Hiking

Experience the beauty of all four seasons. A challenging hike or a scenic stroll, we have a variety of trails that will appeal to the outdoor enthusiast in everyone.

Tug Hill and The Adirondacks are a magnificent region with breathtaking foliage and fascinating wildlife. What better way to take it all in than by being right in the middle of it, hiking or snowshoeing through the woods!

One of the most picturesque times of year to explore the region is in the fall; crisp red, orange, and yellow leaves filling the mountains.

Gleasman Falls – Greig, NY
Number Four Rd East from Lowville – Right on Erie Canal Rd – 2.9 mi left on McPhilmy Rd – 0.7 mi left on Beach Mill Rd – 1.5 miles left at fork on Beach Mill Rd – 2.2 mi to trail head for Beach Mill Pond. Hike southeast along a yellow-blazed trail crossing Burnt Creek. One mile in, the route traverses a beaver pond over footbridge; continue southeast to a bridge over Second Creek (subsidiary of Independence River); over a steep rock , pass large boulder and begin a slight descent to the edge of the gorge – look right for an unmarked spur trail that offers a bird’s-eye view of the falls below.

Baker Woods Preserve
4114 Factory Road Natural Bridge NY 13665

About 354 acres with more than 3 miles of trails suitable for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are open daily for visitors from dawn to dusk. Paddlers will also be pleased to find a beach launch on the Indian River just a short distance from the parking area.

Otter Creek Horse Trail System
With 65 miles of interlocking horse trails, there is always a new destination to explore on horseback. The area is beautiful and diverse with trails winding through spirea flats and wooded areas, along Adirondack ponds and gently flowing waters like Otter, Little Otter, Beaver Meadow, and Chase Lakes; Crooked Creek and the Independence River. The Otter Creek Horse Trails are located on the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests, as well as Independence River Wild Forest, on the western border of the Adirondack Park. It is common to see a variety of wildlife along the trail system, including deer, bear, coyote, fox, grouse, wild turkey, snowshoe hare, and many bird species. These trails are made up of old sandy roads and wooded trails looped together for easy navigation. The Assembly Area is known to many riders as the greatest attraction of the Otter Creek Horse Trails. This is a state-managed camping facility. It is free and riders can access all the trails that are part of Otter Creek Horse Trails. There are 100 roofed tie stalls with horse water taps.

Beach Mill Trail
 The Beach Mill Area of Adirondack Foothills includes a several creeks and ponds which flow into the Independence River. The Beach Mill Trail includes 11 plus miles of wilderness trail. The terrain varies from rock hillsides, low areas, forest trail with many creek crossings, a beaver pond and foot bridges. Gleasman Falls is the highlight to visit.

Carpenter Road Recreation Trails
The Carpenter Road trail system is on the eastern edge of the Tug Hill Plateau, an area with heavier snowfall than any other part of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. It offers 8 miles of scenic pathways for skiers in the winter and for hikers and bikers during the summer season.

NYSDEC Demonstration Area
The Demonstration Area Nature Trail is located on 98 acres at the former Lowville Tree Nursery. A nice hiking or cross-county ski area. You will find a wide variety of tress, a pond and a lookout tower.

Inman Gulf Trails
Located in the Tug Hill State Forest, the trails include several trail options with a great gulf ridge view and a scenic view of Rainbow Falls!

Whetstone Gulf State Park
6065 W Rd Lowville NY 13367

The Whetstone area has been a scenic recreation area since the late 1800’s. Throught the efforts of New York State Assemblyman, Clarence Lyon Fisher, $25,000 was appropriated to purchase “Whetstone Gulft” for use as a State Park. Improvements were made by the Conservation Department and the Federal CCC program after the land was purchased. The planting of red pine trees, which can be seen throughout the park today, was part of the improvement. Red Pine and Norway Spruce were chosen for its rapid growth rate.

