View Full Version : Seward Range

06-22-2004, 07:47 PM
I am leading a hike July 3-5 to Seward Range (my second time leading on a trailless peak). Which is best way to start Seward Range...by way of herd path before Ward Brook Lean-to or at Calkins Brook. We are going to hike in Saturday, set up camp where ever there is availability--hopefully Blueberry or Ward Brook; Sunday hike S-D-E; Monday hike Seymour, pack up and out. Any info would be appreciated.

Do you know of any restrictions re tents per campsite? Received a violation at Uphill Brook Lean-to campsite for 6 tents on site when we visited Cliff & Redfield last weekend (great hike...cold Saturday nite).

06-22-2004, 09:47 PM
The same rules about tents probably apply (though I don't know for sure) - but you're much less likely to meet a ranger out by Ward Brook then you are at Uphill Brook.


06-23-2004, 08:05 AM
Since you're bringing full packs, it would probably be easier to drop your packs at Blueberry LT or Ward Brook LT and climb S-D-E and return the same way.

06-23-2004, 08:26 AM
Just my opinion...

Camping at Ward Brook LT will give you a more central spot to go to Seymour on day one, then come back, strike camp, drop packs at Seward range herdpath entrance for day two. When you return you can pick up packs and leave to trailhead, or stay at BBLT if you don't want to go out that day. (Or just leave your camp set up at WBLT if you will not be going out that day.)

I have not been up the Calkins Brook route yet but agree with Mavs that it's not the best way to put Seymour into the mix. Certainly doable, but not ideal imho.

If you do it in the order you wrote (S-D-E first) then you should definitely consider staying at WBLT or BBLT as opposed to Calkins Brook route. This saves you from having to lug your packs up over the range to stay at WBLT for Seymour on your second leg of the trip.

Again, I think you should do Seymour first from the either LT (BB is usually filled on busy weekends and it seems that WB area has more available tent spots, plus WB is very close to Seymour herdpath) and then do S-D-E on day two. This also gives a nice day-one warmup to the harder day-two hike. (Also, you might be inclined to bring packs up the S-D-E range and out Calkins but personally speaking I would NOT want to lug full packs up there to save a few extra flat miles on the return.)

06-23-2004, 05:08 PM
I have a trip tentativley planed for the the same weekend. Haveing never been up in thows parts im not the best person to comment on the camping restrictions, however, from my experience in the Dix and Santanoni areas I dont think you will have a problem. Ive been practing low impact camping for years on,out of the way DEC land holdings with these restrictions> when I leave my "site" can you tell I was there? anyways mabey ill see you up their, ill be camping near the SE slide of Emmons (bout 3200') on Sunday night.

Bob Brainard
06-25-2004, 04:34 PM
That is a beautiful area with nice leantos, and great scenery.

I would concur with the other advice on going in from the Ward Brook side rather than Calkins Brook. I say this assuming you will have full packs, want to do it as an overnight, and are looking for a fun leisurely time as opposed to a marathon (carring full packs over Seward). If you are talking the standard paths, Seymour is easier via Ward Brook. There are bushwack variations if you are in good shape and agressive... but it sounds like with a group, you may want a more "conventional" route.

There are "tentable" campsites a short distance before the Blueberry leanto (when coming in from Coreys). There are also some sites on the SE side of the path that follows the stream up Seward. These latter are not far from the main trail's cairn, and have a good water supply.

My understanding on the tent rules is that they have to be a 150' distance from trails, streams and Leantos. I assume that is why you were in violation at Uphill Leanto (unless you are at a marked campsite). Check www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dlf/publands/adk/hpwa/newregs.html

Let us know what you find, and how it goes.
Bob Brainard

06-25-2004, 06:39 PM
Thanks for all of the helpful info. mavsoo very impressive website re your journey on Seward Range. It is an asset. Your total time to pack in/out to Ward Brook L-T was 2.5 hours?

Grandlama when are you planning your ascent?

My notice of violation (bright red) at Uphill Brook L-T was attached to one of the 6 tents. It stated "No person shall...have more than 3 tents per designated camp site. Please move 3 tents to the other site, just down hill from the lean-to." If convicted a fine of up to $250 and/or up to 15 days in jail could be imposed." That would have been an interesting experience :o

I know they want wear and tear to be at a minimum. And I do respect the environment and the rules. Unfortunately, those who were to tent together did not and we took up a bit of space. In the end tents were moved.

