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Thread: Northville-Placid Trail (Silver Lake and Placid/Long Lake)

  1. #1
    Senior Member DSettahr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Northville-Placid Trail (Silver Lake and Placid/Long Lake)

    The following is my trip log that I took with me during the 12 days earlier this month that I spent on the Northville-Placid Trail along with other members of the Paul Smith's Outing Club. We did 2 parts of the trial, the section between Upper Benson and Piseco Lake in the Silver Lake Wilderness Area, and the section between Lake Placid and Long Lake in the Western High Peaks Wilderness Area.

    The first time in each entry is the time each day we started hiking, and the second time is the time that we arrived out our destination.

    Day 1

    Upper Benson 10:45 am
    Silver Lake 6:00 pm

    Day started out partly cloudy, became cloudy. Started to snow later in the day. Trail was broken by skiers to Rock Lake. Had a stove nearly blow up while cooking dinner. Some people are tired, others too hungry to go to bed. Tomorrow, will hike 5 miles to Mud Lake.

    Day 2

    Silver Lake 11:15 am
    Mud lake 5:30 pm

    Got a late start today, went to Mud Lake. Slightly warmer weather during the day, but colder tonight. Moderate snowfall in the morning tapering off during the day. Some blow down along the trail, but nothing major. Got lost for a bit while crossing an old beaver pond, ended up backtracking a bit. Other people took over cooking and snow melting tonight, which was nice. Will go to Hamilton Lake Stream tomorrow.

    Day 3

    Mud Lake 10:50 am
    Hamilton Lake Stream 4:00 pm

    Easy day today. Mostly downhill and nice views from the bridge on the Sacandaga River. Planning of breaking for a day after we reach Piseco tomorrow to repair our muscles. Will continue the trail after a day of rest, possibly starting in Long Lake. Made a nice roaring fire tonight. Lean to is in a nice spot. Will come back and camp here again in the future.

    Day 4

    Hamilton Lake Stream 11:00 am
    Piseco Lake 3:30 pm

    Hiked 3+ miles to Piseco Lake, went back to Albany to rest for a day. Day was clear and sunny with blue skies. Slightly cooler than other days so far. Trail went mostly uphill, but at a moderate pace. Some beautiful vlies and streams- a nice section of trail. Took our time and enjoyed the hike. Not sure where we will pick up the trail again, will decide as a group tomorrow.

    Day 6

    Averyville Road 11:00 am
    Wanika Falls 6:20 pm

    Started to head south to Long Lake from Lake Placid. Trail was broken about 2/3rds of the way, with fresh snow on top about 2 inches deep. Day was warm, humid, and wet with some rain. Snow got deep as we worked our way up to Wanika Falls. Got there after dark and set up tents at the old lean to site.

    Day 7

    Wanika Falls 12:30 pm
    Moose Pond 3:15 pm

    Got a late start today after checking out Wanika Falls. Decided to stay at Moose Lake, rather than go all the way to Duck Hole. Trail was tough going- lots of deep powder, and thick spruce trees, firs, and under brush. Day started out cloudy, cleared up in the afternoon. Beautiful views of sunset at Moose Pond, and a clear, moonlit night. Colder than yesterday. Tomorrow will go to Colder River 1 and 2 lean tos. Group member partially melted boots trying to dry them by the fire- could be a problem.

    Day 8

    Moose Lake 9:10 am
    Cold River 1 and 2 3:30 pm

    Good day of hiking, despite some early delays. Managed to get up early this morning for once. Lots of blow down, underbrush, and mud and water along the trail between Moose Pond and Duck Hole. Day was warm- 40 degree Fahrenheit high or so, and snow was wet and clumped to our snowshoes. Weather outlook for the next week is warm, unfortunately. Will attempt to get to the Seward lean to tomorrow.

    Day 9

    Cold River 1 and 2 9:30 am
    Seward 5:30 pm

    Long day today, but much easier trail than yesterday. Followed an old road, until we reached Rondeau’s hermitage, then the trail followed the banks of the Cold River to the Seward lean to. Found bound, typed copies of all the register entries back to the early 80’s at the Ouluska Pass lean to. Day was very warm and damp, finished wet and cold. Tomorrow is an easy day to Cold River 3 and 4. Day started out cloudy but cleared up around nightfall. Beautiful full moon and stars tonight.

    Day 10

    Seward 9:30 am
    Cold River 3 and 4 12:00 pm

    Short day today- only 3 miles. Gave us a break to relax at the Cold River 3 lean to. Friday the 13th, and it’s a full moon- creepy. Day was very warm but fortunately not as wet as yesterday. Trail was nice, mostly along old roads, but snow was not. There was a crust on the top from last nights cooler temperatures that we kept breaking through. Built a roaring fire in the afternoon, and dried all our stuff off- feels nice. Using the wilderness toilet was also an interesting but cool experience. Heading to Plumley’s tomorrow.

    Day 11

    Cold River 3 and 4 9:00 am
    Plumley’s Landing 11:45 am

    As I write this, a storm is raging outside the lean to. We moved fast today to beat the weather, and set up camp before the storm hit. Trial was over grown in places, but mostly clear. Day was warm (topping out at a balmy 48 degrees) and foggy. Shortly after arriving at the Plumley’s lean tos, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. Rain soon turned to snow. We spent the afternoon playing cards, sleeping, and talking. Hopefully it will be nice tomorrow when we head to Kelly Point.

    Day 12

    Plumley’s Landing 10:00 am
    Tarbell Road 3:30 pm

    Made it out today, hiking over 7 miles to the road. After last night’s storm, I think everyone had had enough of the outdoors for a while. Woke up many times during the night because of the winds blowing the tarp around. Day was cold and windy, with drifting snow. Trail was somewhat hilly, with a few climbs, especially at the end in the last mile or so. Got to see the Catlin Bay lean to where I stayed on my first backpacking trip in February 2002. Kelly point has become significantly more overgrown since then.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    NP Trail January trek


    Thanks for your trail log of the Jan NP hike. I've hiked the NP by summer and often thought of winter treks. In hindsight, do you think February might be better because of longer days and more consolidated snow pack? How did you reach a "flip-flop" strategy, with starts at Benson and Averyville Rd? Was the three-thousand foot ridge N of Blue Mountain a problem?
    Walt whcobbs

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