After reading “A Pitch for Wilderness” it appears that the map showing a section of Northville-Lake Placid Trail in a West Stony Creek Wilderness is misleading. This trail would be an alternative for Northville-Placid hikers who now have to walk along a public road.
Two friends and I drove up Mountain Road and onto a side road, passing the point where state land begins. A little farther and the road became so poor that we did not dare to travel farther. We looked for the southern start of this alternative to the road-trail from Northville but could not find it.
Then we traveled up Benson Road to look for the northwestern end. That apparently does not exist either.
However, across Benson Road on the north side there is a trail that is well marked, which supposedly joins the Northville-Placid Trail north of the bridge over Stony Creek (according to the last issue of the Conservationist). We did not find that junction either, although we might have found it had we been willing to follow the new trail from Benson Road north.
After a bit of research, we found that the trail shown on your map is proposed and not ready for public use.
Joe Biegen, Binghamton
Editor’s note: Guidebook author Bill Ingersoll recently hiked in the area and reports that only 3.5 miles of the trail have been cut.