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Old 06-16-2015, 12:17 AM   #1
neilvd
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Spruce Lake Trail

I've been to Spruce Lake several times while hiking the NPT but I've never done the Spruce Lake Trail from the Jessup River Road. Can someone tell me the condition of the trail as well as the road to the trailhead? Can the road be driven in a Subaru Outback? Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:03 AM   #2
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The condition of the road tends to be somewhat variable, based on recent weather and how often logging trucks have been driving on in recently. I would say that normally, you'd have no problems getting to the trailhead in a Subaru. The Adirondacks have gotten a lot of rain recently, though, and the road is likely to be wet in a few spots.

Even in the best of conditions, the 13 mile drive from Route 30 to the trailhead can take upwards of an hour.

The trail is at first an old road that is occasionally marked with yellow markers. There's a junction or two along the way that may or may not be marked. Once you join the Northville-Placid Trail, navigation becomes much easier.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:08 AM   #3
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The Jessup River Rd is In good condition as of 6/13/15 even after the monsoon rain from Friday eve of 6/12 but the trail is VERY wet, 3/4 of it from the trailhead is like walking a stream bed...expect to get wet and muddy.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:12 AM   #4
neilvd
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Thank you both for the info. One more question about the road: I think this road goes through private property and is probably seasonal use. Are there times during spring-summer-fall when the road is closed to the public?
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvd View Post
Thank you both for the info. One more question about the road: I think this road goes through private property and is probably seasonal use. Are there times during spring-summer-fall when the road is closed to the public?
Yes, the road is closed to motor vehicles in the winter, at which point it is used for snowmobiles. I'm not sure if snowmobiles are allowed all the way to the Spruce Lake trailhead or not. It generally doesn't open until sometime in May, after the mud has had a chance to dry out. So yes, there are times in the Spring when it isn't open, but it should be open to public access throughout the Summer and Fall. I probably wouldn't go back there in late fall without 4WD/AWD or tire chains, just in case, though.

Spruce Lake is a very remote, desolate spot in the winter. Much of the West Canada Lakes is, for that matter, since the Moose River Plains Roads are also not maintained for winter motor vehicle access. A few winters ago, some friends and I did the Piseco to Lake Durant section of the NPT as a snowshoe trip. It took us 10 days, and we didn't see a single other person with the exception of snowmobiles near Wakely Dam.
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