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ATVs near Allen sand pit?

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  • ATVs near Allen sand pit?

    I climbed Allen mountain on 7/11/17 and while signing into the inner register at the sand pit I heard and then saw one of those ATV quad utility vehicles with 4 people on it. They were headed south on the trail, then turned around and went back the way they came. I know there are private clubs and property near by but I thought this was still High Peaks wilderness (according to ADK HP map) where ATVs aren't allowed? Can someone clarify this for me?

  • #2
    Never seen ATVs there, but I came across a whole group of them "playing" in the Opalescent river near the crossing one day.

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    • #3
      The interior register at the sand-pit is located in the MacIntyre East Tract. It's my understanding the DEC has not classified it yet (nor made it part of the High Peaks Wilderness Area).

      http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=4....0768/-73.9934

      If I'm not mistaken, leaseholders can continue to use the hunting camps, and surrounding area, until autumn 2018.


      ​What's less clear to me is what kind of access the general public has to this newly acquired land. Best information I've seen indicates the public is asked to give the hunting camps a wide berth. However, from aerial photos, many of the camps are locate along the network of roads. Another article I read indicates a leaseholder can lay claim to an area of one-acre around a camp. If so, it makes it impossible to walk by a camp without trespassing. I've contacted the DEC but never received a reply to my inquiry.

      ​I've wanted to go to Allen by way of Fujacks Road but won't be doing that until I get crystal-clear clarification (preferably from the DEC) that I can.


      ADDENDUM
      ​Article from last year about classifying the new land:
      http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...tate-land.html
      Last edited by Trail Boss; 07-14-2017, 03:00 PM.
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      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        Please share when/if you do get a response. I'd like to know how easement/access laws play into this deal currently. A "wide berth" is about as clear as mud and could be interpreted in a lot of ways.

      • Trail Boss
        Trail Boss commented
        Editing a comment
        I'd follow Fujacks to the end and then proceed to intersect the existing trail. I should mention there's little to no savings in distance, perhaps only time because the road is smoother. My interest in using the road is for novelty/variety and a less muddy route.

        My plan now is to ask the next ranger I meet about the Tract's status. However, if anyone has a ranger's ear, I'd appreciate it if you could ask them about accessing the area via Fujacks Road.

        http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.06...15&b=sat&a=mba

      • bfinan0
        bfinan0 commented
        Editing a comment
        I did just that (by mistake) on my way back from Allen last month. The best thing about it is it's probably faster (and saves the pointless up-and-down). It also convinced me to vote NO on making Boreas and Macintyre East wilderness if it ever reaches a referendum.

    • #4
      The leaseholders can still use the property, including using vehicles on the roads until 2018. While they can theoretically claim a full acre around any cabin, one can see the cabins that are near the Boreas Ponds access, so those leaseholders haven't been able to claim that right.

      As for the approach to Allen, I climbed it on Wednesday and used the roads because they were far less muddy and therefore considerably faster. In fact, on the return we added six people to our group to avoid the mud on the herd path. The road that is the one to use is not Fujacks but the road to the south that is simply labeled "Adirondack Park' on TB's Caltopo map. That road slowly grades into a much older logging road after crossing Dudley Brook above its confluence with Skylight Brook. That road leads to a junction with the herd path just after its crossing of Skylight Brook.

      There is one cabin still left at the road junction south of Dudley Brook, but the only "No Trespassing" signs are on the cabin itself, not around any one acre perimeter. We approached this junction from the bridge because the water was still pretty high. There is an obvious path going right after crossing the bridge, but it quickly fades as it approaches the bank of Dudley Brook, and is probably a remnant of efforts to find the best ford before the bridge was rebuilt. A short way up Dudley brook there is a vague but discernible old lumber road going left. After a short distance, that road continues into a more open area, but here another old road goes right and parallel to Dudley Brook to the gravel road just north of a bridge over Dudley Brook. The junction where the cabin is located just across the bridge.

      If the water is lower, bring water shoes and save a few steps by fording. The approach to the river has become obscure, but is discernible 175 yards before reaching the bridge. The Nat Geo map shows this road making a four-way intersection with the other roads, but the Caltopo map and ADK map show the junction correctly.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by tgoodwin View Post
        ... While they can theoretically claim a full acre around any cabin, one can see the cabins that are near the Boreas Ponds access, so those leaseholders haven't been able to claim that right.
        ​What's the connection between leaseholders in the two different tracts (if any)? (Boreas Ponds and MacIntyre East) Are the cabins in the two tracts all part of the same hunting club?

        As for the approach to Allen, I climbed it on Wednesday and used the roads because they were far less muddy and therefore considerably faster.
        So for a fact, the DEC says it's permissible? I'm asking because others have used the roads (post purchase) to get to Cheney Cobble but they didn't report getting the all-clear from the DEC.

        The road that is the one to use is not Fujacks but the road to the south that is simply labeled "Adirondack Park' on TB's Caltopo map. ... That road leads to a junction with the herd path just after its crossing of Skylight Brook.
        ​Interesting; very difficult to see from satellite imagery that it runs that far north. FWIW, Fujacks visibly runs to within 500 feet of the main trail.

