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Sucker Brook Trail to Lewey Lake

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  • Sucker Brook Trail to Lewey Lake

    Thinking of camping at Lewey Lake State Campground mid-May and day hiking this out to NPT and back. Thoughts on trail conditions, mud, flies, etc? Never been on either trail.

    Probably hit Snowy Mtn the next day.

    Thakns in advance for any feedback. Might need to turnback at the highground mark or the lean-to as NPT may be too many miles for one day.

  • #2
    I came across this info the other day on DEC's website (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9200.html).

    West Canada Lakes Wilderness
    The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is closed until further notice. Blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail impassable and difficult to follow. DEC is developing plans to restore the trail corridor and allow safe passage for hikers. The Colvin Brook Lean-to at the western end of the trail remains open but can only be accessed from the Northville-Placid Trail. (2016)

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    • #3
      This is a long and remote trail that gets little use and is infrequently maintained. I hiked the entire trail in 2008, and while I was able to follow the tread OK, it was poorly marked and very overgrown in many spots. Don't let the first mile or so of trail out of Lewey Lake fool you- a lot of people from the campground hike a short distance down this trail before turning around, so it starts out very easy to follow but quickly becomes obscure.

      I helped to cut and mark the trail from Lewey Lake up to to the height of land with a group of volunteers back in 2009. I doubt that stretch of trail has gotten much maintenance since. It's probably been well over a decade since the western stretch between the the top of the ridge and the Colvin Brook Lean-to last saw any meaningful maintenance.

      This is the trail that David Boomhower attempted to use to leave the Northville Placid Trail back in the early 90's when he decided to cut short his thru-hike of the NPT (no one had any idea that he'd hiked off of the NPT and searchers were focused on looking along the corridor of that trail). He ended up losing the trail and eventually perished when he ran out of food and searchers were unable to locate his camp. You'd be well advised to carry a map and compass and have excellent off trail navigational skills if you plan to hike this trail all the way through.

      The Snowy Mountain Trail is well marked and maintained, and gets a decent amount of use. You shouldn't have much difficulty navigating on that trail.

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      • #4
        Wow, thanks for intell guys! Guess will scratch this one off the list except for maybe the first couple miles.

        How about T-Lake from either trailhead? Prolly the northern.

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        • #5
          The trail is easily followed to the height of land. After that less so, but not difficult for those with experience. I lost count how many times we had to cross the stream. Within a mile of the colvin brook leant-to it is severly flooded. It is possible to get around it, but not for the faint of heart. Expect wet. This was Aug 2015
          "There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

          My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal

          Comment


          • #6
            There's only 1 maintained trail into T-Lake. It sounds like you're looking at the USGS map for the area, which shows two trails into T-Lake. The trail from the north (by way of Mill Stream/Scotch Lake) has been long abandoned, so the trail from the south is probably your best option if you're looking to avoid bushwhacking.

            Additionally, the trail from T-Lake to T-Lake Falls is no longer maintained, if you're thinking about continuing out to the falls. The DEC decided to abandon this trail after numerous deaths that occurred at the falls. There is no sharp edge to the falls- just a gradually increasing slope. People were walking further and further out along the stream, trying to get a better view (the view from the top of the falls really isn't all that spectacular), until they slipped on wet and steep rock and fell to their deaths. It is possible to follow the old trail if you have decent navigational ability, but if you go to the falls, be super careful. Most would agree that the best way to enjoy the falls is to hike/bushwhwack to the base of the falls by way of the South Branch of the West Canada Creek.

            I would definitely recommend in investing in an updated map of the area. The National Geographic Map for the Northville/Raquette Lake area (#744) is a good one.

            Some alternative lowland options in the area include Tirrell Pond (near Blue Mountain Lake), Wilson, Cascade, and Stephens Ponds (also near Blue Mountain Lake), or Puffer Pond (east of Indian Lake). If the Perkins Clearing roads are open by then, you could hike into Spruce, Pillsbury, or Cedar Lakes in the West Canada Lakes. If the Speculator Tree Farm roads are open, you could visit Rock and Long Ponds in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness.
            Last edited by DSettahr; 04-24-2016, 06:05 PM.

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            • #7
              I have only hiked on the Sucker Brook Trail from the other end, which I reached via the Cedar River and NPT. From the lean-to it isn't long before the trail becomes very wet and difficult to follow, so I probably only went about a mile before turning back.

              The lean-to on the Cedar River (also called the Colvin Brook lean-to) is well worth a visit. It is in a very pleasant spot right on the river and seems to get very little use, even though it is only about a mile off the NPT. One of my favorite trips which I've done several times is to paddle from Wakely Dam down Cedar River Flow and the Cedar River to the Carry lean-to on the NPT, stash my canoe there and hike the additional 2 or miles to the Colvin Brook lean-to.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by madison View Post
                The lean-to on the Cedar River (also called the Colvin Brook lean-to) is well worth a visit. It is in a very pleasant spot right on the river and seems to get very little use, even though it is only about a mile off the NPT.
                It is a nice spot, but the LT is in poor condition (if anyone wants to stay there).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dundee View Post
                  It is a nice spot, but the LT is in poor condition (if anyone wants to stay there).
                  Having visited it yesterday after a paddle to the Carry Lean-To, can confirm that the Colvin Brook Lean-To is on a lovely location on the Cedar River, but the structure is not in the best shape. Somebody also burned the Lean-To Journal, leaving only the cover left, which is very unfortunate. Did not venture pass the Lean-To to the height of land.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mpn702 View Post
                    Having visited it yesterday after a paddle to the Carry Lean-To, can confirm that the Colvin Brook Lean-To is on a lovely location on the Cedar River, but the structure is not in the best shape. Somebody also burned the Lean-To Journal, leaving only the cover left, which is very unfortunate. Did not venture pass the Lean-To to the height of land.
                    I hope to bring a new journal to replace the one which was destroyed. The nerve of some folks. Glad I took pictures of the entries up until my last visit. Sad those since are now lost to all. The photos of the journal entries can be seen here: https://colvinbrook.blogspot.com/
                    "There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

                    My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DuctTape View Post
                      I hope to bring a new journal to replace the one which was destroyed. The nerve of some folks. Glad I took pictures of the entries up until my last visit. Sad those since are now lost to all. The photos of the journal entries can be seen here: https://colvinbrook.blogspot.com/
                      Good looking out DT!

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