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Old 12-11-2020, 09:41 AM   #16
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,296
Oooooh... all this time whenever you said "NPT West" I thought you meant a western version of the NPT but with different start and end points. But you actually mean a trail that connects the same start and end points- Northville and Lake Placid- via a longer, more westernly route. Interesting.

My thoughts (day dreams, really) about the BLT were that it would ideally pass through Northville for resupply... the absence of state land to the east of Northville could force a slightly more northern crossing of Route 30, but there is a sliver of the WLWF that comes down near Northville, with a forested but privately owned ridge that continues pretty much directly down to the village. If permission could be obtained to build a trail along this ridge, then the BLT could pass through downtown Northville, and coincide with the NPT for a bit into the Shaker Mt WF and Silver Lake WA.

Exactly where the BLT would diverge from the NPT would be TBD... one thought that I had was that a divergence before or in Upper Benson would allow the trail to use some existing trail segments via Chase Lake, County Line Lake, etc. But logistically maybe it would be easier to continue on the NPT as far as Rock Lake and the West Branch Sacandaga. Plus Chase Lake in particular is not very remote.

You mention Caroga- I was also thinking that the BLT should cross the summit of Kane Mountain as there will be limited opportunities elsewhere in the southern/western ADKs for views. And from there on up into the Ferris Lake Wild Forest via the existing trails to Spectacle, Dexter Lakes, etc.

As far as the northern sections of the BLT, again my thoughts (day dreams) were to avoid the High Peaks as much as feasible. This probably would not be possible in the Giant Mountain Wilderness due to lack of other state land units to facilitate routing the trail, but at least here the BLT would use the two less-popular approaches to Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge (9N/Owl's Head and the New Russia approaches). (Alternatively, a new section of trail connecting Roaring Brook with Bald Peak would avoid High Peaks summits entirely, but it does seem like if you're going to route the trail that close to a High Peak you might as well just bite the bullet and send it over the top.)

My thoughts were also to use Wilmington as a resupply town, which would be about the closest the trail would get to Lake Placid. But a connector trail between the BLT and the north end of the NPT (between Wilmington and Lake Placid) certainly seems essential. And enough trails exist that this is largely already possible- over Whiteface Mountain and either west around Lake Placid via the SOA trail, or east via Connery Pond and Cobble Hill (a small section of trail would need to be built here but state land already exists to route it across).

A few other hurdles: Building a connection around Tupper Lake (or rather through Tupper Lake for resupply purposes), and also a connection around/through Lake George. There is a notable gap in state land the vicinity of Tupper Lake (and Tupper Lake itself is a bit of an obstacle). I believe there's easement land to the south/east of Tupper Lake across which a trail could be routed, and perhaps it may even could cross the summit of Mt. Morris.

Lake George is a bigger obstacle. The trail could avoid the Lake George area entirely by traversing the Hoffman Notch Wilderness, Vanderwhacker Mountain Wilderness, Hudson Gorge Wilderness, and Siamese Ponds Wilderness instead... but it would at the same time, I think, be neat to have the trail traverse the rugged stretches of both the Tongue Mountain Range and the Black Mountain/Buck Mountain ridgeline... this means getting across Lake George, but it seems like Lake George has a healthy water taxi industry, so this might not be a substantial obstacle at all. This leaves the south end of Lake George, which is also noticeably devoid of state land in the vicinity.
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