Trans Adirondack Route thru-hikers: Keep your maps and Blue Line to Blue Line: The Official Guide to the Trans Adirondack Route current. Print these updates and bring them with you into the field.

As of October 2019, the route totals 238.2 miles
– 188.1 miles (79%) trail hiking
– 38.9 miles (16%) road walking
– 11.2 miles (5%) off-trail travel

Reported thru-hiker success rate = 56%

>>> Far North section, northern terminus area. Guidebook p. 89, 241. Map 1. There is public transportation from Plattsburgh to within 3.8 miles of the northern terminus on weekdays. From the Government Center at the intersection of Cornelia Street and Margaret Street in Plattsburgh, use Clinton County Public Transit – 518.561.1452 clintoncountypublictransit.com – to reach Ellenburg at Northern Adirondack Central School, 5572 Route 11. From this school, walk south to the nearby three-way intersection of Route 11 and Route 190 (Military Turnpike). Follow Route 190 southwest for 0.4 miles. Bear west – right – to stay on Route 190. Follow this road for 2.5 miles. Turn south – left – onto County Route 2 (Brandy Brook Road). Follow this road for 0.9 miles to the northern terminus at the "Ellenburg Center" sign.

Clinton County Public Transportation also offers their Rural Zone Service. Within this program, thru-hikers can use the Dial-a-Ride service by calling 518.561.1452 Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Call the business day prior to your travel day and up to two weeks in advance. You can get a ride from various locations in Plattsburgh to the northern terminus for $5. This service is offered only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. (Posted August 2019)

>>> Far North section, Steam Mill Road area. Guidebook p. 2. Map 1. The Dept. of Environmental Conservation has marked the boundary of a 49-acre piece of land they call Steam Mill Tract. Their work shows that this state land is portrayed somewhat inaccurately on United States Geological Survey maps (and thus Trans Adirondack Route maps). To get to this land from the intersection of Bradley Pond Road and Steam Mill Road 2.8 miles south of the northern terminus, leave the route and hike 0.4 miles west along Steam Mill Road. At that point you will see a sign on the north – right – side of this road that identifies Steam Mill Tract. This plot is the only legal place to camp within sixteen miles of the northern terminus. (Posted August 2019)

>>> Far North section, Lyon Mountain area. Guidebook p. 96-99. Maps 2, 3. If you don't want to trudge along roads from downtown Lyon Mountain to Number 37 Road, you may walk the ten-mile-long section of the old D and H rail line. To gain permission, thru-hikers must join Outback ATV Riders Club, leasee, due to liability issues. Visit this not-for-profit club – outbackridersinc.org – to submit your membership application and $25. Note on your application that you are a Trans Adirondack Route thru-hiker.

As you hike through downtown Lyon Mountain, bear right off Route 374 and onto Belmont Avenue at the gas station. Belmont Avenue turns into First Street where School Hill Road comes in from the left. Bear left onto School Hill Road. You'll see the rail trail on your left. Get on the rail trail here, which is 0.2 miles from Route 374. Follow it for ten miles to Number 37 Road. (Posted October 2018)

Updated maps of this section are here and here.

>>> Northern Mountains section, Saranac River area. Guidebook p. 102-103. Maps 5, 6. Known as the Molson Relocation, this new segment eliminates a 9.7-mile-long road walk. Directions below cover 7.3 miles from the south end of Cold Brook Road to Casey Road – 3.2 miles of trail hiking, 3.2 miles of off-trail hiking, and 0.9 miles of road walking with 1,100 vertical feet of climbing overall.

Reach the south end of Cold Brook Road and T-bone Route 3. Turn west – right – on Route 3 and hike 0.9 miles to Mud Pond Trail on the south – left – side of Route 3 at an elevation of 1,170 feet. Hike Mud Pond Trail – marked with red disks – 1.4 miles to Mud Pond. At Mud Pond, turn east – left – and continue on Mud Pond Trail for 0.2 miles along the north shore of the pond until it T-bones an ATV trail. To the west – your right – is Mud Pond 100 feet away. This is the end of Mud Pond Trail.

