The snows are gone and mud season has begun on the Otter Creek Horse Trails. Those hearty folks that stay North for the winter have been enjoying snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and even trekking with Alpacas, and now look forward to another season on the trails.
The Otter Creek Horse Trail system is located just outside Lowville on the Independence River Wild Forest, and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests along the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County.
As you start to plan your riding season, be prepared with the latest information about the trails: where to find water for your horses, and where the bridges, picnic tables, and tie rails are located.
Lewis County has created a new map of the horseback riding trails with all those amenities. In addition, most intersections have a circle with a number in it on the map. If there were an emergency, the 911 dispatchers will be able to direct assistance to your location.
What is new on the trails? Last year the Friends of Otter Creek Horse Trails, working with the DEC:
- added a tie rail and picnic table at Payne Lake,
- a picnic table at Pitcher Pond and
- spent several days on trial maintenance putting in fill and steps to a very rooty and eroded section of Twin Ponds Trail.
A pdf of the map can be accessed electronically either on your computer or smart phone here. For a wall size map (3’x4’) of the Otter Creek Horse Trail System, stop at the Lewis County Court House (Real Property Department), 7660 North State Street, Lowville, NY 13367 during regular business hours.
Before coming to Otter Creek download and save the map on your smart phone. The screen can be expanded to make the map easy to read and cell service is not required. The map on this site is updated whenever there is a change to the trail system.
To learn more about the Friends of Otter Creek Horse Trails, visit their website and sign up to support the trails. The map on their site will also update as the system evolves.
DEC recommends that when on the trails, do not rely solely on electronic technology. Take a map and keep it on you not on the horse in case of an emergency. Hard copy pocket sized maps (11”x14”) are available at the Court House, Corner Corral – intersection of Number 4 Road & Pine Grove Road – and Trailside in Brantingham on the Partridgeville Road. These maps have all the trails and trail amenities as well as many businesses in the vicinity of the trails.
Lewis County is full of activities year round. It is known for the recreational opportunities. Check out the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce website for current events.
The water at the Assembly Area will be turned on by May 15th The Assembly Area has straight stalls for 100 horses plus a couple stallion stalls and an Over Flow Parking Lot. Since the Assembly Area is designated as a Trailhead, facilities are limited to water spigots, fire pits, comfort station, and dump station. There are no electrical hook ups and no reservations. For those unfamiliar with the Assembly Area, NYSDEC has a map online.
Enjoy your trail riding season and remember to wear a helmet, take a trail map, and cell phone.
See you on the trails this summer.
Photo: Alpacas on the Otter Creek Horse Trails this winter.