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Abandoned/Defunct trails in the High Peaks

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  • #31
    Looking at this topo map. Is there an old trail from the Panther Gorge leanto through Panther Gorge and up to the Phelps Trail? Is this the way rock climbers get into the gorge?
    Leave No Trace!


  • #32
    8000m 0/14


    • #33
      That 1953 USGS topo map has many trail errors, but that trail shown through Panther Gorge is the biggest of all their errors. The error apparently stems from a map made by the survey team in the early 1920s when the AMR sold 24,00 of their then-40,000 acres to the state. The state surveyors apparently needed to have a way to go through Panther Gorge to complete the survey. Anyway, an ancient map of that survey showed a trail through Panther Gorge, and the USGS just decided that, if it was on that map, it should be on our map.

      That major 1920s survey was lead by Arthur Hopkins, a state surveyor. To facilitate the survey, he also created a trail from the Johns Brook Valley to the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy so that survey crews could more easily travel between the Johns Brook valley and Indian Falls (the northwest corner of the then-extensive AMR holdings). That trail has survived as the yellow-marked Hopkins Trail to Marcy from Bushnell Falls to the Van Hoevenberg Trail.


      • Bunchberry
        Bunchberry commented
        Editing a comment
        I was just looking at the map the other night and was wondering why they had 2 trails going to almost the same place.

    • #34
      The present Cascade Mountain trail was significantly re-routed sometime in the late 60's or early 70's. The old trail was further to the north and was marked with red disks (many were left behind). It was easy to find well into the late 80's. Tony might be able to provide details.


      • #35
        Dave Bourque click this link

        Tap Choose Map Type:

        Hist. 1945+

        Is that the trail you're thinking of?

        -Open question to all-
        Was the trail in the map provided an even earlier approach to Cascade? Or, was it just something they stuck on a map to indicate a trail around there.


        • Dave Bourque
          Dave Bourque commented
          Editing a comment
          This is not the trail I was talking about. This map shows the route up the falls between the two lakes. Their namesake. At one time there was a hotel at the base between the lakes. I don't know if a true trail ever existed along this route but the stream has been used as a bushwhack route for years.

        • Learning The Trails
          Learning The Trails commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep. Some neat history in that little spot. I really would love to do the current iteration of this route up the slide but I refuse to do it without someone who has done it before.

      • #36
        Originally posted by Dave Bourque View Post
        The present Cascade Mountain trail was significantly re-routed sometime in the late 60's or early 70's. The old trail was further to the north and was marked with red disks (many were left behind). It was easy to find well into the late 80's. Tony might be able to provide details.
        Mount Marcy Quad 1953 shows a trail just a bit north of the current trail. I'd found this map several years ago (2018 !!) and transferred the old route onto a map with the new route. Will be interesting to hear if it's about right.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	Cascade.jpg Views:	0 Size:	23.0 KB ID:	512590


        • #37
          Yes. That is the route of the old trail that I was talking about. As late as 1988 it was easy to find and still had trail markers.


          • #38
            Hear the Footsteps has route of the pre-1970 trail about right - at least according to the 1953 USGS map. As I have noted above, that map had many trail errors. From my memory of hiking that trail, it crossed the brook to the north before heading up the mountain. I do remember seeing a map that showed a trail that came up from between the lakes, where there was a hotel. That trail angled to the south before heading up the easier terrain. It seems reasonable to assume that the public trail went to the north and across that brook in order to join that trail from between the lakes. The 1902 map shows a trail heading straight up to the summit from the hotel, but who knows how long that lasted.

            My memory of hiking that older trail on Cascade is that, even with the traffic levels of the 1950s, parts of the upper section were wide and eroded down to bedrock. The 1970 reroute was a definite improvement over that trail. Then, in the mid-80s the ADK trail crews did some extensive rock work, mostly on the lower parts of that trail. The held up fairly well until hiker started to bypass the rock staircases - either because they didn't want to wait for hikers coming the other way to clear the staircase or because the first step had become too high for a comfortable first step.


            • #39
              A few trails that have had me curious for some time.

              the 1953 map shows a very different trail up Ampersand than what exists today. It skirts the west shoulder of the mountain and summits the peak from the south. I’ve looked for evidence of an actual trail in this location but it doesn’t seem likely.

              Another trail seen on an older USGS map I have (maybe from the 60s) shows a trail extending south from Pine Pond at the confluence of Cold Brook east and west branches. The trail does exist and is well-maintained, the ranger I spoke to said it is used often by hunting clubs. The map shows the trail leading all the way to Ampersand Lake. Colden’s 1890 survey shows the trail used along with an encampment east of Van Dorien Mtn he labelled “Turner’s Abandoned Headquarters”. I assume Turner’s was the logging company, though I haven’t done much more research. The survey also shows a trail parallel from Second Pond to the Philosopher’s Camp on Ampersand Lake. I followed the trail for several miles and it was well-maintained throughout.