Are camp sites at Blueberry & Ward Brook designated?


Bob Brainard
06-30-2004, 10:11 AM
When I was last in there 2 years ago, the campsite before BB Leanto (heading in from Corey's) had a few tents. I did not notice whether it was a marked campsite, as I already was established at the leanto. The spots along the brook that the herdpath initially follows up Seward also had tents, but I believe they were far enough off trails that they would not have to have been marked. These were on the ESE side of the brook along the flat section just off the main trail to Duck Hole. There also are the Leantos not much further down the trail that could make a nice base.

06-30-2004, 12:28 PM
There are about 3 tentable areas behind Ward brook LT. If you have a larger group, it might be worth hiking the extra 1/2 mile or so to get to the twin leantos further down the road. You might be able to get more leaning space there, and the 1/2 mile is just flat road, so no significant extra effort is required.

07-01-2004, 08:49 PM
I have been talking with Alpine Summit and he told me there are several places along this ascent where he believes you could do some minimalist camping, legally, and be well positioned for a run at the Sewards. He thinks the last spot is about half way up,
before you run out of creeks and creek crossings. (Important for some one as really slow as me to keep my days relatively short- )

I do not need Seymour, and think that Ward Brook and Blueberry are too far north and east.

Anybody have any specific information about the relative location and altitude of these sights? Any information would be appreciated.

07-05-2004, 02:22 PM
For those of us who plan to use Calkins Brook to approach the Sewards and who might want and/or need to spend a night or two doing it - from Rondak100:

"I would mention three possibilities for camping near Calkins Brook to get close to the range:

Camping up Calkins Brook because it is nice, and it is higher up, which I like. Camping near the start of the Herd Path because it is really nice , there is water, and is easy hiking with a full pack to that point. There is also an old camp indicated on an old map there, so there could be a convenient and interesting spot.

Another good spot would be at the top of the longish hill on the truck trail, before decending to Calkins Brook. Camping here would save you the trouble of carrying packs back up that hill, yet makes the range a very doable dayhike. This also opens the option of bushwhacking from Seward back to the site instead of heading back to the Calkins Brook HP."

07-05-2004, 02:43 PM
Having just been there Saturday I'd opt for any of the solutions offered. Caulkins brook will be slightly more 'remote' as it appears fewer people use that route. BB and Ward Brook lean-tos are some of the nicer ones I've seen, and are located close enough to both herd paths (Ward Brook being the most centrally located) for convenient day-packing. Caulkins brook is also a nice ascent of the range and takes you up just about in the middle.

Most people do S-D-E the first day, and Seymour on the second (also usually Sunday, the day they hike out). Seymour is no slouch, a very steep climb, but it's not a ton of elevation gain (maybe 2200 feet?) and there's a well established trail to follow.

If I were to hike this area again (which is likely as I'm willing to bet I missed a lot in only a day) it will be for the weekend from Ward Brook (night hike and establish camp Friday, do the 3 on Saturday and Seymour Sunday before hiking out).

Also note that the hike out is longer than it seems on paper/numbers. Took 3 hours from Ward Brook lean-to, moving at a good clip with a few 10 minute stops. I'm not convinced it's only a little over 5 miles...

07-06-2004, 05:24 PM
I'm falling in line with the many posts supporting Mavs choice of the WBTT as the approach IF you want to throw Seymour into the mix. However, if S,D,E is what you're after, then Caulkins Brook is the way to go. What a great trail,with minimal erosion! If I had to use the herd path up the north side of Seward, I would prefer to take that in a downhill direction. It's such a mess, and would be very frustrating trying to climb up that, IMHO.

07-07-2004, 06:23 AM
Sorry for the delay in letting you know how things went. After returning home on Monday evening I had to complete some home/family projects besides throwing in a wash, setting up tent to dry out, etc. before I turned on computer .

Thanks for your all of your suggestions. The hike went well. On Sat we (7) hiked to an area between BBLT and beginning of WBTT just before the "marsh", right off BBTrail. BBLT was available however the campsites were taken and WBLT/campsites were jam packed. We were at least 150' from trail and it looked like a great campsite which it was. No violation notices were received.

