About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. Pete says

    If this road was open as a snowmobile trail, it would be clear. No good reason why it isn’t except pressure by environmentalists. Snowmobilers generally maintain their own trails, even on state land by agreement with the DEC. No reason other groups can’t do the same.

    • Steve B. says

      Not true. Its clearly a lack of maintenance is all. All the mt. bike trails here on Long Island are on state, county or town lands, yet the only maintenance is done by the volunteers of the local mt. bike club -CLIMB. Seems thats whats needed here, a local club to help the state keep these trails viable.

  2. Tarrence Lasher says

    I had a similar problem in the Wilcox Lake wildforest last week. The Arrow trail designated snowmobile / bike was so overgrown it could not be followed.

  3. Dan says

    The DEC used to have trail crews that worked in the spring-fall seasons to maintain the trails.
    Time to spend some money for them again.

    The state just keeps on acquiring more and more land and neglecting to maintain its trails for the public use of the lands that the public is paying for.

  4. Tom Wemett says

    Hikers help maintain the Northville Placid Trail, how about bikers helping to maintain this trail. If it has such awesome potential I don’t see how some serious stewardship outings by bicycling clubs and groups wouldn’t help here. How about local biking clubs/organizations setting up a stewardship program similar to ADK’s trail stewardship program whereby people sign up to maintain sections of the trail and visit it twice a year to maintain it. Chainsaws can be used twice a year to clear major blow down. Schedule such a stewardship outing for the fall when chainsaws can be used and find several trained sawyers to join it. I thru-hiked the NPTrail in 2006 and was disappointed with the condition of the trail. I joined the ADK Trails Committee to bring attention and actual trail crew effort to the trail. With my partner, Genny Morley, we founded the Northville Placid Trail Chapter of ADK to further the effort to maintain the NPTrail. The Chapter, even today, continues to help maintain the trail and to report on areas of concern and need. DEC does not have the manpower to maintain this trail. Other trails take priority. Your article is a good start. Time to reach out to biking clubs/organizations to step up and make some serious plans to open this trail up and to properly maintain it in the future.

  5. Bill says

    A trip in the opposite direction (towards Squaw Lake) would indicate this has little to do with the “environmentalists” and more to do with the DEC not expending resources (and not talking about the front line people – Rangers/Conservation Officers). Prior to the culvert washing out in 2020 (IIRC), Indian Lake road had turned into a ****show, where only jacked up 4 by 4’s would possibly make it over the big hill the mile or so before the Squaw parking lot boulders. I recognize Phil was talking about the bike trail specifically; just noting everything past Otter Brook seems to have turned into a giant afterthought for anyone not using legs to get there. And again presuming these are Albany based decisions.

  6. Alan G West says

    I am very disappointed with the lack of maintainence by DEC. I’m pretty sure that when Gary Lee was the forest ranger he would not have allowed this to happen.

  7. Peter Bauer says

    Making the Otter Brook Trail into a mountainbike trail was always a poor decision. This failure of public policy has become the norm at the APA and DEC. That trail should be reclassified as a hiking trail as a northern route into the West Canada Lakes Wilderness. That whole section should be Wilderness.

  8. Sue Capone says

    This trail is a very frustrating example of poor management. It was and could be a really appropriate bike trail. I have ridden, driven the entire trail many times over the years to expedite access to Lost pd for water sampling. I was very glad the DEC made the decision to keep it in the Wild Forest. But this trail and many others are in danger if the DEC continues to put its resources in acquisition rather than upkeep.

  9. Chris Rohner says

    Honestly it seems like a very simple problem to solve. A truck, a few guys/gals, a few chainsaws and tools and some time. Done. Some problems are tough. This isn’t one of them.

  10. SGeorge says

    You just can’t please some people. First they want a portage free canoe route. When they don’t get that, they want a tree free bike route. It’s a hard life.

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