Turn east – left – on the ATV trail. Hike 200 feet to a split. Keep right. Hike 0.2 miles and encounter a small stream running south – right – across the trail. To the north – your left – you can see a small beaver pond. To the south – your right – you can see Mud Pond Brook. Walk down to the brook and cross it on a beaver dam at an elevation of 1,350 feet.

From Mud Pond Brook, follow a bearing of 115 degrees (adjusted for declination) for 0.5 miles to reach your next destination, "Maple Marker." This is the crux of the Molson Relocation. At the end of this 0.5-mile segment on the west side of an unnamed 1,510-foot peak, you encounter an ATV trail that runs on state land at an elevation of 1,460 feet (this 2.5-mile-long illegal ATV trail begins at the end of Cass Road and dead-ends on the northern slopes of the Alder Brook Mountains). Near where you meet this ATV trail, it makes two quick and sharp turns and then runs due south, straight as an arrow, for more than 1,000 feet. Where this trail transitions from the two quick and sharp turns to a straight run, look into the woods on the east – uphill – side of the ATV trail. A faint path leads fifty feet to a large red maple that has four yellow paint blazes on it. Leave the ATV trail and reach this tree, Maple Marker. You are now on a faintly-marked state land boundary.

From Maple Marker, follow a bearing of 175 degrees for 0.2 miles along this faintly-marked boundary to reach your next destination, "Five Gallon Corner." About halfway to Five Gallon Corner, cross the unnamed outlet of "Alder Meadow" and then encounter a metal pipe and cairn, both painted yellow and on the boundary. To the east – your left – you can see an outbuilding in a clearing a few hundred feet away. The pipe and cairn do not note Five Gallon Corner. Continue on your bearing for 0.1 miles to reach Five Gallon Corner. This final stretch is on an old logging road, which ends at the corner. Five Gallon Corner is named so because it's marked with a five-gallon bucket.

From Five Gallon Corner, follow a bearing of 84 degrees for 0.4 miles along another faintly-marked boundary towards your next destination, snowmobile trail C8D. Descend slightly, at times following another old logging road. Stay on your bearing, which will veer right off this old logging road and descend into a wet area. Cross the unnamed outlet of Alder Meadow again, this time on a beaver dam or a metal ATV bridge just upstream of the beaver dam. On the far side of this steam you T-bone another ATV trail. Cross it. Fifty feet later you encounter a murky, dark, forbidding, quarter-acre mud hole in a pine forest. Box around this mud hole and T-bone an ATV trail (it's the same one you met two minutes ago). Cross it. Cross the northern reaches of Alder Meadow, an enormous wet clearing sprinkled with alders. Enter the evergreen woods on the east – far – side of Alder Meadow. Follow your bearing another 200 feet to T-bone snowmobile trail C8D, also known as Casey Connector Snowmobile Trail.

Turn south – right – on C8D, and follow it for 1.4 miles. At the 1.4-mile point, C8D turns hard to the south – left – where a small drainage pours in from the north. Elevation is 1,470 feet. Your time on C8D ends here. (If you turn south – left – and stay on C8D, in 800 feet you encounter private property punctuated by an enormous field where there is a stout stone wall and junk refrigerator). From your end point on C8D, follow a bearing of 261 degrees for 0.8 miles along another faintly-marked boundary towards your next destination, "Striped Stick Corner."

Traverse the southern slopes of an unnamed 1,630-foot hill to the north – your right. Descend into a shallow gap. Keep on your bearing and the faint boundary, traversing the southern slopes of the Alder Brook Mountains. Along this boundary there are at least ten yellow posted signs that show land to the south – downhill and to your left – belongs to Randolph and Elizabeth Doncoes. Follow your bearing to reach Striped Stick Corner, named so because it's marked with a cairn and a stick with strands of surveyors tape on it.

From Striped Stick Corner, follow a bearing of 175 degrees for 0.7 miles along another faintly-marked boundary towards your next destination, "X Peak." Descend to cross a small brook, then Casey Brook, then another small brook. Casey Brook marks the low point of this descent at an elevation of 1,590 feet. Ascend. Top out at an elevation of 1,960 feet on X Peak. The top half of this ascent is marked with pink surveyors tape. As you top X Peak you will see, if you look closely, why it is called that. 100 feet to the east – left – of the "X" is a dramatic view to the east.

