Friday, June 22, 2018

Boreas Ponds: Gulf Brook Road Closing For Repairs

gulf brook roadGulf Brook Road, which provides access to the Boreas Ponds, will be temporarily closed on weekdays for repairs and improvements beginning at sundown on June 24th.

DEC crews, assisted by crews from the Essex County Department of Public Works, will be completing repairs on the road between the Blue Ridge Road and the Fly Pond Gate. This is the section of road open to motor vehicle traffic under the Boreas Ponds Tract Interim Access Plan.

While work is underway the road will be closed to public motor vehicle use. Horses, bicycles, and pedestrians will be allowed on the road but must use caution and follow all instructions of workers when approaching or within active work areas. The road will be open to public motor vehicle access each weekend from 5 pm Friday through sundown on Sunday.

“The road was heavily impacted by the long, hard winter this year. Deep frost and melting snows caused considerable uplift of rocks and rutting,” a statement from DEC said. The Draft Vanderwhacker Wild Forest Unit Management Plan Amendment describes previously identified concerns with the road and the needed work to address them.

Until the repairs are complete, only four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles should use the road. Drivers should use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles.

DEC encourages the use of four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles on all seasonal access roads such as the Gulf Brook Road.

Map of Gulf Brook Road courtesy Adirondack Atlas.

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27 Responses

  1. Jim S. says:

    I wish they wouldn’t.

  2. Boreas says:

    Odd – I drove it to the gate just 2 weeks ago. It was no different than the first time I drove it nearly 2 years ago. I suspect they just want to smooth it out for the anticipated increase in traffic. If the repairs are to be beyond the gate, they wouldn’t need to close it – except for leaseholders who can pass the gate at Midway.

    • Boreas says:

      I should mention I did see a few large rocks that had been loosened from the roadbed. But they were loosened by oil pans and chassis components, not frost.

  3. Jim S. says:

    The road needs to be smooth so the beer doesn’t get flat while you drive all the way to the ponds.

  4. Tim says:

    Looks ike they’ve already decided the outcome of the UMP.

  5. Paul says:

    A logging company can build a road from scratch in the same amount of time these guys need for regular maintenance? I just saw them upgrade about 4 miles of logging road in terrible shape on an easement parcel. Brush it out, new culverts, lots and lots of fill. Plus build several landings that are probably 5 acres each. Took about a week. Now its ready for tractor trailers.

    • Boreas says:


      I think part of the problem is since the UMP hasn’t been finalized, they are supposedly still following “interim” guidelines which likely limit what can be done and with what type of equipment. As many construction people will attest, sometimes repairs are more difficult and time consuming than starting from scratch.

      • Paul says:

        Yes, the project I described above was an upgrade of an exiting road for a new harvest. I have seen them build them from scratch pretty fast also.

  6. JohnL says:

    Please! Please! Please! Isn’t there another subject (of importance) that could be discussed?? This has been beaten TO DEATH. B O O O O R I N G ! Thanks for considering my request.

  7. Justin Farrell says:

    Yup…Fix it up for the masses of downstate city cars that are sure to come & trash yet another area in the Adirondacks with easy access. ?

    • Paul says:

      Last thing we want are those city slickers coming up here and appreciating these spaces and then going home and voting to support their preservation later.

      • Justin Farrell says:

        Agreed. My Honda Civic bottomed out a few times along the dirt road to Cheney Pond, which is only a few miles down the road from Gulf Brook Rd, and I’ve already written my letter of displeasure. ?

  8. Rob Gdyk says:


    • Justin Farrell says:

      Hell yes! Some friends & I are planning a keg party there for early next summer hopefully, can’t wait. Unfortunately, places like Cheney Pond, Crane Pond, Cedar River Flow, Lily Pond, Moose River Plains, Fish Creek Ponds, Horeshoe Lake, Powley Rd, Harrisburg Lake Rd, etc are all getting a little old and we’re looking forward to finding someplace new to party. This sounds like it will have potential. Awesome!

      • Jim S. says:

        When is your gang going? My posse will outdrink yours around the bonfire!

        • Justin Farrell says:

          I’ll keep you posted. Maybe around the 4th of July & we’ll be sure to bring along some fireworks also. Woohoo! ?

          • Paul says:

            This all sounds like the top of a high peak in the Adirondack’s HPW.

          • Skip says:

            Justin, Just be prepared to put out the forest fire after the fireworks, it going to be hot and dry in there.

            • Justin says:

              Gotcha, good call!
              We’ll be sure to be respectful & responsible. Will there be garage cans for our empties, or is sinking our cans still ok?

  9. Newcomb Art says:

    I thought the road condition was part of the plan to limit the masses from creating traffic jams, as they run to see their money at work. If we charged admission, NYS could do the required work in no time. I drove in two weeks ago, the three miles took almost a half hour.

    • Boreas says:

      I would like to see the road remain as it is to do just that – limit speeds and vehicles. But once the UMP is finalized, I don’t recall seeing any specific wording stating the road cannot be “improved” by widening and grading.

      My concern with opening the road to horse and camping trailers is that there are not a lot of turn-outs to allow vehicles to pass. Backing up trailers can be hazardous as well as inconvenient, and pulling off far onto a soft shoulder may damage both vehicles and the environment.

      My suspicion is that eventually the road will be graded and widened and will allow for faster speeds and most all vehicle types (including buses), not just high-clearance vehicles. I hope I am wrong.

      • Paul says:

        I don’t know. Keeping the road in a condition so that only more affluent people that can afford SUV’s or large vehicles (also the most fuel inefficient vehicles) seems like maybe not the way to control access to a Wilderness setting?

        • Boreas says:

          You don’t need anything special. You wouldn’t want to take a Lambo or Ferrarri back there. It’s just if you don’t have good clearance, you have to be more careful. A Prius and an old Volvo were parked at Midway on my first trip.

  10. Mick Finn says:

    It’s how DEC limits access. I’ve seen it dozens of times. Next, they will strategically place large boulders so canoe carts can’t get through.

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