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Old 03-22-2014, 02:47 PM   #1
Vinegar
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Wilcox Lake Loop?

Getting a little cabin fever and planning a few trips for 2014... I looked at the Wilcox Lake WF map and noticed it looks like a loop there should be possible, but I can't find much information on these trails. Starting at the parking areas on Rt 8, Griffin, Shanty Brook, and Cotter Brook, down to Willis Lake, over to Wilcox Lake, coming north on the arrow trail and back out on the oregon trail (as long as I don't break an axle or get dysentery). Looks about 40 miles.

Has anyone done this? Any input on some of these trails? I can't find much about those eastern segments, oxbow, arrow, etc. The only trick seems to be making a connection from Wilcox Lake to Harrisburg Lake Road, looks like there's some private property there. Anything would be helpful!
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:54 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great trip!

I've done all the segments except Wilcox to Harrisburg. They're all on old roads, reasonably graded and well marked. There might be some ATV wallows on the Arrow Trail through the Baldwin Springs area. My favorite sections are Pine Orchard to Pumpkin Hollow Rd and the Oregon Trail from Baldwin Springs to Rt. 8.

Have fun!
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:05 PM   #3
Bill I.
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I considered this exact same loop last fall, but nixed the idea because frankly the route has a poor "scenic interest to length" ratio. For much of the way, you are simply hiking from one trailhead to the next. The woods may be pretty, but of all the potential backpacking loops possible in the Adirondacks, this is one is the worst.

Not that the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest in general is boring. Just several of the trails on that loop.

The sections of trail closest to Baldwin Springs (North Bend and the Arrow Trail) are jeep trails.

Ordinary cars can now drive to Bakertown. There is no private property issue, just an ATV issue.

The section of trail to Pine Orchard from Dorr Road is gorgeous. I tried skiing the other end from Griffin in January. Never again.

There may not be a bridge over Georgia Brook. There was certainly nothing showing above the snow in February.

Not even snowmobilers use the detour over Moose Mountain (near Cod Pod) very often.

The highlights of the loop are Wilcox Lake, Pine Orchard, and Cod Pond. These can all be reached by easy day hikes.

As I mentioned above, I abandoned the idea of doing the entire loop in one shot in favor of picking away at the sections, which gives me time to explore connecting routes as well. The Pumpkin Hollow area will probably be my next choice. The aforementioned Moose Mountain is one section I have no interest in whatsoever.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:37 AM   #4
Justin
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Originally Posted by Vinegar View Post
The only trick seems to be making a connection from Wilcox Lake to Harrisburg Lake Road, looks like there's some private property there.
No trick at all really. You have 3 options for trails leading to Harrisburg Road from Wilcox Lake. There is the marked trail from Wilcox Lake to the snowmobile bridge over the East Stony Creek, or you can take the unmarked route that branches from the main trail and leads to the old fording site on the East Stony, or you can follow an unmarked short-cut path that leads from the east corner of Wilcox Lake to the East Stony Creek near the Moosewood Hunting Club. Of course, the latter two options require fording the creek, and the third option requires a small amount of bushwhacking near the creek.
The public is allowed to walk Harrisburg Road past the cabin, and as Bill mentioned, the road has been greatly improved up to the cabin.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:56 PM   #5
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I hiked into Wilcox Lake via the Harrisburg Rd from the Moosewood camp area last May. Was looking to bushwack over New Lake Mt to New Lake to fish. Missed the lake due to inaccuracy on the topo map I was using. Ended up walking about 18miles trying to find my way out and spent the night sleeping on the ground through a thunderstorm.
It was my first ever attempt at a bushwack and a serious lessoned learned in what NOT to do in the future.. I haven't had much desire to go back in there ever since. Its big country to get turned around in...and you can walk a really long ways with nobody around.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
Justin
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I hiked into Wilcox Lake via the Harrisburg Rd from the Moosewood camp area last May. Was looking to bushwack over New Lake Mt to New Lake to fish. Missed the lake due to inaccuracy on the topo map I was using. Ended up walking about 18miles trying to find my way out and spent the night sleeping on the ground through a thunderstorm.
It was my first ever attempt at a bushwack and a serious lessoned learned in what NOT to do in the future.. I haven't had much desire to go back in there ever since. Its big country to get turned around in...and you can walk a really long ways with nobody around.
Learning from your mistakes (or topo mistakes) is part of becoming an experienced bushwhacker.
Just for future reference, there is an informal path that leads close to the southern shore of New Lake from the northern tip of Wilcox Lake. You will still need to bushwhack a few hundred feet to reach New Lake as the path becomes more difficult to follow as it circles around the north side of New Lake Mtn. There are a few old informal paths in that area that are fun to explore.

Last edited by Justin; 03-24-2014 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:53 AM   #7
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Thanks all. I think we'll just do the CL50 this year, and maybe the Seward loop. I appreciate the info.
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