The park was dedicated to Conservation Department Forest Ranger William H. McCarthy for his dedication to forest and wildlife conservation form 1931 to 1941. The park was developed further after WW II. Campsites, a swimming beach and a bridge to the a new picnic area were constructed. The park was transferred to the Thousand Island State park region in 1968.

Whetstone Gulf is a beautiful park built in and around a three mile long gorge cut in the eastern edge of the Tug Hill plateau. The gorge is one of the most spectacular scenic vistas east of the Rocky Mountains and is the main reason for the park’s location. The park is composed of over 2,400 acres, most of which are undeveloped. Whetstone Gulf State Park has over 60 spacious wooded campsites, a senic picnic area along Whetstone Creek, a man-made swimming area with water supplied by Whetstone Creek and various trails, one of which circles the gorge. The park also has a 500 acre reservoir above the gorge that was developed for flood control form the creek and to provide recreation fishing and canoeing. The reservoir is stocked with tiger muskies and large mouth bass. Whetstone Gulf offers trails for all ages and levels, from Novice thur Intermediate to Expert.

Independence River and Forest
The Independence river originates near the Eight Lakes of the Fulton chain and runs into Black River in the town of Watson. The Independence river was so named in honor of our national holiday by Pierre Pharoux in 1794, a French engineer and surveyor. Independence River is known for its trout fishing. Redear sunfish, northern pike and yellow perch are also caught in this river. This is a mountain stream which has its origin near the western edge of Adirondack Park, beginning in Herkimer County and flowing west into Lewis County where it meets the Black River in Watson. Both the Independence River State Forest in Lewis County and the Independence River Wild Forest area in Lewis and Herkimer counties are named after the Independence River.

Independence River State Forest is a 673 acres state forest in Lewis County. There are various trees in this forest such as: maple, black cherry, red pine, white pine, and scotch pine. Hiking, biking, fishing, small game hunting and white-tailed deer hunting are some of the recreational activities enjoyed by many at this state forest. Also there is the Otter Creek Horse Trail System for horse lovers which contains over 60 miles of trails together with the Independence Wild Forest area. The Independence River Wild Forest area covers about 76,000 acres of the New York State Forest Preserve located in the towns of Watson, Greig, and Lyonsdale in Lewis County,and the Web in Herkimer County. Snowmobiling is the winter activity in this large area of forest land.

Moose River
The Moose River is a beautiful mountain waterway consisting of three branches; North Branch, Middle Branch, and South Branch. In northern Herkimer County, the North Branch is formed by the outlet of Big Moose Lake. In Old Forge, the Middle Branch starts at the Fulton Chain Lakes. In Hamilton County, the South Branch starts in Little Moose Lake. After the Moose River flows westward through Herkimer County and enters into Lewis County, it merges into the Black River at Lyons Falls. Whitewater rafters, kayakers and canoeists all claim the Moose to be a favorite destination due to its high gradient as it drops out of the mountains.

Oswegatchie River
Entering the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg, NY is the Oswegatchie River. The main or East Branch of the Oswegatchie River begins in Hamilton county of New York. The Oswegatchie Indian tribe once lived along this river and the name means going or coming around a hill. The word Oswegatchie also means “Black water” in the aboriginal language. Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Pure-Bred Muskies, Channel Catfish, Walleyes, Red Finned Mullets, and Common Carp live in the Oswegatchie River. Between Gouverneur and Ogdensburg, the lower part of the Oswegatchie River, there a some spots to put in a canoe, but much of the land along this stretch of river is privately owned. Between Gouverneur and Cranberry Lake, the middle part of the river, it is partially navigable by experienced canoeists, and a two mile stretch from southern Cranberry Lake to Inlet is unnavigable. From here, the upper part of the Oswegatchie River, it is known as one of the wildest canoeable rivers in the Adirondacks. This upper part of the river also gives access to some of the remotest parts of Adirondack Park.

Oswegatchie River – West Branch offers an opportunity for some paddling between Bisha Falls and Jerden Falls, a streach of about seven miles (Class V+).

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