        , but here another old road goes right and parallel to Dudley Brook to the gravel road just north of a bridge over Dudley Brook. The junction where the cabin is located just across the bridge.
        That one is visible in NYS GIS Ortho imagery. No fording needed because, like you said, it runs along the north side of Dudley Brook:
        https://orthos.dhses.ny.gov/?Extent=...es&rightMenu=0


        ​FWIW, I'm awaiting a reply from the DEC.
        Last edited by Trail Boss; 07-16-2017, 10:33 PM.
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        • #6
          Boreas Ponds and East River Tract were part of the same purchase with the same expiration dates for the leases, and the same rules for the remaining months of the lease.

          You are right that I haven't gotten a clear statement from the DEC that hiking that route is completely legal, so I'm not ready to commit this route to the printed page. Given the quick action that the DEC took last year when some yahoos on mountain bikes rode through the Opalescent Club leasehold, I think it is pretty same to assume that some similar action would have been taken if there had been any complaints about the others who have hiked this route.

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          • #7
            I just spoke to the ranger responsible for the region containing MacIntyre East Tract and received confirmation that hikers bound for Allen are permitted to walk along the road network as long as you enter it from about the latitude of Dudley Brook. That's the brook that merges with the Opalescent River a short distance south of the rebuilt suspension foot-bridge.

            ​He warned not to enter the road network south of this point because you're likely to trespass on leased lands. Please do not give the leaseholders any reason to complain about hiker behavior. It will not benefit the hiking community.

            ​In a nutshell, you must continue to use the East River Trail for the initial approach. When you reach the suspension bridge over the Opalescent River, you now have another way to get to Allen. Obviously, route-finding skills are needed to take advantage of the alternative route.




            ​FWIW, here's Phil Brown's account of a hike in the area in 2015. He had received faulty information and entered the road system in the wrong place. Please take note and don't repeat this mistake.
            http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...igh-peaks.html


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            • Trail Boss
              Trail Boss commented
              Editing a comment
              I plan to go to Allen before month's end and will hike both roads for comparison (and variety). It'll be my 10th trip to Allen so I'm looking forward to the "variety" aspect.

              If I'm not mistaken, the route to Allen used to follow the roads until the early 80's. The trail was cut to avoid the land owned by the hunting clubs. It happened just about the time I was contemplating hiking to Allen and learned the route had become 'more complicated' (at a time when collecting hiking beta wasn't as easy-peasy as it is today).

          • #8
            O.K., so it sounds as though using Fujacks Road is totally permissible now, with the more southerly route available after the leases expire next year. It was always private property, but up until the mid-70s the number of hikers was so small that the leaseholders didn't mind the occasional hiker.. Additionally, hiker traffic then was more confined to July and August when few were using their camps. By 1980, the leaseholders had prevailed upon the landowner, Finch, Pruyn to post their property to prevent public hikers from crossing their leaseholds. That's when the current route of the herd path was negotiated and established along with the current path to Panther north of Bradley Pond.

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            • #9
              On Saturday (July 22) I hiked to Allen via the two roads. I have a TR in the works but here are the basics. First, stop reading here if you can't navigate your way out of a bag. Depending on which route you choose it will involve following faint old overgrown roads, unmarked roads, bushwhacking or a subtle herd-path.

              The two routes offer an alternative to the stretch between the suspension bridge and Skylight Brook. HOWEVER, they are NOT significantly shorter. Don't for a second believe this is a magic shortcut to Allen.

              ​From suspension bridge to Skylight Brook:
              • Via East River/Allen trails: 3.5 miles
              • Via Fujacks Rd: 3.1 miles (3.0 if you optimize the bushwhack)
              • Via ADK Park Rd: 3.3 miles
              Opalescent River to Opalescent Road.
              ​This is the stretch from the suspension bridge to Opalescent Road which is the main, north-south arterial road; Fujacks Rd and ADK Park Rd branch off from Opalescent Rd. This 0.5 mile section follows an old, overgrown road, faintly visible in satellite imagery. I started it as a bushwhack (~250 feet of scratchy woods) but quickly discovered it'd be easier to do the way Tony described it.​ This unnamed old road passes through areas of standing water and mud. Based on the footprints I saw, it's predominately a game-trail.

              Fujacks Road.
              ​Bushwhacking is involved (and more than I had anticipated). It ends 0.3 miles short of the Allen Mtn Trail (there's another 0.2 miles of trail to Skylight Brook). I bushwhacked it in a sloppy fashion and stretched it to 0.4 miles (still only took ~20 minutes). Woods are reasonably open and the old (logging?) roads I saw in the satellite imagery aren't useful.

              Adirondack Park Road.
              ​No bushwhacking involved. Road ends at a small pond and then there's a subtle herd-path that varies from faint to distinct. This path also crosses a few moist/muddy areas.


              HERE'S THE PROBLEM
              ​​Yes, these alternatives follow gravel roads that allow for speedy, mud-free walking. HOWEVER, they're not a panacea because they involve traversing wet areas unable to withstand increased traffic. By "traffic" I mean all the dainty hikers who are very quick to bypass the slightest hint of mud. These sections can quickly transform into the $hitshow that is now the Allen trail.

              Frankly, I think these alternatives are best for cross-country skiers. The grades are more moderate and the paths are wider much of the way to Skylight Brook.
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