Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Major Northville-Placid Trail Reroute Completed

Collins-Gifford-useNewly opened trail reroutes on the Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) now eliminate many miles of road walking.

The most recent section of reroute, completed this summer, replaces 7.6 miles of walking along State Route 30 and the Benson Road in the towns of Northampton, Fulton County and Benson, Hamilton County with an 8.6-mile trail through a tract of the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. A bridge over Stoney Creek has not yet been built so a roughly 90-foot ford is necessary, which may not be passable during high water.

In 2014, two miles of walking along Benson and Godfrey Roads in the town of Benson was replaced with a 7.3-mile trail in the Silver Lake Wilderness. The parking area and trailhead at Godfrey Road remains open to access what is now the Godfrey Road NPT Spur Trail connecting to the NPT.

NPT-Reroute-MapuseAdditionally, the trailhead for southern terminus of the NPT was moved to Waterfront Park in the village of Northville, a 3.5 mile road walk from the trailhead entering the woods at Collins-Gifford Valley Road. The 3.5 mile road walk replaced a 12-mile road walk to keep hikers off busy Route 30.

An earlier reroute, completed in 2009, replaced 5.9 miles of walking along the Cedar River Road, in the Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County with 7.6 miles of trail through the Blue Ridge Wilderness.

“The Northville-Placid Trail, one of the premiere long trails in the Northeast, now provides an improved hiking experience for day users and through hikers,” DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann said in a statement announcing the reroute. “DEC and the Adirondack Mountain Club – the original builders of the Northville-Placid Trail – worked together to get hikers off the road and into the woods.”

The now 135-mile Northville-Placid Trail traverses the Adirondacks from the village of Northville in Fulton County in the south to the village of Lake Placid in Essex County in the north. Along the way it passes through or near the communities of Piseco, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake.

“The Adirondack Mountain Club is proud to have had the opportunity to design and build the last major re-route of the Northville-Placid Trail,” said Adirondack Mountain Club North Country Operations Director Wes Lampman. “Building the N-P Trail was the first major project that ADK undertook in 1922. This 8.5 mile reroute into Shaker Mountain Wild Forest and away from paved roads brings the trail closer to the original vision of a premier long distance trail through the wilderness of the Adirondack Park.”

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) completed the Northville-Lake Placid Trail (NPT) 91 years ago after two years of construction.  DEC and ADK have worked to improve the NPT during the past six years, including:

  • DEC has expended more than $300,000 of Environmental Protection Fund Stewardship monies on reroutes, foot bridge construction, basic maintenance and other improvements;
  • The Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail Crew was hired to complete six major projects along the Northville-Placid Trail including the reroutes;
  • Volunteers from the Adirondack Mountain Club provided more than 3,000 hours of work on the trail; and,
  • The Student Conservation Association’s Adirondack Program, under DEC contract, expended more than 2,500 hours of member time on projects along the trail.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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