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Old 04-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,300
The Ha-De-Ron-Dah wilderness is located in the southwestern section of the park, just west of Old Forge. It's more easily reached from the thruway than from I-87- take the Utica exit off of 90 and drive north. It's about an hour or perhaps an hour and a half of driving from 90 to the trailhead.

To plan this trip, you'll want the National Geographic map set for the Old Forge/Oswegatchie region of the Adirondacks. Also the ADK guidebook for the west-central Adirondacks would be another good resource.

The Ha-De-Ron-Dah wilderness is somewhat similar to the Pharaoh Lakes area, but there are a lot of differences as well. The terrain is primarily low, rolling hills, as with the Pharaoh Lakes. In contrast to the Pharaoh Lakes wilderness, there are fewer lakes and ponds, and a lot fewer lean-tos, and no major mountains worth climbing.

The area does tend to get a high amount of weekend use, as it's the closest wilderness area to the Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo metropolitan areas.

The Ha-De-Ron-Dah wilderness is managed in two sections. The southwest section of the wilderness, the vicinity of Middle Settlement and Middle Branch Lakes, is managed more intensively, and the trails tend to be well marked and in good shape. The northeast section of the wilderness, the vicinity of East Pond and Lost Creek, is managed more extensively, with minimal trail maintenance and higher wilderness standards. Most of the use tends to be concentrated in the southwest section, primarily around Middle Settlement and Middle Branch lakes, so if you want to avoid crowds, your best bet would be to plan either a mid-week trip, or stick to the northeastern section of the wilderness.

Hope that helps!
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