September 21, 2016

North Country Trail: Maxon Creek State Forest

Since Erwin was joining me for the day's adventure, we took advantage of having two cars and hiked a 5.0 mile traverse, dropping one car at the parking area along Route 13 just south of Cuyler, and taking the other up to Stoney Brook Road.  This is right near where the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) splits off from the white-blazed Finger Lakes Trail and starts following the blue-blazed Onondaga Trail.  We included short roadwalks along Stoney Brook Road, Cuyler Hill Road, and Midlun Road, which were well worth it for the wide open views of the rolling hills.  All are low traffic rural roads, and we were passed by just one vehicle in the 0.9 mile we spent on the roads. 

Where Midlun Road turns west, the trail leaves the pavement, turning first onto a farm lane, and then onto a narrow footpath shortly thereafter.  The trail passes an old overgrown cemetery, then after some time in the woods, crosses a narrow pipeline right-of-way.  After passing the deadend of Midlun Spur Road, the trail follows a two track down the hill and soon enters Maxon Creek State Forest.  The change in the forest is immediately visible, and this section of trail is quite lovely.  Then the trail begins the steady descent to Route 13.  The five miles passed quickly, and I would have liked to keep hiking.  However, it was a 45 minute drive to get down there, and we'd gotten out a little later than I would prefer, so I headed home.  I had no trouble showering, eating lunch, and starting some laundry before picking Frankie up from school.  

I selected this hike for today because the private land the trail crosses between Maxon Creek State Forest and Route 13 is closed for hunting starting next month.  The adjacent section of trail north of Route 13 has a similar closure, so I hope to get out for another hike in this area again soon. 

views along Stoney Brook Road

looking back east along Stoney Brook Road - the parking area is just inside the treeline

heading west on Stoney Brook Road
Cuyler Hill Road

on the State Forest now

this is another section of trail with hunting closures

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