Stay on your bearing of 175 degrees. Descend towards your next destination, Casey Road, 560 vertical feet below and 0.6 miles away. The initial descent is steep and rough, tumbling among boulders, cliffs, and oaks. Finish the glorious Molson Relocation by T-boning dirt Casey Road at a cairn and state land sign near an enormous culvert. To stay on the Trans Adirondack Route, turn south – right – on Casey Road towards Union Falls Pond 1.2 miles away. (Posted May 2019)

An updated map of this section is here and here .

>>> Northern Mountains section, Silver Lake area. Guidebook p. 108-110. Map 6. Known as the Geese Relocation, this new segment trades in 3.5 miles of road walking for 6.2 miles of woods hiking. Directions below cover Union Falls Pond dam to Taylor Pond Outlet, a distance of 8.4 miles with 900 vertical feet of climbing.

A grassy viewpoint at the Union Falls Pond dam marks the end of Section One, Far North, and the beginning of Section Two, Northern Mountains. Leave this viewpoint and hike east on Alder Brook Road. Once you're on the other side of the Saranac River, Alder Brook Road becomes Union Falls Road. Hike 0.4 miles east on Union Falls Road and turn onto a dirt road, which leads south – right – off the pavement. This dirt road descends, turns a hard right, and then climbs to a pass at an elevation of 1,530 feet to meet a red gate 0.6 miles from Union Falls Road. Behind this gate is land belonging to L. Douglas. Here you begin a 0.7-mile off-trail section to box around this property.

From the gate, follow a bearing of 176 degrees for 0.5 miles. Descend, cross a small wet area, and climb to "Gilpin Prow," a ridge that spills off Gilpin Hill to the east – your left. Descend the prow, enter a flat area, and continue 200 feet across this flat area until you near a spruce swamp. A corner of Douglas's property is marked here with a cairn.

From this corner, follow a bearing of 86 degrees for 0.2 miles, along the way crossing a wet area choked with spruce. Pop out on an old road, which is a snowmobile trail, near another red gate. You have boxed around Douglas's property. Turn south – right – on this snowmobile trail. Hike 0.5 miles to snowmobile trail junction CL6C. Turn southeast – left – to stay on the Trans Adirondack Route. A sign points you to Taylor Pond and Fern Lake. You are now on snowmobile trail C8.

Follow C8 for 1.2 miles. Here you meet "Rookery Pond" to the north – your left. C8 wraps around Rookery Pond and continues to an unsigned intersection. Here a trail leads north – left – down to Silver Lake. Stay northeast – straight – on the Trans Adirondack Route and C8. Immediately after this intersection, which is one mile from Rookery Pond, you cross a bridge.

Less than a half-mile of hiking leads you to an unsigned intersection. Here a trail leads north – left – down to Silver Lake. Stay east – straight – on the route and C8. Immediately after this intersection, C8 takes a hard right. Encounter another intersection. Here S81A leads southwest – right – to Taylor Pond. Stay on the route and C8 by continuing east – straight.

A five-minute walk leads you to snowmobile trail junction CL39C. If you head north – straight – you will stay on C8 and reach the intersection of Richards Road and Union Falls Road. Turn east – right – to get on snowmobile trail S81. A sign here points towards Taylor Pond Campground, your destination, 2.8 miles away.

S81 twists and turns to Bear Brook, which it crosses on a bridge. Two minutes beyond the brook is a T intersection. If you turn southwest – right – you hit Taylor Pond in 1,000 feet. Turn northeast – left – to stay on the route.

A three-minute walk leads you to another T intersection. If you turn north – left – you head to the north side of Carmel Mountain. Turn south – right – to stay on the route. A five-minute walk leads to you a split. If you turn southwest – right – you hit Taylor Pond in 1,000 feet. Stay south – straight – on the route.

The last intersection of the Geese Relocation is met. It's another split. If you turn south-southwest – right – you reach a camping area on Taylor Pond 1,000 feet away (marked "Campground" on maps). Stay south-southeast – straight – on the route. Hike 0.9 miles to reach the west end of Taylor Pond Campground at campsite No. 8. Walk east through the campground, pass the caretaker’s cabin and boat ramp, and then cross Taylor Pond Outlet to finish the glorious Geese Relocation. (Posted May 2017)

An updated map of this section is here.