We ended up setting up camp then co-leader and group of 4 decided to head up Seymour instead of on Monday. Two of us (we summited Seymour on 6/5 when scouted area) stayed back to finish setting up tents and to learn how to use GPS (one person had canceled due to knee pain from White Mt but sent her GPS). All summitted although one person had diffcult time due to recent respiratory infection and lack of sleep.

Headed to hike S-D-E at 6:30 am Sunday morning after filling up on h20. Person w/ resp problem turned around less than 1/4 mile in, returning to camp to take it easy (was not in distress but felt it would be wise to not push it). We summitted Seward around 9:15...the head wall was tough for me even when climbing from the far left (maybe more stretching and rock climbing exercises would have been helpful). Saw Caulkins Brook trail shortly before we summitted Donaldson. Thank God I researched Adirondack Journey or else would have walked past the summit ledge. And the journey to Emmons was as mav said narly (I wasn't sure what you meant until I experienced it). We returned to the cairn at 6:30 pm. Filtered more h20 and soaked our feet.

There was quite a bit of boot sucking mud in the initial 1/3 hike up Seward where I almost had a body plunge. No major injuries on the hike just black & blues from climbing on rock and being poked by evil branches. Black flies were wild on Seymour and a pain on S-D-E. Weather was perfect the whole time. Wind picked up on Sunday evening ridding us of the little flying cannibals. There was a sprinkle around 2:30 am Monday and again around 6:30. Sun came out for our walk out, packed car, changed clothes, jumped in car and a downpour greeted us. It was a great trip!

Am planning to go back with person who was not able to complete S-D-E. We want to try Caulkins Brook. I don't think we would be able to climb the wall prior to Sewards summit as we are both short. I did not have a problem climbing Seward on my return so I think it would be more feasible summiting via hike from Caulkins Brook trail. Does someone have written directions to the start. Would like to camp close to start. Someone mentioned Rondak100 what/where is that ?

Again, thanks!

mer (44er :)

07-07-2004, 06:59 AM
Originally posted by mer
I don't think we would be able to climb the wall prior to Sewards summit as we are both short.
There are several herd paths at the top, and all of them appear just around or before the wall. They are likely alternate routes around the wall.

Originally posted by mer Someone mentioned Rondak100 what/where is that ?
He's one of the hikers on the forum. We recently had a discussion about this very subject (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=925).

07-07-2004, 07:25 AM
From Alpine Summit (a frequent poster here and on ADKForum also):

From the trailhead:
- after the horse & people trails split it's about 2 miles to a truck trail (this is the one) take it by turning right
- you're gonna walk that for about 30 -40 minutes,,,well past the horse trail that also intersects it. you walk down a very long, halfway steep hill and you'll groan about climbing it going back.
- after another downhill that's followed by a pronounced right turn at the bottom is Calkins Brook. Just before the turn, on the left, is a cairn and the trail starts there.
- Level at first - until you cross the brook in a few minutes - the trail starts to ascend. DOn't let the name fool ya - there is NOT a brook alongside of the trail. Instead, there are 3, maybe 4 stream crossings is all - and that's all of the water available for you for camping. I wish I could remember where the last one is, but I cannot. Let's just say that it's probably less than halfway to the ridgeline.

Piece of cake!

07-07-2004, 12:57 PM

Glad you had a great hike! As far as the Caulkins Brook trail, when you start down the afore mentioned,long, gradual hill, you will see a swamp in the right. Just past that the trail bangs a sharp right. The CBT turns left there. For the life of me, I couldn't find a cairn, but trust me, you can't miss the path. Water wise, the last water crossing is around 3700 ft. or so. I plan on making Seymour #46 this August.

07-07-2004, 02:39 PM
From Stoopid, (who post here and on ADKFOrum) who hiked last weekend with a GPS, concerning the altitude and location of the last water crossing on the CBT:

It was 3156'. Just after it was the area of blow down, so if you see an opened area minutes after a small creek with blow down, turn around and pump form the small creek.

07-09-2004, 02:26 PM
The advantage to Caulkins Brook is that you don't have to go over Seward twice:)