murdered in Mississippi while helping African-Americans register to vote. He was twenty years old.

Both proposals will require amendments to the management plan for the Bog River Complex, which includes the Bog River Wilderness and Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. The Adirondack Park Agency is accepting public comments on the proposals until May 30.

Click here to read the full text of the proposals.

Comments can be sent to:

The APA also is accepting public comments until May 30 on a proposal to build two trails in the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest that will substantially cut down on the amount of road walking in the Cranberry Lake 50—a fifty-mile loop through the Five Ponds Wilderness and the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest.

Currently, the Cranberry Lake 50 includes 5.7 miles of road walking. If the proposed trails are built, this will be reduced to 1.6 miles.

Photo by Susan Bibeau: Skier on the Bog River trails.

Click here to read the full proposal.


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Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack. Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing. He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.

8 Responses

  1. Stu Nichols says:

    Sounds good.

  2. Bob Kibbey says:

    Hi Phil;
    Will these trails be marked and ready for walking by this fall? And are they considered casual or strenuous type walks. Thanks,


  3. david canavan says:

    Hi Phil,

    I have info on the Bog River..I was at one time part of a hunting camp on the river next to the bridge that crosses the Bog and above the 3 grave stones at the falls..Have history of grave stones..Will leave phone number on your voice mail….thanks

    • John Quinn says:

      I have wondered about these markers and am curious about their history. Anything you can share about them would be appreciated. Thanks.

  4. Phil Brown says:

    Bob, these trails should be easy walking, with moderate grades. I am not sure what condition the trails are in, though. Some of these trails are described in Bill Ingersoll’s guidebook.

    Dave, nice chatting with you. Thanks for the historical background.

  5. Don Dew Jr. says:

    Phil, Thanks for pointing this out and for having a part in the DEC process of maintaining these trails. As the owner of the Timber Lodge(located very close to these trails) I look forward to the year round recreational opportunities that this will bring.

  6. Phil Brown says:

    Don, these trails should prove a nice addition to Tupper’s recreational opportunities.

  7. Hope says:

    These are great local ski trails. Thanks to the pioneers who started skiing them and to the DEC for making them official. Having them marked will help prevent some folks from getting lost which did happen after the “informal” trail markers where removed.

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