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Charley Pond Road between Low's Lower Dam and Lila Access Rd?

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  • Charley Pond Road between Low's Lower Dam and Lila Access Rd?

    I am planning out a trip for late July and looking at driving directions between Low's Lower Dam and Lake Lila. Google Maps tells me there is a route that heads west on Adirondack Park Preserve road, then southeast on Sabattis Rd., then south on Charley Pond Rd. to Lake Lila Access Rd. However, this road doesn't show up on the Adirondack Paddler's Map. On Google satellite view, Charley Pond Rd. kind of disappears around East Charley Pond.

    Can anyone confirm if this is an actual navigable road that connects Sabattis Rd. to Lake Lila Access Rd.? I could instead take 421 east, 30 south and then 10A/10 to Lake Lila Access, but that is a bit longer route. I'd hate to take Charley Pond Rd all the way south to find out I'd have to turn around because it doesn't go all the way through to Lake Lila Access Rd.

    We have a compact SUV, so it can handle some mildly rough two-track, but certainly not off-road Jeep capability if that matters.

  • #2
    No chance. If you are talking about the road from Horseshoe passing to the north side of Hitchins then over the Upper dam, those roads are all gated/restricted and definitely not open for publlic access.
    "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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    • #3
      Ok good to know. Yeah, that's the road I am looking at. It sounds like I wouldn't even be able to get on that route to start with? Weird that Google Maps would send me that way.

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      • #4
        Google maps is often unrealistically optimistic about roads that either don't exist at all or are private. There is a gated road that runs from somewhere near Horseshoe to the upper dam. It is closed to public motor vehicle use, but bicycles and foot traffic are permitted on it, from what I have read. I'm looking forward to checking it out someday. I don't know if this is the same road you're seeing on Google maps or not. My understanding is that the road I have heard about becomes private after the dam, when it enters private property.

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        • #5
          I thought this was the case as well. I had talked to and seen people hike out to Hitchens Overlook when camping out there. I also recall seeing the DEC trail sign pointing along the road near the start of the overlook trail. I've never hiked it or rode on it, but I had assumed the "trail" back was the road. The gate is about a half mile past the railroad tracks from Horseshoe Lake. You can drive quite a ways back on that road, not sure the name, but I think it becomes gated at some point IIRC. There are actually a few roadside campsites back there.
          Last edited by montcalm; 06-18-2021, 08:31 PM.

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          • #6
            Yes, you arre allowed to hike that road from Horseshoe to the upper dam. When work was being done on the upper dam, scouts, staff, and visitors to the Sabattis BSA camp were allowed to drive that road. It was the primary (much shorter) access road for the past DEC AFR, Dawn Andrews and family who lived in there full time. There are still some very interesting Lows estate remnants to be found there, including what once was a syrup evaporator, a small still standing brick storage house, and a very large stone fireplace and standing chimney. Also, east of campsite #8, over the existing beaver dam you can paddle into two very large round cisterns, where Mr. Low bottled water to ship to NYC. The spring water is very cold in there. He actually invented a process to produce square sided bottles so they would pack more efficienty than round ones. He was an entrepreneur far ahead of his time with many new processes and inventions.
            Last edited by Wldrns; 06-18-2021, 09:02 PM.
            "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wldrns View Post
              Yes, you arre allowed to hike that road from Horseshoe to the upper dam. When work was being done on the upper dam, scouts, staff, and visitors to the Sabattis BSA camp were allowed to drive that road. It was the primary (much shorter) access road for the past DEC AFR, Dawn Andrews and family who lived in there full time. There are still some very interesting Lows estate remnants to be found there, including what once was a syrup evaporator, a small still standing brick storage house, and a very large stone fireplace and standing chimney. Also, east of campsite #8, over the existing beaver dam you can paddle into two very large round cisterns, where Mr. Low bottled water to ship to NYC. The spring water is very cold in there. He actually invented a process to produce square sided bottles so they would pack more efficienty than round ones. He was an entrepreneur far ahead of his time with many new processes and inventions.
              Yes, when I did my stint as an AFR on Lows in the early 90s, sometimes I drove my 4Runner in that way and parked near the gate at the upper dam.
              "Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing."
              - Henry David Thoreau

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              • #8
                Here are those cisterns that Wldrns speaks of...



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                • #9
                  Those cisterns look neat. I'll plan to visit them someday. I'm a bit confused about why they're in the middle of the water. Were they built before the lower dam was built, or did the beaver dam raise the water enough to flood that whole area?

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                  • #10
                    biking on private roads?

                    Does anyone know for sure whether bicycling is permitted on these private, gated roads? Has anyone actually done it? We would like to do a trip from Lila to Low's Lower Dam, using a mountain bike to retrieve the car. Google Maps shows a 12 mile bike ride if the private roads are used (via Lows Upper Dam and Sabattis), but 19 miles if going around the way one would usually drive (out to Route 30 and back in on Sabattis Rd).

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                    • #11
                      The answer would be no unless you get permission from the land owner.

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