Located within a short driving distance of the Utica-Rome area, the southwestern region is a “gateway” to the Adirondacks. Though containing no major peaks, this is an area famous for its lakes and streams. Miles upon miles of quiet trails await exploration—many of them surprisingly little used and under-appreciated, considering their proximity to populated areas.
The bulk of this guidebook is devoted to the Black River and Independence River wild forests, as well as the Ha-de-ron-dah Wilderness. This is a region that is ideal for weekend hiking and backpacking—not to mention paddling, snowshoeing, and skiing. Most of the trails lead to interior lakes and ponds, many of which are as wild and beautiful as any you will find in the heart of the Adirondacks. Middle Settlement, Gull, and Big Otter are among those that stand out.
Also included are several of the region's larger lakes, such as North Lake and South Lake. Although open to motorboats, traffic is usually so light that these are ideal places for paddling. Other canoe routes include Nelson Lake, Francis Lake, and portions of the Black River.
The region's waterfalls are perhaps its most distinctive features. Sand Lake Falls features a lean-to for camping, and Gleasmans Falls remains a popular day-hiking destination. The long trek to Jocks Falls is an adventure that will not be forgotten.
Ice Cave Mountain is a unique place that is fun to explore. This guidebook will show you the most direct way to the summit.
A large portion of the southern Black River Wild Forest may someday be reclassified as the Cotton Lake Wilderness. Read about the handful of paths that penetrate this wild place: Twin Lakes Stream, Cotton Lake, Forty Mountain.
The trails in this guide are located close to the communities of Nobleboro, Ohio, Forestport, Woodgate, Otter Lake, McKeever, Old Forge, and Brantingham Lake.
The fourth edition of Discover the Southwestern Adirondacks has been largely rewritten to feature updated trail information, entertaining historical sketches, GPS-based trail measurements, waypoint charts to key trailheads, dozens of all-new photographs, several new route descriptions, and redesigned topographic maps with trail overlays. This the definitive guide to the southwestern Adirondacks.