>>> Northern Mountains section, Forestdale Road area. Guidebook p. 114-115. Map 7. Once you descend Catamount Mountain and T-bone Forestdale Road, turn east – left – on this road. After hiking 0.2 miles you'll see a yellow gate on the south – right – side of the road. Hike up this snowmobile trail to Cooper Kiln Pond Trail. This snowmobile trail replaces a 2.1-mile off-trail section. (Posted December 2015)

An updated map of this section is here.

>>> Northern Mountains section, Connery Pond area. Guidebook p. 122-123. Map 8. A 0.3-mile-long public trail now doglegs around private land next to Connery Pond. Use this trail instead of walking past the private residences. (Posted October 2018)

>>> High Peaks section, South Notch area. Guidebook p. 130-134. Map 9. The abandoned 1932 Olympic cross-country ski trail has become a tale of two trails. The first 1.3 miles are easy to follow. After that point, this trail is not worth searching for. At this point 1.3 miles from River Road, hike through the beaver meadow and wrap around the east – top side – of the large boulder, as described in the guidebook.

Once around this boulder, hike southeast for 200 feet and cross a small stream. Follow this stream upstream for one minute to encounter a smaller stream coming in from the southeast. Cross this smaller stream and hike southeast up its left side for 100 feet. Encounter scrap metal from old-time logging operations. Hike southeast – straight uphill – for 50 feet. Encounter an old stove: "Jewett's Fancy Boy." Continue southeast – climbing – for less than a quarter mile to "Split House Rock," an enormous boulder, split in half, at an elevation of 2,190 feet. From Split House Rock, follow a bearing of 148 degrees for one mile. This will take you to the unnamed outlet of "South Notch Pond." Follow this unnamed stream from an elevation of 2,400 feet to South Notch Pond at an elevation of 2,600 feet. From this pond, continue to South Notch. (Posted October 2018)

An updated map of this section is here.

>>> High Peaks section, Bobsled Run Lane area. Guidebook p. 135-137. Map 10. Known as the Rainy Day Relocation, this new segment eliminates 2.3 miles of road walking and 0.4 miles of trail hiking and replaces them with 3.4 miles of trail hiking.

As you near the end of Mountain Lane, turn south – left – off this dirt road and onto a wide ski trail marked with yellow Department of Environmental Conservation ski trail disks. This trail is a continuation of Jackrabbit Ski Trail. Follow this trail for 300 feet until it T-bones paved Route 73. Cross Route 73 and descend off the far shoulder onto a continuation of Jackrabbit Ski Trail.

Hike southwest along this trail for a quarter-mile to an intersection (elevation 2,000 feet). Avoid a trail that breaks northwest – right – and descends to a footbridge. That's the continuation of Jackrabbit Ski Trail. Stay left on the Trans Adirondack Route. Hike less than a quarter mile to a five-way intersection. Here a sign reads "Do Not Enter Olympic Trails Without Connect Pass." Turn a hard left along a wooden fence to avoid other trails. Fifty feet beyond this sign you meet intersection No. 8 (elevation 1,990 feet). Stay to the far left to continue on Purple Perimeter Loop.

Continue to a four-way unnumbered intersection (elevation 1,990 feet) near Grouse Gully Trail and Lower Gully Trail. Bear south – left – to stay on Purple Perimeter Loop. Less than 100 feet later, a minor trail breaks southeast – left. Stay on Purple Perimeter Trail, which heads south. Beech Hill Trail comes in hard from the northwest – right – at intersection No. 12 (elevation 1,990 feet). Stay south – straight – on Purple Perimeter Trail and the Trans Adirondack Route.

