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Old 03-25-2010, 06:14 PM   #1
SummitHat
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Dry Crossing Opalescent on the way to Allen

Does anyone know whether it is still possible to cross the Opalescent River on the way to Allen, without getting soaked? When I checked the trailhead on 3/20 (after the very warm prior week) there was a BRIDGE OUT sign plus a comment in the registry that the designated ford was impassible. I also noticed a posting on VFTT stating the ford was not dry-passable during the warm weather.

Can anyone who has been on the trail in the last 10 days confirm the present conditions?

I'd love to hike Allen, and want to prepare accordingly.

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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I'd bet a nickel that you'll have to walk upstream of the Lower and Upper Twin Brook confluences before the river is tame enough to ford right now. Then walk up the Upper Twin Brook until you hit the trail, then turn right to get to the Allen herdpath.

But I don't know if all that territory is open to the public (yet). Anyone here know?

The other option would be to bushwhack over from Skylight.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
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Thanks randomscooter for the advice.

If the river bank territory is accessible I don't mind bushwhacking upstream to a safe point. If it's not an option I'd rather walk through tamer water later in the season than bushwhack from SL or RF at this point.

Supplementary question: Anyone know approximately how deep the water might be around the ford?

When we hiked Street/Nye two weeks ago Indian Pass Brook was easy to walk through because the water level was so low. I imagine walking through Opalescent would be a much different experience.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomscooter View Post
I'd bet a nickel that you'll have to walk upstream of the Lower and Upper Twin Brook confluences before the river is tame enough to ford right now. Then walk up the Upper Twin Brook until you hit the trail, then turn right to get to the Allen herdpath.

But I don't know if all that territory is open to the public (yet). Anyone here know?

The other option would be to bushwhack over from Skylight.
Nope, no public access yet. That's on former F-P land slated to become Forest Preserve, but the deal hasn't closed yet. Even when/if it does, leaseholders will have exclusive access until at least 2011.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:27 PM   #5
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According to the DEC site (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9198.html), crossing still isn't recommended:

"The bridge over the Opalescent River on the East River Trail is out. Wading at this time of year should not be attempted due to cold swift-moving water. This is a remote location that could have life threatening conditions if you get wet."

"The cable bridge over the Opalescent River on the Hanging Spear Falls trail has been washed out. The crossing will be impassable during high water periods."

Good thing there are so many other fine paths to follow...
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:11 AM   #6
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You could also try going in to Flowed Lands, then downriver. You'd either have to cross the Opalescent at the outlet to Flowed Lands (iffy) or at Lake Colden then bushwhack along the east shore of Flowed Lands (scratchy).

It all depends how badly you want it. If it's your last one to complete your April round, smart money would bet with you making it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:22 AM   #7
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I've done this once: light weight Waders, Polar Fleece and a 6+ foot pole. Then leave the stuff at the crossing for your return. My hiking partner and I picked a slow spot in the stream, but deep, 3.5 feet at the deepest, and slowly moved across the brook. Seemed safe esp. with the two of us.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #8
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You could also try going in to Flowed Lands, then downriver. You'd either have to cross the Opalescent at the outlet to Flowed Lands (iffy) or at Lake Colden then bushwhack along the east shore of Flowed Lands (scratchy).

It all depends how badly you want it. If it's your last one to complete your April round, smart money would bet with you making it.
You are a fine mind-reader RS!

After re-routing my initial Allen hike to Redfield and Cliff due to uncooperative waters for a solo adventure, I decided to check the crossing at the Flowed Lands. The water there was uncomfortably high at the time. Out of curiosity I toured the east side between the Flowed Land outlet and Livingston Point, just to see what's there. Nice, though tight and wet in spots.

I decided to wait for the meltwaters and rainy season to subside a bit, then head to the Allen trailhead. If the register shows no-one's making it across on that trail, divert to UW and up Calamity Brook trail to camp at Flowed Lands. Next day cross up there and take the Hanging Spear Falls section of trail to Allen and back. I haven't spent time at Hanging Spear before, nor met the local blackflies, so why not?
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by richard1726 View Post
I've done this once: light weight Waders, Polar Fleece and a 6+ foot pole. Then leave the stuff at the crossing for your return. My hiking partner and I picked a slow spot in the stream, but deep, 3.5 feet at the deepest, and slowly moved across the brook. Seemed safe esp. with the two of us.
Thanks for the great suggestions Richard. A long pole always makes sense when you find the hollow before it finds you!
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:00 PM   #10
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lI was on the opalescent yesterday(fishing) was able to cross, water is lower than expected, below my knees. Very clear and cold...no fish...dave
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:11 PM   #11
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Thanks Dave for the info - very useful for those of us considering hiking to Allen this time of year! Best of luck with the catch next time out.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:38 AM   #12
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See Joe Cedar's Allen trip report April 20: http://forums.adkhighpeaks.com/showthread.php?t=11344
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:50 PM   #13
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I crossed the Opalescent twice today. As the suspension bridge is out there is a well-marked temporary trail nearby that leads to a fording where the river is wide but shallow. The water level today was 14" at the fords deepest point. No problem getting across wearing water shoes. The water is cold!
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:35 PM   #14
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I just crossed the Opalescent x2 on June 24th via the temporary trail. the water level 12-13" tops, current was not bad, felt to be a bit stronger on the way back or maybe my legs were not as fresh. Water temperature was refreshing on tired hot feet!
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:17 PM   #15
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Water temperature was refreshing on tired hot feet!
Nice - I found the same thing when I was last there. The first crossing I found the water cold, but after drying my feet and putting on my socks and boots my feet felt great for about 20 minutes. On the return I found an option to rock-hop over the river, but instead went back to the temporary ford to give my feet a nice cold refresh a second time.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:45 PM   #16
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The opalesent as of yesterday(june 25) was very high due to the rain. We had over a inch or more Wed - thursday. At our hunting camp the Opalesent rose at least 2ft in 24hr..... good luck.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:23 AM   #17
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The river was very high on 29th, at least where our road crosses the river. Our rd is 4.3 miles up the Tahawus rd.....
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:46 AM   #18
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Any recent updates on the river crossing?
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:07 AM   #19
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Sorry was not there for the holiday weekend......
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