January 25, 2017

North Country Trail: Route 46 to Stacy Basin

Today I continued my northerly-easterly exploration on the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT).  I started at the parking area on Route 46, skipping the section back toward Durhamville, which is mostly a road walk.  Perhaps I will return for that during hunting season.  I was surprised to find three other vehicles in the parking lot... other hikers?  Nope.  I could see a man talking on the phone in one car, and there were no footprints in the snow leading to the trail.  In fact, mine were the only tracks in the snow for almost the entire length of my hike to Stacy Basin and back, 3.9 miles each way.  The only two places where people had recently been on the trail were immediately adjacent to or across from homes, essentially just people out in their yards with their dogs.

The NCT in this area follows the old Erie Canal, which means the hiking is excruciatingly flat and not terribly interesting.  I have a few more Erie Canal sections remaining before getting to the outskirts of Rome, where the NCT becomes nothing but road walks for quite some distance.  Other off-road trail sections have been scouted, but are simply not developed yet.  Much of the trail to the east, through the Adirondacks, is still in the planning phase.

I intend to complete the Erie Canal sections, but not go further east through Rome.  I will redirect my explorations back southerly-westerly, where the NCT follows the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) through much hillier and more interesting terrain.  I look forward to getting back to the less developed and more forested NCT sections.  I do appreciate the historical significance of the Erie Canal, but too much of it is adjacent to roads for my tastes. Aside from the longer drives, the only drawback to the FLT sections can be access, due to seasonal roads and narrow roadside parking.  I don't have a four-wheel drive vehicle and it's hard to know where plowed parking is available.

Town of Verona park adjacent to trail


my turnaround point at Stacy Basin

mural on Town of Verona municipal building

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