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Old 06-21-2015, 07:41 PM   #1
bbowen
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Sheep Meadow question.

My dog, Odin and I set out to find Sheep Meadow, near Paul Smiths. The directions I had from a website were minimal but seemed straight forward.

They said to turn left off the old logging road onto a horse trail. So at the first Y we went left. Almost immediately there was another Y. The left of that Y had a horse trail marking. We stayed on that until we came down a hill and found a trail sign indicating we go left again. By this point I realized I'd lost my directions, so we turned back.

We're we on track for Sheep Meadow or should we have gone right at the second Y?

Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:47 PM   #2
tgoodwin
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I believe from your description that you were on the correct route. Had you turned left, you would have quickly descended to the crossing of Hays Brook, after which the route is straightforward to the Sheep Meadow.

Don't trust directions found online, get a map and figure it out for yourself.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:25 PM   #3
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Thanks. Looking at my gps data, looks like I was on track. I've looked at a map and would have been equally as confused.

I'd like to take a map and compass course. I learn better with in person hands on training. I've tried YouTube videos but it's not clicking.
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:32 AM   #4
DSettahr
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Yeah, that isn't exactly a high use area. Trail markers and signs are in short supply there. My memory is a bit rusty, but here is the directions that I remember:

Almost immediately after you leave the trailhead, there is an unmarked old road that splits off the main road to the right (the road right parallels the river for some distance before dead-ending). Stay left (straight) on the main road. You'll soon come to the bridge over the Osgood River.

Immediately beyond the Osgood River, the road forks again- right leads to Grass Pond, left (straight) continues north towards Hays Brook. A short distance beyond this junction, there is another junction. Left leads you on to the horse trail, which noticeably does not follow an old road. Right (straight) continues on the old road.

After following the horse trail for about a mile, the trail rejoins the old road at a junction. Go left on the old road, cross Hays Brook, and follow the road all the way to Sheeps Meadow. You'll begin to see the blueberry fields before you get to Sheeps Meadow; there are traces here and there of a herd path through the fields. You'll know you're at Sheeps Meadow when you see the two lean-tos and the horse barn.

If you want to make a loop out of it, you can return by sticking to the old roads. After recrossing Hays Brook, stay left (straight) on the old road rather than taking a right back on to the horse trail. You'll come to another T-junction, left leads some distance to another bridge across Hays Brook before dead-ending (hunters use this route to access lands north of Hays Brook). Right will take you back to the first few junctions and the bridge across the Osgood River, and the parking area beyond.

The area gets some use, but not much. Horseback riders will occasionally visit, as will people picking blueberries in season. The trails are also open to mountain bike use. Sometimes Paul Smith's students will come from the campus nearby to camp out.

BTW, Grass Pond is a beautiful spot and is worth visiting as well. If you give yourself enough time you can easily visit both Sheeps Meadow and Grass Pond in the same day.

Also, Star Mountain (to the north) has some pretty decent views of the McKenzie Mountain Range and isn't a difficult bushwhack from Sheeps Meadow. You might even find some old markers from the long-abandoned snowmobile trail that used to head north towards Meacham Lake.

I made a rough (not at all to scale) map in MS Paint that should help:

http://i.imgur.com/9qQlKZW.jpg
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:54 AM   #5
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Thanks! Your map makes more sense to me then the ones I was able to find!

I made a video of the trip. Based on your map I believe we were in the right spot. I'll definitely check out Grasse Pond as well!

http://youtu.be/LVMeFZu6gHw
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:02 AM   #6
tgoodwin
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National Geographic Map #746 shows this area correctly, although it doesn't show the old abandoned road that goes east before the crossing of the Osgood River. The other bridge mentioned over Hays Brook is long gone, and I don't know how plain the trail now is beyond Hays Brook.

The bridge over Hays Brook on the way to the Sheep Meadow is solid, and this area does get quite a bit of use in the winter. It is a nice easy ski trip to either Sheep Meadow or Grass Pond that only requires a few inches of snow on the mostly smooth roads; and this area often receives snow when other areas don't.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:04 AM   #7
DSettahr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgoodwin View Post
National Geographic Map #746 shows this area correctly, although it doesn't show the old abandoned road that goes east before the crossing of the Osgood River. The other bridge mentioned over Hays Brook is long gone, and I don't know how plain the trail now is beyond Hays Brook.
Long gone, as in within the past 4 years? There was a foot bridge there when I was last there 4 years ago (probably not constructed by the state). That trail pretty much disappears completely as soon as you get across the brook, though.

https://picasaweb.google.com/dsettah...49782697683186

EDIT: Based on more recent information, the "bridge to nowhere" is indeed gone.

Last edited by DSettahr; 06-23-2015 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:24 AM   #8
bbowen
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Thanks. I ordered the Nat Geo map.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:46 PM   #9
bbowen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
Long gone, as in within the past 4 years? There was a foot bridge there when I was last there 4 years ago (probably not constructed by the state). That trail pretty much disappears completely as soon as you get across the brook, though.

https://picasaweb.google.com/dsettah...49782697683186

EDIT: Based on more recent information, the "bridge to nowhere" is indeed gone.

Your pics also helped. But I'm still confused. Your pic "The junction with the cutoff trail" is where I came out on the way in. I came down the hill on the right of the photo. So, if I had taken a left I would have crossed the Hays Brook Bridge and the gotten to Sheep's Meadow?
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:00 PM   #10
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You're correct. You would've taken a left on the road, and followed it all the way to Sheeps Meadow (crossing Hays Brook on the way).

I took that photo on the way out (after camping at Sheeps Meadow).
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