Encounter intersection No. 11 (elevation 1,990 feet), a three-way intersection. Avoid a trail that breaks southwest – right. Stay south – straight and to the left – on Purple Perimeter Trail and Deer Run Trail. Fifty feet later encounter intersection No. 13 (elevation 1,990 feet), a four-way intersection. Stay east – left – to stay on Purple Perimeter Trail and Deer Run Trail. Fifty feet later, a trail comes in from the east at intersection No. 15 (elevation 2,000 feet). Stay east – left – on Purple Perimeter Trail, Deer Run Trail, and the Trans Adirondack Route. After crossing North Meadow Brook on a stout bridge, intersection No. 16 (elevation 2,000 feet), a three-way intersection, is encountered. Leave Purple Perimeter Trail and Deer Run Trail by turning southwest – right – and hiking uphill on Wabbit Way Trail.

Fifty feet later, a trail breaks left. Stay straight on Wabbit Way Trail. A split is encountered. Stay straight and to the left on Wabbit Way Trail. Fifty feet later an unnumbered four-way intersection is encountered (elevation 2,020 feet). Turn south – left – and enter an enormous clearing. To the right is a building and a shooting range. Straight ahead is the back of another brown building, the mountain bike center (elevation 2,020 feet), your destination. Along the back of this building is where the new trail up Mount Van Hoevenburg begins. This 2.3-mile-long trail is marked with a combination of Mount Van Hoevenburg Center and Department of Environmental Conservation disks, both of them being yellow.

Hike around the back of the building, get on a ski trail, head uphill, hike straight through a four-way intersection, and cross a bridge (elevation 2,050 feet) over paved Bobsled Run Lane. Right after this bridge, encounter a four-way intersection. Stay straight on the Trans Adirondack Route. Pass by Pony Express Trail that comes in from the right. Encounter a funky six-way intersection. Stay on the trail you're on. It loops to the right and crosses straight another wide ski trail. As you cross this other wide ski trail, hop onto a singletrack trail that runs directly in front of Josie's Cabin, a warming hut (this cabin is closed to non-winter thru-hikers and is never open for overnight accommodations). The 300-foot-long singletrack trail pops out on a wide ski trail (elevation 2,040 feet). Hike south – straight – across this ski trail and onto another wide ski trail. This crossing is within sight of intersection No. 18 to the right. Fifty feet later another intersection (elevation 2,040 feet) is encountered. Head southwest – straight – across this one, too, which is within sight of intersection No. 22. Hike south – straight – through another four-way intersection (elevation 2,040 feet). Intersection No. 22 is within sight.

A half-mile from the mountain bike center, bear southeast – straight and to the left – at an unnumbered split (elevation 2,130 feet) and begin your climb towards Mount Van Hoevenburg. Encounter an unnumbered three-way triangular intersection (elevation 2,200 feet) as the main trail curves hard to the right, climbing gently. Within sight, to the left, is intersection No. 30. Stay on the main trail as it curves right. With 100 feet of hiking, encounter another unnumbered four-way intersection (elevation 2,200 feet) and continue south – straight. Fifty feet later, encounter another unnumbered intersection (elevation 2,200 feet), a split. Bear south – left – and climb. If you mistakenly bear right, you'll approach intersection No. 24. Encounter intersection No. 29 (elevation 2,250 feet). Here a trail breaks east – left. Stay south – straight.

Encounter intersection No. 31 (elevation 2,250 feet). Here a trail breaks east – left. Stay south – straight – on the route. Encounter intersection No. 28 (elevation 2,300 feet), a three-way intersection. Here a ski trail breaks left – south – off the route and climbs steeply. Stay southwest – straight and to the right. Encounter intersection No. 25 (elevation 2,320 feet), a three-way intersection. Here a ski trail breaks south – left. Stay straight and to the right – west – on the wide ski trail to stay on the Trans Adirondack Route.

