Beach Mill Trail extends 5.3 miles along the north bank of the Independence River from a trailhead at the end of Beach Mill Road.
Panther Pond Trail extends 1.1 miles to the Panther Pond Lean-to from a trailhead at the end of Smith Road, and extends another 3.2 miles to the Independence River where it meets up with the Beach Mill and Fish Trails.
Fish Trail extends 1.7 miles to the Independence River from a trailhead at the end of the Stony Lake Road. » Continue Reading.
A few Sundays ago a few hardy souls snowshoed to the Independence River scenic overlook on the Elbow Trail of the Otter Creek Trail System (located on the Independence River Wild Forest and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests).
To reach the overlook, we parked along the road at the Bailey Road Snowplow Turn-around. The trail continues down the road, which had been packed recently by some snow sleds. We turned north onto the Old #4 Trail for a short distance and then took the Elbow Trail. We were breaking trail but did not find the task strenuous and the scenery was stellar.
This year the Independence River is frozen over where as last year at this time the river was open. The trail follows the river for a short distance before veering away and wandering through some pines. Finally, the trail re-joins Bailey Road for the return to the snowplow turn-around. The entire trek took a leisurely two hours. » Continue Reading.
Horseback trail riders are gearing-up for another season exploring the Otter Creek Horse Trails located just outside Lowville (DEC Region 6) on both the Independence River Wild Forest Unit of the Adirondack Forest Preserve and on the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests on the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County. A group of volunteers are working to distribute maps of the area, and the water will be turned on at the Assembly Area, located in the Independence River State Forest, on May 15th according to DEC. The water is shut off the day after Columbus Day.
Visitors to the area should plan ahead to acquire a map to the more than 65 miles of trails. Two maps are currently available. A pdf version of the DEC’s map can be downloaded and printed at the DEC website. A more comprehensive color map is also available from the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce (and at the local businesses listed below). That tri-fold map includes the trail colors and names, and also shows bridges, stream crossings, water accesses, picnic areas, and tie rails as well. For emergencies, the map has GPS locations and helicopter landing zones. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced its plans to amend the Independence River Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP). The Independence River Wild Forest includes over 79,000 acres in Lewis and Herkimer counties.
The draft amendment proposes the rerouting of several trails or trail segments to reduce environmental impacts and the designation of several old roads as new snowmobile trails. Additionally, the amendment will classify all snowmobile trails as Class I, Secondary Trails or Class II, Community Connector Trails, as defined in Adirondack Park Snowmobile Management Guidance [pdf]. A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Lowville DEC sub-office located at 7327 State Route 812. The public will have an opportunity to offer comments regarding the draft amendment. » Continue Reading.
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