Although most of the Adirondack hut-to-hut discussion lately has focused on Boreas Ponds as the state considers the classification of the Forest Preserve land, another route is much closer to becoming reality: the North Creek-Indian Lake traverse with a Hudson Gorge rafting trip.
Jack Drury of Leading E.D.G.E, who with Joe Dadey and Duane Gould prepared the 2015 hut-to-hut plan for the five towns of Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva, and North Hudson for the Department of Environmental Conservation, called it the low-hanging fruit of the report and believes it will be ready by summer 2018.
“It’s No. 1 on the list because all the pieces are in place,” he said, noting that most of the trails already exist and that the owners of the existing lodges in the towns are on board.
The route is a five-night, four-day trip that begins in North Creek. On the first day, you hike westward to lodging near Thirteenth Lake and the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area. On the second day, the route traverses the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area to the Chimney Mountain trailhead, with a possible side trip to the cave near the mountain’s summit. On the third day, hikers reach Indian Lake. On the final day, they raft down the Hudson River to return to North Creek.
After this, the next route to be finalized will start in Newcomb and end in either Lake Placid or Keene. This route will take longer as it requires approval for a new trail between Newcomb and Upper Works.
Eventually, Drury said, hut-to-hut routes will be spread around the Park so all communities benefit.
Photo: Hudson River Rafting Company Rafters (Nancie Battaglia)