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Old 01-20-2016, 09:40 AM   #1
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Raquette river and Cold river

Just got done looking at this area on Cal Topo and noticed a road that goes to the Ranger stations at Duck Hole and Lower Falls and Raquette Falls. Can you drive to them or are they for the park personnel only?

Any info would be greatfully appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
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Not for you. Official use only.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:46 AM   #3
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Fyi there is no longer a ranger station at Duck Hole. The CalTopo maps are a great resource, but significantly dated. Many "roads" do not exist as such, and are only foot trails.
"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

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Old 01-20-2016, 01:06 PM   #4
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Thank You from a Mainer.
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:41 PM   #5
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Clarification: CalTopo uses USGS topo maps. Any mapping software relying on USGS topos will display the same outdated information.

The ADK Mountain Club publishes an up-to-date map of the High Peaks region.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:45 PM   #6
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Yes, those roads are closed to public motor vehicle use. At this point, they are maintained for foot (and in some cases, horse) travel only. Even an ATV would have difficulty getting through some spots.

Also, the private road that ends about 1.5 miles south of Shattuck Clearing is on private property owned by Syracuse University and isn't open to the public (although rangers use it for easy access to the interior of the Cold River area).

You can access Raquette River Falls from downstream or upstream via motorboat. The Raquette River is in fact a moderately popular destination for motorboat camping on weekends in the summer. The Cold River is closed to motorboat use.

The stretch of the Cold River valley between Duck Hole and Shattuck Clearing is wild and remote country that sees little use, even in the summer. It's a beautiful area full of solitude. It is precisely because of the remoteness and inaccessibility that the area is so special. For most hikers, it is at least a full days hike to get to either end of the valley, and closer to 2 days to access the more remote sections in the middle. The most remote spot in NY State, the furthest you can get from any road, is located in the Cold River area.

I definitely agree with the other posters that the USGS topo maps aren't the best for planning hiking, paddling, and backpacking trips. They are great for bushwhacking; no other map shows the land forms in as much detail. But with regards to recreation facilities (locations of roads, trails, campsites, lean-tos, etc.) they are all decades out of date.

The National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps are probably the best current map resource for hiking and backpacking. There are five maps that cover the entire park- if you purchase all 5 at once, you can get them at a discount. For paddling, check out the Adirondack Paddler's Maps, available from the St. Regis Canoe Outfitters.
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