Leave this wide ski trail where a hiking trail with yellow markers spills down a hill to your left (elevation 2,290 feet). Follow this trail for one mile to a point near the top of Mount Van Hoevenburg 2.3 miles from the mountain bike center. Finish the glorious Rainy Day Relocation where the old blue-marked Mount Van Hoevenburg Trail comes in from the north – right (elevation 2,920 feet). Turn south – left – to reach the summit (elevation 2,940 feet) and to continue south on the Trans Adirondack Route. (Posted October 2019)

>>> High Peaks and Cold River Country sections, High Peaks Wilderness Area. Guidebook p. 136-171. Maps 10-15. Since the inception of the Trans Adirondack Route, thru-hikers have been obligated to use bear-resistant food canisters when camping in the Eastern Zone of High Peaks Wilderness Area. This zone begins at the northern boundary of this wilderness area at a footbridge in the low country of the 1.7-mile-long Van Hoevenberg East Trail, which was built in 2018. This zone is 20 miles long (which includes 2,300 vertical feet of climbing) and ends at the Hudson River near County Route 25. This river marks the end of the High Peaks section and the beginning of the Cold River Country section.

Beginning April 2020, thru-hikers will be obligated to use bear-resistant food canisters when camping anywhere in High Peaks Wilderness Complex, a new land designation. Thru-hikers will therefore be required to use such canisters across a distance of 49 miles (which includes 5,000 vertical feet of climbing), from the northern boundary of the complex at the above described footbridge to its southern boundary at Tarbell Hill Lane. Bear-resistant food canisters are required nowhere else along the route. (Posted January 2019)

>>> High Peaks section, Opalescent River area. Guidebook p. 150-152. Map 12. The section between the former site of Gorge lean-to and County Highway 25 has become part of High Peaks Wilderness Area, soon to be High Peaks Wilderness Complex. You may camp anywhere in this area as long as it's 150 feet from trail, road, and water. A bear-resistant food canister is required in this area since it's part of the wilderness area. (Posted January 2019)

>>> High Peaks section, Opalescent River area. Guidebook p. 150-152. Map 12. A new suspension bridge spans the Opalescent River. (Posted October 2018)

>>> Cold River Country section, Upper Works area. Guidebook p. 152-155, 156. Map 12. Once you cross the Hudson River, instead of hiking towards County Route 25, follow an Open Space Institute trail to the Upper Works trailhead. This 0.8-mile-long trail parallels the Hudson River and avoids a 0.6-mile road walk. (Posted October 2018)

>>> Cold River Country section, Duck Hole area. Guidebook p. 161-162. Map 13. The 1960 lean-to that stood at the outlet of Duck Hole has been removed. A replacement lean-to stands next to Roaring Brook a half-mile north of Duck Hole. (Posted October 2018)

>>> Big Wilderness section, Whitney Creek area. Guidebook p. 200. Map 20. Whitney Creek meadows should now be called Whitney Creek lake due to busy beavers. When you T-bone Whitney Creek, turn south – right – and bushwhack along the west shore of the creek for a quarter mile. Cross the creek on a beaver dam. The continuation of this Pilsbury Bay-to-French Louis Trail segment is conveniently located on the east – far side – of this beaver dam. (Posted October 2018)

>>> Big Wilderness section, Piseco area. Guidebook p. 207, 247. Map 22. Casey's Corner at milepost 195 is closed. There is no resupply point between Long Lake (milepost 130) and the southern terminus (milepost 240). However, the Oxbow Inn on Route 8 a half-mile northeast of the former Casey's Corner serves excellent food. (Posted October 2016)

>>> Foothills section, Jockeybush Outlet area. Guidebook p. 219. Map 23. The southernmost cross-country section of the route, from next to the old dilapidated green cabin near Kennels Pond to Jockeybush Lake Trail, is marked with faint yellow paint blazes. (Posted April 2014)

>>> Foothills section, Tomany Mountain area. Guidebook p. 221. Map 24. As you descend towards Shanty Brook, cross two snowmobile trail bridges on C8, and then encounter a T intersection. Turn west – right. Within 50 feet, cross another bridge. Within another 50 feet, encounter a three-way intersection. Turn south – left – to stay on C8 and the route, avoiding a snowmobile trail that climbs east – straight ahead. (Posted April 2014)

>>> Foothills section, Stewart Landing area. Guidebook p. 232-233. Map 25. You may come out on Stewart Landing Road at a point west of Stewart Landing, depending on if you turn left or right at a split on C8 as you near Stewart Landing Road. If you come out on this road at a point west of Stewart Landing, simply turn left – east – when you hit this paved road. Then walk a half-mile to Stewart Landing where you'll be back on track. (Posted October 2018)


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